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by Tracy Hoffman June 27, 2019 4 min read

With the clearing of land to make way for housing it is important to give back to nature by providing homes for our native wildlife. Owners of even the smallest of suburban gardens can contribute by installing a frog pond to encourage wildlife back to the suburbs. Not only will frogs return to their habitat but a frog pond will also provide a healthy water source for native birds and provide a relaxing focal point to any garden.

 

Installing a frog pond is easy and our frog pond kits have everything you need to get started. Installing is as simple as digging a hole, setting the pond in the ground, placing plants into position and filling with water. If you are unable to dig a hole in your garden due to hard surfaces then it is possible to install an above ground frog pond, we have a kit for this too.


It is important for a frog pond to have a good number of plants of different types. Plants not only remove nutrient from the water, therefore improving water quality and health, they also provide areas for frogs to hide and to lay their eggs. A combination of reeds and soft plants provide a home for frogs while creeping plants that grow through the water provide places for eggs to be laid and also act as a nursery for tadpoles, providing a food source and protecting them from predators. And don’t forget to add a water lily, seeing a frog sitting on a lily pad in your garden is hugely rewarding for the whole family.


 

Any combination of plants will work, however, if you would like to plant your frog pond out with Australian native plants then we recommend:


  • Soft Twig Rush or Juncus Rush - for height and hiding places
  • Red Stemmed Milfoil, Swamp Stonecrop and Bacopa - can be grown both as marginals and full aquatics. We recommend a combination of these plants grown both underwater and at the surface.
  • Nardoo, Yellow Water Fringe and Snowflake - leaves to float on the surface and provide coverage and shade to the pond.

Usually once a frog pond is set up frogs will naturally appear in your garden on their own, as they can travel great distances from local water sources. While a frog pond can be installed any time of the year, in the Perth region we recommend installing your pond during winter and early spring. Frogs are often on the move at this time looking for mates and new homes. The Western Banjo Frog starts breeding from May, while the Motorbike Frog starts breeding in early spring and throughout the summer months. So by installing your pond in winter or early spring you will not have to wait long for frogs and tadpoles to appear.


One of our very happy customers visiting our Coquetdale Frog Pond Kit


Information on the Western Banjo Frog including calling sound  -http://museum.wa.gov.au/explore/frogwatch/frogs/western-banjo-frog


Information on the Motorbike Frog including calling sound -http://museum.wa.gov.au/explore/frogwatch/frogs/motorbike-frog


It is important to have realistic expectations of your frog pond. Frog ponds are natural environments and there needs to be some algae present to assist the health of your pond. The aim is to have clear water, however, all flat surfaces in your pond should be coated in algae, if you scrub this off you will upset the natural balance and health of your pond. Furthermore, a frog pond will have more string algae than a Goldfish or Koi pond, this is because these fish eat algae and keep it short in your pond (it is still there just trimmed). String algae is actually great for frogs, they usually lay their eggs in the string algae and the algae then becomes a food source for tadpoles. If the string algae becomes too thick and unsightly in the pond then manually pull, the easiest way is by twirling it around a stick. Don’t resort to chemicals, these upset the balance of the pond and create an unhealthy environment. The use of Zeolite and healthy pond bacteria as well as increasing plant coverage will reduce algae growth naturally.

 


A small frog pond is easy to set up in your garden.


Your frog pond will cycle through different phases throughout the year depending on climate,  plant growth and the size of your tadpoles. Large tadpoles are vigorous feeders and will often eat all the string algae and even some of your pond plants prior to turning into frogs. This is normal behaviour and new plants should be added to the pond periodically to ensure the pond stays healthy and in balance. 


Native Australian Pygmy Perch can be added to your frog pond in small numbers for mosquito control. Ensure you have plenty of plants as Pygmy Perch will eat tadpoles, so plenty of hiding places need to be provided to create a natural balanced eco system.




Lots of surface coverage and places for frogs and tadpoles to hide, a frog pond should be loaded with plants.


For more information on frogs in your area visit the West Australian Museum Frog Watch website:


http://museum.wa.gov.au/explore/frogwatch/