Setting up an outside garden pond for newts

mashcroft

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Macclesfield . Cheshire
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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 "pondkeeper.co.uk", 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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  • Roadrunner:
    My axolotl can you all take a look at that thread, I am freaked out about my axie
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  • MVM1991:
    His gills seem kinda small, I don't think that's normal but I'm not a huge expert on axolotls
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  • Roadrunner:
    Yeah his gills is kinda small and it can be caused by nitrate level, I am taking care of it atm, I am worried about his weight, is he only overfed or are there any kinds of problems there ?
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  • MVM1991:
    Well, again, I'm no expert. But I did just read axolotls are supposed to have a body about as wide as their head. The gills I'd say are the biggest problem, which could reduce oxygen intake, which could make a whole mess of problems.
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  • Roadrunner:
    Thanks for the help then, I will deal with his gills in no time
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    Bri the axolotl mom has left the room.
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    Bri the axolotl mom has joined the room.
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  • nerdybirds73:
    Any one have advice on feeding a tubbed axolotl?
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  • nerdybirds73:
    mine hasent eaten in weeks and im not sure what to do
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  • LauraLobster:
    Hello, I am a new owner of a 3 month old axolotl, and although I have done a lot of research on axolotls, I can barely find any for babies. If anyone can help me with these questions, I would be super happy. How many hours do baby axolotls tend to sleep per day? How many times should I feed it and what would be considered too much (it's current diet is freeze-dried brine shrimp and blood worms, and I currently feed it around 3 bloodworms since they are not that big)? How many times a week should I change the water and how? I have a good filter and use Prime as my conditioner to remove the chlorine and other chemicals, but I still need to figure out how to deal with ammonia and such in the water. How do I clean it's waste (should I use a dropper to easily pick it up)? I need a better cooling system because currently I use ice packs on the side of the tank and I make sure to angle my ac so that it hits the tank.
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  • LauraLobster:
    I also leave the lid open during the day so that evaporation can cool down my tank. I want to buy a fan, but since winter is coming I won't have to buy one yet. Lastly, what water testers are effective and affordable for a broke student like myself? Please, if anyone has any advice I will love to hear it. I care for this creature too much at this point, but I have no one to help me with caring for it other than the internet :,)
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  • EmilyP:
    Hi LauraLobster I am a new owner of axolotls myself and have been getting advice from things like this, I feed mine twice a day on blackworms and brine shrimp blood worms are more of a treat food, a question on where you are keeping you axolotl are you keeping it in the main tank or in a tub also if in the tank did you cycle it first? and if not i suggest tubing it until the tank it cycled, mine are still tubed since I was given bad advice by the shop people about cycling my tank and am still in the process of cycling it. I use pipettes to clean up the mess of my axolotls. I use the API mater test kit for freshwater tanks I am also a student and had to look around to find it the cheapest I could.
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  • AnimeDan:
    Hi LauraLobster, like you I got my first ever Axolotl back in July. Iv found that he has enjoyed and eaten red wigglers well. They are a good source of protein and help provide the nutrients a young lotl needs to grow up big and strong. You will probably need to break it up into smaller pieces until they get bigger but they are what I have primarily fed my buddy since I got him. He’s actually so picky that he won’t even eat his pellets anymore and will hold out till he gets his favorite wormy.
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  • Readysalted:
    Hi I would like to know how you treat nea
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  • Readysalted:
    Hi I would like to know how you treat newt inflamtion I've got one and recently it's started to develop an inflammation on its throat can someone please tell me how you treat this I've also checked if he had something stuck but I didn't se anything
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  • Cjbond:
    Anyone have any Notophthalmus viridescens for purchase to a loving home?
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  • Grantsky:
    Hi, I’m not sure if this is the right place to post this as I am new to the site, b
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  • ltoloxa-:
    Hey, can anyone recommend a good fan/cooler in UK?
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  • Nycolebayne:
    I’ve got proven female axolotls available if anyone is interested.
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  • Mark.H:
    Hey, does anyone know if shale is ok for long-toed salamanders?
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  • MVM1991:
    As long as its cleaned yeah! You can even make overhangs if you have enough pieces to make nice caves and platforms
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  • Mark.H:
    Ok, thanks!
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  • MVM1991:
    My pleasure! River rocks work well too, and go rather well with all kinda lung less salamanders,
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  • Mark.H:
    Great! I'll use some of those too. Thanks for the help. :)
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  • Tinky:
    So everywhere talks about testing your water parameters but I can't find what to do it there aren't right?! Like too low not too high, anybody any ideas?
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    Tinky: So everywhere talks about testing your water parameters but I can't find what to do it there... +1
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