Complete newbie with questions on building a bog


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Disclaimer: I am a complete newbie, so please keep that in mind with terminology and give as much general overview info as possible as I learn. I have a friend who has a koi pond, stream, bog filter. So I am slightly familiar with these things. Of course, now I am wanting to delve into ponding. I want to start with a simple bog. I do know that there are stagnant bogs and active bogs. The bog I am thinking of building would be mostly for growing plants. I also think I may be picturing a bog that is slightly on the large size? 8-10 feet square? Can I do an active bog with a solar pump of some kind? Some of the things I think I'd like to grow in the bog, include elephant ears, different kinds of iris, daylillies, cattails, anything else that might be good here in south/central IL. What kind of container can I use? depth recommendations? dirt/gravel in the bottom? Do you put the plants in those water pond baskets I see at the store? Pictures would do a great deal for me as I just have trouble visualizing projects. Is it possible to have an active bog with just like two or three goldfish or koi in it? I have the approximately 300 gallon water totes I can use for this project (have the aluminum frame around them) and can get all the 55 gallon plastic food grade barrels I want. I'm not wanting to put much money into this project. The area I am wanting to put this bog is at the head of a drainage ditch that is about 8 feet wide but maybe only 2 feet deep at the deepest. It never has standing water. I can run gutters off the lean-to it is next to and into the pond to help keep it full or into rain barrels. I have a one month old and 16 month old babies so anything to decrease maintenance is a plus. I added a photo of the area. The shallow drainage ditch begins at the corner of that lean-to on the right. I took this from the "foot" of the ditch out at the road. We build my chicken coop run just there on the right where the bare dirt starts (not built yet in this pic). I plan on building a mostly decorative bridge across this low ditch and would like some of the taller plants in the bog behind to frame it a bit if that makes sense.
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addy1

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I am a tiny bit confused, do you want just a bog? or a pond and a bog? A bog does not have fish in it, it is usually pea gravel or some substrate and plants.

Mine is around 26 feet by 5 feet, so big is not an issue.
 
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I was curious if the conditions of an active bog would support fish. Would the problem be that the fish would eat the plant life?
 

Mmathis

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Welcome!

No, a bog alone won't support fish because it's not going to be deep enough. In some cases, there is no water even available 'cause the gravel used is higher than the water level in the bog. I have a few inches of water, because my small bog is actually a water and soaking source for my box turtles.

One advantage to having a bog is that you CAN have plants because the fish can't get to them to eat or otherwise destroy them.

A bog is usually used as a supplement to a pond, or a filter, which is connected in one of various ways so that the water from the pond is pumped into the bog and then flows back into the pond. During the time the water is in the bog, the plants are doing their "filter" thing.

Hope this helps! BTW, Addy is our resident expert on bog filters....
 
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Okay that makes sense to me. Even if I kept the water level sufficient above the gravel, it would be counter productive since the entire point is to grow the plants. I plan on doing a small koi pond with a small bog filter that waterfalls into the pond (maybe using those 300 gallon containers) in a different area of my property. This discussion is then for my bog only project.
 
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Welcome, Bookjunky4life! About time you joined. :)
I think for the area you want to make into a bog, you were envisioning open or deep water there as well. Probably you should do just the bog to create an area for plant life on the side of the chicken pen. I'd suggest digging down a little ways, it won't take too much depth for the plants you are talking about (Addy/TM, would you suggest 10-12" ... more or less?) and then you could have your bridge in front of it for getting to the other side. I would suggest some type of material to help hold the water in that area - rubber roofing material, your old tires cut up, etc.
The other thing we (BJ4L and I) are not sure about is should the bog be filled with gravel, dirt, or a combination of both? She won't want it to be stagnant and smell. Suggestions for that? Think of ditches along the interstate, where water stands most of the time in the wet seasons. That's all dirt, and those reeds, grasses and cattails grow year around. Also, lilies and irises grow in both water and land, so all of the plants she mentioned should work well, and give some life to the wet area.
The 300 gallon containers you have should be partially dug into the ground or maybe mostly dug in, hold that amount of water, and maybe have the tops cut completely off to give that area of surface water. You're not going to have enough water capacity for koi, but it would be fine for a few goldfish, since the containers are deep (over 3'). If they are dug into the ground, they won't freeze as deep.
You're on the right track. ;)
 
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taherrmann4

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Welcome. In my signature are some links to my pond and towards the end there is some pictures of the bog I built several years ago. It is12-18" deep, filled with gravel to the top, and a few very small streams in the gravel is all the water you can see. The water is fed into the bog from the bottom via a pvc pipe with slits in it. I am not sure how strong a solar pump would be to push the water up through the gravel. Now you could feed the bog with a trickle tower type set up and instead of feeding it from the bottom it would feed it from the top. I am not sure how well that would work but it may.
 

addy1

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I had a small bog surface fed, the surface always got mucked up with dirt, had to flush it off and on. But it helped with the water wandering flowing through the plants.
 
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So, if she is wanting to simply have a wet area to grow plants, no water movement, will it work best with dirt or gravel, or combination of both? There would be water movement only when rains wash through the area, otherwise she would keep it wet with water from roof or hose. I think that's about what you want, right BJ4L?
 
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If you will not have the water movement, I'd suggest having the water level below the gravel so you wont have a mosquito breeding ground ;)

I'm sure you can use any type of media you want. Depending on the type of plants I guess (thinking pitcher plants here).




Welcome! Bookjunky4life!
 

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