FROGS AND BACKYARD WATER GARDEN PONDS

Let’s jump into the subject of frogs in the backyard water garden pond. Many pond owners will find themselves hosting a frog or more that has somehow found its way into your pond. Even in areas that seem to be void of anything froggy, if you build a pond, they will come; …invited or not!
The presence of frogs adds another dimension to the pond keeping lifestyle. They add some personality too. Sometimes pond keepers introduce frogs or tadpoles, but frogs always seem to find our ponds on their own too. How do they find our ponds anyway? Frogs are more than just a pretty face and voice that our backyard ponds feature; frogs add to the diversity of species that our ponds support along with our fish, plants, insects, and other wildlife. They help create a more complete eco-system. So what can we expect from these visitor-cum-resident of our ponds? For some the frog is a welcome presence, for others not so much. It seems that it has always been this way.
Frogs have an ancient history and struggle with mankind, even to the point of plaguing the ancient Egyptians. Frogs have been with us since our most ancient histories, stories, fairy tales, myths, and superstitions. These days frogs conjure up the contemporary image of sitting on a lily pad sounding off with intermittent peeping, croaking, and groaning; lazing the days away. We don’t worry too much about magical frog potions these days, its alot more fun for us to laugh at them in Budweiser commercials while sitting on our couches. But there is much more to these formidable backyard pond inhabitants, so get off the couch and step up to the pond.
Frogs come in many shapes, sizes, and colors across a broad spectrum of habitats around the globe. All frogs start their life in the water but frog habitats go well beyond the pond, being found above and below ground, above and below water, in trees, grasses, jungles, cities, numerous other combinations of habitats, and even invading our homes; but always near water. The frogs’ struggle continues to this day with global populations of frogs declining at an alarming rate, from factors like habitat loss, pesticide use, and sometimes losses without explanation. The backyard pond could play a role in the conservation of frog populations. The reality that frogs have been around 190 million years and are disappearing before our eyes is a heartbreaking statistic. Let’s keep frogs with us a while longer…
Frogs are amphibious, should be the first clue that frogs are not lazy little critters hanging ’round the pond, but amazingly resilient. Frogs easily transition from skillful swimmers submerged below water to fully adept land rovers negotiating land, rocks, plants, and trees with great ease and leaping great distances with great speed. Many frogs have the ability to change color on demand. Frogs use these natural born skills for the purpose of hunting. Yes, frogs are voracious carnivorous predators and a long muscular tongue to help capture prey. Like a true predator frogs have amazing almost 360 degree eyesight. Their excellent hearing comes not only from the huge eardrums mounted on the side of their heads, but they hear through their skin too! Frogs are mostly nose in their body make up, and have a piercing sense of smell. Because frogs have no teeth, they swallow their prey whole. Adult frogs will hunt and eat insects, worms, snails, dragonflies, mosquitoes, and grasshoppers. Larger frogs will also go after small animals like mice, snakes, birds, other frogs, small turtles, and even small fish from our ponds if they can fit in their mouths. Fish caught by frogs will generally be sick or weakened fish. Healthy backyard pond fish like koi, goldfish, and orfe don’t have too many worries from frog predation and the mixing of these species is generally compatible; with some interesting interactions from time to time, like frogs “riding” on the back of large koi! There’s no promise of Sea World in your backyard, but, with some time, effort, and lots of patience, frogs will even adapt to hand feedings being lured in with nice juicy nightcrawlers (watch those fingers!).
Frogs have plenty to worry about too; bigger frogs want to eat them! I doesn’t matter that their skin is toxic and they taste horrible. Herons, raccoons, snakes, turtles, fox, big fish, possum, French restaurants, and others want to EAT them! Dogs and cats just want to play with them, …to death! So let’s not make this all out to be a pleasure cruise, it ain’t easy being green (I apologize for my need to use that most obvious phrase…).
Frogs are mostly solitary, only congregating during breeding season. Males become territorial during this time and are vocal about it. Lots and lots of frog calls are happening at this time, and it can get loud. The larger the pond the more territory frogs will have to share, the more frogs to enjoy! Once frogs are established they may reproduce in the pond and sustain the population year after year. Fish and even other frogs love to eat the egg sacks. Egg sacks of frogs can be recognized by their round clusters and jelly like appearance, toad eggs are laid in long strands. It is not unusual to find the inside of a skimmer box covered with eggs at this time. Ten days or so after the eggs are laid the tadpoles will begin hatching. Tadpole hatching is again a good time to be checking the skimmer.
To keep your pond frog friendly be sure to add plants in the pond and around the pond, especially grasses. Provide areas with slow water flow, frogs like quiet water. Provide some shelter within the pond like a simple clay pot. If you want to keep it real frog friendly don’t keep your pond “too clean”, and try adding a 6″ deep tray of compacted soil covered with gravel mulch as a place to dig in for the winter months. Dedicated frog ponds, without fish, can be easily constructed with minimal investment. Some of the more common species you can expect in North America would be pickerel frogs, leopard frogs, green frogs, bull frogs, and peepers; but other species shouldn’t surprise you. It is recommended to allow the frogs to find you, and only keep species native to your immediate area. If you build it, the frogs will come.
During Spring months the cheerful peeping of frogs is one of the early indicators that the warmer weather has arrived and the pond is waking up from its winter slumber. Summer months are prime season for frog watching! The antics never stop. Autumn time be sure to check pond netting for the occasional frog stuck on top of the net instead of in the pond! During winter months resident frogs will often climb into pond skimmers to enjoy the warmer pocket of air inside the skimmer box. Remove pond skimmer lids slowly during colder temperatures so as to not startle the frogs. Startled frogs can lead to clogged pumps, and messy situations! Some frogs can actually go into a state of freezing during winter months and thaw as temperatures allow, which is a rare survival skill in nature.
Keeping frogs in your backyard pond can be greatly rewarding on many levels, and at the most basic level it is great fun for children and adults of all ages to see that frog croaking away on a lily pad. It is one of the quintessential pond experiences for any pond keeper going back eons. Given our long shared history, of frog and man, let’s all give a hand in keeping our friends around just a bit longer by creating habitat for them in our backyard ponds and welcoming them. We can help the frogs even if its just a little bit. And if all goes well, maybe that frog will turn into a prince for you!
The LOVEYOURPOND Blog is written by Mike Gannon of Full Service Aquatics located in Summit, NJ. Mike is an award winning pond, water garden, and water feature builder. Always “In The Pursuit Of All Things Aquatic” Mike has been a lifelong hobbyist and providing professional services since 1995. Mike is the creator of The Pond Hunter video series seen on Youtube and has made several television appearances on Networks such as HGTV and the DIY Network. He also hosts the Pond Hunter Radio Broadcast. You can see what else Mike is up to at the following sites:

