Newbie from Columbia, SC

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by PHRoberts, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. PHRoberts

    PHRoberts

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    Well, I'm finally thinking about getting our "mosquito pond" up and running... The pond was here when we bought the house, but the former owner lives next door so I have a little bit of information about it. I'm told that it's rebar reinforced concrete, and was put in when the house was built in 1997. There is a 1.5" PVC pipe sticking up in the middle of the pond, and a return on the bottom on one side. There is a big plastic laundry basket filled with lava rock that has served as a biological filter.

    I have no idea how many gallons it holds, but the pond is pretty big... you could get all four corners of a car or truck in there, but it tapers some to the bottom.

    We have lived here for about 4 years, and have gotten a great deal of enjoyment watching the frogs and toads that show up year after year. This year a red slider turtle has made it his home, and I added a water lilly and water iris from Lowe's this spring that are starting to look pretty nice.

    I test fitted the pump that the former owner gave to me. It's external and sits about 6 feet away from the pond right under my fireplace and near the foundation curtain wall. I have determined that it's too noisy and will cost too much to operate - so my first task is to find a new pump. The one I have is a Sears 1HP sprinkler pump, and looks very much like a Flotec model that I saw at Home Depot.

    I would love to get this pond looking nice, but don't have a lot of time to spend with it. Fish aren't a big deal to me... we're very happy with our frogs and turtle. So I think I'm looking mostly for advice on the best pump, possibly adding lighting, and keeping the water looking fairly clear.

    Our backyard is wooded, so the pond gets a fair amount of pine needles and has a layer of sludge on the bottom. .

    I'm looking forward to everyone's advice on a moderately priced pump and ideas on some low maintenance things I can do to make it more attractive! :frown:

    Heath
     
    PHRoberts, Jun 1, 2010
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  2. PHRoberts

    PHRoberts

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    Oh, and I tried to post some pictures, but I don't have the post count yet... as soon as I can post a bit more I'll put them here.
     
    PHRoberts, Jun 1, 2010
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  3. PHRoberts

    PHRoberts

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    Here are a few pictures from about 5 years ago when we bought the house. Since this time the rock yard has been scraped and a layer of topsoil was added. I'm hoping to install some sod and do some landscaping this year as well.

    [​IMG]
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    PHRoberts, Jun 1, 2010
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  4. PHRoberts

    koikeepr

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    Before I would do anything, I would drain this pond fully and start all over. You can see that it has turned over and needs a fresh start. This would include getting rid of all the sludge inside, giving the inside a good scrubbing, etc.

    To start fresh, you will firstly need to figure out how to keep fallind debris from getting inside, otherwise your sludge issue will be never ending, and it creates poisonous water conditions for fish. So, you have several options here, but the cheapest would be to throw a net over the pond and just leave it on there. You can usually buy bird netting at your local home improvement store. A more expensive option would be to put a shade sail or some other type of structural covering above the pond. Of course, that won't help when the wind carrying debris comes sideways.

    Sears/Flotec pumps are not meant for ponds and to function 24/7/365. Please give us a budget and we'll find you a suitable pump. BUT, we can't help you if we don't have the proper dimensions of the pond to determine this. You will also need a filter. A pump alone will not keep water clear. If you are handy, we can help you DIY a filter--if not you will need to buy one.

    You need to give us the following inside measurements:

    length, width, depth
     
    koikeepr, Jun 1, 2010
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  5. PHRoberts

    PHRoberts

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    Thanks Koikeeper! I'll get some measurements and get back to you. Honestly, I'm not too concerned about putting fish in there, although it could be cool. I know my neighbor had some koi in there and then moved them next door to his pond when he moved out of our house. Some of them are huge!

    As far as keeping debris out, it's going to be just about impossible with pine needles. Those things can shoot their way through the best of gutter guards - so I'm sure a net won't do much with the pond.

    I started to drain the pond over the winter and clean it with my new pressure washer - but then I saw some frog-like things (half tadpole, half frog - can't remember what they're called) quickly surfacing for air and then diving back to the bottom and didn't have the heart to kill them...

    Heath
     
    PHRoberts, Jun 1, 2010
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  6. PHRoberts

    koikeepr

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    Get smaller screening then, such as window screening on a frame. Really easy to make.
     
    koikeepr, Jun 1, 2010
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