I found a pond, I need advice


Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
49
Reaction score
26
Location
Central Arkansas
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
My wife and I bought a house on 4 city lots. The back lots where completely overgrown. In the process of cleaning up the place I find a concrete pond with a rock waterfall feature. I cleaned it out and want to get it back up and running. The pond if filled from a sump pump from under ground springs. That is from our 800sqft bunker we discovered but that's not for here. What should my first steps be? It wasn't built with any kind of skimmer area. The pond has some minor cracks but nothing some sealer can't fix
20180202_153132.jpg
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
34,123
Reaction score
18,991
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
Welcome to our group!

Guess you need to find the power source, figure out what plumbing i.e. pipes are around, get a pump. First fix the leaks.
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,605
Reaction score
14,575
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
Welcome and agree ,I guess no fish in it .Next you will need a filter and fix the cracks .I wonder why they would have it filled from an underground spring like that unless the leak is bad .Had a pond growing up that was fed by a spring but dad would only turn on the pump when the water got low in the pond .Now I know they have float valves to do it automatically .
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
49
Reaction score
26
Location
Central Arkansas
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
Welcome and agree ,I guess no fish in it .Next you will need a filter and fix the cracks .I wonder why they would have it filled from an underground spring like that unless the leak is bad .Had a pond growing up that was fed by a spring but dad would only turn on the pump when the water got low in the pond .Now I know they have float valves to do it automatically .
The spring water comes from a sump pump to keep an underground bunker dry. The sump pump pumps Around every hour. It pumps enough water that the pond doesn't go dry. Before I hooked the sump pump up The pond was bone dry so I know it leaks The pond was put in to collect the sump pump water.
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,605
Reaction score
14,575
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
How dirty is the water that comes from this bunker .Can you get a test kit to test it .Are you planning on fish or just a water feature .Do you have drought times where this bunker does not have any water to add to the pond if there are still leaks .Do you have a high water table tha keeps this bunker wet all the time .What was this bunker used for.I know you are new to the house but maybe some one knows the answer ,like maybe a neighbor
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,605
Reaction score
14,575
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
Can I ask if there is runoff from the property going into this bunker as this could effect the health of fish
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
49
Reaction score
26
Location
Central Arkansas
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
How dirty is the water that comes from this bunker .Can you get a test kit to test it .Are you planning on fish or just a water feature .Do you have drought times where this bunker does not have any water to add to the pond if there are still leaks .Do you have a high water table tha keeps this bunker wet all the time .What was this bunker used for.I know you are new to the house but maybe some one knows the answer ,like maybe a neighbor
The water is crystal clear. I was told that when the bunker was built 2 springs developed. And that's where the pond came in. From mid last summer (when we bought the hous) the sump pump always pumped. I had the hose going into the yard. Just recently made it go to the pond. So I can dry out the yard and start cleaning the place up.the bunker was built in the late 50's as a bomb shelter. The water table is high. When we got the house the sump pump did not work, as a result the bunker had about 4' of standing water in it. With the sun working bunker stays mostly dry. It needs to be water proofed but that's a whole other matter lol.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
49
Reaction score
26
Location
Central Arkansas
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
How dirty is the water that comes from this bunker .Can you get a test kit to test it .Are you planning on fish or just a water feature .Do you have drought times where this bunker does not have any water to add to the pond if there are still leaks .Do you have a high water table tha keeps this bunker wet all the time .What was this bunker used for.I know you are new to the house but maybe some one knows the answer ,like maybe a neighbor
Wow! Your new home purchase has been exciting! Lots of fun discoveries!
Can I ask if there is runoff from the property going into this bunker as this could effect the health of fish
There won't be any surface run off from rain. The ground slops great.
 