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64 Comments

Leslie Gascoigne

Hi Mike,
I live in Carpinteria, CA and have a small pond in my backyard in an old claw foot tub. 15 years ago when we first put it in, I brought tadpoles from the local creek. Over the years, we’ve enjoyed the sounds and occasional sightings of the tree frogs. As you know California (especially southern) has been experiencing a drought. We just had some recent rain and out frogs were going off about two to three weeks ago. It was almost deafening. Now, mysteriously, nothing. My neighbor across the street and down 2 houses also set up a pond. His are still going off and he has tadpoles. I’m very worried. I have a psychotic neighbor whose yard borders ours; the pond is on the fence line. She has poisoned some our native plants in the past. I don’t want to be so paranoid, but is there something she could have done to her yard/fence line or thrown into our pond that would kill off multiple frogs? Is there a way to test the water? I miss them terribly.
Thank you!

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Mike Gannon

Hello Leslie,
I’m sorry to hear the frogs have gone away. I enjoy them very much as well. It is hard for me to say what it could be, especially if you are in the area of the heavy rains CA is getting. Weather could be playing a role. If it is the neighbor I can think of lots of things to put into the water to kill off or keep frogs away, especially if the neighbor is prone to using poisons on things they don’t like. However, if you live in an area that frogs generally do very well, then you may be able to change out all the water and wait for more frogs to come back and repopulate. Good luck! -Mike

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daniel patterson

Damn if some neighbor put poison or pesticide in my pond to kill off my plants and frogs I’d literally go on a rampage. NO ONE messes with my pond!!!! If I were you, I would relocate your pond, or build a new one away from the fence line. Damn I’d literally bug out if that were me. Good luck!

