Sticklebacks and frogspawn

Scotty24

I lose a few Sticklebacks every year when they get 'stuck' in the frogspawn.

It's the same this year. Various sizes from tiny to large adult. I'm wondering if Sticklebacks are similar to Sturgeon in the fact they can't swim backwards and so free themselves.

Is it natures way of obtaining food for the taddies when they hatch?

The Sticklebacks have already had their first fry this year and as I already had way too many, losing a few doesn't make much of a dent in the population.

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Sean_McKinney

My sticklebacks quite frequently reverse, maybe they are just confused over which way is forward. I saw a couple of male doing ths S shaped challange they do so its getting time here too.
Chuck some slugs in the pond taddies love not so fresh slug. yyyyuuuuuucccccckkkkkkk

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Scotty24

Oh well, another theory bites the dust [lol]
I'm sure the taddies will enjoy the (not so fresh) bodies!
Perhaps the Stickleback spines make it difficult for them to escape the frogspawn?
I love to see the Sticklebacks 'swarming' at the sides of the ponds when they see me....waiting for me to chuck in their daily worms.
Mayhem ensues!!

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dampflippers

I've never seen mne stuck in frogspawn, but they look as if they are eating it!

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chippewacat

Wow, what do you feed your stickelbacks? None stuck in spawn this year but a couple did last year.

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Sean_McKinney

"feed your stickelbacks", I dont although last year they picked off some of the mosquito larvae that I was trying to feed the trout with.

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Scotty24

I don't really feed them either, apart from chucking in any small worms I find under the rocks near the pond but that's mostly for my entertainment [lol]
They do 'nibble' at the food I throw in for the fish.

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chippewacat

Oh well, there goes my fantasy of the stickelbacks coming to my beck and call. I think I'll let them just get on with it!

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Sean_McKinney

Try mozzie larvae and sit still.

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alison_froglady

I find my sticklebacks are ravenous when I throw the fish flakes in. They are the first to get at the food before any of the other fish. I can't say I've ever noticed them getting stuck in my frogspawn though. Mine tend to die trying to eat the algae on my pumps. First of all I thought that the current was drawing them into the pump, then I noticed that when I had had the pump turned off for cleaning, as soon as I put it back in, before turning it back on they were there eating any bits I had left. I waited ages before turning the pump back on so that they could all get out of the way.
Alison

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Scotty24

Mine 'congregate' near me when I clean out the pumps (everyday at the moment because of the b****y Blanketweed) as they know this is when they are most likely to get a worm thrown in.
I have to move some rocks when removing the nets and there's usually a worm or two under these.
Never had any problem with them being pulled into the pumps Alison, but if I remember rightly, yours is much stronger than either of mine.

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dampflippers

My sticklebacks won't eat ANY commercial food. At Sean's suggestion I tried daphnia, and they love it! I had a sort of daphnia farm in my incmplete top pond, and would net some and swish them into the pond. WOW! they love them and would come to investigte whenever I went near, in fact ifI put a finger in they will come and nibble! Then I tried small worms, woodlice etc and they really do attack them and fight over them. Big worms are more of a problem, and you will see 2 swimming off with them, but I don't know if they get eaten. Try it!
Otherwise I just leave them to eat anything that moves in the pond (including each other I presume).
By the way, my snails seem to be eating the frogspawn.

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chippewacat

My local aquarium shop keeps ordering daphnia, but none coming until later in the year. I have the frozen variety which they eat so I'll use some of that for a treat. May keep them away from where the tadpoles are hatching! Are the snails eating the actual spawn, or the algae growing on it? Mine get snails too, but on close inspection I think it's the algae they are after. It is nice to see the stickelbacks happy--none of mine are in their mating colours yet.

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PyschicLord

Where can I purchase some Sticklebacks? Eight would be a nice number, but I haven't seen them on sale anywhere in my area.

I have several interconnected ponds with lots of room - especially as a Kingfisher helps the young Goldfish stay keen and alert (or else get a free one-way ticket out of the pond).

