Help - Garden Pond building and design

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Big Jen

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Help - Garden Pond building and design
« on: July 01, 2008, 10:21 »
I want to have a pond made in the garden for wildlife, poss a few goldfish.
Want to include a bog garden part for plants and a pebble beach part for the birds/frogs etc.
Does anyone now any good websites or books to help with the design of the pond?
Has anyone got any pics of their own pond that could help me?
Any hints and tips welcomed  :lol:
There are three signs of old age. The first is your loss of memory, the other two I forget.

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agapanthus

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Help - Garden Pond building and design
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2008, 11:05 »
Looking forward to seeing the replies 'cos that's exactly what we are gonna do in our new garden......minus the fish tho' 'cos they will eat all the frog and toad spawn! ;)

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Big Jen

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Help - Garden Pond building and design
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2008, 10:00 »
No one knows anything about ponds then :?:

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jannie

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Help - Garden Pond building and design
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2008, 17:31 »
what do you want to know ,for wildlife pond min 24 inches in depth in the middle part ,then a shelf about 12 inches and another about 6 inches for your plants , i agree with agapanthus wouldn't add the fish and make sure that you use native plants were poss build it informal design use you hose to come up with your shape if you have shallow edge for wildlife heron's can have your fish  :twisted: cheaper to get your butul liner online, dig pond ,keep any turf good to use in bog bit grass side down, remove all stones can break the liner, line with a good amount of sand or can use carpet underlay, liner needs to be a good bit bigger than size of pond for your shelves and bog, dont cut liner yet ,put stones to hold liner and fill 3rd of way with water allow to settle over night if poss fill rest and finish your edge bit with either pebbles or turf make sure you wash your pebbles before adding to the water, plant plants in baskets easy to control except oxogenators just pop them in as are, you will be really surprised how quick wildlife will come hope this is of some help  :) have two ponds one for wildlife and one for koi carp posted pic of koi pond in album and really lucky have a brook running through the garden wanted to use that in our ponds but other people chuck all sorts down it even had one guy washing cement down it  :twisted: good luck keep us posted jan :D

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Big Jen

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Help - Garden Pond building and design
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2008, 19:22 »
Many thanks Jan,  a good bit of useful info. I was wondering what to use for edging, stones /pebbles seems a good idea with upturned turf in places for plants. Will take some photos of the construction.
BJ

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lincspoacher

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Help - Garden Pond building and design
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2008, 21:46 »
depends how natural you want the edge to look, i  used cut turf and rolled it down over the edge below the water level, lookes totally natural.

The one thing Jannie hasnt mentioned the the oxygen/nutrient balance and how to maintain it.

If you dig  hole , put a liner in, pump in 5000 litres of tap water it'll look great for about 4 days. Then the algae notice theres this huge food supply and partee in it. The water will go like pea soup. Two things are happening. The algea are sucking up all the nutrients out the tap water, and in the process, using all the oxygen too.

If you do subsequent management right, this will only happen once.

First thing you have to realise is that tap water is BAD BAD BAD!! Its chockers  with  nutrients, and adding it to a pond is inviting the algea to breed and make it murky. If you need to add water, add rain water, only add tap water as a last resort.

The idea here is that you need to establish plant life that oxygenates the water, but removes excess nutrients. SO you need to throw in a huge mass of oxygenating plants from day one, and battle will commence between the algae and the plants. Eventually, the nutrients disappear out the water, the algae die, the plants triumph. The water clears, and oxygenates. From now on, the plants will suck excess nutrients the moment there is any, and the algae wont get a look in.

You will ALWAYS get an algae bloom in spring, because the plants slow down in nutrient uptake in winter, nutrients build up, and then when the water warms up the algae are quicker off the mark, but in a well balanced pond, it'll only last a week at best, and then the water will clear. Unless you add tap water, then you're adding nutrients and the algae/plant war resumes. You can resort to electronic warfare- theres  UV lights that you can pump the water past that kills the algae, but they are fairly expensive and the tubes are designed to last only one year.

Then you have to consider fish. The natural oxygen levels in a small pond can be too low to keep fish going, so you need additional oxygenation, and thats done by breaking water up in air and slopping it about - like a fountain, or waterfall does. Also realise that the smaller the pond, the lower the oxygen reserves in the water, so if your pond pump stops, your on a timer. Even something like a deep area of low pressure passing overhead can make the oxygen fizz out the water and kill the fish (like a pop bottle fizzes when you lower the pressure over the pop by opening it). On that basis i would recommend you  have at least half the floor area of a pond at least 4 foot deep. If you want to find out where the water level lies as you dig, you fill a length of hose with water, and it acts as a water level indicator. Just fix one end to  a stake where you want the level to be, and when full of water, the levels at each end in  the hose will always equalise.

Also, you cannot keep fish and frogs together, the fish view the tadpoles as moving snacks. You need two ponds at least. You will have to add imported frog spawn for 3 years. On year four, the frogs that were born in the pond from the imported spawn from year 1 will come back to your pond and spawn there naturally, and you have a permanent frog colony. Move the frog spawn out the fish pond if any spawn in there.

In the summer, you have to consider the rate of water loss. The more surface area exposed to air, the faster it will evaporate. I have a 5000 Litre pond and without the plant cover it now has (about 80%) it can lose 4 inches of water on a hot summer day. So i let pond weed cover my ponds most of the time, because it provides cover for fish, slows down evaporation, and protects against the blooming heron colony near here. I have a clear area i can see the fish, because i have a fountain and water fall, and pond weed will not grow near  moving water.

All this is learned from experience, I have 4 ponds...........