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John James

We have a .3 acre pond near our house on a 90 acre farm in southern Indiana. When i trim the grasses on the inside of the dam, I leave about 1 foot of vegetation at the water’s edge for frogs, etc. and this band of green is 6”-1ft. high. My wife says the band of higher vegetation needs to be broader (e.g, several feet) but I worry about appearance and trees and shrubs getting a foothold in the dam. How wide do you think this band of higher vegetation at the pond’s sedge should be, ideally, for the amphibians? thanks, John james

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Mike Gannon

Hello John, I would probably keep and area from 1′-3′ wide. -Mike

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Bhanu Kapil

Hi. I just found your wonderful blog and have a quick question. A pond (small) outside my landlady’ back door, which did not have a frog in 18 years, now has a loud amazing bullfrog. Can just one bullfrog or regular frog (we haven’t seen it) survive? And how did it get here? Nobody has frogs anywhere around. Also, it feels magical. But that is separate. Should we get another frog from somewhere to keep it company?

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Mike Gannon

Hello Bhanu. Frogs seem to find ponds magically! I don’t know how they do it. I would not add anything and let nature takes it course. Good luck! -Mike

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julie

I have a koi fish pond want to enclose it so I can put my frogs into it can you put frogs in with koi fish

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Mike Gannon

Hello Julie. Yes frogs are a common site and resident at many koi ponds. You may have to pay a little extra attention to providing them with food if it is an enclosed area. Have fun! -Mike

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Gene Marriott

Mike , can an adult bullfrog that has been living in an old swimming pool for years be relocated to a small backyard fishpond 12′ x 16′ x 4′ with about 30 fish ranging in size of 3-4 inches all the way up to 2 feet mostly koi and goldfish. The pond is about 9 years old with a waterfall. grasses and lilies we already have frogs and at least 1 bullfrog.

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Mike Gannon

Hello Gene. Sure the bullfrog can be relocated, whether it stays or not is another story. Bullfrogs are pretty mobile and will go where they want to be! Good luck. Mike

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Karen

I live in upstate NY – zone 6 – south of Lake Ontario. I want to put in a pre formed kidney shaped pond in my back yard – maybe 5′ x 3′. I basically want this as a frog & toad “bog” – not interested in having fish. I will also provide a recirculating pump & plants for shelter & “ladder” rocks for the frogs, etc to have access in & out. I have been reading about ALL different ways & shapes & sizes of ponds, and looking up things on YouTube. I unfortunately have garter & milk snakes around my property, not as much as when I first moved in, but I worry that putting in my pond will attract more snakes to the area, and they will prey upon the frogs that happen along. I have loved frogs & toads as pets when I was young, but I do not like snakes, although I will not kill them.
will my idea of a smallish pond help the frogs & toads in my area, or just provide a buffet for the snakes I have around here? Would my pond do more harm than good?

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Mike Gannon

Hello Karen, although from time to time there is the possibility that a snake may take a frog I would still plan your pond. The frogs need the habitat and they will reproduce more so than the snake could ever eat. I don’t think it will become a “snakey” destination. You are technically doing a service for not only frogs but many other species even if it ends up as part of the circle of life. Good luck! -Mike

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Ro

I think we have a bullfrog living in our backyard, man-made pond on Long Island in NY. This is the first year we have had any frogs. The first time I noticed it was about 2-3 weeks ago. There is only one. He/SHe sits on the edge of the pond mostly on the rocks and takes a dive into the pond or hovers just below the water level with its eyes above the water level. It also seems to have made itself a ‘nest’ of dried pine needles outside of the pond. At first we were thrilled to have this new resident in our pond. However, my concern after researching what kind of frog it is…I’m afraid it will eat our goldfish. we do have many smaller ‘baby’ fish about 2-3 inches in length. I am pretty sure it IS a bullfrog, as it is mostly green, brownish on its back and a pale yellow belly with bright orange eyes. Is there anything we can leave out for food to avoid it from being tempted to eat our fish?

