New to ponds in Southeastern Ohio

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by natbla, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. natbla

    natbla

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    I have been lurking for a couple of months. I finally decided to join, so here is my introduction.

    I live in Southeastern OH. I moved here with my family in the first week of September. The house I bought came with an 1100 gal pond built into the hillside. It had not been well maintained for a number of years. But it was one of the reasons I bought the house. Its pump was broken when I took ownership. So I replaced the pump with a larger pump that also came in a filter box and added 9 goldfish (they came with the pump). Then I talked to my neighbor about how to take care of it. He told me I needed to remove all the debris and extra organic material. I did the best I could without some kind of vacume. I took out three buckets of overgrown and decomposing root balls (save some for the next year, by re-sinking it). I pulled out a big pile of string algae, and have cleaned out the filter four times since the middle of October. Algae grows on the waterfall and its about 1/16 th of an inch deep in places. I've treated the pond a few times for algae and that kills off the algae on the rocks (I remove it by hand once its dead).

    Here are a few pictures of the pond. Its 8ft long, 4ft wide. It has three tiers to the depth. Its got a 18" shelf that's 2.5 ft deep, then it drops to 4 ft, and it looks to be another foot deeper under the waterfall. The back of the pond is about 9-12" behind the waterfall. The top of the waterfall is just the 1" corrugated piping from the pump jammed into the rocks and held in place by their weight. The line extends up behind and beneath the waterfall. I still need to trim the second set of grass that you see in the pictures. At the end of a stressful day I walk out my porch and watch the fish swim. I'm keeping the waterfall running to keep the ice open so the gasses can be exchanged.


    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture from the patio area. That is my dog Daisy

    [​IMG]

    Here is a close up of the waterfall. You can see some of the fish.
    [​IMG]

    Next year, I'd like to fully clean out the rest of the debris to get the pond back to its full depth. I'd like to rebuild the waterfall to include a basin instead of just the pipe at the top. I'd also like to add a small stream above with a small pond that I could build a platform next to for sitting or do meditative exercise. I'd also like to replace the brick with standard wall toppers to make it look nicer. As money allows, I'd even like to put in a better pump and filter mechanism so I can add koi to the gold fish and frogs living in the pond currently.
     
    natbla, Dec 11, 2011
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  2. natbla

    sissy sissy

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    Welcome and hope you enjoy your new home with daisy by your side .The pond looks good and it looks like it is partially above ground ,but be very careful of runoff from the back of the property and being in Ohio be careful of a fast freeze because that will empty your pond fast and burn out your pump .You should have really cleared out the pond completely before adding fish .What did you add to kill the algae in your pond as most algaecides are very dangerous to fish ,they say there not but they use mostly a form of copper or a cancer causing agent ..Algae on the waterfall rocks thats easy ,just turn off your pump and spray the algae with peroxide and leave the pump off for an hour and turn it back on algae will turn white and float into your filter or you can brush the heavy stuff away first .Koi get very big and are very fussy about there water conditions .I have koi and 9 years ago they were a couple of inches long and are now over 2 feet long
     
    sissy, Dec 11, 2011
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  3. natbla

    sissy sissy

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    You may need to go to lowes or home depot and go to the garden center to get what is called bird netting to keep the leaves out of your pond it is usually about 8 dollars for it and is plastic and black in color .How are you filtering it .The heavy spring rains may cause a problem for you as the water comes down that back lawn and washes into your pond.I would try to rake up most of those leaves back there as you don't want them washing into your pond
     
    sissy, Dec 11, 2011
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  4. natbla

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Love the pond, it almost looks as if the hill is sloped to keep the run off out of the pond. If not add a little back slopes to path the water.

    Koi are pretty, but so are shubunkins and comets etc. For that size of pond, if was me, I would stick with non-koi fish.

    You have some good ideas, for next year, that will make your waterfall even nicer. Right now it looks as if you have a spring feeding the pond, just coming out of the hill running through rocks into the pond. That would look really neat a small pond feeding a stream dropping into the larger pond.

    A pool net works great for scooping the bottom of a pond, it is fine netting and lifts out most stuff. I have one similar to this

    [​IMG] works great.


    I am not sure how cold it gets where you are at, watch for your waterfall freezing up, it can re-path the water and empty your pond pretty fast.
    I have an aerator running right now, the area of the pond away from the aerator is covered with ice this am, we hit 21

    And Welcome to our group!

    [​IMG]
     
    addy1, Dec 11, 2011
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  5. natbla

    natbla

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    You can't easily tell from the picture, but runoff isn't a problem as there is an extensive underground drainage system above the hill that the pond is built into, and the waterfall is all most a foot above the ground behind it. I didn't know about the specfics of cleaning until after I put the fish in, so I'm trying to make up for it over time.

    Last night the pond froze over in all but the waterfall landing zone. We hit the mid teens last night. I'm trying to rig a cheap heater today to allow me to turn off the waterfall and still keep open the water.
     
    natbla, Dec 11, 2011
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  6. natbla

    natbla

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    I do need to find a better net than the one that was here when they put back the pool supplies in the spring. After reading more on here, I'm leaning toward shubunkins instead of koi as I'm often very busy with work and family and a more tolerant fish would be ideal.
     
    natbla, Dec 11, 2011
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  7. natbla

    natbla

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    Well, this morning I ran out to do a quick shop for my wife at wally world. I picked up about $15 in aquarium aerator parts to see if I can rig up an air hole for the winter. My plan is to put it towards the front of the pond about 18" down and cover the pump with a plastic planter to keep it out of the elements. I am planning on using an old foam kick board with a hole in the middle to place the bubbler. I hope this works. To be safe I'm leaving the waterfall on tonight to make sure it works I hope we get warm enough to melt the thin side of the ice today (high of 36 today). We'll be below 20 degrees tonight and below freezing again at night for the next couple days.


