Our ponding adventure

Discussion in 'Newbies to Garden Ponds' started by Ducky, May 23, 2014.

  1. Ducky

    Ducky

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    We started our first pond build about a month ago and I've been following on the forum for ideas and help with the build. I finally thought I'd join as I am looking for some more specific advice for our situation.

    We are doing this with the trial and error method. As of last weekend I readjusted our rocks for the waterfall and finished landscaping the edging to hide our liner. See photo for what it looked like prior to the latest adjustments. I'll have to repost with and updated photo soon.

    Here is some info about our pond now. It's about 800 gallons running on a tetrapond 1000 Gph pump. I currently do not have a filter setup. We kept hesitating as to what type of filter to install and if we should buy or diy. I'm not terribly handy but I will definitely give anything my best try! One of the reasons we were so hesitant about selecting the right type of filter is because we have pet ducks that will have access to the pond on occasion. They have a separate enclosure, but we let them out to free range when we get home in the evenings. I know from reading the threads that most ponders try to keep ducks out it seems like, but we want our ducks to enjoy the pond and we love seeing them swim around. So my question is what would be the best type of filter to either buy or make to run with our pump and keep it relatively clean.

    Additional questions, would you recommend adding snails to help with the algae? We would like to add fish (hoping the ducks won't eat them!) any recommendations as to when we can start adding them? I just added a water lily, hornwort and some iris marginals a few days ago. I'm hoping to continue to adding to our greenery. We also have at least two gray tree frogs that have already found the pond. We kept hearing them in the evening and it wasn't until I went to make some adjustments to the waterfall rocks that I came across them! It was so exciting to know that some wildlife has already found our little pond.

    image.jpg
    Sorry... Not sure why the photo keeps uploading upside down..
     

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    Last edited: May 23, 2014
    Ducky, May 23, 2014
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  2. Ducky

    sissy sissy

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    ducks do poop a lot and fowl :)up the water so that could be a problem for any filter
     
    sissy, May 23, 2014
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  3. Ducky

    max384

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    Judging by the picture of your pond, I'm assuming you live in Australia? Oh man, I crack myself up. lol

    I added Japanese Trapdoor snails to my pond. They made a noticeable difference with the algae on the rocks, and they didn't multiply and take over like I've heard some species of snails can do. This was what made me choose this species of snail.
     
    max384, May 23, 2014
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  4. Ducky

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

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    I added native pond snails to my pond but I really didn't see any benefit from them. It was cool seeing them on the logs every once in a while, though.

    Wildlife needs our backyard ponds. More and more the amphibian population is decreasing with habitat loss, so its definitely rewarding to create a safe environment for them!
     
    JBtheExplorer, May 23, 2014
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  5. Ducky

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    [​IMG] Ducky
     
    j.w, May 23, 2014
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  6. Ducky

    RobAmy

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    Welcome. I have had wild Mallard ducks coming to our pond now for over 2 months. A pair at first, then Just a female and now 2 males. So a few different ones. We have had no issues at all with the ducks or the water quality and we do have goldfish and koi in it. I do have a total of 4 bio filters and a skimmer so I am sure this helps. So I see no need not to let them in the pond. I do have a lot of movement also due to 3 pumps and 2 air pumps. The Bio filters I use are By Savio but you could make something very similar for a lot less.
     
    RobAmy, May 23, 2014
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  7. Ducky

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Welcome to our group!
     
    addy1, May 23, 2014
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  8. Ducky

    Ducky

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    Thanks for all the replies. :) We already realize the ducks may pose a challenge. There are only three of them. We aren't looking to have a crystal clear pond, we just don't want it to turn into a nasty, smelly hole in the ground. I'm thinking of attempting a DIY bio filter this weekend. The only problem I have with the ones I have found is how to hide the barrel or bin of the filter. I already have a 55 gallon barrel in the backyard to use, but I can't imagine how we could make it pleasing to the eye. Here's an updated photo I took this evening. We have the waterfall flowing, and I have all the extra tubing for when I attach the new filter. I still can't stand all of the fresh dirt that's spread around the edges. I want it all green and lush! I'm slowly planting some ferns and bushes to border the pond. Overall we are pretty happy with it for our first attempt. We are already thinking of adding a stream and another pond it the left, but first things first we need to get everything balanced with what we have.[​IMG]
     
    Ducky, May 24, 2014
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  9. Ducky

    sissy sissy

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    try a stock tank 2 filters plants sorta hide them
     

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    sissy, May 24, 2014
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  10. Ducky

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Welcome!

    If you have room, why not make a pond just for the ducks :)
     
    Mmathis, May 24, 2014
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  11. Ducky

    Ducky

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    Thanks! A pond for the ducks isn't a bad idea eventually. I think after this weekend we are going to try and keep the ducks out of the pond for the time being. They will have to make due with their kiddie pool at least until we can get the balance of the pond adjusted, then maybe we will see how much impact the ducks will have on the pond.

    I went ahead and built a filter out of a 25 gallon planter. Water trickles in at the top through a PVC pipe with holes and flows back out the bottom. I bought a bunch of sponge balls at the local Big Lots on sale to use as the bio material... I don't know how well they will work. Above them I layered some ac filters and quilt batting. Any other suggestions for inexpensive filter material? I don't know if this filter will be enough for the entire pond, or if I'll have to add in additional filtration. I have a 55 gallon barrel, but I don't like they way it looks and I figured I could grow something out of the top of the planter to make it blend in. Or as Sissy suggested hide them with plants at the base, at least better than the bright blue barrel.

    It's only been 24 hours and we've noticed the amount of floating debris has decreased, but our water is still looking like pea soup. The pond is in full sun. Not sure if that means we will need to add a UV light? Or just wait a week to see if it clears.

    We found the an awesome water garden store this weekend too. We introduced three shubunkins, two tadpoles and two snails to start into the pond. We are hoping they do well even with the pea green water. We just can't see them right now. Any additional suggestions are much appreciated by this novice.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
    Ducky, May 27, 2014
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