Hi From North Eastern Missouri

bosslady

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Hello from NEMO.

While I am a newbie to the forum, I am an old timer at pond building, having constructed three garden ponds in the past.

Currently, we have two man made ponds, the largest being an acre in size and a small lagoon, the latter being the reason for me joining the forum.

The focus of my pond building has changed towards supporting natural water habitats on our property.

Both large ponds are stocked with wild fish, large mouth bass (record size), green sun fish, turtles and various water critters.

I am hoping to rehab the lagoon into something a little different though. It is behind our barn and was created by the previous owner to water stock and hold run off from the barn roof. It was in a pretty sorry state when we bought the farm and we have spent the last 5 years trying to clean it up and make it a habitat for frogs and small fish.

Last summer, during the drought that affected much of the country, the lagoon dried completely and we saw that it really needed a good cleaning, so we got into it with our tractor and cleaned it out, removing a good foot of debris.

Now we are having trouble getting it to retain water. Oops. I think we killed it with kindness as the old saying goes.

So I'm here to find out how to rescue my lagoon. Does anybody out there have experience with clay bottom lagoons? Will the bottom recover or should we just drop a liner in it so it will retain H20 again? This is my first experience with clay bottomed ponds so I'm at a loss.

I'm not looking at it being completely full, just a foot or two of water would keep the frogs and turtles happy. 3 feet would be perfect. 4 feet would make me a very happy camper indeed.

Thanks in advance.

bosslady
 

sissy

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welcome and natural ponds are lined with bentonite clay to make them hold water and it may have been some type of clay or muck they put in the bottom to hold water and scooping it out removed it
 

bosslady

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A lot of what we removed was animal waste. The cows were not too particular where they relieved themselves. There was also a lot of debris that had just been tossed in to make go away. Buckets, tree branches, chunks of wood, etc.

We have a high percentage of clay in our soil but what we have left now after cleaning out the junk is just almost like a top soil. When it rains, it will fill but will rapidly drain out afterwards. I went out this morning after all night rains and there was a good foot of water in it. I doubt if there is that much now. I have been busy raking out dead grass and die off from last year but at this point I am seriously contemplating dropping a liner in it to retain water.
 

morewater

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Judging from what you've said, I think that might be your best option.
 

sissy

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There may have been a layer of clay they left or they added that was removed .Liner may be cheaper than buying bags of that clay
 

bosslady

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That's what I was afraid of. Sigh.

We have plenty of clay for the digging, the big question is whether or not I want to put my back and shovel to so much labor when dropping a liner would be so much easier in the long run.

BTW I hate raccoons also! They eat fish, they eat turkey eggs, they pester chickens. Round em up and herd em off a cliff, lol.That's what I was afraid of. Sigh.
 

morewater

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BTW I hate raccoons also! They eat fish, they eat turkey eggs, they pester chickens. Round em up and herd em off a cliff, lol.That's what I was afraid of. Sigh.[/QUOTE]

Great. You can join my club.....just so long as you realize, and swear fealty, to me as the President of Raccoon Haters International.

The liner sounds to me, although not the cheapest option, the most practical in this situation.
 

bosslady

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BTW I hate raccoons also! They eat fish, they eat turkey eggs, they pester chickens. Round em up and herd em off a cliff, lol.That's what I was afraid of. Sigh.

Great. You can join my club.....just so long as you realize, and swear fealty, to me as the President of Raccoon Haters International.

The liner sounds to me, although not the cheapest option, the most practical in this situation.[/QUOTE]

Consider me a member. I really hate the varmints. I also have had problems with feral cats killing my koi. I love cats. Just dislike wild ones intensely. We have a border collie who hates raccoons also. I have visual proof of her extreme prejudice towards them. Can she be a member?
 
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Lucky you for having not one, but TWO ponds to play with (even if one of them is being temperamental at the moment ;-)

WELCOME!
 

bosslady

Living La Vida Loca!
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Lucky you for having not one, but TWO ponds to play with (even if one of them is being temperamental at the moment ;-)

WELCOME!
Actually, I have another problem child. Our big pond, about an acre more or less, probably closer to two my husband tells me, suffered a near disaster over the winter. A drain valve malfunctioned due to the extreme cold and popped loose. When we caught it, our 18 foot deep pond was down to about 8 feet at its deepest. With the extreme cold and ice I've noticed some die off of game fish. One of our projects for this summer is to clear and landscape around this pond. There are a lot of scrub trees and deadfall around it. I hope to turn it into a park like setting.

Outside of my lagoon, which now looks like it is destined to have a liner dropped in it, we are hoping to turn the other two natural ponds into habitat for the wild life around us. We have Box, Painted and Snapping turtles, frogs of all shapes and sizes and game fish. My focus has changed from ornamental to functional.

The lagoon will be habitat of sorts also but I hope to put some small fish in it for fun, maybe just sticking to comets and different shiners and minnows and develop it into a semi ornamental pool. During our first year on our farm the lagoon was occupied by turtles, frogs and black snakes....the snakes got evicted with extreme prejudice. I really like frogs and didn't want to see the snakes eliminate them.

Now I am just praying for rain to fill the big pond up.
 

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