Designing stages for a Natural Pond waterfall and stream.

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by GBBUDD, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. GBBUDD

    GBBUDD

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    Hello everyone
    I'm in the design stages of my next challenge being a outdoor water garden/ swimming pond and fish. Ok as you see I like to keep things simple NOT. While I may be new to the pond world I do have a bit of experience with aquatic plants and fish, even waterfalls but in a much smaller forum. To explain i'm talking about a planted fist tank with a few twists. you can find out a bit more at this link https://www.aquariacentral.com/foru...rium-im-unsure-but-i-think-youll-like.110988/ . I have been reading a few posts here and I see the links between planted aquariums and Aquatic central. Well its time for a larger challenge and one that will transform the whole property not just one room.
    I'm having a hard time finding information on natural or wildlife ponds/ pools the basic is an undergravel filter I have even seen one sight that was using filter material as a drip try for the bio load. I'm looking at building a pond approximately 20x20 with a stream that's going to be about 20 feet long to the first water fall / drop in the stream to where the main water fall will probably be another 10 feet away. This will be at least a four foot drop but the falls will branch off to the one stream and a second area of the falls will widen and be separated until its at the stream level. Along the stream it will widen creating some of the planted 6" and 18" deep areas for the under gravel beds. I'm thinking lime stone would be a good choice for this but I can't find what people are using for there's, and what size. So like I said I like to keep things simple. I guess this is a good start can't wait to see what you folks have created here.
    GB
     

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    GBBUDD, Dec 16, 2017
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  2. GBBUDD

    Tombstone

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    Sounds like a plan, I was wanting a pool/pond combination too but for the fish and plants to be happy i probably will never swim. I plan on using a kayak for plant maintenance.
    My pond is 70×60×8 feet deep cement lined.
    Where are you?
     
    Tombstone, Dec 16, 2017
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  3. GBBUDD

    GBBUDD

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    I am in New England HARSH CLIMATE CHANGES TO MAKE IT EVEN MORE FUN
     
    GBBUDD, Dec 16, 2017
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    MitchM

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    Welcome!
    You'll find creating an outdoor aquatic ecosystem very interesting compared to an easily controlled indoor setup.
    There's lots of expertise here that can help you along the way.
    What do your want for an end result?
     
    MitchM, Dec 16, 2017
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  5. GBBUDD

    GBBUDD

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    The swimming will be absolutely minimal. \
    The water garden and fish are the main focus I understand that the lower the flow in the planted are the closer to a pond eco system. but I'm leaning toward separating these areas in a minimal way allowing only so much water into a planted area to allow for micro organisms
    to grow and keep the fish from devowering them
     
    GBBUDD, Dec 16, 2017
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  6. GBBUDD

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    I would stay away from an undergravel filter if this pond is expected to catch the typical levels of external organic debris.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Dec 16, 2017
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  7. GBBUDD

    GBBUDD

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    Ok I'm a bit confused, your suggesting staying away from a under gravel filtration system yet I was reading addy's blog and found where you posted links to pond trade and the two major features I have picked up so far is a 1 1/2" pipe in a grid every 6 " with 3/8" holes and 1" stone on top for 6" then 3/4 and half for 6 then a 1/4 inch ut he did this at the bottom of the pond so I'm puzzled as why you say stay away from. yes I know eventually they can clog and nitrates can build over time. I had a channel allow water to the gravel bed in my planted tank but I relied on heat to pull the water through the substrate slowly.

    The one key to a planted tank and for plants in general is Co2 carbon is a crucial building block for all plants aquatic or otherwise but all I have seen is aeration aeration that and lots of currents surface movement and waterfalls strip Co2 from the water table.
     
    GBBUDD, Dec 18, 2017
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  8. GBBUDD

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    I don't believe that I have ever advocated undergravel filtration (not talking about 'bogs' here). Undergravel filtration covers the entire bottom of a pond.
    I also think that if you are going to use a 'planted tank' as a model for a garden pond, you will immediately run into issues as the former is a strictly controlled environment and the latter is not.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Dec 18, 2017
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    Lisak1

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    The difference between what @addy1 and others here on this forum have built and an undergravel filtration is the direction the water flows. A constructed "bog" filter pushes water up through the gravel and plants that are growing in the gravel. An undergravel filter is going to pull water (and debris) down. In a pond (unlike an indoor tank) you are dealing with the organic material that will fall into the pond from the surrounding areas. I guess if you were meticulous about keeping the pond free from debris you may not run into issues but it seems that would be an onerous task. I have read (or seen on YouTube? Can't recall right now) about ponds built with undergravel filters, but I've never seen a follow-up on how they function long term.

    I'll see if I can find the info I've seen in the past regarding undergravel pond filtration and post it.
     
