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Outdoor Enclosures Discuss the building, maintenance and furnishing of outdoor enclosures for caudates.



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Old 24th April 2017   #1
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Default Setting up an outside garden pond for newts

I would like to share my information of how I set up a garden pond. I have tried several methods over the years, including cement, pond liners etc.
My latest and best is to use a "Blagdon" pre-formed plastic moulded pond. These are tough and easy to install (apart from the hard work, digging the hole !). There are two sizes I've used in my garden, the 500 and 750 Litre, (product name "damsel fly") but other shapes and sizes are available. I bought these from a local garden centre, but they can also be found on the internet. When looking for an outside pond it's very important that it is at least 18"(457mm) deep for the uk. This is so the frost doesn't reach the bottom (I was very upset one year to find several local frogs, who had hibernated in a shallow pond, dead ). There must be different shelf heights, which give different temperatures​ in the pond, and ideally also a place for different types of pond plant types.
One aspect of ponds I have never liked, is the sight of the pond it's self near the top edge. I have tried several methods in the past to cover this area with little success. Then a few years ago I discovered the perfect product, a tough rubber sheet with small pebbles bonded to one side (which don't fall off ). I found this product at a company called "", which can be found on the internet. It costs about 30 per square metre and can be cut into strips using an old pair of scissors or a Stanley knife. I cut it so the bottom edge goes below the water line and the top covers the top edge of the pond. It can be glued onto pond with a good waterproof silicon glue. There are several benefits to this product. Firstly it protects the pond from UV light, which will in time degrade the pond itself. Secondly it gives creatures, such as young newts etc, a surface which they can use to climb out of the pond and finally it allows for the growth of mosses and other plants, making the pond look more natural.
The edges of a pond are also very important, if you have overhanging stones all the way round you are creating a death trap as some creatures may not be able to climb out. Some overhanging stones are fine, with gaps between them, ideally try to leave open areas for access into and out of your pond. I have noticed that my newts seem to like sitting on dry land at night when there are few preditors, so you must be careful if you are walking around your ponds after dark (you don't want to tread on any !).
Most ponds seem to go a green colour as the days get longer and we have more sunlight. I have tried to remedy this by introducing one of those "barley straw", sausages into the pond, but found it didn't do a great deal. A better solution is to plant a water lily in a container in the pond. The container stops the roots from spreading everywhere! Lillies stop some of the light going into the pond and look great when flowering. The Canadian pond weeds are great oxygenators and newts love laying eggs on them, but the larger newts prefer broader leafed plants. Garden centres usually have a good variety of aquatic plants and helpful advice.

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