My Channel Catfish would ensure that the Stickleback population doesn't get out of hand....

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Scotty24

Hi
Great to 'see' you on here again.
I have plenty of (disease free) Sticklebacks and you are welcome to some.
Catching them is great fun!!!
Wonder if your Catfish will eat them (don't forget the spines!) Love that fish he's gorgeous!
Am sending you an email
Sue

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PyschicLord

Hi Sue

That Catfish, aka Rufus (on account of his whiskers), grows bigger by the year! Luckily for the small fish he spends most of his time in one pond, the last couple of years he has gone on an excursion to another of the ponds - hangs around for 3 - 4 weeks, then returns.

Email addy has changed: X10n@aol.com

Some Stickles wood be super!

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dampflippers

What area of the country are you in?...or are you actually in Uraguay?
I have put a link to a scientific supplies firm that sells stickleback on another thread.

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Scotty24

Dampflippers
David lives about 5 miles away from me in Derbyshire. I have seen his interconnected ponds and fish (including the catfish) and am VERY envious! [lol]
It was seeing his ponds that gave me the idea of connecting mine together instead of enlarging into one (a much simpler idea and saves on liner). However my ponds are 'miniscule' compared to his 'set up'!
Suse

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dampflippers

It sounds lovely! Do you have any photos anywhere psychic?

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martyn

Hello......I have had a wildlife pond for several yeras now, and last year I introduced a handful of sticklebacks.I was then delighted to find LOTS of lttle ones this season but now many seem to be dying off. I thought I spotted some white spot on a couple and so treated the water. I quite often have the fountain pump on for oxygen; the pond is about 8ft by 5ft and about 3ft at deepest. Could someone help me please?

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chippewacat

They may not be dying of disease, just getting eaten by other bigger stickelbacks, frogs, and also getting bigger and getting better at hiding. They are pretty good at managing their own numbers I have noticed. I once gave a container full of stickelbacks (3 big ones and about a dozen little ones) and when they got to the new pond about 10 miles away, there were only the big ones left. I think they are quite hardy creatures, and I wouldn't fuss with feeding and chemicals unless there is really an obvious problem.

With any luck, the other predator eating your stickelbacks is a kingfisher. To my great surprise we have had one visiting in the winter--I think they prefer still water though. Hoping it will come back again this winter!

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raechel_2007

Does anyone know where I can buy some sticklebacks for my new garden pond ?

Alternatively does anyone in the Plymouth / Devon area have a couple spare that I could have?

Many thanks

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dampflippers

Now, if you were up here I could give you hundreds!

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chippewacat

Hi!

I have some stickelbacks....is Newton Abbot close enough?
Gave some to a friend though, a couple large ones and some little ones. When she got home an hour later, there were only big ones left!

Let me know and I can email you,

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mothermalarky

Hi
I live in Dumfries & Galloway, and want to get hold of some sticklebacks for my new wildlife pond. No chance of pond-dipping - anyhing that small gets eaten by the crayfish and monster pike!
I've noticed that you all seem to live from the Midlands down (I used to live in Nott'm, and had no problem buying them there), so it would be difficult to 'nip over' to visit.
Any suggestions?
Thanks
Mother Malarky

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chippewacat

Hi,

I got mine from a local aquatic centre (£2.00) and sold some to the same garden centre. One male and 3 females went a long way!

So could try an aquatic fish supplier. To get the from the wild you would have really know you are getting the right species (lots of tiddlers look alike). Perhaps you could get some support from a local ranger?