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Mike Gannon

Hi Ro. A bullfrog may go after your fish but not always. Even if food is left out it will not give any degree of assurance that one of your fish may not be dessert! I would try to remove it if it is a big concern or just let the frog do its thing since most of what it will be eating and hunting will not be your fish. Good luck! -Mike

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Karen

Hi Mike – Karen again.. another issue…I just got my preformed pond, it’s 80 gallons, 18″ deep, x 60″ x 42″. While digging for the pond, my handyman dug down to the septic box about 8″ & couldn’t go any further down, so the pond will have to sit on that, so we’ll have to build up the surrounding space with a combination of soil & curved landscape pavers. This is really the only area we can put the pond on, it will have a platform deck right next to it, and a wooden walkway on the other side, My question is – will the frogs find it even if it’s a raised pond? I intend on making it as accessible as I can with the pavers & rocks & soil. I also got water plants for the inside for cover, and there is a lot of other trees & shrubs in the area, plus I will put in plants around the pond itself. I worry that the frogs won’t be able to find their way into the pond with it being raised, but that’s my only option. Your thoughts? Also – should I put gravel/rocks on the bottom? I do not plan to put fish in there – but it will have filtration.. thanks Mike…

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Mike Gannon

Hi Karen, welcome back! I don’t think the frogs will have too much issue finding the pond. I have seen frogs occupying some of the oddest places and some of them certainly elevated! If you are not having success, you could always introduce tadpoles and allow them to grow out in your pond. Have fun! -Mike

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Amy

Hello Mike, I have a 125 gallon pond in our backyard and was considering finding a native frog to incorporate. It is a pretty well naturalized pond. I don’t ever need to feed the fish. And I have very healthy plants.
I do have a favorite red-orange dragonfly the visits me and I don’t want to risk losing him. What do you suggest?
Amy

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Mike Gannon

Hey Amy. I love telling people that if you build it they will come. I am always referring to frogs, dragonly’s and all the other great critters that always seem to find our ponds and make them their homes. I say just have patience and they will show up. Have fun! Mike

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Karen

Hi Mike
This is Karen yet again… Just wanted to report that I had a young toad swimming in my pond yesterday, so it looks like more hopefully will find my pond. It’s late in the season, but still a 2″ toad managed to get himself in there, and I had rocks as a ladder inside for him to find his way out if he wanted to. 2 weeks prior I saw 2 different garter snakes lurking around, but I scared them off, then put down a perimeter of lime around the pond, and haven’t seen them back – YET.. I did throw in 6 small feeder goldfish, and a dozen minnows just to add some movement, a few died off, but at least they weren’t used as bait! I am so enjoying this pond – it is so relaxing & peaceful with my frog spitter. Doesn’t have to be big to enjoy it.

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Mike Gannon

Great follow up Karen. It sounds like a good time over at your pond! Have fun and thanks for the follow up. -Mike

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Karen

OK – I’m so excited – FINALLY have what looks to be a resident frog in my pond! It’s mid September, but quite warm, and am happily surprised that this guy found the pond so late in the season. It’s either a young Green frog, or a Wood frog – about 2″. He’s taken up residence in a spot that looks secure from snakes – hopefully – among the abundant water plants – hopefully providing enough cover for him. . I dusted the perimeter of the pond with lime about a month ago, haven’t seen garter snakes in the pond area – SO FAR – fingers crossed. I did toss in some feeder goldfish, and small white clouds & regular minnows into the pond – hoping they will co-exist. I am planning on putting in a pond surface heater to keep the ice broken up during the winter – should I leave my frog spitter on too? Wonder where he would spend the winter? I have no mud on my pond bottom. Thanks Mike – thought you’d like to hear about my latest resident – hope he stays or gets safely hibernated.

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Mike Gannon

Hey great news that a frog has made a home with you! I would really let the frog figure out things for himself on wintering, they always find a way. When it comes to having spitters run during winter months I favor turning them off once the freeze begins, otherwise run it as long as you are enjoying it. Thanks for sharing the fun news!! -Mike

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Sara

Hi Mike! I live right outside of Seattle. The nearest chorus frogs are about 2-4 miles away in little wetlands. In July of 2017, I built a pond in our backyard (about 25 feet in diameter; no pump, no filter). I haven’t seen one frog. I also created a small wet garden around it, with leaves, log piles, and places for them to hide. How long do you think it’ll take before they find my pond? What’s weird is that our neighborhood has a lot of marshy water and wet spots, but I’ve never heard or seen a frog in them. I don’t use chemicals, either.