    Any thoughts on thawing a hole to install? I was going to use my heat gun to help melt the ice, but would hot water be better?
     
    natbla, Dec 11, 2011
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  8. natbla

    HARO Pondcrastinator

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    Welcome to the forum, Natbla. Looks like you've been doing your homework! The heatgun is a nice idea, since the heat is concentrated in one spot, while hot water tends to spread over the ice and freeze. Depending on your weather, the air pump may work for you; I prefer a stock-tank de-icer, but then we can get to minus 25 or 30 for several weeks at a time! Good luck with your pond.
    John
     
    HARO, Dec 11, 2011
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  9. natbla

    sissy sissy

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    petco has a 4 gang aerator for 19 dollars and pet mountain has a 1 day today online deal as long as you buy 25 dollars of stuff you get free shipping they have a great pond heater I bought kh brand .The 4 gang aerator has the tubing and airstones come with it .It is for fish tanks but I used on my pond for 4 years and now use it to keep plants growing in my basement .Are you near Dayton my friend John is a cop there
     
    sissy, Dec 11, 2011
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  10. natbla

    natbla

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    The ice was already an inch thick by the time I started. I ended up using a combo of boiling water, the heat gun, and my hands to remove a 9 inch by 9 inch area. I think I'll add a second bubbler to increase the bubbles ($2 at Wally world). I did 2 holes and the other has already frozen over, but the bubbler hole seams to be holding its own.

    I'm in the Hocking Hills region, about 50 miles SE of Columbus and 30 miles NW of Athens.
     
    natbla, Dec 11, 2011
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  11. natbla

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    [​IMG] natbla
    Glad you joined us and sounds like you are getting it all under control w/ the freezing. I don't have one for my pond(doesn't get that cold here) but I hear those de-icers work well and good to have on hand. I have had good luck using bubbling water pumps and also air stone hooked to small aquarium pump concealed in water proof container on porch and think I am leaving my falls running all winter this year.
     
    j.w, Dec 11, 2011
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  12. natbla

    sissy sissy

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    reason I say mostly above ground as it will have a tendency to get colder faster as the winds can get around it and make the water freeze faster .You are protected some what as you have the deck there .How much sun does the pond get .In the winter great to have the sun to warm it but in the summer not so great .I put a double wall around my pond so I could foam core around it to insulate it .Who ever built your pond did a nice job and building it close to the deck will give you a chance to hear and see it .I guess poor daisy does not like being tied up by the looks of her face .Are you going to fence your yard for daisy as it will help keep other critters at bay also .Daisy would love her free run too .
     
    sissy, Dec 11, 2011
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  13. natbla

    natbla

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    Daisy is looking forlorn because I'm not playing with her or taking her for a long walk. The bubbler is working fantastically as the 9 X 9 hole has grown considerably over the last 6 hrs. At the other corner of the pond the ice has added additional thickness at the same time.

    The back of the house is South facing so the pond gets good winter sun and in the summer the tall grasses give some shade to it as well. I'm thinking of planting some bamboo next to it as well (the dwarf kind) but I'll see. I will be making the grass bunches smaller as they have not been split in at least 5 years and are too big at this point. They will still give good shade.
     
    natbla, Dec 12, 2011
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  14. natbla

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I am hoping our aerator works to keep our ice open, last year the pond had a 8 inch layer of ice, but I had just shut all off, didn't think I had any fish to worry about. So far it is doing well.
     
    addy1, Dec 12, 2011
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  15. natbla

    sissy sissy

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    poor daisy and make sure if you get bamboo it is the clumping kind or you will have it all over .Down here bamboo grows like crazy
     
    sissy, Dec 12, 2011
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  16. natbla

    Becky Administrator

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    Hello and welcome to the forums! :) That's a nice looking pond you've got, and it sounds like you have made a big improvement to it already. There is a great bunch of people here and there is lots to learn - nice to have you here!
     
    Becky, Dec 12, 2011
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  17. natbla

    natbla

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    Last night got down to 14 degrees and the bubbler hole shrunk to its original size. I think I will add the second bubbler as its cheap and the pump is built to run two of them.

    If I get some bamboo it will definitely be the clumping type. I've done a little research on them to the point I know I need to go slow and make sure I get the right kind. I was surprised to find out that there is a species of bamboo that is native to southern OH. Unfortunately, its not a clumping kind and it gets rather large as well.
     
    natbla, Dec 12, 2011
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  18. natbla

    sissy sissy

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    yeh the bamboo that grows wild here gets to be 30 or 40 feet high and the kind I see ,mostly is yellow but there is some black .They seem to grow a lot of pampas grass here and zebra grass around ponds ,but they are agressive growers too .I have elephant ears and cannas and black elephant ears .Elephant ears may work for you but you would have to protect the bulbs in the winter or take them up 'I also had elephant ears in NJ and they would get 5 or 6 ft high and down here they get to be 8 to 10 feet high
     
    sissy, Dec 12, 2011
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  19. natbla

    digginponds pondaholic

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    cool pond welcome Daisy!! :goldfish: I know the feeling of cold,just wait till wintertime,adding another pump is a +
     
    digginponds, Dec 12, 2011
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  20. natbla

    natbla

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    Here are a few pictures I took last night before the camera battery died

    [​IMG]

    The new bubbler

    [​IMG]

    A close up of the falls

    [​IMG]

    And some of my nine fish under the ice

    [​IMG]
     
    natbla, Dec 13, 2011
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