A pond in your garden can be very attractive whilst also providing habitat for native amphibians. The sound of frogs in your garden at night is very soothing, but the pond needs to be a reasonable distance from your house and your neighbour’s, as the frogs can be quite noisy at times.
It is usually good to choose the lowest part of the garden to ensure a natural setting and water flow but placement can be relatively flexible. Half shade is preferable, with plants around the pond for shelter. A pond that gets no sun will stagnate and lose its inhabitants quickly. Make sure you wait at least two weeks before adding frogs to ensure that the chlorine has evaporated.
To control mosquito larvae, get native Gudgeon from a fish hatchery or White Cloud Mountain Minnow from an aquarium shop. These fish will breed in your pond. Never introduce Plague Minnow (Gambusia) which is potentially a pest and will readily eat frog spawn instead of ‘mossie’ wrigglers. Should you have pets, such as Cats or Dogs, or if there are small children in around the area, you can create a damp area or plant a prickly ground cover to discourage damage to the pond or frogs.
Ponds are available from your local hardware shop, along with pumps and fountains for those with the money. Alternatively, you can make your own pond by scraping out a hollow and lining it with black UV-resistant PVC or EPDM butyl (which is more expensive). If you use this method make sure you weigh down the edges with rocks. Anything that holds water and wont leech toxins can be turned into a pond such as old bathtubs and plastic tubs. Use your imagination!
Your frogs will need to be able to get in and out of the pond freely. If what you’ve used for a pond has steep edges, make a ladder from a branch or pile rocks up at one end. Piling rocks and the occasional nice-looking log around your pond will provide extra places for your frogs to hide during the day.
There are a large number of attractive native aquatic plants available which your frogs will love you for. A great place to acquire such natives is ‘Trees In Newcastle’ (TIN).
http://www.angfa-nsw.org – List of Native Fish good for garden ponds. ‘frog-friendly’
www.aquablueseafoods.com.au/native.shtml – Good Native Freshwater Fish Hatchery (NSW)
www.treesinnewcastle.org.au – Excellent Local Native Nursery