Eggs in the Fish Pond

Need some help to identify a frog (or tadpole or egg mass)? Sounds like a job for the collective minds of the Community. Photographs and/or recordings are greatly appreciated. Results guaranteed (All money cheerfully refunded).

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kerry
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Eggs in the Fish Pond

Postby kerry » Sat Oct 29, 2005 11:16 am

This morning my newish fish pond has about 17 clusters floating on the surface. Each cluster is about the size of the palm of my hand (small hand). They float evening spaced on the very surface, spreading into a circular area. There are a couple of instances where some of the eggs in the cluster lie a couple of centimeters deeper down into the water.
Image

What are they I wonder?
Green frogs or toads?
Will they survive?
Should I take them out and put them into a small fish bowl to observe?

Most definately not toads. The egg mass was not easy to handle. I scooped some out to put in a fish bowl. The next day they hatched but I managed to rescue a few more before they were eaten. (see Donna's photos below).

Pond conditions:
PH is a little acid lately (6.7) warm weather and too much sun have made the water a bit green but we've also been getting a lot of rain. A downpipe feeds rainwater to the pond at surface level and excess drains off at the other end of the pond via a grate-covered storm water outlet, so there is a bit of a current at times. I suppose this is not an ideal pond for frogs. There's also 6 goldfish in the pond and a small pump that trickles water down some rocks, it was switched off last night.
Last edited by kerry on Mon Oct 31, 2005 12:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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samehada
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Postby samehada » Sat Oct 29, 2005 5:36 pm

take the eggs out or your goldfish will eat the taddies when the hatch they are definitly a litoria species eggs did you hear any calls

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Postby Donna » Mon Oct 31, 2005 10:38 am

Can you take the goldfish out and put them into a bowl until the frog season is over?

It is interesting to watch the eggs turn into tadpoles, this is a series of pics I took last year.
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Egg to tadpole.jpg

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Donna
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This is toad eggs!

Postby Donna » Mon Oct 31, 2005 10:48 am

This is a pic of my hubby with some toad eggs he found in our dam. As you can see they are in a necklace sort of formation with no separate "egg-white" for each egg. I don't think you are able to pick any Australian frog egg mass up in this manner without it falling to pieces.
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Toad eggs shrunk.JPG

kerry
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Re: This is toad eggs!

Postby kerry » Mon Oct 31, 2005 12:31 pm

Donna wrote:I don't think you are able to pick any Australian frog egg mass up in this manner without it falling to pieces.


Yes, the egg gel was quite fragile and the clusters broke apart as soon as I tried to pick them up. They hatched so quickly (next day) so I only managed to rescue a few more before they were eaten.

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Donna
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Postby Donna » Mon Oct 31, 2005 1:01 pm

You might be surprised how many are still in there, they can be very difficult to spot once they are out and about. some hang around the bottom, and some just below the surface etc. Perhaps next time the frogs lay eggs in there you may be able to divide the pond into 2 sections and barricade those fish up one end.

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Postby Nick Thorne » Mon Oct 31, 2005 2:37 pm

Hi Kerry,

Have you thought about replacing the goldfish with some native fish? In your area you should be able to use one of the rainbowfishes which are very attractive fish in their own right. These guys would be much less predatory on frogs and have the added advantage that they produce a lot less waste into the pond, making pond water quality management a lot easier.

I'll check out my library when I get home tonight and give you details of species that would be suitable, if you're interested.

Nick

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Postby kerry » Mon Oct 31, 2005 2:47 pm

Nick Thorne wrote:Have you thought about replacing the goldfish with some native fish?


Thanks Nick, I hadn't thought about making a 'native' pond, but that would be good. Goldfish were the cheap and easy option. I've also got a big water dragon that's moved in - likes to jump in the pond. I suspect it's probably eating the fish so I'll need to make a submersible cage so the fish have somewhere to escape the lizard and the grey heron that visits. Pond life proves to be very dramatic ... and here I was thinking I could lay back and relax to the sound of trickling water :)

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Postby Ann » Mon Oct 31, 2005 2:50 pm

kerry wrote: Pond life proves to be very dramatic ... and here I was thinking I could lay back and relax to the sound of trickling water :)



:lol:

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Nick Thorne
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Postby Nick Thorne » Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:16 pm

Hi Kerry,

I have had a look, and based on your location, I would suggest a few options for you in the way of native pond fish.

Rainbowfish: Two species would seem approrpriate

The ornate rainbowfish Rhadiocentrus ornatus previously Melanotaenia splendida inornata

The crimson spotted rainbowfish Melanotaenia duboulayi
    previously M. splendida fluviatilis now separated into this species and the Murray rainbowfish M. fluviatilis

Blue-eyes, also two species:

Pacific blue-eye Pseudomugil signifer

Honey blue-eye Pseudomugil melis

Of all these, the most suitable from the point of view of impacts on frog eggs and tadpoles would be the Honey blue-eye, unfortuantely this fish now is endangered and cannot be taken from the wild (it is unfortunate that they are endangered, not that they cannot be taken from th wild :wink:) . They are a very small, exquisite fish and used to be available through the commercial aquarium fish trade, I used to have about half a dozen or so in a small aquarium in Melbourne, in my office and they are a georguos little fish. I do not know if they are still available and what the legalities would be in Qld, you would need to check with your local aquarium supplier. If they are still available they would make terrific additions to the pond and would eat any mossies.

BTW, do not mix honey blue-eye with any other fish species as they are too small and likely to be eaten.

The remainder fo these species are definately available from aquarium suppliers, but beware that identification of rainbowfish in the trade can ba a bit hit and miss at times and all juvenile rainbows look much the same (which is, of course, how you buy them.)

The rainbowfish have very small mouths, probably smaller even than that of the much smaller fish the Pacific blue-eye. althoug you may lose a few eggs to predation, this would be as nothing to the effects of goldfish and all of these fish are excellent mosquito predators.

As to numbers, it all depends on pond size, for a small pond one or two rainbows or half a dozen blue-eyes would be more than sufficient. If you provide suitable strucures, such as aquatic plants then all of these fish are likely to breed in your pond. In any case, err on the side of too few fish rather than too many and you will not go wrong.

If the pond is well established you should not need to feed the fish as they will find enough from mossies and other insects and a bit of algae (at least with rainbows, that supplementary feeding will not be required.

Structure in the pond for protection of fish and tadpoles if important and this can be provided by plants, a combination of submerged, floating and emergent plants are a good idea. In addition you can add rocks, submerged logs which you can obtain from a good aquarium supplier or use some freshwater driftwood, but make suere it s well aged. If in doubt, soak it in water for a couple of months or so, changing the water weekly to leach out any tannins - a bit of a pain, but necessary.

BTW on the plant front in your location you should be able to grow some native water lillies, we have some in this country that have wonderful clear blue flowers held above the water surface, just fantastic. Ask you local water plant nursery.

Other things like broken pots or anything else to provide a bit of extra cover as will sections of PVC pipe.

Hmm, looks like i have gone on a bit... Oh well, I hope this is of some help.

Nick


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