Help wanted! Does anybody know what this is?

I have recently created a small wildlife pond in the garden. Whilst fishing out a couple of dead slugs this afternoon I noticed a number of 'tadpole' type creatures swimming around. They don't look like frogs to me but I don't know what else they could be. Any ideas? I've taken a photograph of one but can't upload it...
  • Hi Laura

    I'm no expert but what about baby newts?

    Have you read the How To thread re uploading photos.

    www.rspb.org.uk/.../108794.aspx

    Make sure you click on the "Use rich formatting" so that you open the full editor and keep the size of your photo below 2Mb

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Regards,Tony

    My Flickr Photostream 

  • In reply to Laura M:

    Thanks TeeJay!  

  • In reply to Laura M:

    Well done for posting a photo. I really don't know what that is so will have to pass on this one. Someone will know for sure.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Regards,Tony

    My Flickr Photostream 

  • In reply to TeeJay:

    I think it is what's charmingly known as a 'rat-tailed maggot' - the larval stage of a species of large hoverfly (Eristalis tenax, sometimes called Drone-fly). The 'tail' is actually a breathing tube.

    My blog: http://mazzaswildside.blogspot.co.uk/

    My Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/124028194@N04/

  • In reply to aiki:

    I agree with Aiki, and I am afraid they like stagnant water. Do you have sufficient submerged plants? You might want to do a water change until plant life gets established. 

  • In reply to Robbo:

    Eurgh!! Thanks for clarifying though.  I've got a couple of plants in there which are doing well. Is changing the water the only option? Can you recommend any plants which may deter this in future?

  • In reply to Laura M:

    I have hornwart (Ceratophyllum demersum) in my pond. Grows quite quickly and helps keep nitrogen levels under control. Also very good for damselfly larvae to hide amongst. When I do my limited water changes, I often end up with a bunch of the stuff and newt larvae.

    Other oxygenating plants around that you can try. Some may argue Canadian pondweed is a good option....  

    How far down can you see? Also what plants have you got in there that are doing well? Presumably, there isn't much else living in the water at present?  

  • In reply to Robbo:

    At the moment I just have some water mint and a floating water hyacinth. I'm a complete novice and have only had the pond a few weeks...

    I'd say you can see about 8 inches down at the moment although the water does appear to be getting murkier since the air temperature has increased recently. No other wildlife at present!

  • In reply to Laura M:

    Water mint is ok, but won't do much to help water quality. Water hyacinth is very invasive and a real problem out in the wild. Could explain why your plants are doing so well! ;-)

    Well worth getting plants that grow underwater, like hornwart. Wildlife would benefit greatly, and so would water quality. There is probably less and less oxygen in your pond.

    I'd wait for a wet forecast then drain 50%. Hornwart, Canadian pondweed and many other submerged plants can be just dropped in the water and they'll establish, but I wouldn't try without getting the clarity and quality of water much better first.

    Cuttings are quite cheap, and are sold in bunches. You may have neighbours who'd be happy to give you some pond weed for free.