There can be no doubt that sitting down in a comfy garden chair, with a cool beverage in hand on a splendid summers day watching the activity in and around a well crafted wildlife pond is one of lifes true pleasures. Yet, have you ever thought what may be happening beneath that deceptively peaceful and tranquil surface? Predatory Animals, grazers and scavengers will be encountered here, a plentiful and variable ecosystem of aquatic animals whose endless fight for survival equals any other.
Coming in umpteen thousands of sizes and designs, Copepods are the most small-scale, primary animals in our pool nutrient chain and in the main resemble miniature shrimps. They have a hard ectoskeleton and feed on bacteria, algae and microscopic single-celled organisms. Pond Skaters are well-known to most individuals, covered in water repellent hair they can run really fast indeed, catching and devouring small insects that fall on the waters surface.
Water Beetles also may take up residency in your pool, numerous species that vary a great deal in size and aggressiveness. Large species can hunt smaller fish and can be very violent.
Finding their way in the form of eggs stuck to birds feet, snails will eventually be found in the pond. The Common Pond Snail is great fun, you can observe them surf the surface of the pond upside down, from one side to the other. Many more beasts will also take up residence in your pool, like Mayfly Nymphs, Leeches, Water Spiders and Caddis Fly Larvae to mention but a few, its grand how they come along as if by magic. Each of these diverse species are a source of food for the fish, birds, dragonflies and frogs farther along the food chain.
A superb way to spot some of the more itsy-bitsy denizens of your deep is to get a large coffee jar upside down & dip it into the water to approximately half your pond depth, preferably near some vegetation. Release the air from it by turning it over and leave it alone for a spell to settle in a dark, cool place. A time spent with a magnifying glass can be very absorbing and will help you appreciate the variety and complexity of life you can help to survive.