Pond

Pond Animals

A pond with animals enriches your garden pond and supports biodiversity, from croaking frogs to fluttering dragonflies. Freshwater mussels and pond snails contribute to all-natural pond filtration, while aquatic animals such as salamanders are attracted to the water and make the pond a lively place.

Freshwater mussels - 10 pieces

Freshwater mussels

Freshwater snails

Simon van der Velde

In order to attract pond animals and insects to your garden pond, it is essential to design your pond naturally so that the pond meets the needs of pond and garden animals in terms of shelter and nesting space.

Simon van der VeldePond specialist and aquatic plant breeder

Pond Animals

Dragonflies, Odonata: Winged insects

Dragonflies, odonata, belong to the order of the winged insects of which the damselflies in turn fall under the order of the dragonfly.

All about dragonflies

Dragonflies are intriguing insects that you often see in...
pond advice book

Want more helpful tips?

Learn about common mistakes and get a handy planting plan, along with plenty of valuable tips in Simon's Pond Advice Book.

Frequently asked questions about pond animals

Pond Advice

For many people, the pond is not really complete until there are frogs that also reproduce in it. To make this happen, it is advisable to make the pond as natural as possible. A pond several meters in diameter and at least -80 cm deep is necessary for frogs to feel so at home that they will also lay eggs. It also allows them to descend deep enough to hibernate at the bottom. Amphibians like peace and quiet, so a quiet corner of the garden with about six hours of sun a day and no water fountain or running water are important points to consider when building your pond for animals. Also check out our step-by-step plan for building a pond.

Once you build a pond with sufficient and varied pond plants, you make your pond attractive to many animals and insects. All need water and you will find that aquatic insects, snails and water beetles will soon be off the hook. If your pond is deep and accessible enough with enough hiding places, frogs (or toads or salamanders) will also find their way to the water. And dragonflies are beautiful creations that you definitely want to welcome in the pond; the larvae are real mosquito catchers. Win-win, then. Tip: It can help to add a bucket of water from a nearby pond or ditch when you build your pond. Many critters and bacteria already live in this and will find their niche in the new habitat.

The small newt is the salamander we often find in our garden ponds. With its camouflage colors of gray and olive, it completely blends into the water. Very recognizable are its black dots and orange belly, although on land it is brownish in color so as not to stand out. It is found throughout the Netherlands, so there is a good chance that the small newt - growing to 10 to 11 cm in length - will find its way to your pond. The salamander species has a specific menu, as it likes to eat copepods, water fleas and dance fly larvae.

Salamanders, like frogs, are amphibians, and in our country the small newt in particular is found in ponds. Their habitat conditions are largely similar to those of frogs (see above). But salamanders are more critical. Whereas frogs know how to locate virtually every body of water in a residential area, the same is not always true for salamanders. Therefore, you are more likely to find a salamander in the pond if you live closer to nature and not in a completely built-up area. What certainly helps is landscaping the rest of your garden with shady, preferably damp areas and low plants. That's what newts love.

Dragonflies are hunters and are constantly on the lookout for small, flying insects. They are beautiful creatures that - like the damselfly - are an asset to your garden. In fact, they are also very useful because, for example, they eat eye gnats and mosquito larvae. Even under the water surface they know how to find the larvae; these are eaten by the dragonfly larvae that live underwater. This immediately shows why dragonflies need water: they deposit their eggs on plants just above the water surface. The eggs hatch under water and the larvae grow up at the bottom of the pond. So if you want to attract dragonflies, make sure there are plenty of flowering aquatic plants in and around the pond.

Simon van der Velde

Pond Advice

Can't decide yet? Check out Simon's advice.

Everything for your pond

Simons complete pond kits

Plants in a pond for animals

Those who want amphibians and aquatic insects in the pond would do well to install a diversity of pond plants. Bright pond plants are definitely one of them, because they attract insects. That's exactly what you want, because that way insectivores like frogs or salamanders always have plenty to eat. If you have a marsh area, plant long-flowering species such as Sumpf schwertlilie and pikeweed there. In the other, more submerged zones, a mix of oxygen plants, floating plants and aquatic plants is recommended. Good oxygen plants are waterweed, hornwort and crabgrass. These species help maintain oxygen levels in the water, which prevents algae growth.

Aquatic insects

Aquatic insects such as dragonflies, mosquitoes and damselflies are some of the most common aquatic animals in a pond. They live in the water and feed on small aquatic organisms and plants. Some species, such as the damselfly, are a sight to behold with their beautiful colors and fluttering wings. However, other species, such as the mosquito, can be a source of nuisance

Amphibians

In addition to insects, larger aquatic animals that live in a pond include frogs, toads and salamanders. These amphibians depend on the pond as a nesting place for their eggs and a habitat for their young. They hunt insects and other small animals and are often seen sunbathing on the edge of the pond.

Pond Fish

And then there are the fish. Goldfish, carp and pike are just a few examples of the many species of fish that can live in a pond. Fish are not only fun to watch, but also have an important role in the pond's ecosystem. For example, they eat algae and mosquito larvae, helping to improve water quality. All of these aquatic animals are part of a complex web of relationships in the pond. They depend on each other for food and protection, and contribute to the pond's biodiversity. It is therefore important to keep the pond in balance, such as by adding oxygen plants and avoiding overcrowding of fish. This keeps the pond a healthy and vibrant environment for all the aquatic animals that inhabit it.

Fish, frogs and salamanders

Those who create a garden for animals may think of fish. These, of course, are also animals. However, we recommend being careful not to put too many or too large fish in your pond if you also want to attract amphibians. Large fish see the eggs of frogs, salamanders and dragonflies as food and eat them. Keeping a few small fish is possible. You don't have to feed them and they help keep the mosquito population around your pond in check, among other things.
Tips, advice and substantial savings
I would like to share my experience with you, and advise you to solve any pond problems and reduce pond maintenance. As a result, you can easily save hundreds of dollars.
Tips, advice and substantial savings
I would like to share my experience with you, and advise you to solve any pond problems and reduce pond maintenance. As a result, you can easily save hundreds of dollars.
Tips, advice and substantial savings
I would like to share my experience with you, and advise you to solve any pond problems and reduce pond maintenance. As a result, you can easily save hundreds of dollars.
Tips, advice and substantial savings
I would like to share my experience with you, and advise you to solve any pond problems and reduce pond maintenance. As a result, you can easily save hundreds of dollars.