How to Build Your Own Frog Pond

Green Frog

Find a Suitable Location

Choosing a location for you pond that is partly sunny and partly shady is preferable as too much sunlight can over heat your pond and hurt the wildlife that you may attract. It can also cause an overabundance of algae growth, though some algae is good for the pond because various forms of aquatic life feed on it. Too little sun will not allow desirable water plants to grow. Tadpole also need some sun to keep them warm. An area with trees is good but you should ensure that they are not too close to the edge of your pond because some trees leaves can release undesirable toxins into the water and have a detrimental effect on the frogs. If an area with trees is not an attainable goal for your property then consider using water plants to provide shade and shelter for the inhabitants of your pond. Frogs can become quite loud, especially if your pond is popular with the amphibians, so you may want to place it in a part of the yard that is not close to your neighbor's house. They may not appreciate an all night chorus of croaking. If you believe that the noise would keep you awake at night you may want to consider the same for yourself. On the other hand, if you find the sounds of frogs to be a delight, you may place it as close as ten feet to your house without worry of damage to its foundation. I love the sound of frogs and truly enjoy being able to hear their cheerful chirping through my open screen doors on cool summer evenings.

Plants around Marks ponds

Pond Plants and Depth

The pond should be dug to a depth no more than three feet with gentle sloping sides on at least one end. One of my ponds has the deepest part in the middle with all of the sides sloping in; the other one is deep on one end with a small shallow area on the other. Both seem to be equally effective in providing easy access for small newly formed frogs. I have noticed that the larger frogs and toads do not have a problem accessing or leaving the water from any area no matter how extreme the slope or how deep the water is. I recommend using native plants for areas in and around the pond. They perform better because they are use to the climate and the soil quality. Often they come up as volunteers. There are various ideas about exactly how much of the ponds surface should be covered with plants. I have read documents that state anywhere from 30 to 80%. Apparently this is not an exact science. I am comfortable with about 50%. this provides ample cover and oxygen production for the pond life and still lets me see into the water so I can marvel at the creatures within. Here is a link to the Missouri Grow Native plant site for some water plant suggestions. There are other plants you can use too, such as cattails, water shield, or water spearmint, but they can be invasive and will require regular maintenance or they will quickly take over a small frog pond. I myself use them and find that in small areas they can be kept up with. If you don't like to spend time pulling water weeds don't plant them. Ground cover should be planted around the pond to give the frogs a place to hide and to attract insects for them to eat.

Pre molded pond liner

Containers and Liners

Many different items can be used to line your pond if you so desire. there are pre molded plastic liners or PVC liners if you prefer a neat well manicured look for your frog pond. You can use an old tub, a plastic bin, or something of that nature. You can even fashion one with a concrete lining. If you use concrete be sure to let it cure for at least 30 days with water in it before you introduce frogs or fish. This will give the lime a chance to disappear. Do not use metal containers. These are potentially deadly to frogs whose skin is very thin and can be poisoned by the metals. I installed a pre molded liner for my first pond. It is not intended for use as a frog pond but I must say that the frogs use it often. It was constructed to hold my goldfish, which it does quite well, and has held them for several years now. Normally it is not advisable to have fish in your frog pond because they will eat the tadpoles. The ones swimming in my goldfish pond seem to do OK. I guess the fish find plenty of other things to eat in their home. These fish are left in the pond year round and have faired quite well in the 28 inch deep water, even during long hard freezes. They also reproduce yearly. OK. Let's get back to frogs. My preference for frog ponds is a hole dug directly into the dirt. If you have sandy or rich loamy soil this will not be an option for you, but if you have clay soil like I do I highly recommend this method. It is easier to grow plants in and gives the ponds creatures a place to hibernate in the cold winter months. I believe this more natural setting attracts a wider variety of pond life too. Clay soil holds water quite well. It is also good for sinking pilings if you want to erect some small bridges or docks. True, a liner achieves a much better manicured look, and if this is what you are looking for there is nothing wrong with that. I prefer the natural look.

Filing the Pond

If you fill the pond with chlorinated water you should let it sit for at least a week before you introduce fish or frogs. This will give the chlorine plenty of time to dissolve. I use well water that has not been chlorinated to fill my ponds so there is no need to distill it. Remember that even a pond with a water tight lining is subject to evaporation and during those dry summer months it may be necessary to top it off every few days. Don't use pesticides near your pond.

HERE'S MY NEWEST ADDITION TO THE FROG PONDS.
My newest addition

Some Pond Critters You May Attract

These are photos of wildlife in and around my frog ponds. To enlarge an image click on the thumbnail.

Ribbon Snake
Bullfrog
Crawfish
Dragonfly
Ribbon Snake
Bullfrog
Prairie Crawfish
Cherokee Skimmer
Snapping Turtle
Eastern Newt
Cricket Frog
Green Frog
Snapping Turtle
Eastern Newt
Cricket Frog
Green Frog
Five-lined Skink
Gray Tree Frog
American Toad
Fence Lizard
Five-lined Skink (juvenile)
Gray Tree Frog
American Toad
Fence Lizard
Pondhawk Dragonfly
Northern Water Snake
Autumn Meadowlark Dragonfly
Five-lined Skink (adult)
Pondhawk Dragonfly
Northern Water Snake
Autumn Meadowlark
Five-lined Skink (adult)

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