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Old 10-21-2013, 10:42 AM   #1
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Default winterizing your habitat

Equil mentioned draining ponds and moving frogs. I have 3 50 gallon water gardens and I just let them freeze over in the winter. What happens to the frogs? I thought they left in the winter and buried in the mud. What other tips are there for winterizing the habitat?
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:48 PM   #2
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Great idea for a thread.
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Old 10-22-2013, 05:58 PM   #3
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Almost all frogs left in artificial environments in zones 7a and colder will end up as frogcickles if they’re not moved to a natural body of water before the water freezes over…. for frogs in 7b and warmer…. survival could even be iffie…. it’d depend on how harsh of a winter they’ll be up against and whether they’re “true” frogs or not and a whole lot of other variables like water volume and depth and appropriate substrate to brumate in so it’s probably a good thing if your froggie friends are jumping out of your ponds and heading for bluer waters. I’m thinking…. your zone 6 babies would be at risk of ending up as bloated dead floaters by next spring if they didn’t make it out of your little ponds. There’s ways you can better the chances of survival of any frogs that don’t make it out but I’m thinking it’d be hard on you pulling that off in 50 gallons of water even if you were in USDA zone 7 or higher so it might be easier on you just draining the ponds halfway and relocating anything you find hanging out at the bottom this year. Check this thread out and see what you think because who knows…. maybe you’re in a microclimate and you might want to try something next year, http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/for...your-pond.html then maybe read posts 24 and 26 in this thread, http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/for...turelle-3.html. I’ve pulled it off and I’m in a USDA zone 5 so it can for sure be done but…. it ended up being waaaay too much work for me so now I drain my ponds and relocate any frog friends to a natural pond. Just an FYI turttle’s not draining her pond but…. I think she’s in a USDA zone 7b and has an enviable pond set up with filtration and a healthy volume of water.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:43 PM   #4
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Oh my thank you equil. I never thought about all this. When I had fish I put heaters in the water gardens. They don't freeze solid but sometimes the top does freeze solid. I have 2 in the ground. That helps to keep them from freezing. The 3rd one I have is above ground. It will freeze more. I need to investigate this
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:00 PM   #5
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It sucks being ecologically responsible doesn't it>>>? Right now every native frog out there needs as many helping hands from us humans as they can get what with cats and turkeys and most recently the chytrid fungus decimating their numbers. That chytrid fungus is to our herps what WNS is to our bats. Makes my head hurt sometimes just thinking about being responsible either directly or indirectly for the removal of even 1 frog from the dna pool during these trying times.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:12 PM   #6
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A big lesson here. You really have to think of the consequences even a small change can make to the ecosystem. I'm thinking my water gardens are a stop over place for frogs. They come and goeach time it rains. I hope I am not making frogcicles. I haven't seen any dead frogs. I sure don't want to harm what I'm trying to help.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:53 PM   #7
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Ellen, if frogs are dying in your water gardens over the winters you would be finding them floating to the top in the spring or your water in the spring would at least get truly icky. Has that been a problem? If not, you may not need to change what you are doing. The frogs are not completely stupid (most, at least) and evolution should favor those that pick good hibernation spots. Most tree frogs and toads don't hibernate in the water at all, but rather in leaf litter, sand, holes in the ground, under bark, etc. further if you keep,the water moving in your water gardens with a filter, bubbler or fountain over,the winter soothe surface doesn't completely close off, even those on the bottom may be fine.
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:08 PM   #8
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I drain my ponds but the rain and snow eventually refills them. The frogs stick around and try to bury themselves in the tiny bit of mud at the bottom of both ponds. I keep pulling them out and setting them aside but come spring I still find a few bodies that had snuck back in and didn't make it through.
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:07 PM   #9
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This is encouraging. I have never found any dead frogs. I think I'm ok. I can't drain all the water out became I have water lillies
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:40 PM   #10
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Hava and 'Lib live in the frigid north where ponds freeze down to the bottom. We are not quite so arctic, though you are in a lower zone than me (Chapel Hill is on the border on 7a/7b, depending on which map you look at). There are reasons to live in the south....
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