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Mike Gannon

Hello Sara. Your pond sounds pretty froggy to me. I am also surprised they have not arrived yet and more puzzled by that they do not come to the surrounding marshy areas. I can take a guess that you may see them in Spring when they are ready to lay eggs. I hope that at least one frog will find your spot inviting and lay some eggs. Once the cycle of egg laying begins you will likely see them on a more permanent basis. You could always try physically introducing a couple to your pond as well if you can get your hands on some of the frogs in the nearby marsh. Good luck!! -Mike

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Lovey

We had a very mild spell in the last 2 weeks in February and it got up to the low 60s here in Upstate New York. I was SO surprised to see my wood frog that took up residence in my garden pond out of hibernation, and hanging around in the pond, near the surface & the stock pond heater.”Woody” was hanging around the heater, and I got the surprise of my life as I approached the pond, and saw him as he dove to the bottom of the pond! Since then – we got clobbered with 2 storms with cold & snow, so I assume he is back to hibernating? I had a power failure for about a week with the stock pond heater, and about an inch of ice formed on the pond. But – it did not freeze anywhere near solid. But – we’re back in business with the heater & pump spitter. I read up on these guys, and they say the wood frog can stand even being nearly frozen solid, and can actually live to tell about it. I’ll be hoping he made it thru the heater failure, and cold snap. They are marvelous little creatures, wonder if he will rule his pond, or allow other frogs to reside there.

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Mike Gannon

Hi Lovey. Be sure to give us an update once the season is truly here! Hoping for the best. -Mike

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Adele

I have a bullfrog in my skimmer he has attached himself to the pump. If I turn the pump on will it hurt him? He’s been in there all winter. Love my frog and don’t want anything to happen to him .. I turned the pump off and put in a air hose for the fish

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Mike Gannon

Hi Adele. Frogs LOVE hanging out in skimmers during the winter months. I think it is the pocket of warm air that they like. Cheers! -Mike

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Kaye Crawford

Hi Mike, I have a very small pond in my backyard and I have two black frogs who lived there during the winter and made it! Now it is time for me clean the pond of algae and leaves. I thought I would try to scoop them out into a bucket while I clean the pond and put fresh water in. Will they thrive in the clean water too? I love my frogs and am so glad they are there. Thanks so much

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Mike Gannon

Hello Kaye! Thanks for reaching out. I think the frogs will do just fine. It is a common practice when we clean ponds in my company to remove frogs during cleaning and return them after the pond is cleaned and they seem happy as ever! Good luck. -Mike

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Liz Salmon

Dear Mike;
I have moved back home and helping my 88 yr mother who has a manmade pond which has not had any maintenance in MANY yrs. – overgrown with water Iris, lilies, etc. so I have been working on cleaning it out. I’ve been thinning out the Iris – putting them in individual containers. I moved one of the containers out of the pond as trying to filter out the years of accumulated sludge. I did this 2 days ago and this am, I noticed the string of eggs (tadpole from what I can determine) throughout the leaves of the Iris in and outside the “pot”. My question is – should I leave this outside of the pond or put it back in the pond? I also noticed a sting of eggs on a piece of slate, again outside on the edge of the pond. Should I leave these alone or move them into the water. I live in northeastern PA, USA. Many thanks!!!

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Mike Gannon

Hello Liz. I think it will depend on if you want the eggs to hatch in your pond or not. If so, then place back in the water by all means. Some people do not want large frog populations, so of course, the eggs would stay out. I’m a frog guy myself, so I say go for it!! Good luck. -Mike

