Help Me Love My Pond


brokensword

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@brokensword - I wonder if some plants are less invasive in cooler climates, like where you are? I agree with you about the fabric pots. I like them, since they are easy to squish in between rocks and such. But the plants escape them easily!
I'm in SE MI and despite the fact the local DNR claims such plants like parrots feather are invasive, I've yet to keep it alive during the winter, except maybe this year as I put some under my tent, while still putting some in the basement. I'm just surprised to hear the pickerel rush as invasive. Oh, I can see it would do well but invasive to me means it's a weed. I've had my crop for probably 7 years now and I have maybe two oil pans full. I moved it this year to a more 'wetland' situation and out of the pond proper, but that is more because of esthetics. I guess I'll see if the move makes it grow to obnoxious limits!
 
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brokensword

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How do you overwinter water hyacinth? I hear it doesn't work out.
I haven't had much luck with hyacinths. Taking about 4 or so to the basement usually ends up with one left struggling along. This year, though, I think they've done better since I put some in with my tropical water lily. This aquarium I've upped the temp and lowered the light fixture so it's right above them and they seem to be in better health. So, I think the key is higher light and warmer water.

Now, most don't bother as they're pretty cheap to purchase every year but I like to have plants in as soon as possible and since I'm already overwintering plants, it doesn't hurt to keep on trying.
 

brokensword

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I made a trip to Home Depot this morning to see what they had as far as aquatic plants and to see what plastic buckets they have. Very disappointed. No plants, the buckets were either too tall or too shallow, or at least that's what I thought. All I came home with was a cherry tomato plant. Haha.

For the pickerel rush I used 8" tall bags last time. I think it will be easier to find a rectangular tub than an actual pot. I'll be more inclined to remove for a trim too since it would be easy to lift out compared to the bags.

I'm guessing the taller the tub, the further out of the water the pickerel rush will stick?
My maximum depth when the pond is completely full of water would be about 16 inches.

This is the stuff I grew them in last time with good results, but was wondering if there's something better/cheaper I should be using.
I had also put in a slow release fertilizer stick in each bag so that might have attributed to the excessive growth. lol

View attachment 137689

I was able to save three of the pickerel rush from the brush pile. I'm probably only going to keep the one in the middle though. Hanging out until I find it's new home.
View attachment 137690

Water hyacinths look nice, but I think the flower color is too similar to the pickerel rush. I like contrast. I was looking at water lettuce, but was worried about my zone (7b) and them not making it through the winter. Plus our spring weather is rather unpredictable. The pond's current water temperature is 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

I wouldn't mind attempting to overwinter something indoors. I have a seed starting setup that I built. The light I have is way overkill for seedlings. I've found it easier and cheaper to just buy seedlings ready to plant. The room it's in stays pretty toasty in the winter and I could supply however much light the plants would need.
I'm thinking I could get a tub and siphon out the water every now and then. I have rain barrels so I could supply whatever I'm overwintering fresh rain water whenever. I'd make sure to bring the water inside to come to room temp first of course.
I think it would be a fun little experiment. Leave some outside and bring some inside and just see what happens.

Another note for planning is that the pond is recessed behind a small retaining wall. You can't really see what's inside unless you're standing right next to it. It will basically only be enjoyed from the porch looking down.
I use a plastic rubbermaid container, probably something to put baked goods in. It's similar to the oil pan except rectangular instead of round. Shouldn't matter how tall your container is, but I'd make it at least 6". I haven't had any pickerel rush escape and they don't seem as prone as the lilies.

Water hyacinth flowers are lighter in color than pickerel rush but that's not why you'd get one; it's for the variance in leaf/plant texture compared to the pickerel rush. Remember, these plants don't bloom all summer, usually just once, so you'll be seeing the foliage 95% of the time anyhow.
 
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@brokensword Thanks for the confirmation on container. I was able to find one just the right size at Wal-Mart this morning. It's only slighty larger than the fabric pots I used last time.

@mrsclem They also had the Special Kitty litter in the red bag. Scent free and non-clumping. I still have some of the aquatic plan media left over too. I guess I'll just use it up first and top off with kitty litter.

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I've been trying to eliminate all the kitty litter I used to use. The last couple of years I've gone to using plain sand like play sand. The kitty litter can get pretty rancid over the years, especially if, like me, you aren't that attentive to repotting the lilies. Sand doesn't do that as quickly, so I've gone to using that.

Everything else is planted in river rocks in pots of various types. No soil of any type. The rocks hold the plants in place and the plants do amazingly well that way.

