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Chinadog

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Lisa and I have been working on a new pond for the last week or so as the Koi pool is hardly going to appeal to amphibians. It's still very much a work in progress, but there have been a couple of visitors already. The first was Rana temporaria which was a nice surprise as they have almost disappeared round here due to disease. Stigmochelys pardalis was less of a surprise if i'm absolutely honest, but she seemed to like it! :)
 

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Chinadog

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I think the pond is pretty much finished now. I was hoping to use clay to waterproof it, but we had to use rubber pond liner in the end as the earth seemed to be contaminated with somthing soapy below about 80cm down (there's a drive through car wash about 300 meters away, maybe it's from there?)

Anyway the rest of the materials used are hopefully amphibian friendly, there's live moss, rotting wood, large pebbles to hide between and loads of plants, both marginal and aquatic. We will add more rotting wood as and when we acquire it so this should provide the newts with woodlice and other insects to eat with a bit of luck.

At the moment I'm thinking about digging some kind of underground hibernaculum, but the logs and rocks should be almost as good if we don't get round to building it just yet.

As of now there's only the frog in residence, but it's absolutely heaving with black mosquito larvae, which is keeping the I. a apuanus larvae i'm raising well fed!
Oh and I built a Chelonia proof fence to stop the Leopard tort's from bull dosing the whole lot into a muddy elodia and moss soup! :)
 

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Chinadog

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There are already some L. vulgaris in there now feasting on the swarms of Daphnia and I'm raising a good number of T. cristatus that will be turned loose as late stage larvae. I don't want to put the cristatus in there until they are nearly ready to leave the water as there is at least one huge Dragonfly larvae prowling about, waiting for me to hand feed it immature newts!
 

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Chinadog

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Oh stop it, you'll make me go all embarrassed!
Seriously though, I'm glad you enjoy some of my stuff, thanks for the compliment. 8)
 

auntiejude

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We are going to create a garden pond with the aim of attracting local phibs - we found a toad (bufo bufo) in our garden which despite their name aren't exactly common here.

Hubby wants to create a little stream-type set-up, giving height and movement.

So this is very useful to follow - thanks Chinadog.
 

Chinadog

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We are going to create a garden pond with the aim of attracting local phibs - we found a toad (bufo bufo) in our garden which despite their name aren't exactly common here.

Hubby wants to create a little stream-type set-up, giving height and movement.

So this is very useful to follow - thanks Chinadog.

Cheers, you're very welcome. :)
Bufo bufo used to be very common around here, but just like Rana temporaria they are mostly gone from their former breeding ponds. I think they must have been all but wiped out by the red leg epidemic a few years ago, but even so we've had a few young frogs around the pond ever since we dug it, and just last week we had a lone male Bufo bufo show up! He lives under the ferns and logs at the back of the pond and has been coming out most evenings when we water the plants. He's not fond of being photographed, but I did try!
 

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Chinadog

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Now the pond is a year old I thought I'd do some dipping today to see what was in there. I've been netting Daphnia out from time to time to feed my other stuff and have seen the odd larvae darting about, but I couldn't believe how many there once I really started looking! As far as I can tell they are all L. vulgaris, but hopefully the T. cristatus I realised will be back to breed in a year or two.
I also found some great diving beetle larvae and hundreds of Asellus lice. I'm trying to think of some sort of trap to catch some lice to feed to my indoor stuff as there's no chance with the net, they just scurry into the pebbles as soon as they see me!
 

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valkyriemome

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Wow! Looks so healthy and great! I'm quite jealous. I really really want a pond. It isn't in the budget yet, sadly. But maybe someday!!
 

Chinadog

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I had a sneak around the pond with a torch tonight,. As well as plenty of L. vulgaris courting and laying eggs I spotted a young male T. cristatus. Up to now, he's the first one I've seen in there, I hope there are some females as well! :)
 

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CatSpit

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That's so awesome Chinadog! I love that you have a natural breeding ground for them. We have a pond that we made about 6 years ago, but I have only seen dragonflies lay their eggs there. I'm sure there must be other critters living in it, but I have yet to see them! At least the stream provides a good source of water in the summer for many kinds of birds to bathe in and drink from.

DSCF4600.jpg
 
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