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Teresa

Hi Mike – We have a 16’x8’ manmade pond that I have been working hard to beautify and naturalize since we moved in (Western Suffolk County, Long Island) nearly 3 years ago. It had been completely neglected and was a totally mess – mostly filled with decaying leaves). There are no fish in the pond and I do not have a filter. There is a modest waterfall, and I add safe colorant with algae removers and sometimes mosquito dunks, and there’s several inches of sediment on the bottom. No chemicals are used either in the pond or in the yard. No fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides – nothing. Dragonfly nymphs hatched last year, so I know that they at least are able to survive in the pond. When we first moved in, I saw a Fowler’s toad in the front yard. I have not seen or heard any since then – up until now! I heard him first, then spotted him in the garden next to the pond under a clump of Joe Pye Weed. I was so excited! I haven’t heard him the last few days and am hoping he attracted a mate. I am fairly sure it’s hust him out there as I only hear one call – same pitch. I actually thought we had a barn owl out there at first because I figured if it were a Fowler’s, there would be more than one solitary male. We are a half-acre oasis surrounded by fairly busy roads. The closest “naturalized” area to us is a reservoir that sometimes has a little bit of water in it, but toads and frogs would have to cross a road and two large properties to get here (provided they can get through a series of fencing). There are lots of places to hide near the pond and in the rest of the yard – loads of large rocks/small boulders, lots of vegetation – but we do have raccoons and opossums here, too. And grackles. I once attempted to add some trapdoor snails to the pond, but they ended up being escargot for the raccoons : (. I know you said to let the frogs and toads come to the pond, but would it be a bad idea to relocate some here? Can I hopefully assume that where there is one there is more? I feel so bad for the little Fowler’s toad, screaming away out there if he’s all alone. I can’t imagine where he came from or where a female would come from. Also, will he stay near the pond after mating season? Wondering just how far they go from the water. Thanks for any advice you can give me! – Teresa

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Mike Gannon

Hello Teresa. Your pond and property sound great! I see no problem adding more toads / frogs to your pond. They may or may not stay after mating, but that depends on the “politics” of the residents of your pond. I would maybe contact a local pond club and ask if anyone has some frogs they would like removed from their pond and you can relocate them to your pond. Good luck! -Mike

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Bob Jurgens

Hi Mike- I live near Brewster NY. I’m thinking of putting in a small frog pond in an area of my yard I’m rehabbing. It would be about 8′ X 10′ and about 2′ at the deep part, and with no filtration other than water plants. I know there are frogs in the area (fairly rural) so they’ll find the pond soon enough. My concern is that for sure the pond will freeze solid in winter- will I just be building a walk-in (or hop-in) frog cemetery? Should I be expecting the water plants to die each winter as well?
Thanks,
Bob

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Mike Gannon

Hello Bob. Thanks for reaching out. The frogs will take care of themselves in the winter. I say build it and let them come, they need habitat! If you use hardy aquatic plants they should not die during winter months, tropical plants will die. Good luck! -Mike

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Brenda Beatty

I am wanting to put in a frog pond and have been coming across alot of information.Some say no moving water others say small waterfall no filter.Not sure what to do.Would like to have a waterfall with a filter but will the filter suck up the tadpoles?The size of the pond will be around 8×10 x 4 foot deep at the deepest part. Another piece of information was to put no rocks in the bottom of the pond. The pond will not have fish.Making it 4 foot deep because the tree that it will be under is what I refer to as my bird tree.The birds eat at the bird feeder then fly to that tree.It is a 20 year old Bradford Pear.I live in Ohio zone 5A.Any advice would be appreciated. Wanting to do this right.I have all kinds of toads in my yard.At one time had tree frogs living behind my shutters on my house and a bull frog living in the drainage pipe that we
connected and buried from the downspout coming off the house.

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Mike Gannon

Hello Brenda. There are many ways to create a successful frog pond. My advice would be to provide at least one good area of your pond where the water does not move too much and it is not too deep. Having some heavier planting in that area would be good as well. All the other stuff will not affect whether frogs show up or not. We build waterfalls and use gravel in EVERY pond we build and just about every pond has some frogs living in them. So, of your 80 sq ft that you are planning maybe dedicate 25% of that to a froggy area. Have fun and thanks for reaching out!! -Mike

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Linda Bruner

I have a pond at my deck. A frog is at my pond but i have not herd a sound from the frog. Do all frogs make a sound. Are is he a she? I talk to the frog all the time. He just sits ther and looks at me. How can you tell the sex of a frog?

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Mike Gannon

Hello Linda. Thanks for reaching out. Not all frogs will sing or call and often times it is during the mating season. Talking to frogs is a good thing and I do the same, and pretty much get the same reaction your are, but it does not stop me… You can tell the sex of a frog but it will vary from species to species so I’d probably just Google how to do it. Good luck!! -Mike

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Casey

Hi there! I’m a first-time homeowner and my new backyard has a small landscape pond, about 5 feet long and 2-3 feet deep. It was in terrible shape so I cleaned out some of the years of leaf build up and sticks, etc.
I had considered draining it as I don’t know a thing about a fish pond. But suddenly I have a loud croaky frog and hundreds of eggs and a ton of tadpoles, and I love them!
What type of plants should I add to the water to help them be more comfortable and not drown?
The water level has also gone down a few inches this week due to the heat… can I add some of the pond water from the small lake next to my house?

