Helping Frogs Survive the Winter
In the winter, frogs might seek refuge in your pond. Being ectothermic or cold-blooded, frogs regulate their body temperature by exchanging heat with their surroundings. These surroundings can be mud in a deep plant pocket or a potted plant located in a deep area of the pond, preferably below the frost line. The soil in the pocket or pot provides the needed warmth to assure a warm overwintering for your amphibious friends.
As with fish, it is equally important to keep an opening in the ice for frogs. This allows for the release of harmful gases and the replenishment of fresh oxygen.
There are several options to accomplish the opening in the ice:
- One popular option is a floating pond de-icer. De-icers are designed to maintain a small hole in the pond ice. Most are thermostatically controlled to insure a worry-free solution for your pond fish.
- Another option is to move your existing pond pump close to the water surface to create water movement. There are pumps that are marketed towards this versatile option. Aquascape markets their AquaForce® for this very solution. Depending on the extremity of the weather, this option might be successful.
- Another option is pond aeration. You may already have aeration located at the bottom of your pond. However, winter applications for pond aerators are not recommended to be placed on the bottom of the pond as this can disrupt the natural thermocline of the deeper portions of the pond. Most successful winter applications involve placing the aeration discs 1 to 1-1/2 feet below the water level. Always consult your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation of winter applications.