I don't think they would survive a long trip....

good luck,

in the meantime, try looking them up in Arkive (wildlife website that has stills and videos and very good information. just type in the common name of the species)

Chip

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snowtree

Yippee! I have found a thread on ponds and sticklebacks! Wonderful...ok i have put in a big pond - dug it myself with a minidigger - Mr Snowtree was very impressed ;) that was in Feb/March. I have put some plants in (lilies, oxygenating weed, carrot something or other, etc etc and some snails and its all going great. In spring i got some frogspawn and they are baby frogs/toads now, kids love em! And last week i saw my first newt swimming around. Wonderful. So this is question. I dont want fish just a wildlife pond but someone who came the other day said that because there where a lot of small flies over the surface of the water some sticklebacks would go great. now will they bugger up my water balance...(poo issue) and eat the newts/frogs.snails etc or will they be a nice addition to the pond. Secondly where can i get some if i should put them in...i am in york? have tried local pond place - they cant get them for love nor money!! Thankyou - from a pond loving snowtree :)

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chippewacat

Welcome to the wonderful world of wildlife ponds---it is like the film 'Field of Dreams' build the pond and 'they' will come! Incredible. I am often out with my torch at night watching the goings on.....

Must admit, I am a stickelback fan as you can tell from the threads. They are fun to watch in breeding season, are a native species, and yes while they do munch on tadpoles etc., they also are very good at 'cleaning up' the pond, as anything that dies (they don't live that long) seems to disappear quite quickly. Poo wise, let us just say that right on schedule it is July and the pond is crystal clear (it goes very green in spring and late summer). While they do eat tadpoles, the spawn is growing every year so enough survive, and eveyone else eats the fry. And we have grey wagtails and a kingfisher eating the stickelbacks--what a varied eco-system can happen because of a hole in ground with water and some dirt.

I do think though you need a sizable pond to support both fish and amphibians (my liner was 26 X26 ft and it is almost 3 ft deep). I don't feed them either. In the first year the 1 male and 3 female produced over a 1000 fish (I know this as I caught 800 to give to the local ranger!!) but since then as more males are about and the predators are around, the population is very stable.

Good luck in finding a source in Yorkshire. But just the fact you are supporting your local wildlife is something to be very proud of. Just think, in 3-4 years time, your tadpoles will be producing spawn of their own. Also wildlife ponding means you have no control--each year you will see it evolve....wonderful!!

Do make sure you have homes for your critters though, (log piles, leaves, rocks with spaces to crawl into). Gives me an excuse to be a very messy gardener.

Have fun!!

Chip

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snowtree

my pond is 16ft x 13ft and about 3ft deep...couldnt get it any bigger! Do you reckon thats big enough for sticklebacks? Can't wait to see it next year when its all had chance to settle in so to speak. :)

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chippewacat

Plenty big enough!! (I was just concerned that you had one of those little ornamental ponds, but I can see when you are let lose with a mini-digger, you mean business!)

Good luck with finding a source in Yorkshire, but if you can't you will still have some very happy amphibians, birds, dragonflies etc. etc.

Have fun,

Chip

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snowtree

Thanks for your reply chip...i have joined a site (to get rid of a dress rail actually) however i have posted an advert on there for some...its well worth a look actually. http://uk.freecycle.org/

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Ivor3648 Herefordshire

Hi,

I am also looking for a supply of sticklebacks for my new "wildlife pond". Does anyone know where I can get some locally - North Herefordshire. I am not sure whether it is legal to go pond dipping for them "in the wild" - is there anyone around here that has some in their own pond?

Ivor

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dampflippers

Shame you're not near me- I keep thinking about culling mine! I caught one really fat one but couldn't go through with it, so put it in one of my massive plantpot tray birdbaths (in a rough part of the garden)with some tadpoles. I can't believe they and it are still there, and the tads are fatter than the ones in the pond due to all th algae in it.

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big_kid

At first I thought how nice to see the return of some familiar names - Sean, Scotty, etc. then I realised that this thread started life back in 2005!

I know there's another great site out there (You know who you are!) and I'm glad you still come visiting here, but I do wish you hadn't hijacked all the old faces. Everyone please come back to us (as well as stay where you are) we miss you here, together with all your wit and wisdom!!!
Big Kid

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Scotty24

Well....how could I resist such a heartfelt plea Val [grin] I do still 'lurk' on this site and although I've thought about it, haven't posted for AGES!