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Mike Gannon

Hello Casey. I’m happy to see you are enjoying yoru new pond and the froggy residents. Water lily comes to mind as a great plant for frogs. I probably would stick to topping off your pond with the water from your house since local waterways can contain all sorts of undesirable elements. Better safe than sorry! Good luck. -Mike

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Brandi

Hello! I hope you can help,

I live in Southern California and there has been an outbreak of West Nile virus (again).
We have a fountain with agitating water and a pond without agitating water but oxygenating plants. I use a safe for wildlife water treatment once a week when I “top off” with fresh water.

My main question/concern: with the threat of West Nile I would love to sleep easier knowing that those pesky mosquitos can’t use the pond as a breeding ground by using my Total Pond Universal Pump Filter https://www.homedepot.com/p/Total-Pond-Universal-Pump-Filter-Box-MF13010/202278958 again. I took it out initially because I didn’t want it to eat the bullfrog tadpoles. Am I being too paranoid thinking the tadpoles and baby bullfrogs will get sucked into the filter? If that is a possibility is there a way to keep mosquitos out that won’t hurt my tadpoles and bullfrogs? We had about 11 tadpoles before but now I believe we have 4 small frogs and as many froglets…I’m thinking ahead for future tadpoles as well.

Thank you so so so much for your help!

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Mike Gannon

Hello Brandi. Just oxygenate your pond. The mosquito does not look to high oxygen water for habitat, and with a bunch of mosquito predators living in the pond that mosquito would be a fool to try! Good luck. -Mike

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Lovey

Hi Mike.
This is the 2nd summer for my pond. Had a resident wood frog thru the summer, fall & winter (he used to hang out near the stock tank heater thru the winter. Then he disappeared during the spring – have had 3-4 smaller wood frogs occupy since then, and today I see a larger frog in the pond, so I am wondering if it’s my old friend – the “Prodigal Wood Frog”. I was just able to see his mouth area, and eyes & nostrils above the water line. But – was glad to see him (or her). Was wondering – do you think the larger frog would eat the smaller frogs, or would they happily co – exist? I have several bunches of floating water hyacinth, and hiding areas, the pond is about 5″ x 3-4′ & 18″ deep. Also a pond filter & pump that circulates the water, and several small goldfish & a few minnows.

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Donna

Hello Mike:
I have a small garden pond by my patio with a skimmer, pump and waterfall. There are also two iris plants and lily pad plants. The irises are not potted and rest on the bottom of the pond with he roots spread out. I thought this would be a good are for the frogs to winter over but they constantly get into the skimmer and winter. When I check out the pond in the spring there are usually one or two frogs that have froze and died in the skimmer. Is there some way to prevent this from happening?

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Mike Gannon

Hello Donna. The frogs do like going into the skimmers. The only way to keep them out is to block access, otherwise they will squeeze in through surprisingly small openings. The downside is that blocking the skimmer, blocks skimming… I wish I had a better solution… Good luck! -Mike

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Neil

So Froggy Robinson appeared in our goldfish pond about 2 months after we put the pond in it. We are not really that close to any other body of water where would it have come from.

On top of this not sure if we have very tiny Tadpoles or tiny goldfish fry what’s the best way to tell didn’t see any sign of any frog spawn.

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Mike Gannon

There is an old quote, that I just made up: “sometimes frogs just show up”
Frogs have an uncanny way of finding out ponds. I’ve installed ponds and before they are even a full day old, there is a frog in it! Give the tiny ones time to develop, it won’t take long to know if fish or frog!
Cheers. -Mike

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Janet

Believe what Mike says! If you dig a pond, they will come! We dug a 20′ x 45′ pond in our woodsy back yard this summer mostly for drainage of the low lying areas that would have sitting water whenever it rained. In spring ducks would come to nest only to have the puddles dry up. We dug approx. 5 feet deep with a trench 10 ft deep through the middle. We happened to hit a small spring spout that keeps the water cool below the 12″ level. It was only a week later and we had frogs!! Large frogs (4″) small frogs, green frogs, brown frogs and toads! The larger frogs can be seen daily at the west end sitting on the edge of the pond or up to their eyeballs in the water. The smaller frogs are usually at the eastern end so they do have their own territories. We had a visit from a Blue Heron who probably spotted the water from his bird’s eye view. He didn’t say for long though. We are anticipating bird nesters in the spring but in the mean time the deer and turkey come for water as well as some racoons (by the tracks around the pond). We have a “pond cam” set up to see who visits. How fun this is and how great for the frog population.

