New Pool - Pond Questions


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Afternoon all,
I have a few questions and am hoping for some helpful advice.
Ill start with pond details. It is not being used for swimming.
Location : Australia, Queensland ( South east coast )
Pool converted into pond (Approx. 40000L)
Gravel on the bottom
There are 3 @ 12inch rubber air cylinders also for extra air/ turnover
Water is pumped from the deep end out and into an approx. 1000L DIY external bog filter ( filled with pea gravel ) and waterfalled back in at the shallow end.
Current fish are around 150 livebearers (guppies, swords, mollies) and around 50 or so small Australian natives (gudgeons, rainbows, blue eyes)
Has been running for around 6 months now.
Along the outer edges I have DIY ledges that are 150mm wide x 75mm deep channels made from 9mm perforated sheet and they are at various lengths.
These are filled with peagravel and as can be seen have most of my plants in them (reeds, grassses etc).
My questions relate to the plants and my best options.
The plants haven't died but haven't thrived either, and I am aware I just came out of winter ( never freezes where I am ) and coming into spring things may pick up.
However I would like opinions on the best way to increase plant growth?
As it is peagravel I have not put fertilizer tablets in due to it potentially just entering the whole water body and causing algal blooms. Am I correct in my thinking here?
My two thoughts are these -
1. Increase my fish load alot to provide more overall waste and the nitrogen cycle to help fuel the plant roots
2. Replace the peagravel, and line my channels with some fabric or flynetting etc and use kitty litter and plant into this allowing the use of fertilizer tabs?

I apologize for the long rant and if anyone has any advice I would be greatly appreciative.
 

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brokensword

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they have slow release fertilizers in a 'tube' that you stick next to/under your plant; this keeps the fertilizer relatively close to the roots. I wouldn't worry too much about the rest of the pond UNTIL you begin to see an algal bloom; then cut back as there's more than enough nutrients already in the water for the plants you have. My plants DO take some time to 'take off' as I enter summer with some only now (my taro) thriving. Also, sometimes plants need more iron (you'll know if the leaves are dark green veined whilst the rest of the leaf is yellow-green) and you can get chelated iron and do the same thing with plastic tubes in which you drill very small holes for release. Make the holes really really small as I found the iron to be almost like dust and my holes were a bit too large!
 

addy1

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Some people put in steel wool pads near the plants to release iron slowly.
 
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Are the planters around the edges solid? Or with just a hole at the bottom? Or mesh?

My mom's pond had aquatic plants in pots we submerged as they were at the pond store. But they were not doing well. When she took them out to replant them, she said they smelled like sewer in the roots. The pots were submerged in water with just a hole at the bottom which made for nonmoving rotting water in the pots. She put them in aquatic plant baskets with pea gravel instead.

I would be sure there are sufficient holes in your planters that there is water movement with any current you have in the pool. Otherwise the plants are wet, but not with fresh water.

I also notice it appears all of your plants are partially under water. Some plants prefer to only have parts of their roots under water, and the rest of the plant dry.

I see your pool pond is only 6 months old and you are just coming out of winter. Maybe it is just getting started in it's first spring and the plants will take off when they are sure no more cold is coming?

Are any floating plants available to make more shade for the water such as water hyacinth, lily and more ? I think you could use more plants looking at how much volume you have.

I would try adding some different plants to your bog and planters. Maybe something else would do better ?

Those are my thoughts. I see you have some algae so there are nutrients for plants to grow in. So I would hold off on more fish for now :) PLus you may have some spawning frenzies that naturally increase your fish numbers.

You have a beautiful set up! I love the bog and it is a great use of the pool! It will look great as it fills in.

With the waterfall being the main aeration, you might add additional aerators to be sure oxygen is not a factor in the pond health and be sure there is good water circulation. I do not think there is a thing of over aeration. Oh duh, air cylinders are oxygenators! Nevermind on that point.
 

addy1

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Welcome to the forum!

Your pool/pond will get better as things grow and settle in.
 