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jannie

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Help - Garden Pond building and design
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2008, 22:14 »
sorry i didn't mention the correct balance, :(  i tend rush in and dont think of the technical bit until i have a problem sorry  :( I dont have a problem with my wildlife pond must of got that balance right first time surpose it was just luck :)  it was more about getting the frogs out of the koi pond i do how ever have a fight on my hand with that pond and it is filtered and a uv its waterfalled and i have air stones and my bulb has to
 be changed every 6 months but it is in full sun and the bl**dy fella at the koi centre not garden centre said we have to do a water change a third of our water every week no wonder its just getting clean and then turns to soup he tested our water and said thats what to do i might leave it a week or to to see what happens its only green ,test it for everything else and balance is ok oh and my fish are sharks and eat all the plants and its 4 and half feet deep could you help me lincspoacher  :) soory bj for nickin you post :)

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lincspoacher

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Help - Garden Pond building and design
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2008, 22:26 »
Problem is if it goes green, its low on oxygen and the fish might die. Once you are committed to constantly changing the water, the natural balances never establish. What you  need to do is get the fish out to somewhere where they can live temporary  and then grit your teeth and let the plant/algae war fight it out. After about 10 days the water should have cleared if theres enough oxygenating plants  . Then you can put the fish back. Then resist putting tap water in unless its absolutely a last resort measure.

You could build a temporary den with just  a sheet of plastic and some way to hold up the sides so the water is 18 inches deep - earth, planks, bricks, sandbags, anything. Fill it with water, shove in some plants (even ones out the old pond), keep changing the water in the old pond, let the temp pond  settle down and clear , then swap the fish over. Then do the same thing with the old pond, when its clear, swap the fish back. You need to do it now before the water temperature drops  below 10 C and the fish metabolism slow down. if you move fish when there cold, they very likely to die.

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Big Jen

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Help - Garden Pond building and design
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2008, 22:27 »
Wow - theres a lot to learn! and thank you for your great contribution
The pond will be about 10x8, Think I am having a small waterfall/ rockery.
I have spoken to the man at World of water and he has recommended having a filter/uv cleaner installed under the waterfall and a separate pump in the pond. It wasnt as expensive as I thought it would be , so am thinking on this - whats your opinion?
I want to extend the liner around one side of the pond for bog plants and liked the idea of turning turf upside down instead of buying aquatic compost and then covering with pebbles and then extending this into a pebble beach area.
As for fish- would a few small goldfish really be a problem because I really do like fish!
BJ

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lincspoacher

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Help - Garden Pond building and design
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2008, 22:48 »
dont skimp on the pump, you will need at least 4000L/hour, and if you can stand the cost, 8000L/hour will give u massive amounts of flow.

These People have a clearance item pump thats 5kL/hour for £50, looks pretty good (comes without fittings - check u can get them locally). Two pumps is even better, cos if one fails your not totally stuffed. Make sure you can get spare parts for it. Hozelock pumps are good buy but  eye wateringly expensive, but you can get spares easy and its good customer service. I had one burned out after 3 years continuous use and they replaced it free.

To clean the water  i have a gravel and grass filter - its a big plastic domestic water tank full of layer of pea gravel,  barley straw and bamboo matting, i pump water in the top and it flows out the bottom. once a year i empty  it out, wash all the dodo out (the silt is good for seedlings) and reassemble it.

Oh yes, one thing, to get your old pond to clear quicker while its balancing, chuck in a bale of barley straw, it absorbs all the nutrients out the water.

I gave up with posh Koi, every couple of years i chuck in 10 or 20 cheap cheerful goldfish, we even have babies sometimes :D if the fish are breeding you know its right.

Dont take the word of the guy in the shop as law, remember he's out to sell you stuff. Don't put fish in till the pond has achieved a natural balance - might take up to a year!! Dont buy any fancy gimmick or gadget unless you have a problem that cant be solved any other way. After all nature has been doing it for millions of years, and she doesn't use UV filters stuff like that!! Better and usually cheaper  to try and do it naturally.

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Ruby Red

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Help - Garden Pond building and design
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2008, 13:15 »
Dont use any chemicals to clear the water. There isnt any need, just use Barley straw. :D
Oh for those halcyon days of England long ago

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peterjf

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« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2008, 00:18 »
hi there try GARDEN PONDS . COM, POND LINERS .COM

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jannie

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« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2008, 23:20 »
hi again nicking your post again sorry  :oops: please to say dont have green water anymore stop adding tap water,stupid bl***y fella, didn't have to move the fish out  :) but need some rain to top up the pond now  :) jan

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lincspoacher

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Help - Garden Pond building and design
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2008, 23:22 »
Quote from: "jannie"
hi again nicking your post again sorry  :oops: please to say dont have green water anymore stop adding tap water,stupid bl***y fella, didn't have to move the fish out  :) but need some rain to top up the pond now  :) jan


Ok, now u need LOTS of plants to suck all the nutrients out and keep it well oxygenated. Then you can sometimes get away with tap water in an emergency, but it will at least clear if it greens up again

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jannie

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Help - Garden Pond building and design
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2008, 07:29 »
Quote from: "lincspoacher"
Quote from: "jannie"
hi again nicking your post again sorry  :oops: please to say dont have green water anymore stop adding tap water,stupid bl***y fella, didn't have to move the fish out  :) but need some rain to top up the pond now  :) jan


Ok, now u need LOTS of plants to suck all the nutrients out and keep it well oxygenated. Then you can sometimes get away with tap water in an emergency, but it will at least clear if it greens up again


 i do have lots of plants,and air stones there is plenty of oxgen in the pond and the fish are really happy cant seem to stop them breeding which got to be a good sign and i'm sure are breeding with the goldfish ,as they look like goldfish but are a range of colours they are the same famly so surpose its nothing new jan :)



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