Question about an unusual pond set up

Discussion in 'Pond Archive' started by Paul M., May 30, 2007.

  1. Paul M.

    Paul M. Guest

    I have constructed a pond that does not recirculate water, but
    intercepts well water from a campus cooling system and runs it through
    the pond prior to flowing into the storm sewer. The water is cool
    and clear, but tends to warm up while it moves through the pond. Temp
    can be regulated by the rate of well water flow through the pond.

    Alas it grows algae. I have experience with a a similar sculpture
    pool with the same water set up that we periodically shock the pool
    with swimming pool chemicals and periodic scrubbing to keep clean.

    The intent of the new pond is more 'naturalistic' and I would like to
    keep water plants etc. which wouldn't like being chemically
    shocked!!! I thought perhaps some fish could keep the algae in some
    sort of equillibrium. The water does not turn green because of the
    constant water turnover, but algae grows from the bottom. Does
    anyone see hope for fish??? to be seasonally kept in such a set up to
    control algae, or other suggestions?


    Paul m.
    Paul M., May 30, 2007
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  2. Paul M.


    I would try plants, first and foremost,
    to compete for the nutrients that that algae
    is using to grow.
    Fish will only add more nutrients and would
    probably escape to the sewer system, or their infants
    would. Weeeee, freedom! ;-)

    I'd keep the plants in pots so they don't overgrow
    the system and start plugging it up.
    Cattails, pickerel, arrowhead, lizard's tail, water
    iris are a few that come to mind. Nice, tough
    marginal plants, can grow with two to about
    six inches of water over their crowns.
    If you have any pictures you could post on a web
    page we could probably even refine our advice
    It sounds like an interesting and unique problem!

    k :) ~ new pond keeper info ~ slide show of pond
    , May 30, 2007
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  3. Paul M.

    Hal Guest

    We see the constant water overturn differently.
    Others with flow through ponds have the same problem. I have one
    suggestion for clear water and it isn't a guaranteed cure, but I would
    bet on it. Determine the size of the pond in gallons. Restrict the
    flow of new water going into the pond to about 10% of the pond volume
    per week and expect normal overflow, diverting the excess water around
    or away from the pond. Add plants to act as filter and add fish

    BTW the algae that grows on the bottom and sides is an asset. Most
    of us prefer to leave that in place.


    Hal, May 31, 2007
  4. I have virtually the same thing. Mine is an old mortar and stone
    18,000 gallon (17'x 47'x 2-4') swimming pool that is spring fed. We
    filled in the deep end so that it is 4' at the deepest. The pond fills
    in about 24 hours from the springs. The overflow goes into the storm
    drain which goes into a creek. The spring water's temperature is 50 F.
    The pond's temperature gets up to 70 F by the middle of summer. When
    first filled with water, it quickly covered over with string algae. I
    put 12 trap-door snails in the pond and they multiplied at a fantastic
    rate. Soon they were eating the string algae. Frogs came into the pool
    at an alarming rate. Marginal plants are doing very well. The water is
    reasonably clear. Algae is caused by nutrients in the water and
    sunlight. Here is what I do:

    € Planted 10 water lilies and one lotus, which have large leaves that
    shade the pond surface. Shade is important in preventing algae. I let
    Azolla caroliniana ("Fairy Moss") cover the surface during the winter
    and early spring to provide shade before the lilies and lotus form their
    leaves. Then I scoop most of the Azolla out with a swimming pool
    skimmer net in mid-spring so I can see the fish. It doesn't come back
    until the next winter.

    € Planted about 64 marginal filter plants in baskets with clay soil
    (Walmart's cheapest Kitty Litter) and no fertilizer around the edge on 8
    - 2 foot x 8 foot black plastic greenhouse benches about 5 inches below
    the water surface. Marginal plants remove nutrients from the water and
    prevent algae. Fish like lurking under the benches and frogs like
    sitting on the plants.

    € Introduced trap-door snails into the pond which eat dead material in
    the pond and hence break down plant nutrients. The snails multiply
    nicely each spring and take care of dead plant material.

    € Sunk oxygenator plants on the bottom, Anacharis and Hornwort. I also
    have a 1.7 CFM, 40-Watt air pump and two aerator heads to keep the
    oxygen levels up in the winter when the plants become dormant. The
    higher oxygen level helps support fish and aerobic bacteria. Adding the
    aeration changed the water from a tea color to a more clear color.

    € Floated a bale of barley straw under the spring pipe and over an
    aerator head. This helps prevent algae when it tries to bloom in the
    spring before the marginal plants get going.

    € Introduced 100 native golden shiner minnows. They eat mosquito larva
    and help keep the plants in check and don't seem to add to the nutrient
    load too much. They are doing very well and have multiplied. You can
    see the different sizes of minnows from broods from different years.

    € Applied one dose of algaecide (AlgaeFix) in early April if necessary
    to get a start in clearing the spring algae growth.

    € Added bacteria (Microbe-Lift Spring/Summer) in early April to help
    eliminate the dead algae and other organic matter.

    € Fertilized water lilies in early May with Once-A-Year Aquatic-Spikes
    from AgSafe (a div. of AgriTab Corp., Clearfield UT). They contain:
    Ureaform, Amoniam Phosphate, Potassium Nitrate, Potassium Sulfate,
    Calcium Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Sucrate, Magnesium Sucrate,
    Magnesium Sulfate, Manganese Sucrate, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Sucrate,
    and Zinc Sulfate in a time release format. The are safe for fish and
    other aquatic life. The nitrogen in their formulation is 70% ammonium
    based and 30% nitrate based.

    No filter, no UV, no water pump, no Koi, no problem.

    I am in zone 6 and get a lot of hot weather in the summer and cold
    weather in the winter.

    For a view of our lily pond visit:
    Stephen Henning, May 31, 2007
  5. Paul M.

    ~ jan Guest

    Neat. Is that the level you always keep it at, or is it low? Did you ever
    use it as a swimming pool at one time? ~ jan
    ~ jan, Jun 4, 2007
  6. Paul M.


    Nice! I
    suppose the constant flow of fresh water into the pond and the flow
    out of the pond helps to maintain it's eco balance.
    That we all could have a spring fed pond! Yeah!!!! :)))

    Look forward to seeing more pictures...
    , Jun 9, 2007
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