Attachments

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,605
Reaction score
14,575
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
really strange so guessing you are keeping the bunker then .You would still need to test the water ,just because it is clear and clean means nothing .We always think that but sad to say it is not always true .Can you find out anything about your property from your town hall .Plus history on your house really helps .I know this from the first house I ever bought .HMMM interesting moonshine sight ,is that the hillbilly coming out in me LOL .My grandfather was an old time hooch maker in PA and I still make apple pie moonshine but PA people call it hooch ;):)
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2017
Messages
1,063
Reaction score
729
Location
North Oklahoma
Hardiness Zone
7a
Country
That’d be an awesome find! This is a great place to get info if you want to keep the pond. And all kinds of info about fish, plants, pumps, etc.
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
49
Reaction score
26
Location
Central Arkansas
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
really strange so guessing you are keeping the bunker then .You would still need to test the water ,just because it is clear and clean means nothing .We always think that but sad to say it is not always true .Can you find out anything about your property from your town hall .Plus history on your house really helps .I know this from the first house I ever bought .HMMM interesting moonshine sight ,is that the hillbilly coming out in me LOL .My grandfather was an old time hooch maker in PA and I still make apple pie moonshine but PA people call it hooch ;):)
I know some history of this house. I have spoken to people that owned it the longest. Built in 1930 buy a local county judge. The people I know movers here when the man was 2, he is now 73. The man's dad built the bunker when the guy was 15. This family owned the house untill 2012. The pond wasn't used in tthe past 30 some years .
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,605
Reaction score
14,575
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
Can you get old pics to add to the interest of the house .Shame a 15 year old would never put that much work into anything these days unless it was a video game .They have no clue what they are missing .I sure am glad I grew up when the outdoors was the great advantage .
 

brokensword

Not all those who wander are lost
Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Messages
821
Reaction score
646
Location
Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
odds are your 'springs' ground water is fine; I'd test just so you know the parameters (of the ground water supply for your pond), esp if you're going to continue to use this as your supply. If you're going to continuously be putting in water via the sump pump, make sure you have an overflow, one that won't allow any fish/inhabitants to overflow with it. I'd put in lots of plants to help filter. If you're worried re constant filling (i.e. it affects your parameters in case the water is found to be very alkaline/soft/whatever) disturbing whatever pond parameters you want, you can have a tee/shutoff/diverter such that when the pond is full, you can divert the water elsewhere (you'll have to determine this elsewhere and fix it so it won't affect the pond+surroundings. I'm thinking drainage hose to somewhere far, far away or a french drain type fixture). This way you can use the spring water feed for filling if/when you want. But it might be that your spring water supply is just fine and you'll be having constant water changes (like a stream).

I don't have the numbers handy, but research what parameter range you need (i.e., ph, kh, gh, salinity) if you're you're going to have fish/wildlife in the pond. I know addy's well water is very soft and she had to add amendments to get started. In my case, my water (well, also) is approx ph 8.4 and hard but over time and many plants, is less and more mainstream re params. Hence why you should know what you're starting/dealing with and how to adjust.

Once that's established, if you need a liner (in case you don't want/trust any patching of leaks, etc) get one (45 mm EPDM). You'll need a pump and filter (bio as well as mechanical), if you're going to go the 'fish' route. And sizing will depend on your desired load. Typically, water should be moved 1.5 times per hour, but that's just a guideline, not a rule

There's more, but you can get started with these ideas and then do some reading here; lots of problems and solutions. I'm sure we've had some of yours.

Hope this helps.

Michael
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
49
Reaction score
26
Location
Central Arkansas
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
odds are your 'springs' ground water is fine; I'd test just so you know the parameters (of the ground water supply for your pond), esp if you're going to continue to use this as your supply. If you're going to continuously be putting in water via the sump pump, make sure you have an overflow, one that won't allow any fish/inhabitants to overflow with it. I'd put in lots of plants to help filter. If you're worried re constant filling (i.e. it affects your parameters in case the water is found to be very alkaline/soft/whatever) disturbing whatever pond parameters you want, you can have a tee/shutoff/diverter such that when the pond is full, you can divert the water elsewhere (you'll have to determine this elsewhere and fix it so it won't affect the pond+surroundings. I'm thinking drainage hose to somewhere far, far away or a french drain type fixture). This way you can use the spring water feed for filling if/when you want. But it might be that your spring water supply is just fine and you'll be having constant water changes (like a stream).