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Thankyou all for the advice :) I will be sure to give any suggestions a try :)

@Laaf To answer your question, the planters are a channel made from perforated mesh ( 9mm holes ) and filled with pea gravel so there is plenty of free flowing water to access the roots. And upon closer inspection some of the plants have roots extending out from these channels into open water. As for shade, There are 3 Lillies in the deep end where the water is less disturbed and they have just started to pick up and grow since coming out of winter so hoping for more shade at this end soon.

Thanks again all
 
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Looks great!
More plants are needed in your bog.
My bog is growing wild. I can hardly see the gravel now. But in the early Spring it was a slow go. It took the plants maybe a month to mature.
I'm in Pennsylvania, so our winters can be rough.

I don't use any pots for the plants either in the bog or pond.
In the bog, they get planted directly in the gravel. No pots, no soil.
In the pond, I use either nothing or mesh planting bags. You dont want to confine the roots to a pot. They are better off with the roots having as much direct contact with the water as possible.
 
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I tried an experiment in my pond with a couple bunches of papyrus . i placed them on a aquablock that was sitting on the bottom of part of the pond with the top of the block right at the waters surface. These plants thrived no gravel all there was was the roots growing within the aquablocks and did they grow the roots looked like huge sections of steel wool. I have a couple pictures in my blog the link is below. And like was mentioned some more plants in the bog would help tremendously . i would even look at getting some water cress the stuff grows like wild fire yet is easy to rip out.
 
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Looks great!
More plants are needed in your bog.
My bog is growing wild. I can hardly see the gravel now. But in the early Spring it was a slow go. It took the plants maybe a month to mature.
I'm in Pennsylvania, so our winters can be rough.

I don't use any pots for the plants either in the bog or pond.
In the bog, they get planted directly in the gravel. No pots, no soil.
In the pond, I use either nothing or mesh planting bags. You dont want to confine the roots to a pot. They are better off with the roots having as much direct contact with the water as possible.
When you said my bog needs more plants, I was thinking of finding something else to put in there.

My biggest concern was having to many roots etc, but I'm assuming I just aim for plants that aren't way to root heavy ( I don't know the terms ).

I know your from the US so plants can be different so not sure what you have in yours you could mention to give me ideas?



As for the rest of my plants, how can I determine what they need? Most of the plants I have around the edges are all marginal plants as they sit roughly about 15cm in the water which I thought was fine for marginals? Someone suggested fertilizer stakes, but here in Australia there is nowhere I can find these at all! Or online ! Best thing we have are various brands of fertilizer tabs. Will these be ok to put in the roots of my plants that are in pea gravel?

Someone also mentioned Iron which some of the fertilizer tabs I can get have this as an ingredient, so would this be sufficient?



Sorry for the hassle !

Cheers

Sean
 
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brokensword

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When you said my bog needs more plants, I was thinking of finding something else to put in there.

My biggest concern was having to many roots etc, but I'm assuming I just aim for plants that aren't way to root heavy ( I don't know the terms ).

I know your from the US so plants can be different so not sure what you have in yours you could mention to give me ideas?



As for the rest of my plants, how can I determine what they need? Most of the plants I have around the edges are all marginal plants as they sit roughly about 15cm in the water which I thought was fine for marginals? Someone suggested fertilizer stakes, but here in Australia there is nowhere I can find these at all! Or online ! Best thing we have are various brands of fertilizer tabs. Will these be ok to put in the roots of my plants that are in pea gravel?

Someone also mentioned Iron which some of the fertilizer tabs I can get have this as an ingredient, so would this be sufficient?



Sorry for the hassle !

Cheers

Sean
from your initial pic, imo, you need a lot of floaters (water lettuce, water hyacinth types) and need to cover at least half the surface to combat the free floating algae. The marginals you have are not enough. And most marginals are at water height with their roots below in the substrate, so I'd raise them up. Floaters have long aggressive roots which will filter the water column much more efficiently as they're RIGHT THERE! Not sure you can get the suggested plants in OZ but at least look for other 'floating' plants to add. Once you have the algae problem under control, IF your plants still look anemic, then you could add fish/more fish.
 

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