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Mike Gannon

Hello Janet. Thanks for checking out the blog. I would highly recommend at least offering some type of aeration for you catfish if you are not running the pond. Good luck!! -Mike

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Lovey

Hi Mike
This is my 2nd summer for my pond (details above in my last writing) I cannot believe how many frogs are in that rather small pond! One day I counted 14 various green & wood frogs of varying sizes. It’s been so hot & dry this year, even today – Sept. 16, it’s in the mid 80s… I had a run in w/ a big garter snake trying to eat one of my frogs last week. Went outside to check my pond like I do every morning, and I could see that one good sized frog had his hind leg extended, knew immediately why. Lifted up the rock & sure enough – the stinking snake had poked his head between the rocks surrounding the pond & had him by the foot. I got my little rake & pushed at it’s head with the end of the rake, trying to make it loosen it’s grip. Finally it did a little, and I literally pulled the frog’s foot out of its mouth!!! Then the snake reared up full-length from the rocks, and desperately slithered away as fast as it could, without its intended dinner, with the little rake slapping at him – trying to make sure he remembered this encounter – STAY AWAY FROM MY FROGS!!!. The frog disappeared under the deck, so I did not see it afterwards. I immediately put the snake repellant around the entire pond, and in-between the rocks as best as I could. Haven’t seen the rotten snake since, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t tried. I know a young guy that LOVES snakes & I had him come over & look for the varmint, but he was only able to catch the small garter & re-located him at his own house. I know some may disagree with what I did, but it was just TOO CREEPY to let that snake devour my beautiful frog. I don’t know how long their memories are – but haven’t seen the evil thing since.

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Rob

I have two frogs who showed up late summer in my backyard pond. It is about 300 gallons, with a submerged pump system and a waterfall. There are a number of water and on the edge plants. In the winter here ( New Hampshire) we get a fair amount of snow and it gets cold, I keep the pump running to keep the pond with some open water year round. So, my question, do I need to worry about my frogs making it through the winter? There is some sediment in the pond ( it is a plastic liner)… the plants are in some reasonably large containers, two of them anyway. The pond often has two or three feet of snow on it, accept for the open area, that would seem to help control the temp from the much colder air temperature. Any thoughts you have on how I can help them out, or just stay of of their way would be appreciated.

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Ellen

What should I use to keep my small pond from freezing over this winter in cold Pennsylvania? This is our first year with an awesome bullfrog. We don’t want to lose him. Heard about putting ping pong balls in the water, could that really work?

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Mike Gannon

Hey Ellen, thanks for reaching out. I’d suggest using a simple floating de-icer for your pond and forget using ping pong balls! Good luck. -Mike

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Sheila Hall

I just put my netting up for my koi fish for the leafs and I see I have a couple frogs sitting on the netting. Shall I take the netting down and try to get them in the water or just let it be?

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Mike Gannon

Hi Sheila. Its a personal choice, but if you leave them out they will do just fine. Frogs know how to take care of themselves and will either move on or find a way back to your pond! Thanks for reaching out. -Mike

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John

Dear Mike, Just found your frog info. Good ideas. Thank you. We have for the past ten or more years a 300 gal stock tank -Rubbermaid in ground front yard, fountain and hdpm lined stream. The first year at end of season we had over 175 frogs several 1 pound and one monster 2 pounds 10 inches or more not stretched out. We put water hyacinths in, in spring and this year it is completely covered as was the first year. Probably a lot of frogs, not positive. We’ve been draining the pond down at end of season and relocating frogs to local ponds . Not comfortable leaving them in. Too many man made ponds that are not natural. I have spoken with DEC in New York State and suggested they do a study on this. We are in the upper Hudson Valley between the Catskills and Hudson River. Very bad winters. Need to drain pond soon, what are your thoughts? John

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Mike Gannon

Thanks for reaching out John. Sounds like a fun pond to have! You asked what my thoughts are, but on what topic?? -Mike

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