I like that pan for lilies. I have used most anything I could find. Dish pans, cat litter pans, whatever has that basic shape and is a reasonable price. I even have some round ones that are made for growing water lilies, but those tend to be more expensive.

Best of luck with your new pond. Looks like you are doing a nice job with it.
 
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@WaterGardener Thank you! For now the only plant I have is pickerel rush. I do plan on getting a water lily next. I don't necessarily mind repotting, just trying to get some plants in there at the moment. Kind of a learn as I go thing.

My main goals this year are to work on keeping up with proper trimming of the plants and building a bog filter.

I'm trying to figure out what kind of container I want to use for the bog. I believe this is a 165 gallon pond so I'm looking for something in the 17-25 gallon range. I'd like to reuse the spillway, but not required. It's already a pain to get to the back side of the pond so I don't really want to dig, so the bog container will be above ground.

I'm handy with tools and DIY, but sometimes lack in the creativity department to make something like this look nice.
 
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I just potted up the pickerel rush. I used the last of the aquatic plant media in the bottom to get rid of it.

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I also added a fertilizer stick just because I had them. Don't know if they really helped last time, but I do know they didn't hurt.

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I added kitty litter and planted the pickerel rush making sure the rhizome is pointed the right direction so it will grow across the pot. Much better price at $4 for 25 pounds compared to $40 for 10 pounds of the aquatic plant media.

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The cloudiness of the water concerns me, but I assume it will dissipate/filter out and not be noticeable in the pond.
I plan to pick up a bag of pea gravel tomorrow to cover the kitty litter for aesthetics.

So if I did anything completely wrong it wont be going into the pond until at least tomorrow morning.
Still have time to correct any mistakes. Haha.
 

addy1

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looks good I always get the cloud of litter dust it just goes away and a lot of people put fine clay into their ponds for the fishes health. Like koi clay which is fine clay
 

addy1

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My pickerel are in just litter I have not fed them in about 6 years they grow just fine. I do have fish poo.
 
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Liking the progress man, keep up the good work! Btw, there are those that would have been very jealous of your extremely overgrown pond (such as myself) :)
 
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@reefsr Thanks! It only took a whole lot of not doing anything. LOL

I made some progress yesterday. Picked up some Pea Pebbles. I got them to cover the kitty litter the pickerel rush is planted in, but also wanted to confirm it would be the correct pebbles for a bog filter. It doesn't say the size on the bag. I measured and on average the pebbles are around 3/8".

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I put about an inch over the kitty litter. Not that it was necessary, I like how clean it looks. Well, how clean it looks once the mud was gone. Haha.

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I poured out the excess water just to make sure I had even coverage.

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Here is the extent of the "dust" cloud. Not as bad as I was expecting.

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After a few minutes it cleared right up. This is the perspective the pond will be viewed from 99% of the time.

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While I was on my adventure I picked up a water lily. Convenience won instead of trying to find the "perfect" water lily for the pond.
I'm pretty sure this is what was in the pond originally since they also had pickerel rush to buy. For anyone that doesn't know, the flower on top is fake. I got another tub just like the one for the pickerel rush. Time to start researching how to plant it, but any tips will be greatly appreciated!

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Wow ten bucks for a slushy man that's not cheap.
 
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@GBBUDD HAHAHA! Took me a minute, but I got it. I was like, is slushy a slang term for these plants? Maybe it is. I'm new to this. LOL I'll let you know how it tastes...

1_rzEuWKVulpZwxdP2Pj08eg.jpeg
 
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Hey Mr Carter!
He said slime
 
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Had a pretty busy weekend so wasn't able to post the water lily progress, but here it is.

This is how it came packaged.

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Went with around 6 inches of kitty litter.

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Not sure what all that stuff is around the bottom, but figured it wouldn't hurt to leave what didn't fall off on its own.

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Got it upright and planted making sure the crown was above the litter.

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Topped it off with a little bit of pea gravel just for looks.

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Ready to drop in the pond.

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Not quite as dusty as when I submerged the pickerel rush.

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And this is how the pond sat as of Sunday.

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Today is a different story. The pollen has been really bad here the past few days. I'm hoping it's just colored with pollen and it's not algae.

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Either way, with the panting done for now I really need to figure out the bog filter. I found a container at Wal-Mart that looked promising, but I think it's too big and definitely too expensive. So any suggestions for containers in the 17-25 gallon range would be greatly appreciated.
 
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addy1

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Great job! nice looking tuber
 
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