Deàd tadpoles

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Primrose
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Deàd tadpoles

Postby Primrose » Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:05 pm

A week ago my mini pond was swarming with newly hatched tadpoles. Today I couldn,t find a single live one and the water is really gunky. The onky thing that has changed seems to be that a few days ago we had a frost and I found a load of mature frogspawn with black and white "eggs" which I suspected were either frosted or "dead". It has since "dissolved". Should I have been ruthless and removed this as suspect and could it have polluted the water and killed my tadpoles?

I wondered if there were too many tadpoles for the pond to sustain and they all just died of starvation. As soon as I spotted them I did add a few crumbled goldfish flakes and boiled lettuce but wonder if this made the situation worse?

Any tadpole experts here? I'm going to miss seeing all the little froglets around the garden come July. Should I be trying to replace some of the gunky water with water from my water butts? All the newts have disappeared too so it!s a bit of a disaster area. I need to understand what,s happened so the same thing doesn't happen again next year.
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Pa Snip
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Re: Deàd tadpoles

Postby Pa Snip » Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:23 pm

Oh dear !!!

First thing to establish is how big is this pond. length x width x depth please.
Does it have any fish in, if so what sort and roughly how many.

Also can you give me a rough idea of how big the spawn mass was. (very roughly 1ft x 1ft, 6in x 6in ??)

we'll start there and see what might have gone wrong.
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Primrose
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Re: Deàd tadpoles

Postby Primrose » Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:32 pm

Pond length max 5 feet x 3 feet wide x 18" deep for 50% of it and about 8" deep fo thr remaining half. Really a mini pond.
No fish.
Two dead frogspawn masses were both about 10" in diameter and quite deep in masse.
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Pa Snip
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Re: Deàd tadpoles

Postby Pa Snip » Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:21 pm

Firstly I doubt what you did or didn't do had any detrimental effect.

If there was something wrong with the water the spawn would have been likely to have developed fungus over a couple of days. This would have been very obvious. It is also unlikely they would have died as quickly as you suggest .

On the other hand, putting goldfish flakes or boiled lettuce water in the pond for tadpoles would be of no real use to them.
Once hatched they feed off infusia /micro algae

Given the volume of water in the pond and suggested mass of the spawn I would suggest the frost was too blame.
If signs of this occur in the future I would advocate the removal of suspect areas of the spawn as otherwise the fungus will spread across the whole mass
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Re: Deàd tadpoles

Postby Motherwoman » Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:18 am

Frost is a possible in a small pond, or a visit from a couple of ducks... they've certainly mucked mine up since they started visiting. Would account for the churned up appearance as they will spuddle about.
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Primrose
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Re: Deàd tadpoles

Postby Primrose » Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:24 am

No ducks visiting yet but yea they certainly mess the water up. We have two who pay us regular visits around mating time every spring but have concertina bamboo type cover we put over the water as soon as they come.
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Re: Deàd tadpoles

Postby robo » Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:37 am

Any sign of the dreaded heron it sounds like you have had a visit I know they leave my pond a mess and they do like frogs and toads
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Re: Deàd tadpoles

Postby Pa Snip » Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:37 pm

Goose, Wild Chase breed
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Re: Deàd tadpoles

Postby Monika » Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:10 pm

You are likely to have newts in your pond, Primrose, because they always find water, and they certainly eat tadpoles, even by ripping them out of the jelly before they free themselves out of it. So if you have just 'lost' tadpoles rather than having seen dead ones, I would suggest the culprits are newts.
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Re: Deàd tadpoles

Postby Primrose » Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:26 pm

Yes I was aware of the predation of tadpoles but I wouldn,t have imagined that four newts ( which is the number I thought were in the pond could have eaten hundreds of tadpoles in just a couple of days, but perhaps I underestimated their capacity. I think next year i might have to separate off a batch of frogspawn and rear it naturally to keep the garden frog population going. I've read that only a miniscule percentage of hatched tadpoles even. make it to froglet stage let alone full adult froghood

I seem to getting fewer frogs come to spawn every year too. I suspect the very early morning heron visits are to blame for that. Last year I caught one gobbling two frogs up in quick succession before I could chase it off.
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Re: Deàd tadpoles

Postby Monika » Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:12 pm

If you do want to preserve your young tadpoles next year, Primrose, you might like to try the following which worked for me for several years: I made a cube out of very fine plastic netting with sides of about 12" with the top open, tied (sowed) this open 'box' to four short bamboo canes with corks attached and floated it in the pond itself. When the spawn was clearly 'ripening' I put part of the jellied mess into the 'box' and let them develop in there. They were therefore in the same water as the remainder but the newts couldn't get at them. When I thought they were large enough to be safe, I just released them into the pond. If you think the tadpoles in the 'box' don't get enough food, you can always drop a minute piece of raw meat or liver into the water and watch them attaching themselves to it!
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