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In my pond-what could they be ?

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Old Tuesday 13th April 2010, 08:47   #1
David Smith
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In my pond-what could they be ?

No photos I'm afraid (might get some on Friday).
Similar in size and appearance to wood lice i.e. grey approx 3-5mm long.
Have at least 7 legs each side.
Living in the mud among the plants (think they're Elodea).
There are 100's maybe 1000's of them.

I have just built a larger pond and am planning to encourage the frogs to re-locate. I was planning to move some of the water as it is mature.
Would like to know what these creatures are so I can decide if they are good or bad to include.
Thanks
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Old Tuesday 13th April 2010, 08:55   #2
Azzy
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Chances are, they'll in end up in your new pond anyway :P Carried by birds, frogs etc. I have a tonne of invertebrate life in my pond that wasn't there when I first started it. I don't think they're likely to be bad, I personally wouldn't worry about them. Otherwise, I can't help you with ID.
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Old Tuesday 13th April 2010, 08:56   #3
David Smith
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An update!

I think I have i.d. them as Water Louse.
Are they good or bad ?
Do I transfer them ?
After I am sure all good creatures have re-located I plan on filling in the old/small pond.......should I move the lose or bury them ?
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Old Tuesday 13th April 2010, 09:18   #4
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Defintely good! They are detritus eaters (eat decaying things) and are the bottom (or near the bottom) of the food chain. So as well as "cleaning up" they will provide food for other pond creatures like beetles, dragonfly larvae and newts. You can just transfer some of them including some of the "gunk" at the bottom, or seive some out and put them in.

Dare I say, rather than fill in the old pond, why don't you keep it? Then your ponds will appeal to things that like different types of pond eg fish and no fish, wildlife or more ornamental. Or let the old pond gradually grow into a bog garden.

If you keep both ponds, then next year the frogs will have a choice (mine only spawn in one of my three ponds)
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Old Tuesday 13th April 2010, 13:03   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dampflippers View Post
Dare I say, rather than fill in the old pond, why don't you keep it? Then your ponds will appeal to things that like different types of pond eg fish and no fish, wildlife or more ornamental. Or let the old pond gradually grow into a bog garden.
)
Thanks
We have thought about it and may well do so but it is small (approx 1.0 mtr across x 300mm deep) with the main problem being it has started to attract mossy's as there is no pump/filter. Hence the reason for the larger pond with pump & filter etc.
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Old Tuesday 13th April 2010, 15:24   #6
dampflippers
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Quote:
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Thanks
We have thought about it and may well do so but it is small (approx 1.0 mtr across x 300mm deep) with the main problem being it has started to attract mossy's as there is no pump/filter. Hence the reason for the larger pond with pump & filter etc.
If newts arrive at your pond, they and other carnivores will love the mossies. Also bats will eat them at night. Water beetles will fly in very quickly to feast on them too.

If it is a to be a wildlife pond, then a pump and filter aren't really a goodthing. Yes they keep the water clean, but they also remove small organisms which are eaten by larger ones. I did a garden pond survey, and none or very few who had filters also had newts, and they reported finding both dead newts stuck in the pump, or filters full of tadpoles which had been sucked in by the pump. So basically you need to decide what you want out of your pond. If it's a fish pond and you are going to feed them, then a filter might be necessary to cope with their waste and excess nutrients from possible overfeeding. If it is solely a wildlife pond you would like, then don't have a pump and filter, but make sure you have lots of submerged and marginal plants together with lots of pondlife to get the pond "in balance". Accept that it won't be crystal clear all the time, but it will provide alot more interest than a more ornamental one.

Good luck with it, whatever you decide.
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Old Tuesday 13th April 2010, 17:35   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dampflippers View Post
If newts arrive at your pond, they and other carnivores will love the mossies. Also bats will eat them at night. Water beetles will fly in very quickly to feast on them too.

I did a garden pond survey, and none or very few who had filters also had newts, and they reported finding both dead newts stuck in the pump, or filters full of tadpoles which had been sucked in by the pump. So basically you need to decide what you want out of your pond. , but it will provide alot more interest than a more ornamental one.

Good luck with it, whatever you decide.
Interesting comments.
1. I 'found' a newt in the old/small pond just 2 days ago (Smooth Newt)
2. Bats in = wife out........is that a good swap
3. I want everything out of the pond......have built a decent waterfall as I
want ornamental. Put a filter in (1.0 mtr depth) incase I have fish (probably
just Sticklebacks). Putting plenty of plants in.

decisions - decisions
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Old Wednesday 14th April 2010, 07:18   #8
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We have sticklebacks in our pond and they survive perfectly well without a pump or a filter. The secret is to have enough plants and oxygenators to help the pond maintain a healthy balance. We have at least six newts at the moment. We haven't had frog spawn for a few years now. It's amazing how the wildlife introduces itself.
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Old Wednesday 14th April 2010, 12:49   #9
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Had to take some of the blanket weed out of the pond yesterday, so I laid the pile on the side so 'critters' could slide back in. It didn't take the blackbird long to catch on, and a merry meal was had!! Pity their eggs haven't hatched yet, the lice etc would have made good grub for youngsters!
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