HELP wintering for frogs in my pond

cynjamSeptember 30, 2009

We live in Pa, outside of Phila to the southeast. We have a small pond, more like pondette. 12-14 inch. deep and about 20x40. Plastic liner, no sands or dirt, rock on bottom. Large rock for frogs to sit on. Man made aquariam stick across pond which they like to rest on. Surrounded by slate rocks and other stones with ledges they hide under, several bushes surrounded one end but they do die back in winter, I have a small water pump to circulates the water. This year we had 20 frogs and they are decreasing and seem to be piled on each other in once corner. The Pond usually starts to freeze by Nov. What should we do? I have feed them and protected them from area cats all summer and reading the blogs here wonder if they face certain death. There are no water bodies I know of but a small run off stream that dries up on occassion and is freq. by area cats. Help!


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At 14" they most certainly will die. Frogs are hardy, but can't survive being frozen solid!

You can either bring them in (but I'm not sure if that's good for them...some NEED to hibernate) or put them in a bucket and take them to a deeper body of water. Odds are you won't see them anymore.

But if they all won't either.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 11:15AM
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pat_c(5/ N W OHIO)

I'm not sure there is anything you can do to protect your frogs. They should find a place themselves to hibernate. They will come and go at will. The only thing I would do is keep a hole in the ice that forms and hope for the best.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 11:36AM
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Not sure if this'll help but over here frogs n stuff don't hibernate in ponds they leave around about this time & find themselves rocks & areas of long grass & piles of leaves in a deep litter to hibernate in, then in the spring they find their way back to the pond en masse, usually dodging traffic (not very successfully, keeps a pond from being overwhelmed I suppose). Maybe if you create deep litter areas of grasses & fallen leaves for them to hide in that might help? It's my first winter for a pond too & I'm trying to create areas where frogs & small mammels can hibernate. Not really sure what I'm doing, but they can squeeze themselves into the smallest of areas. I think they can survive quite cold temps & they have managed without us for millions of years, so fingers crossed.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 9:34PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

IF they showed up at your pond by themselves, I would let them worry about winter by themselves.

IF you brought them in, I'd return them to a natural body of water for winter.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 7:27PM
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What kind of frogs are they? Bullfrogs go to the bottom so if you can keep it from freezing to the bottom and keep a hole in the ice (even if small) they will be OK.

buyorsell is correct. If the frogs showed up on their own they can find a place to live on their own.

Some toads and frogs do bury in the ground and not all of them come up again regardless. It is a crap shoot for them because they might not dig deep enough. If you have toads big piles of brush and deep leaves offer some protection, expecially if there is loose soil underneath. Lots of animals will shelter in a big brush pile with leaves and soil. It's warmer under there.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 5:17PM
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I have a small 150 gal. pond. It is 12 inches deep. Green frogs and bullfrogs come to it. They are aquatic frogs, and hibernate at the bottom of ponds.In past years, frogs have died if I left them in the pond because it froze over, so I started capturing them, and taking them to a nearby pond. This past year,I forgot to do this. Luckily, the winter here in NY was unusually mild and it only froze over a few times, very briefly. The frogs were fine this Spring. I plan to buy either a deicer or aeration pump to keep a hole in the ice this year. The reason they die if the pond freezes over for any length of time is because toxic gases accumulate from the frogs breathing, and from rotting organic material, and waste. These gases cannot escape if the pond freezes over. I probably will end up buying the aeration pump. By the way, I have kept comet gold fish in there for over 10 years, and they have been fine, even though the pond freezes over!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 9:00PM
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I had a plastic pond in Michigan (z 5) that attracted lots of green frogs. They always wanted to stay the winter and any that did, died (altho the fish and plants were fine). So in about late Sept. I would shoo them all out, and cover the pond with a fine mesh so they couldn't get back in. They then had to find a real pond to bury themselves in, with a much higher chance of survival. I did use a stock tank heater to keep a hole in the ice anyway, for the fish. It never helped the frogs survive, tho.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 12:24PM
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I also have a frog that appeared as a baby last spring and as of today, 12-30-12, he is still there.

it is a small round plastic tub that holds about 5 gallons of water and is about10 inches deep.

I have a heater that has kept the water right at 40 degrees. The other tanks that make up the garden have frozen.

This is a green frog, don't think it is a bull frog. I have gotten frogs from somewhere over the past few years. This past summer,I had 3. The other two smarter ones left but this one stayed.

This pond has a lot of dead leaves on the bottom and also a thick patch of green moss that is still alive and just barley pokes out above the water.

I saw "Fred" just a few minutes ago with his head and nose up out of the water so I know he is not hibernating.

I bought some aquarium frog pellets in case he should eat since he is active but I bet that was a waste of money. I feel better buying it anyway.

Wonder if he will make it over the winter....if he does I wonder what effect not hibernating over the winter will have on him.

There is absolutely no other water I know of around me, it is a mystery each year where these come from....several have been itty bitty but some come back a couple years then I don't see them anymore and a baby takes its place.

I am attaching a picture from today

Am I fighting a losing battle?

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 2:29PM
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I read somewhere that 37* is the optimum temp. for frogs to hybernate so you could be just fine. Even hybernating frogs will come to the surface for air. Sometimes they will even climb out on a sunny warm day. Keep us updated - I'd like to know how he does. sam

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 9:20AM
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Well it is now Feb 10th and "Fred" is alive and well!
A couple weeks ago, we went to the single digits at night for a couple days in a row and it was about 5 days before we went above freezing/

I tool a piece of plywood and covered his little pond when it was mid teens or below. That held the heat in and when I would remove the top for gasses and oxygen, there was no ice on the pond.

It was rather nice the last couple of days and I see him on a regular basis each day.

When I would pull the plywood off, he was usually there sticking his nose out of the water.

Looks like he will make it if nothing goes wrong
We are rooting for him

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:19PM
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