I don't have the numbers handy, but research what parameter range you need (i.e., ph, kh, gh, salinity) if you're you're going to have fish/wildlife in the pond. I know addy's well water is very soft and she had to add amendments to get started. In my case, my water (well, also) is approx ph 8.4 and hard but over time and many plants, is less and more mainstream re params. Hence why you should know what you're starting/dealing with and how to adjust.

Once that's established, if you need a liner (in case you don't want/trust any patching of leaks, etc) get one (45 mm EPDM). You'll need a pump and filter (bio as well as mechanical), if you're going to go the 'fish' route. And sizing will depend on your desired load. Typically, water should be moved 1.5 times per hour, but that's just a guideline, not a rule

There's more, but you can get started with these ideas and then do some reading here; lots of problems and solutions. I'm sure we've had some of yours.

Hope this helps.

Michael
I do want to add fish. Maybe not koi I was thinking of common goldfish. I have been in the aquarium hobby for a few years and understand the nitrogen cycle. I have never had a pond and not exactly sure what to expect.
Not sure where my water parameters need to be. I would like plants but not really sure what kinds. It's not like I can chunk some chato in it lol.
I have been watching the diypondfilter guy on YouTube. I like some of his surrounding plants but he seems to only have Lilly's in the water. I want more plants than just Lilly's in my water column.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
1,253
Reaction score
755
Location
carolinas
Hardiness Zone
8a
Hornwort, pond iris, hardy waterlily would be a safe bet to start off with. Over time you can get picky about trying more exotic stuff
 

brokensword

Not all those who wander are lost
Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Messages
821
Reaction score
646
Location
Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
What adav said. The idea with plants is that you naturalize and it makes keeping a pond a lot easier, imo. I have goldfish in my pond as it's not really that large (2700 gallons) for koi, though, I've lately been wondering if I could sneak one in! The hobby gets to you that way, so be warned. If you start off small, the pond population should balance itself out as any additional eggs/babies get eaten before they can be a problem. At least, that's my experience. You can't feed them all the time though as if your fish are 'full', they're less likely to go hunting for anything else, you know? I typically don't feed at all during the spawning period.

Hornwort can be invasive, so be aware. You MAY have to do some harvesting if you find it taking over. I didn't add any to my pond until two years ago (had a pond for going on 7 years now) and I'm still trying to get it to proliferate. The fish will eat it, as will turtles (I have 3 smaller ones now), and I think that's my struggle. There's a lot of nice plantings out there, just do some research on what will grow in your planting zone and be careful with anything that might take over. Unless you're the type that can keep up with maintenance.

Ponds are a bit different than aquariums, but it's a nice background to have. A pond is still an enclosed system (like an aquarium) but you have more fluctuations re temp, water addition/pollution, and gf+koi are a LOT hardier than tropical fish. In general, some water movement (surface turbitity), mech+bio filtration is some form, and plants will keep you just fine. All the mentioned can be tailored to your final pond vision. Some aren't even needed but I think they're the basics.

btw, you mention a skimmer in your OP but you don't need one to have a pond. It can help but it's not necessary.

Just start a thread if you have questions you can't find answers to by just reading here. Lots of nice folks will help.

Michael
 
Last edited:

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
34,123
Reaction score
18,991
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
I was thinking of common goldfish.
Get shubunkins, great colors, poor mans Koi and so easy to take care of, non fussy.
Hornwort can be invasive, so be aware. You MAY have to do some harvesting if you find it taking over. I didn't add any to my pond until two years ago (had a pond for going on 7 years now) and I'm still trying to get it to proliferate.
Mine is growing great, deep end of the pond, this year it did not die back over winter, have a forest of it growing. May need to purge some, but the fish love the forest.
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,605
Reaction score
14,575
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
You don't want something that breeds like bunnies .I know people like iris but the root ball as the grow can be bad for a liner or cement .I know I have removed a few from abandoned ponds
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top