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Tadpoles not developing into frogs. Anybody know why?

(21 Posts)
MorocconOil Wed 27-Aug-08 21:21:13

Last year the DC and I made a little pond out of a baby bath. We dug a hole in the garden in a shaded, sheltered area and sank the bath into the hole.

We were very excited this spring to find lots of frogspawn in the pond. After a few weeks the pond was full of tadpoles. The pond is still full of tadpoles, but few have developed legs or grown very big. Does anyone know why this could be? Could it be because they are overcrowded?

Thanks

misi Wed 27-Aug-08 22:51:11

possibly the red leg disease going round amphibians in this country, decimating the populations it is!

MorocconOil Thu 28-Aug-08 09:54:40

Really?!?
Does that mean there will be a slug invasion then? We were hoping we'd have loads of frogs to eat the slugs who decimate our garden!

Ripeberry Thu 28-Aug-08 10:02:03

That disease is disgusting! The other day we noticed a red frog sitting on the side of the pond and then we found out it was dead!
But it was a sickly pinky/red colour and it looked like it was alive....yuck!

MorocconOil Thu 28-Aug-08 10:08:41

It sounds like something out of Dr Who.

PortAndLemon Thu 28-Aug-08 10:23:22

Interestingly, this site says that "It's not too uncommon for some tadpoles from late-spawning frogs to overwinter as tadpoles. It's typically when there's been quite a bit of cool weather or not too much food available. If they make it through the winter they'll become adult frogs next year."

MorocconOil Thu 28-Aug-08 10:33:55

Thanks PortAndLemon

That was helpful. I might put some meat in the pond. I can't see how they'd survive if the pond freezes though.

I really like your name btw.

misi Thu 28-Aug-08 11:08:23

as you have a pond, frogs are not the only likely amphibs there. my 2 ponds have no frogs or toads but had 50 pairs of newts 2 years ago, and they are voracious feeders of slugs and snails, I only put down one dose of slug and snail nematodes last year on my new veg patch but for 2 years I have had no real problem, just the odd one or 2 plants go over the entire garden. lets hope its the lack of food/overwintering then.
it does seem to be common this year, late breeding I mean. I have a tree near my house where collored doves have had 2 nests this year producing chicks and there is a dove sitting in her nest right now with her 3rd brood, poor cow!!

MorocconOil Thu 28-Aug-08 11:53:29

Your ponds sound great misi. I doubt ours has so much going on in it, as it is only made from a small baby bath. grin

Would you recommend a bit of meat to feed the tadpoles?

misi Thu 28-Aug-08 19:09:42

honestly, I don't know. I would be loathe to add meat to a pond anyway as if it is not eated it will putrefy at the bottom and cause problems. for 'my' newts, I go to the local garden centre who have a fish business there too and buy some bags of live water daphne and their frozen fish foods and oput a square in every so often when I see them around. the water daphne are good as the not onluy provide food for the newts but also eat algae and so help keep the pond clean.

fizzbuzz Thu 28-Aug-08 20:37:12

Misi,tell me more about daphne.

When we moved into our house 6 years ago, we had a lovely clear pond. Then when it was that really hot summer in 2003, green stuff (like cress) started growing all over the pond. I kept taking it out, but couldn't keep up with it. Now we have a totally covered pond, and I used to like watching the frogs sad

Would daphne eat that stuff? Is that algae?

misi Thu 28-Aug-08 20:50:26

cress?
is it like a thick green blanket/strands or is it individual little plant/leaf type things?

fizzbuzz Thu 28-Aug-08 21:11:58

It's like cress! (small cress) White stalk (under water) with little leafy on top,I think they are doulble leaf things. Lots of seperate little stalks that spread very fast (esp in hot weather) and the cress bits cover entire ponds surface. They have long whispy roots on some of them

misi Thu 28-Aug-08 21:22:06

no, not algae.
I would imagine its duckweed

www.wildlife-gardening.org.uk/default.asp?ftr=Features%5CProjects%5CPonds%5Cduckweed.xml

have a look at this and see if this may be it. I personally bought duckweed for my ponds as it helps with the water quality by taking out vast amounts of nutrients. this year is the first year I have not been overgrown with blanket weed, which is a nasty algae thats hard to get rid of.

if this is not it, let me know and I'll have a trawl!!

fizzbuzz Thu 28-Aug-08 22:04:19

Hmmm could be. It looks like it, but it doesn't flower...not in the 5 years of it being there.

