newts and fish ??

frogeyebrian

We dug our pond in summer last year and were astonished at how quickly waterboatmen, snails, midge larvae and other creepy crawlies appeared from nowhere. We even had a small colony of frogs within 6 weeks until a heron swallowed all but one.

Well, back to the larvae, we decided to buy 4 very small golden orfe to see orfe the larvae, and it worked. But now we have the 4 fatter fish and about 10 newts together with a couple of inseperable frogs.

I keep reading that the fish will make short work of any spawn or young newts. Because of the design of the pond ( we have a 3 foot deep 6 foot long channel running between 2 pools ) I could probably segregate the fish.

Do you wise ones think this is necessary, should I remove the fish or should I just let nature take its course ?

Aren't ponds exciting ???

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dampflippers

I think most people in previous threads have said that the newt population won't grow if there are fish because they will eat the babies.
I personally would put the fish in the pond you don't see the newts in as often.

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kweller

I'm still a novice as far as ponds are concerned but we had a small pond in our previous house that had fish in it and the newts came back every year.

We put a larger pond in this garden (10mx7m) in June last year and stocked it with 25 sticklebacks late last summer. Swimming away from the open bags was the last we saw of them and we assumed we'd lost them but as the weather warmed up this year we saw more and more and the pond now has lots of fry in it. It also has loads of tadpoles and we counted 10 newts yesterday afternoon without really looking.

I assume there must be some attrition but, on the whole, it looks like small fish, tadpoles and newts can co-exist.

Kevin

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chippewacat

We have stickelback, and loads of tadpoles, and each year I notice a few more adult newts. The bigger stickelback go after the tadpoles, and the newts eat the tadpoles too, and everyone eats the fry. I suspect though that as the newtpoles (?) are far fewer in number they are far more vulnerable to any predator. So yes in my pond they all live (and eat) one another and the populations are thriving, but the newt population would be growing faster without the stickelback.

I don't think they would have any chance with a larger fish predator.

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ponddipperdave

Even Adult Newts will eat baby newts if they come across them !. They have to be newly hatched though.
The baby newts stay still, feeding on their own yoke sac and then on the plant they're resting. They dont move unless disturbed and so don't pose themselves as a food item. I have 2 goldfish 1 Comet and several sticklebacks but still maintain a healthy newt and frog population.
Dave

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chippewacat

I am confused.

First the tadpoles--we have loads of tadpoles, and there were 3 hatchings. The first was the lot that were taken indoors until they got bigger, and they are whoppers now in the pond and have their hind legs. There were then two natural hatchings in the pond, about 3 weeks apart. What I am confused about is the size of the tadpoles---there is such variation! Some are quite a decent size and then vary down to a very small size, like the size they are after 3 weeks--but it has been at least 8 weeks. Do small tadpoles make small frogs? It is about availability of food? I thought the small ones might be toad tadpoles which hatch later, but they have the mottled colour to them rather than being pure black.

Then there is the toads, I have yet to see toadspawn despite close inspection, but there are quite deep spots in the pond, and thats where most of the critters lie. But I have seen toadlets in the past that seem far to small to have made the 1/2 mile journey from the lake.There are a lot of toads in the garden, and are now making themselves known, so I assume most of them spawn elsewhere. But there have been about 3 close to the pond all spring. So is there spawn that I can't get sight of, or are they very very intrepid?

And finally the newts. There are a few of them (more each year), and think they are the common variety, and both males and females as far as I can tell. But I have never seen spawn, despite a lot of looking in both day and nighttime. Is newtspawn very noticable? There is a lot of waterstarwart anf other oxygenators, but I have never seen and folded over leaves from where I can see it from the bank. I have never seen newtspawn in situ, so I don't know what I am looking for really.

The stickelback are now hatching, so spring has really come. So the Kingfisher didn't get them all!

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dampflippers

Newts lay their eggs singly. The nucleus is smaller than in frogspawn, and it is fawn coloured. If they can't fold the leaf, they stick it onto a surface or a leaf or stem.
You could try what Dave does and place a fandful of weed in a separate container to see if anything hatches.
http://www.arkive.org/species/ARK/amphibians/Triturus_vulgaris/

Here is a link that might be useful: pictures of newts and eggs

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marcialynnehill1949

Ive 2 ponds one that is totally wild n left. Newts n frogs are in it plus all sorts of weeds n bullrushes. It's deep. Ive also got a 12ft by 6ft n 3ft deep one which I was going to leave wild. My son's friends who'd had a drink three 5 assorted homeless fancy goldfish in. Ive now got the menus of every colour n body type. They thrive. I ve also got frogs n newts. The only care I give is to carefully hand weed and in summer top up when necessary from a bucket held up high to make lots of oxygen bubbles in. They love this. This pond brings endless pleasure for practically no input from me. No pumps no special equipment either just a bit if common sense. Newts frogs n fish all live together. One thing tho n I'm sure it's natural selection. 2 of the original 5 fish were very fancy type fish. O e had a horrid heart shape body he lived for 3 years but disappeared n another had beautiful fancy find n tail. I now have hundreds of every colour n shape but that ugly heart shape one seems to have been bred out poor malformed? Creature. Anyway it's a whole eco system that seems to work. Xxc

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