    Lisak1, Dec 18, 2017
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  10. GBBUDD

    Lisak1

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    Here you go. The Ponddigger is a knowledgable guy and posts great content:



     
    Lisak1, Dec 18, 2017
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  11. GBBUDD

    Lisak1

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    And one more:

     
    Lisak1, Dec 18, 2017
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    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    I have a question for @Meyer Jordan regarding this undergravel suction type filter, and maybe it'll help the OP (the discussion thereof); I understand the idea/mechanics of such a system, but what are the actual advantages of using this type? On first blush, I see a lot more initial cost, more probable maintenance when the gravel gets filled (seeing as to how my bog eventually got filled, I figure this is going to be similar) and don't see any tangible benefits. That is, if your pond water is already clear (from more usual types of filtering), how can it be any clearer?

    At least, that's my first thought. I suppose this idea might allow one to keep a lot more fish (I'm theorizing here) and if I extrapolate to my pond, there's some similarity, but with a lot less money and effort. To wit, I have less than half the gallonage as the pond mentioned in video #1, but the same number of fish, though less than half (I'm guessing) the size of said fish. So, in some ways, I have similar over stocking but have no issues with cloudy water or bad parameters, and don't need to turn my pond bottom into a filter. Nature doesn't do it this way, but then I'm sure Nature isn't overstocking, either. Anyway, Meyer, would you weigh in on benefits of such an undergravel suction type filtration?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
    brokensword, Dec 18, 2017
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  13. GBBUDD

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    The only true benefit is the resulting addition of SSA which will greatly increase the fish load capacity of a pond, as Eric alluded to in his video #37. There is one large caveat attached. Much the same as with any filter, mechanical or bio. If it works and does its job, it will eventually clog. This is especially true with increasing loads of external organic debris being deposited in the water column. While fish poop/food will decompose fairly quickly other organic debris that is of higher cellulose and lignin content may take weeks or even months to completely decay. Unless this is removed by exceptional mechanical filtration it will eventually be trapped in the UG filter and clogging will ensue.
    Access for maintenance is also a real problem. Short of draining the pond, any cleaning would be, at best, hit and miss.
    Bottom line, a UG filter actually offers no greater benefit, other than sheer size, than a Skippy.
    IMO, your funds can be better spent on a tried and true biofilter such as a Nexus that has proven to perform at a level sought by most pondkeepers.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Dec 18, 2017
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  14. GBBUDD

    GBBUDD

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    Thank you for those videos Lisa I got some great ideas from them.. I know the value of bio materials and O2 I know some say it's not a good idea to keep referring back to my fish tank days but between the salt reef and it's bio balls to the planted aquaria I see only a size difference. I fully understand your comments Meyer about the pond catching outside sources of pollen leaf debris etc. Over an aquarium but not many aquarium had upwards of 8 shaft tail finches living breeding and ok dumping into the open top fish tank either. If you haven't looked at the link I first posted, the tank I had had a shelf at the top of the tank a foot wide with a three foot waterfall / return into the open fish tank. It was a corner tank and I placed window screen up to the ceiling and that was the bird cage the droppings fell right into the water I never had to clean a cage the fish and the plants took care of 90%.
     
    GBBUDD, Dec 20, 2017
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  15. GBBUDD

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Any animal waste will break down fairly quickly. It is the vegetative debris, especially woody, that will be the source base of any accumulation and clogging. Aquaria just do not experience this type/form of organic accumulation because they are indoors.
    As an interesting aside, chicken droppings are used to fertilize aquaculture ponds in Southeast Asia. The chickens live in cages directly over the fish ponds.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Dec 20, 2017
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  16. GBBUDD

    GBBUDD

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    look at my avatar it is the planted tank I had it' had its more then fair share of plant matter dissolving in the water channel. but I catch your meaning it's far less but unlike a pond minute changes in parameters add up quickly in a small tank by comparison.
     
    GBBUDD, Dec 20, 2017
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    Abe

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    I'll lend you my twopenny worth of non - technical, personal advise : if you plan to spend time
    in the pond frequently (swimming or not) than gravel should be out. I'm spending hours in summer
    barefoot in the pond , and even pea gravel irritate my foot soles.
    Don't mind the slippery algae but a sharp stab from the bottom is never welcome.
    Yes I know some footwear will solve this - but barefoot is a pleasure I try to keep.
     
    Abe, Dec 20, 2017
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    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    As I mentioned earlier, there is a great difference in the cellulose and lignin content of the typical aquatic plant and woody terrestrials such as shrubs, trees, and some perennials. No amount of rationalization will change that fact.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Dec 21, 2017
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  19. GBBUDD

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    Meyer, maybe he had trees and shrubs planted on all sides of his aquarium...:rolleyes:

    Then again, sometimes one just has to go into the tunnel before one understands about dark...
     
    brokensword, Dec 22, 2017
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  20. GBBUDD

    Lisak1

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    Gravel in your pond should be smooth and feel good underfoot. I tend to wear water shoes when I get in, but my gravel pond bottom is barefoot friendly!
     
    Lisak1, Dec 22, 2017
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