How to do this right?

Discussion in 'Newbies to Garden Ponds' started by zac, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. zac

    zac

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    I recently bought a house that has a 1200 gallon pond in it. It has a 44 gallon drum with the filter stuff in it and a UV submerseible UV light for up to 1500 gallons. I was told that the filtration system is very large for the size of the pond. It has some lilly pads in it and what i believe to be duckweed.

    I want to do this right so I am looking for resources to help me. I will probably end uyp buying a book so I need recomendations. What online resources are there for a crash course.

    I'm sure there is a wealth of knowledge here so here is what I want to do. I want to create a sort of ecosystem that, aside from filtration and cleaning, can take care of itself. I know that mosquitos have to be addressed. There are a couple good sized frogs living in it. I need to know what my options are for fish. I'm not really interested in Koi because it sound a little too involved for what I am lookin for. I would really love to put trout in there but I doubt they would live long in 2' deep water.

    What else do I need to know? Are there plants/ animals that I should consider that would benefit the pond. I saw you can even buy dragonfly larva but that it may not work well with mosquito fish because the fish will eat them. ??? Lots of info out there. It can be a bit overwhelming.
     
    zac, Feb 7, 2010
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  2. zac

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    I think you must mean that your pond is 1200 gals right? I think you would be very happy w/ some goldfish in there. There a different kinds like Comets w/ the nice long flowing tails that come in various colors and Shubunkins that are calico colored or just the common goldfish w/ the shorter tails. They should do well in 2' of water unless your weather is so cold that it would freeze that far down. In that case you may have to cover the pond in the winter or add a heater which will cost you in your power bills. Usually 3' is better cuz the fish like to go down deep in the water to stay warmer in the winter but that's not gonna help your situation now. I started w/ just buying 12 goldfish and never fed them anything for several yrs and they survived just fine eating the bugs and worms just like they would out in a natural setting. They also don't over populate themselves that way as if you would feed them there will become too many of them really fast. I did start feeding my fish in 2009 right before fall cuz we had a real bad winter in 2008 and I lost some fish cuz I think they could have used some supplemental food to get them through that winter. I also should have turned off my waterfall as I have a 2500 gal pond and the pump I have was pretty powerful and when the falls hit the water it really circulated the water too much and made it cold way down below also. So this winter I turned it all off after cleaning the gunk out and they all seem fine this year. You are supposed to stop feeding fish in fall when the water stays I believe below 50* . If you keep feeding in the cold the food in the fishes gut could rot and kill them cuz their metabolism slows way down. Then you start to feed them again in the spring when temps in water are staying above 50*. Make sure you have a thermometer for you pond that floats and tie it off somewhere so you can reach it. I'm sure others w/ more info will chime right in here soon and you will have tons of good info to get you started on the right track. Happy Ponding Zac

    [​IMG]
     
    j.w, Feb 7, 2010
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  3. zac

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    like he said.. start feeding at about 50* and feed spring / fall formula foods, they are high in wheatgerm and very easily digested until your water hits 65* consistantly, you can even wait for 70* before switching to higher protein summer foods,
     
    koiguy1969, Feb 7, 2010
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  4. zac

    zac

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    Right now the water in the pond is totally clear. There is quite a bit of sludge at the bottom though. I have been scooping it with a net and using a sort of vacume cleaner that came with the pond. It removes a lot of material but there is still a lot there. At what point should I just drain the thing and shovel that stuff out? I have some lillies in there and I don't want to hurt them. A lot of the roots are exposed. Is that okay? Do lillies need thinning or pruning?

    What kind of solutions do people have for making the bottom of the pond more attractive. I have read that you do not want a lot of stuff down there to avoid dead zones for water circulation. I would like to have a more natural looking bottom theough. Would it be okay to add just a thin layer of rock/ gravel on the bottom?
     
    zac, Feb 7, 2010
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  5. zac

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    definately clean the gunk out of your pond, then leave your bottom black liner it will get a coating of bacteria and algea on it and look quite natural on its own in due time. rocks on the bottom collect fish waste and decaying plant matter and as these dissolve they release toxins into water, a bare botton allows your pump and filter to gather these in the filter for dismissal from the system. when you eleviate the waste build up your filter has less work to do to achieve and maintain higher water quality.
     
    koiguy1969, Feb 7, 2010
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  6. zac

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    Just to let ya know jw is a she not a he [​IMG]
     
    j.w, Feb 7, 2010
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  7. zac

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    Sorry
     
    koiguy1969, Feb 8, 2010
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  8. zac

    oldmarine Married 32 years

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    Hi Zac,

    Koiguy and JW know their stuff. Your asking some great questions about your pond, so your on the right track.

    In addition to what koiguy and JW were sharing, if you can lift out your water lilies, and gently sweep or vacuum the bottum of your pond then place the plants back into the pond. If you lilies are in need of transplanting, now is the time to think about doing it. Read more of the postings about on the 'how to's' in transplanting lilies or google 'water lilies', and you will come up with some good information.

    Happy ponding,

    Rich :biggrin:
     
    oldmarine, Feb 9, 2010
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  9. zac

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    Would you like to correct this post?
     
    DrDave, Feb 9, 2010
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  10. zac

    zac

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    yeah it is 1200 gallons but I can;t figure out how to edit
     
    zac, Feb 9, 2010
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  11. zac

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    You can't unless you catch it right away. I took care of it for you.
     
    DrDave, Feb 9, 2010
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  12. zac

    zac

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    I drained the pond to try and get all the muck off the bottom. I think the drain plugedd way down there somewere because it stopped with about 8 inches. I tried to stuff a garden hose down the hole but it didn't seem to do much. Anyway, I don;t know what to do with my lillies. They were once in a pot but it seems that there is a large mass of roots with a small pot buried somewere in the middle. Should I prune these back or something. They sure have collected a lot of debris.
     
    zac, Feb 10, 2010
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  13. zac

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    That's bottom drains for you... I don't like them. As for your Lilies, trim the roots back to the container and if you want transplant it into a larger one. I like to split my plants into
    1/4ths and make 4 out of one.
     
    DrDave, Feb 10, 2010
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  14. zac

    zac

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    So if those things tend not to work then how do you drain the pond. I guess I could drop my pump in there and pump the left over water into my lawn. It was pretty cool getting down in there. I am a fly fisherman and I must have scooped up a bazillion mayfly nymphs and a couple dozen dragonfly and damselfly nymphs. A couple of frogs that I have never seen before. One of them was almost blueish.
     
    zac, Feb 10, 2010
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  15. zac

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    In 42 years of ponds, I have only had to drain a couple times. Submersible pumps do just fine to empty a pond.
     
    DrDave, Feb 10, 2010
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