Seeking bog construction advice/threads.....


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Greetings,

From my limited time on this forum, it seems as though quite a number of members here have in the past and/or are currently using "bogs" as their primary pond filtration? Most of my pond-related forum activity has been on sites which were more "Koi-focused," and the term "bog" tends to be a bad word among Koi purists -- (probably because Koi tend to be fairly big, messy fish, and most backyard-scaled bogs might be pretty challenged to keep up with the waste load). At any rate, I have a small-ish pond in yard (right now about 1300 gallons, but I may lower that a bit) which has more conventional Koi-pond type filtration. I am not satisfied with the outcome; the filtration -- for one thing -- is far too industrial-looking. . I am now seeking a more landscape-integrated approach, and the idea of a bog appeals to me. Towards that objective, I was wondering if there might be a few construction-oriented threads which detailed some of the more successful approaches to bogs as pond filters? Photos and follow-ups (i.e. how it looked after a year, etc) would be most helpful.

Thanks for any helpful replies.
 
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tbendl

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That's the best one. You can also search for the forum for bog building and get a lot of additional information.
I would also check out some of the showcases, as a few have pictures of their bog builds.
I don't have fish so I am only going to use plants and a bog to filter my water. I would tell you how it's going but just got the plumbing done last week. Now comes the pea gravel!
Good luck to you and for me, once I saw Addy1's pond and Koiguy and Colleen and Sissy and JW's ponds and... well let's just say there are a lot of people on this forum who have bogs, but once I saw them, I definitely wanted one.
 
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Thanks to all for the kind and helpful replies to my post. I apologize about the delay in responding on my end -- I have been away from my computer for a few days.

I had previously read through Addy's (Anne's?) pond/bog build thread, and I view it as "the gold standard" in bog filtration. Due to time/space/money considerations, I will have to attempt something much more "humble* in scale (LOL). Addy's bog build thread, however, is the only one I have studied thus far.

I guess I am somewhat in the "homework" stage of learning about bogs right now. The Koi-centric folk are really pretty vocal in their opposition to bogs, but I have to believe that much of the bog problems experienced by Koi-keepers are consequences of scale (too much fish load into too small of a bog?) With this cautionary tone in my head, however, I am trying to become aware of as many successful implementations of bogs as I can locate. For that matter, it is also useful to view instances where bogs were inadequate -- or otherwse became problematic -- such that I might learn from the mistakes of others.

Thanks again for the kind welcome and helpful guidance.
 

tbendl

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I also built a much smaller version of Addy's bog. I used concrete block, tar roofing paper, and lots and lots of pea gravel. I also looked at how the Europeans did naturally filtered swimming pools and the idea is the same, using plants as a natural filter. I did a lot of reading as well and in the end, decided I liked the look of them as well as the natural filter aspect. Time will tell if it works for me since I just got gravel in this last weekend but I am confident that it will be a great addition to my pond, both in filtration and in aesthetics. Feel free to ask a questions as everyone here has been more than helpful. Good luck!
 
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Hi,

Welcome to the forum and the great bog debate!

I think you should plan carefully and then go for it. Just have reasonable expectations for what the bog can accomplish.

People criticize bogs because they're inefficient and inherently flawed. Yes there are the effects of channeling, possible build up of muck, etc. - I believe all of that just means you need more volume in a bog than you might in a more efficient filter system.

And as you say they provide filtration that fits in with the rest of the pond landscaping and ecology. If you like plants they are great fun as well. I can't imagine trying to put the plants I have in my bog in pots on shelves in the pond, etc., but I just stick them bare root into the pea gravel in the bog and they go crazy. You can see a bit about my little pond and even smaller bog in my intro thread - here. I didn't mention it there, but I use a Tetra SF1 submersible filter (as a pre-filter) with a small Tetra 550gph pump. This system (pre-filter plus bog) has given me crystal clear water ever since the pond got through its initial short, very minor cycle and a little algae.

Many people don't use a pre-filter, but I like having mine. I've seen a few people even suggest that if you use one then somehow your bog isn't being used correctly or isn't really a bog filter anymore which doesn't make sense to me. I think of all the pieces as part of the overall system and in my system the SF1 is the part that keeps all but the finest particles form going into the bog and possibly clogging it up in the long run. I'm not sure if it is essential, but I like knowing that all the little stuff falling into my pond (or out the back of my fish) doesn't go into the bog. It also provides some biological filtration from bacteria on the filter media, etc. I don't want/expect my bog to be a mechanical filter. The main thing I want the bog to be is a big biological filter and a place where the plants' roots can absorb nutrients in the water. I have a deeper end of my bog where I have water hyacinth as well, so that provides another outside of the pea gravel where the water flows through and a plant is absorbing nutrients. This works great for my goldfish and Rosy Reds.

But or course you mentioned Koi which are notoriously challenging for any filter. So that means that you are going to have to have a much higher ratio of bog to pond than most goldfish ponds need and I would also suggest good pre-filtration to keep too much muck from going into the bog. I think that is the only way you have a chance of a bog being a match for koi. And of course, you're going to have to keep the fish load low - just 2 or possibly 3 at the most and give away any babies. And while I don't have one, I would think an air pump or a good water fall from bog to pond would be essential to keep the water well oxygenated and help with the exchange of gases. Again, all part of the overall system. And of course if you wanted to give up your koi and just enjoy the simple beauty of goldfish...

I say go for it and keep us updated on how it works.
 
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addy1

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I keep my intake off the bottom and have a in line leaf basket, keeps big stuff from heading into the bog piping.
 

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