I still have all my fish and last year had way, way, too many sticklebacks....however last summer I noticed one or two of my largest fish with stickleback tails poking out of their mouths. Thought they may be 'stuck' as in the past I've had to net out 'thrashing' fish who had a stickleback stuck in their mouth by the spines and gently remove them.
But NO...these fish seemed OK and as I watched I realised they were eating them. My stickleback population has slowly dwindled and now I have NONE...not a one!!
I haven't seen any dead or dying, no sign of disease so can only presume they have all been eaten!
The ponds are netted so nothing else can be blamed. Obviously 'practice makes perfect'
I must say if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it.
Nice to be back

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dampflippers

Alison you could email me....

I'm afraid that I am currently torn between watching my bluetit box with 10 babies (what hard work it is for them!) and doing newt surveys and thinking about putting my next pond in. I got it from someone on freecycle- great site for second hand stuff and for getting rid of things. I must put some effort into starting to dig!

Here is a link that might be useful: Freecycle- help the world by reducing landfill

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chippewacat

I agree big kid, it is nice to see old and new names and a bit of friendly banter!

On the stickelback front--our numbers seem relatively stable. The first year (from one male and 3 females) I then had to arrange with a friendly ranger to rehome 800 of them! Haven't had to do that for some time now even though there are more males. What I do notice is that there may be a dead fish in the late evening, but it is gone by morning so they are pretty good at cleaning up it seems. By the way, happy to supply some stickelbacks in the Devon area....

This year we are really bad for blanket weed, but I am quite glad! The tadpoles seem to find it a great place to hide, and so far, no sign of the dreaded yellow globules. I am hoping the green algae dominates over the yellow globby things. I find clearing blanket weed far more satisfying than clearing the other stuff too. But I am sure in about a months time I will find 'they' have returned...I am not in control.

Must admit, I think pond places really make a small fortune with new ponds by making people think they need lots of chemicals! Ponds just take awhile it seems to reach equilibrium, as as a 'organic system', we have very little control at the end of the day. It is a case of finding out by trial and error what plants thrive, which get eaten, what algae decides to take off, when it is clear and when it isn't, and what critters decide it is a good place to be.

ponds are full of suprises!

Chip

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victorkrk

hello everyone, I have a small 'wildlife' pond which is full of frogs but it is thick with some kind of larvae. At first I thought the frogs would eat them but now I'm worried I will have some kind of fly epidemic!! would putting fish in help? also is it legal to take fish from park ponds?? if not where do you get them from?? can anyone help please??!!

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chippewacat

Where do you live? It is illegal to take fish from park ponds as far as I know! Aquatic centres will sell fish, and some even stickelbacks (I know as I promised to catch some this weekend to give to our local aquatic centre). You are welcome to my stickelbacks if you are in the South Devon area.

It does seem to be a good summer for mozzies! Mind you--have the bats found your pond yet?

Chip

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big_kid

Last night sitting by my pond was lovely. I sat from dusk and four bats were flitting low across the gardens. I haven't seen them for a number of years now and I thought they must have lost their roost and moved on. There's been no dragonflies yet this year, so it was great to see the bats munching their way through the insect population, rather than me providing a late tea for the mossies.

Don't you just lOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOve nature!
Big Kid

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chippewacat

Lucky you--bats are lovely! When ours come they only stay for a few minutes and then they are off.

and they are don't try and eat toads!!!

Chip

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r.stimpson

Please does anyone in the East Sussex area of the UK have any Sticklebacks they could spare? I would obviously be happy to collect. Many thanks Richard

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kerrie_2009

Hi there, fascinating reading your comments on sticklebacks. We introduced ten (bought from a garden centre) to our new pond a few weeks ago and we now have hundreds of babies. We are in Hertfordshire and have a bucket with two adults and over a hundred babies, does anyone want to collect them ?

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andi_aqua

Hi all,trying to get some sticklebacks to join my lonely female.She's been on her own for a while as we didn't think there were any left in the pond.If anyone can help I'm in the Northumberland/Tyne & Wear area & am willing to collect & pay for some.

