Bog Cleaning


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Does anyone clean out their bog? I have had mine set up for 10+ years. I've recently noticed a lot of sludge coming up through the pebbles. I'm on a group on Facebook and they clean theirs out yearly. I mean take out all the pebbles and empty it than put new pebbles or clean the old pebbles and put them back in. I always thought you were not suppose to mess with it. What's the opinion on here? Clean it or leave it?
 
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Mmathis

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I just flush mine via the clean out pipes…..whenever, maybe every 6 months or so. No, I don’t remove anything other than overgrown plants. You are correct that all of those “pebbles” are surfaces for the beneficial bacteria.
 
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We were not very smart when we built it, we did not put a drain on it :(:mad::cry: So we would have to take it all out.
 
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We were not very smart when we built it, we did not put a drain on it :(:mad::cry: So we would have to take it all out.
You may not have to remove all the pebbles. Do you have a secondary or back up pump? doesn't have to be too much GPH. Thin the bog plants, take out enough of the pea gravel to create a "well" which should fill up with the bog water, then use the second pump with a hose on the outlet to send the murky muck out of the well into the garden/ yard. This method won't clean it all out, but probably will clean enough out to keep that nice beneficial bateria you've grown in the bog but reduce the sludge output.
Alternatively, I've cleaned gravel pits in the past by using a 1/2-3/4" pvc pipe pushed into the gravel in several places and forcing water into the pit which then comes up and out, bringing muck with it. Messier than the "well" method.
Hope this helps, Good luck.
 
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You may not have to remove all the pebbles. Do you have a secondary or back up pump? doesn't have to be too much GPH. Thin the bog plants, take out enough of the pea gravel to create a "well" which should fill up with the bog water, then use the second pump with a hose on the outlet to send the murky muck out of the well into the garden/ yard. This method won't clean it all out, but probably will clean enough out to keep that nice beneficial bateria you've grown in the bog but reduce the sludge output.
Alternatively, I've cleaned gravel pits in the past by using a 1/2-3/4" pvc pipe pushed into the gravel in several places and forcing water into the pit which then comes up and out, bringing muck with it. Messier than the "well" method.
Hope this helps, Good luck.

Oh, I like that idea. Right now I have an elephant ear in there. I was going to wait to do it this fall before I shut it down for the winter. I like the well method. Thank you!!
 
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That build up on top of the bog may be exactly that - sludge on top of the bog. It probably doesn’t reflect what’s going on underneath. We get that every spring before the plants get going, but the clean out pipe produces clear water. Get more plants growing and I bet it disappears.

Anyone who completely empties their bog of gravel every year has a very small bog!
 

addy1

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Anyone who completely empties their bog of gravel every year has a very small bog!
No kidding we put 38000 lbs of pea gravel in our bog, huge truck load, used the tractor to bucket it in and no washing.
It has never been cleaned.
 
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That build up on top of the bog may be exactly that - sludge on top of the bog. It probably doesn’t reflect what’s going on underneath. We get that every spring before the plants get going, but the clean out pipe produces clear water. Get more plants growing and I bet it disappears.

Anyone who completely empties their bog of gravel every year has a very small bog!

It does show up in the spring. For some reason when I plant plants in there, they never come back. So I just plant an elephant ear in there every spring. It took awhile to grow this year because of the cooler weather and lots of rain that we had. But, it's taking off now. My water in the pond is clear. I've had a crap load of algae on top of the gravel in the bog. I've been pulling that out every 2 weeks. I didn't think you were suppose to clean it, but seems a lot of people do.
 
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I never cleaned mine in 11 years, some debris settles on the top of the pea gravel. I ignore it.

This was the first year that I actually seen it. Looked like brown crap. I didn't know if it would affect the pond water or not. My pond is super clear. Just didn't want it to go in to the pond and affect that water.
 

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It does show up in the spring. For some reason when I plant plants in there, they never come back. So I just plant an elephant ear in there every spring. It took awhile to grow this year because of the cooler weather and lots of rain that we had. But, it's taking off now. My water in the pond is clear. I've had a crap load of algae on top of the gravel in the bog. I've been pulling that out every 2 weeks. I didn't think you were suppose to clean it, but seems a lot of people do.
Doesn’t hurt to clean the algae off the bog surface if you want. You aren’t suppose to remove gravel and clean your bog, most flush their bog if necessary through clean out ports or pump out through the snorkel.

If you are hav8ng trouble getting plants to come back are you getting plants that are hardy in your zone. Also, do you shut down your bog in the winter and let the water drain out of it, if so this will kill any plants in there usually no matter their hardy zone.
 

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This was the first year that I actually seen it. Looked like brown crap. I didn't know if it would affect the pond water or not. My pond is super clear. Just didn't want it to go in to the pond and affect that water.
Any time I purge the bog, pulling plants out that grow too well the stuff flows back into the pond, mucks up the water a bit, within a day the water is back to clear.
 
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Doesn’t hurt to clean the algae off the bog surface if you want. You aren’t suppose to remove gravel and clean your bog, most flush their bog if necessary through clean out ports or pump out through the snorkel.

If you are hav8ng trouble getting plants to come back are you getting plants that are hardy in your zone. Also, do you shut down your bog in the winter and let the water drain out of it, if so this will kill any plants in there usually no matter their hardy zone.

The plants are hardy. I shut down the bog in the winter, but leave the water in it. It's been an ongoing thing since we built the bog. I gave up putting plants in there except for the elephant ear. I pull it out in the fall when I shut it down.
 
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I never clean mine, and i never shut in the winter in PA. I do put a trough heater in the winter though cause the pond is too small and is above ground.
 
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That build up on top of the bog may be exactly that - sludge on top of the bog. It probably doesn’t reflect what’s going on underneath. We get that every spring before the plants get going, but the clean out pipe produces clear water. Get more plants growing and I bet it disappears.

Anyone who completely empties their bog of gravel every year has a very small bog!
amen to that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! theres 38,000 pounds of stone in my bog placed by equipment and that was a lot of work it took 19 super sacks of gravel to fill the bog.
 
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I never clean mine, and i never shut in the winter in PA. I do put a trough heater in the winter though cause the pond is too small and is above ground.

I leave my bio filter run all year long on one side of the pond. The other side of the pond where the bog is, I shut it down and it gets ice on top. That's where the fish stay in the winter. I don't think they like the water movement. I do put a trough heater in the side of the bio filter if it starts to freeze over.
 
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Does anyone clean out their bog? I have had mine set up for 10+ years. I've recently noticed a lot of sludge coming up through the pebbles. I'm on a group on Facebook and they clean theirs out yearly. I mean take out all the pebbles and empty it than put new pebbles or clean the old pebbles and put them back in. I always thought you were not suppose to mess with it. What's the opinion on here? Clean it or leave it?
So I have the exact same question and was going to post it this week! My bog is 2 years old and I can see a lot of sludge on top of the gravel. I do have a standpipe for cleaning out the pvc. When I first set up the bog it seemed to work way better than it does now.… but my fish have grown a lot since then. I feel that my bog is tiny compared to a lot of yours. I only put in 2600 lbs of stone. I have pulled out so many plants this summer and they keep growing like crazy so there is no issue there.
 
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addy1

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I've recently noticed a lot of sludge coming up through the pebbles
I have off and on taken a garden hose and rinsed the sludge stuff out into the yard, after winter shut down. But to be totally honest I usually ignore it. When I do the shut down I do rake the surface for plant debris, after I pull a lot of plants out and or cut them back. And in the spring another rake job before turn on. Other than that ignore until there are too many plants and I do a plant purge.
 

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