New pond owner - where to begin

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Rlahey3378, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. Rlahey3378

    Rlahey3378

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    Hi,

    I just recently moved to a home with a small pond in western NY. Calculations put the pond at approx. 150,000 gallons and a max center depth of around 10 feet. There is drainage in and out of the pond. I spent last summer/fall cleaning out the common waste that accumulates over time and neglect. I also added the blue colorant and it seems to have helped with the reduction of new growth. The water this spring looks pretty clean all things considered. However, there doesn't appear to be too many fish in there as previous years so I'm told by the previous owner. Fridgid winters of past along with last summers drought caused the pond to drain almost 3/4 of the way (has since refilled all the way). I'm not looking to spend a fortune right away but over time I'd like to invest into it to bring life back.

    What are some of the first steps I should take before just dumping fish right into it? Pumps, filters, bottom feeders? Any advice and tips is appreciated.

    Much thanks!
     
    Rlahey3378, Mar 4, 2017
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  2. Rlahey3378

    MitchM

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    Welcome!
    If this pond has a stream in and out, you should not be adding any colorant, it will only drain into the natural waterways. Also, adding non native fish could be violating your state laws.
    Is it being filled from surface runoff?
    What is the drainage in and out?
    Can you post any pictures?
    What is the existing vegetation in and around this pond?
     
    MitchM, Mar 4, 2017
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  3. Rlahey3378

    Rlahey3378

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    I won't add any more colorant if this is the case.
    In regards to fish, I wasn't going to put in any in until I spoke with my local DEC contact. I'm a ways from adding them.
    It's is mostly filled from surface run off and rain/snow.
    The drainage into the pond is water from the woods to keep from becoming a swampland.
    I'll try for pictures at a later date.
    There isn't much vegetation around the pond. It sits in the middle of my back yard. I mow all around the sides and weed wack where needed. The edges slope slightly down about a foot into the water. Not much to it.

    I'm looking to get the water moving and clean to support future life.
     
    Rlahey3378, Mar 4, 2017
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  4. Rlahey3378

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Pumps and filtration are not usual additions to natural (earthen-bottom) ponds. Aeration, on the other hand, is a major asset.
    First thing that I would recommend is that you have the water tested to establish a biochemical baseline from which to work.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Mar 4, 2017
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  5. Rlahey3378

    DeepWater The Great Abyss

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    Mowing and weed whacking all around the sides? Sounds like it's missing a buffer zone for shoreline habitat. I'm picturing it looks like a golf course lawn all the way down to the water's edge. Are you up for native shoreline plants to encourage waterfowl and amphibian presence?
     
    DeepWater, Mar 4, 2017
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  6. Rlahey3378

    adavisus

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    Picking a book or two on ponds, water gardening from the library might be a useful start
     
    adavisus, Mar 4, 2017
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  7. Rlahey3378

    Rlahey3378

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    I will have the water tested first then. Thank you for the tip!
     
    Rlahey3378, Mar 4, 2017
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  8. Rlahey3378

    Rlahey3378

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    The dirt/mud area between the grass edge and water that slopes down has some growth that I keep. I only keep it mowed nice bc when I moved in it was so overgrown you could hardly tell a pond was there. The pond is usually loaded with frogs. I've seen snappers and small turtles in it along with snakes as well. I get all sorts of birds in and out and have seen small four-legged varmints... Muskrats maybe. Last fall there was a beaver for a short time too. No shortage of wildlife.
     
    Rlahey3378, Mar 4, 2017
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  9. Rlahey3378

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Where are you located?
     
    Meyer Jordan, Mar 4, 2017
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  10. Rlahey3378

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Small pond? that thing is huge!'

    Welcome to our group
     
    addy1, Mar 4, 2017
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  11. Rlahey3378

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    DUH!

    Penn state University would be your closest lab to provide a really comprehensive test. You will need more information than can be gained from a hobbyist test kit.
    http://agsci.psu.edu/aasl/water-testing/pond-and-lake-water
     
    Meyer Jordan, Mar 4, 2017
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  12. Rlahey3378

    MitchM

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    It sounds like a great backyard project.
    Try and source a local supplier of native marginal plants.
    Don't try to plant the typical pond plants that you find in garden centres.
     
    MitchM, Mar 4, 2017
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  13. Rlahey3378

    adavisus

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    Some native plants are likely to be the worst brutes imaginable and a nightmare down the road on an itty bitty 150k pond

    Being picky about invasive habits would exclude spatterdocks, cat tails,,phragmites and quite a few other beastly itty bitty pond chokers, or you will end up seeing them romp faster than you can yank them

    If you can lift them

    Given that there are snapping turtles and muskrats, that's all the nice tasty pretty plants gone... Might be a good idea to bookmark how to, relocate those....

    Some upside with some beastly plant grazers, a recipe for duck in plum sauce. nom nom
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017
    adavisus, Mar 4, 2017
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  14. Rlahey3378

    MitchM

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    Hopefully invasive species are not commercially available.
     
    MitchM, Mar 5, 2017
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  15. Rlahey3378

    adavisus

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    They are the cheapest ones... the ones folk are most desperate to get rid of
     
    adavisus, Mar 5, 2017
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  16. Rlahey3378

    Rlahey3378

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    I am located about 30 minutes east of Rochester, NY
     
    Rlahey3378, Mar 5, 2017
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  17. Rlahey3378

    Rlahey3378

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    My bad... 'small' for my area. Some ponds around me are multiple acres big
     
    Rlahey3378, Mar 5, 2017
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  18. Rlahey3378

    Rlahey3378

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    Ok I won't... I'll see what's local. I was hoping between the lily pads and different grasses that it would be enough plants/vegetation for now...
     
    Rlahey3378, Mar 5, 2017
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  19. Rlahey3378

    PondMutt

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    PondMutt, Mar 6, 2017
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  20. Rlahey3378

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Probably around 1/10th acre. 150,000 gallons is small for an earthen-bottom pond.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Mar 6, 2017
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