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caroline_1000

Hi all, I'm new to the forum, just found it whilst researching the idea of sticklebacks in garden ponds. I would like to introduce a few sticklebacks to my pond. Does anyone know where I can get some in Norfolk?

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echowillow

Can anyone give me information on raising sticklebacks in an aquariam and where to buy brook sticklebacks?

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bobby2010

hello, ive got a small wildlife pond about 6 feet by 7 feet and 3 feet deep. im wondering about introducing some stickies, but i dont know if i should, my pond has been around for 1 year, and has frogs and newts with their spawn.
thanks

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dampflippers

Bobby2010, you need to decide which is your "preferred" species.
I'm a newtaholic, so I regret putting them in my first pond (although they are fascinating when you can see the nest), so I built 2 fish free ponds.
If you put them in, they will eat frogspawn, tadpoles and newtpoles, so your frog and newt populations won't increase and may decrease a bit. They will eat more of the other pond creatures.
So it's a matter of balance and personal choice.

What sort of newts do you have?

Of course you could always dig another pond and have one with sticklebacks and one without! (You can never have too many ponds!)

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bobby2010

id love too have another pond!
thanks for the info, and i have smooth newts only. none of the other two, but i do love my newts and frogs, who have done considerably well this year, not killed by the frost which has usually got them.
do you think the stickies will decimate a small ponds wildlife?
Also how well do stickies breed?
thanks for the answers everyone.
ps. do newts eat tadpoles?
thanks again

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david scarrott oxford u/k

Hi i am a new member and i wondered if anyone in the oxfordshire area have a few sticklebacks going spare to add to my pond which contains the usual goldfish,carp,roach,bream and minnows,i will without saying pick them up.Many thanks.....dave.....

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organic_saika

I'm amazed by all the interest in sticklebacks ! we always had them when i was a child as my father was pond mad ,(1950's !)Dont understand computers but love ponds and have several down here where all stickles have disappeared due pollution . I would love to start a colony of 9 spine stickles ( male breeding colour black and make their nests up in the weeds not on the ground like 3 spiners ). Does anyone know if its possible to legally aquire them ?ps am new member - 2day

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crazyval

Hi everyone!

I'm a 'newbie', and need some help!

My son has just finished setting up my new wildlife pond, but I've no idea where to get minnows, sticklebacks, frogspawn, etc.

I'm bedridden & disabled, so can't travel; any purchases have to be via the Internet.

Here's hoping!

Best wishes,

crazyval.

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Terri S Surrey

Do any of you Pondie's know where I can get Minnows? I had some living quite happily in my 'natural' pond for nearly 8 years but they all died virtually overnight in the winter. I have newts but no frogs as the cat deterred/killed them several years ago and loads of insects, dragonflies etc so would love to get some more. Where I bought them from has closed down and all the pond shops near me only stock ornamental fish.

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Kev

Hello

I am new to keeping stickies and just found this site after a search. I got seven tiny stickies last year for my 3yr old concrete pond that has naturalised nicely. Then I got worried after that bad winter we had as my pond is only about 10' diameter and about a foot deep. It froze pretty much solid but there are biggish rocks that must have prevented all the water from freezing as I kept the waterfall running all the time. Fantastic icicles! I have since seen two survivors one about two inches the other about one and a half. Can anyone tell me what my chances of getting a new batch are or should I source some more?

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chippewacat

I started with 4, one male and 3 female, and ended up with over a thousand, which I sold and re-patriated. I now find it is a stable population. I bet you have more than two as they are good at hiding. By now though you should know if at least one of them is male, as he should be in all his silver and orange glory full and fighting everyone off. Ours have spawned, and we have fry.

If you want to see how many you have, put a hosepipe in the pond and you will find they love the stream of water (gentle one) and will flock over.

Good luck!

Chip

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yrd2005

Hi I was wondering if any off you guys are near London and could give me a few minnows or stickies

Thx

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yrd2005

Do you know where I can purchase minnows or sickies

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