Toad-proofing my pond this spring


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I've been having problems the past couple years with my goldfish developing pop eye as the summer months come on. Most of them didn't survive but always a few survivors to breed in the spring and replenish the school. Last year I had 13 nice koi that were three years old and around 17". Then all of a sudden they started acting strange as the goldfish developed the pop eye again. Within two days I lost ten of my koi. Same pattern every year. All the fish are super healthy and active coming out of winter and then deteriorating into the summer. Every spring we get dozens and dozens (maybe even hundreds) of toads invading the pond each spring to spawn. I'm thinking with that many toads mucking up the water with sperm and eggs is making the water toxic. I've been a ponder for many years and all my water test levels have been perfect. I have a picket fence around the pond and I'm installing plastic netting so there are no spaces for them to crawl through. They'll have to climb 30" to get in, so I'm hoping it'll at least be a deterrent. Not going to buy any new koi this year while I see if this solves my problem. I've got two females and a male so I'm hopeful they will spawn me some babies. Should be an interesting year and hopefully I have solved the problem. Time will tell.
 
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Give them somewhere to go even if it's a few 2x4" and plastic lined being 3" deep should suffice and if they lay the eggs there then problem solved
 

addy1

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I get tons of strings of toad eggs, probably in the 1000's of eggs, it has never bothered the quality of my water and I have never loss any fish during this time. The toads do their mating in the big pond. Lay eggs in the bog, the small loop ponds, sometimes a string of eggs in the big pond.
After the toads the tree frogs come in and lay eggs, then the green frogs lay their masses of eggs. They tend to lay in the smaller fishless ponds that are in the big pond water loop. Still it has never bothered my fish.
 
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@LarryM that is definitely a frustrating problem! How big is your pond?
My pond is a converted in ground swimming pool, 15,000 gallons. When we bought this property 12 yrs ago it was used as a swimming pool and there was no toad breeding due to the heavy chlorinated water. When we converted over to a koi pond toads became attracted to it and started to use it to spawn in. I had no problems with them the first five years or so. I've read where toads will return to the same pond they were born in to spawn, just like salmon do. I've also read that toads can be toxic to fish. So, my thinking is at first they did not cause a problem because the toxicity they produced was well within the tolerance levels of the fish. But year after year, with more and more of last year's tadpoles returning to breed in the same pond, the levels of toxicity has increased to a lethal level that is causing my fish to get sick and die. It's the only thing I can think of. I have every imaginable test kit out there and everything tests 100% good. I have enough experience with ponds that I know there is nothing major I'm doing wrong. So this is why I'm covering my picket fencing with plastic netting in an attempt to if not eliminate them, at least deter enough of them that lethal levels of toxicity are eliminated. Time will tell if it works. At this point it's the only thing I can think of to do.
 
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Small chicken wire. Or plexi glass walls but on an angle away from the pool. i.d think 12" tall would suffice but if they start jumping in may need to be 24 " I dont know how high a toad can jump.
 
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Small chicken wire. Or plexi glass walls but on an angle away from the pool. i.d think 12" tall would suffice but if they start jumping in may need to be 24 " I dont know how high a toad can jump.
I'm using 1/2" plastic netting about 30" high. They won't be able to jump it. Not sure if they can climb. I guess I'll find out soon. Even if a few manage to climb over, I'm hoping most of them won't.
 
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Sorry to hear about your fish loss. It's horrible to lose any fish, let alone so many.
That's quite a dilemma. Sounds like your idea will keep most of them out...hopefully.

I don't know much about frogs or toads. We get them here in Pennsylvania, but only a few.
I know some of them can be poisonous, but there are so many different varieties. It's usually the bright colored ones in tropic locations that are toxic. Maybe if you post a picture of them, someone can identify what they are.

Maybe do a couple of partial water changes to dilute any toxins. A few hundred gallons a month for a few months.

Keep us posted.
 

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