Here we go -- FINALLY! A pond for wildlife...


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I thought I would start a separate/new build thread. I started tearing up the backyard in August of 2019 with much more enthusiasm than money. There have been a few hiccups along the way but I'm finally back in build mode!
 

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The digging was hard in spots with hardpan layers, big buried rocks, and areas with bulldozed rubble. In places where it was just thick, pure red clay, it was wonderful! Super firm and stable, but you could cut through it like butter! I think I have lots of injury photos. (I really throw myself into my digging work.) One of the more frustrating things was working for days to get a big boulder of of the intake bay hole, which was very deep and narrow - not much room to work or get leverage. I finally got it out -- then realized I needed to re-locate the entire intake bay. (The husband has to swing his truck tire over that corner when he pulls into his parking spot.). Oh well. It's a good thing I like to dig!
 

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Eventually I got most of the digging done. I was almost at the point of really refining the excavation - checking shelves for level and doing fine-tuning - when a series of unfortunate events (health, family, life, finances, the world) put things on hold for a while. Before that point, though, we had a heck of big rainstorm that allowed me to envision the pond nearly full! (Note the use of assorted old towels and clothes from the rag bag to prevent erosion of the dig.)
 

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j.w

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So the last photo's are before you started doing all the new wildlife pond build right? What a job but looks like you are going gung ho on it now! Looks like a giant pond compared to my little wildlife sucker! I already have little froggies in mine. The birds visit also. Mine isn't very deep at all. Yours is deep enough for a few fish to keep away skeeters. I might put in some Rosey Reds next year.
 
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So the last photo's are before you started doing all the new wildlife pond build right? What a job but looks like you are going gung ho on it now! Looks like a giant pond compared to my little wildlife sucker! I already have little froggies in mine. The birds visit also. Mine isn't very deep at all. Yours is deep enough for a few fish to keep away skeeters. I might put in some Rosey Reds next year.
No. The pictures are in chronological order. The last batch of photos show what happened when I stopped working on it for about a year! Nature took over! I am now in the process of pulling all those weeds and getting it cleaned up so I can continue. It's a big weedy mess!
 
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This next bunch of photos are from this weekend. I've pulled some of the weeds and cleaned out the bog area. The first photo shows me walking down from the side of the house along the path, which is also a dry creek. I'm going to try to make it seem that the dry creek empties into the pond. (In reality, it flows back down towards the woods.) You can see the different shots of how the bog is oriented with the pond. The big expanse of cheap black plastic (just to prevent erosion) shows the area where water will overflow into the pond. Because I don't want to have just a bunch of small rocks piled up there, I am considering getting some Rock on a Roll and making it look like there is a sandstone rock outcropping there in the hill. We live very near the beginning (or end) of the Appalachians, so you do find this kind of geology within walking distance of our house. Most of it will be covered with plants spilling over and growing up from the pond. That will hopefully help blend it in. It is just one solution I am thinking about. Have any of you ever used it? Rock on a Roll?
 

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That's going to be a beautiful pond, @bagsmom. Is that the liner in there w/ all the vegetation growing over it, or just plastic to protect the excavation?

I've never used rock on a roll, but every time I see it mentioned elsewhere, a lot of people say that burlap works really well as a substitute and plants will colonize it. @GBBUDD mentioned elsewhere that nonwoven fabric makes for a good medium to hide the top of liner as well. It wicks water from the pond and you can plant all sorts of stuff that will grow into it. And should last forever—won't break down and have to be redone like burlap would after a few years.
 
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Thanks @combatwombat! That black plastic is just to keep the dirt from eroding during the long hiatus with no pond work. It was an interesting science experiment. I had a big piece of translucent white plastic and the big black piece. I used them both and taped them down the center. The white one has completely degraded and the black one is still fine.
 
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Here is a question for @addy1 and other bog/wetland filter folks. I suspect I know the answer, but I'm trying to avoid extra digging. Should the bottom floor of the bog be level? If it isn't, will that affect how the water comes out of the PVC pipe with slits cut into it? If I need to make it really level, I suppose I could add some dirt or packed sand to the lower side.
 

addy1

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Mine was not totally level, it caused no issues. The pea gravel I used just filled any of the voids. I did put extra liner under the pvc pipes
 
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Thanks! I am planning to have 3 layers - underlay, liner, overlay - I wonder if that will suffice or if I should put some extra? I guess it couldn't hurt! It has been so long since I first started this whole project, I've forgotten some of what I planned to do!
 

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I put the scrap liner under the pipes since I have my slits pointing down. I figured years and years of pounding with the water might wear out the real liner. Might not but why not take a chance.
 
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I don't think it will have much effect on how the water flows from the pipes, but I've only had one cup of coffee so far today.

Picture this: What if you installed your bog pipes completely vertical. Slits from top to bottom. As you pump water into that pipe, what happens? It will depend on the size of the pipe and the size of the slits, I guess. If you have a small pipe and small slits, you will have high pressure. Water will come out of the bottom first, but as the pipe fills up due to back pressure, it will come out all the slits. If you have enough pressure and small enough slits, flow out of the slits will be pretty even across all of them. If you have a big pipe with big slits and low flow, all the water will come out of the bottom slits and the top slits will always be dry.

Does any of that even matter? I guess that's what you initially asked. Probably not much. I guess if you're not building any way to backflush your bog you may end up clogging the lower portion of your bog before the rest. But, again, depends on... oh gee why am I still typing.
 
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combat wombat - some days there aren't enough cups of coffee in the world to get my brain going!
 
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Making way for the rocks!!!!!! When I dug the pond, I saved some of the good topsoil to use around the finished pond. I piled it up in our old, unused fire pit area and made another pile next to it on a tarp. Fast forward two years and it's covered with weeds and infested with ants! Ick! Unfortunately, those piles are in the direct path of the skid loader or bobcat that will deliver the rocks and set the pallets in the yard. Yesterday I did the non-fun grunt work of pulling the weeds and moving the dirt to make way for rocks! I decided to just go ahead and build up the berms around the pond. I would have preferred to do it after the fact, but this will work fine. I have more to do tomorrow - I need to finish clearing the fire pit and will empty the tarp - but I made good progress and got quite a workout before the sun went directly overhead and drove me back into the AC!
 

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addy1

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Does any of that even matter? I guess that's what you initially asked. Probably not much. I guess if you're not building any way to backflush your bog you may end up clogging the lower portion of your bog before the rest. But, again, depends on... oh gee why am I still typing.
lol you are a typer! I have no back flush do have the ability to drain which I have never done. 10 years later it is still running fine with no intervention from me.
 

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