Taking it out just seems to encourage it to grow faster. It seems to cover entire pond in 2 days (little pond about 4ft, by 2 1/2 ft)

misi Thu 28-Aug-08 22:47:45

mine has never flowered either, I don't think the climate is right, it divides by itself. if it has 2 leaves and several roots, every few days the 2 leaves separate and form 2 new plants which grow a second leaf and divide over again. given right conditions and this year has been sooooo right, they will divide every couple of days. taking them out only encourages them to grow as it allows more light in and less competition for scant nutrients. I grow some in a bucket too. it is next to my compost bin. every few days I scoop and handful out and add to the bin, a few days later it is thick with them again, a few weeks ago I added some plant food and they exploded, the green layer was nearly an inch thick!! fairy moss is like this too but has a frondy rosette on top of the water, but they all died this year and the duckweed has saved the pond by soaking up all the crap nutrients they give off when decaying at the bottom of the pond. my ponds are 6' x 4' (top pond) and 10' x 4' bottom pond, both around 3' deep.
duckweed is notorious for getting rid of, just as much as blanket weed, but duckweed can be beneficial.

what is the pond made of? plastic/rubber liner of rigid plastic moulded, concrete?

fizzbuzz Fri 29-Aug-08 12:53:56

Plastic liner, like very very thick bin liner

Can't you ever get rid of it then? I miss my froggies

misi Fri 29-Aug-08 14:23:54

you can by adding chemicals but its not a good solution really.

have you any fish?

if not, I would suggest you empty the pond of water and plants.
some people will do this in september others in april, but never any other month as you may interfere with the bugs and beasties that live and breed in the pond. I did my pond in early april 2.5 years ago, had to as I had a leak, but I pruned the bullrushes back, roots and all and cleaned all the crap gunge out of the bottom. if you have no fauna in situ, do it soon if you can so the pond can settle overwinter. first, scoop out as much weed as possible and place over night near to the pond as possible which will enable any fauna to get back to the pond. once the water is relatively clear, you will be able to see whats in there, any tadpoles frogs etc can be netted out into a bucket of water. if the plants are in pots/baskets, I would buy new pond suitable compost, take all the plants out and wash off all the soil from the roots and wash the plant itself, and the pots/baskets to get rid of any attached duckweed. only one rosette is needed to start a flourish again!! drain the water and clean the pond liner getting rid of any debris and gunge in it, carefully add the water and plants back inspecting each for duckweed a second time to be sure. this is just a rough guide, there are plenty of online sites that explain how to deep clean far better than I can. small ponds vastly benefit from clean outs anyway so this may be a good excuse to do one if none have been done since you moved in.

hope this helps?

fizzbuzz Fri 29-Aug-08 17:29:30

Sounds a bit like hard work to megrin

I know it needs cleaning, but the thought of all those snails and worms and other slimey things makes me feel ill. There isn't any fish

Tell me about the chemical option blush

misi Fri 29-Aug-08 18:16:58

firstly check this site out, the ID pond weed bit

www.crystalblue.net/

www.aquatics-online.co.uk/catalogue/aquahydrotech.asp

for duckweed chemical control, scroll down past the barley straw bit. never used this as I don't kill mine off but I know of the company and they are pretty good

fizzbuzz Fri 29-Aug-08 20:24:17

Now that looks the business to me, and is frog friendlygrin

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