Simple Bog Building Questions

Discussion in 'Pond Construction & Equipment' started by Minnow, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. Minnow

    Minnow

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    Hello,

    We were intending to expand the pond a bit this year and add a bog to it to filter the water better. Unfortunately, we do not have the budget for that.

    Right now, there are two options :

    The first is to keep the pond as is and then use the water hyacinth and water lettuce be the filters. This is the way I have been filtering the water for the past couple years

    The second option is to do a slight rebuild of the pond. That would entail draining the current pond, removing the liner and removing the dirt shelves under the liner. Then, relaying the liner, refill the pond and then use bricks and flagstone as shelving to place the marginals on. In addition, this would allow for more hiding place for the fish.

    Piggybacking on the second option is to use a whiskey barrel planter(s) (synthetic kind) as a bog and have it within the pond on a shelf. I would do this as my plumbing skills aren't that great.

    Would I go about placing the feeder tube over the top of the barrel(s) and make a slit in the side of the barrel to allow the water to drain back into the pond?

    The issue right now is the filitration as there are currently about 15 Comets and about 5 minnows in the pond, which is about 250 gallons.

    Any help would be great!

    Thank you!
     
    Minnow, Apr 28, 2013
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  2. Minnow

    Carolyn22

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    Minnow

    Bog filters are great - we have one and truthfully, I wouldn't have a pond without one.

    You could drain down your water level to the level of your shelf, build upon that and turn that into your bog with pea gravel and you can do this rather inexpensively.

    How long have you had your comets? 15 comets will soon be 150 comets as they tend to be quite prolific and the more fish you have, the more you will need to increase your filtration.
     
    Carolyn22, Apr 29, 2013
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  3. Minnow

    Minnow

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    We started with 5 two years ago. There is one real big one now, two medium and a bunch of smaller ones.

    Should I remove some and take them to the local pet store?
     
    Minnow, Apr 29, 2013
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  4. Minnow

    Fishylove

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    If you can't find natural ways to "thin" them out, they will eventually get out of control, which will mean more filtering. I have A smaller pond too, and last year put what I think was the females in there. ie. she was the one being run to exhaustion by the other fish :)
    The other baby fishies are taken care of by the other fish and frogs.

    I like Carolyn's idea on adding the bog to your shelf area. And it would be much easier and cheaper way to go :)
    But if you really wanted to go with the barrel idea, I think that could be really cool too! I don't think that I would put the barrel IN the pond though. You could have it on a corner or one side and have it spill/fall over back into the pond. Either way, you will have to do a small bit of plumbing even if you do put it IN the pond. The idea of the bog would be to feed the pond water up thru the pea gravel planted with bog plants, back into the pond and so on.. So you would place the barrel where you want it, the tube or pipe coming from your pump would go into the barrel on the bottom in some fashion so that it doesn't leak and extend the (a) pipe on the inside, that has smallish holes along the bottom of it, almost to the otherside and cap it. Once you have that done and it's sealed well, fill it with pea gravel. Add treated water to just below the gravel line and put your plants in and start up the pump! :)
     
    Fishylove, Apr 29, 2013
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  5. Minnow

    HTH Howard

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    Dragon fly's are a great way to control goldfish populations. It takes 3 or 4 years to get the larvae numbers and size to where they do 'the job'. Some may feel this is cruel but it is quite natural.
     
    HTH, Apr 29, 2013
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  6. Minnow

    Fishylove

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    Very true HTH! I can't seem to get dragon fly's to breed ( if thats what they do Lol) around my pond. I wonder if you can buy dragon fly larvae like you can buy tadpoles?!
     
    Fishylove, Apr 29, 2013
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  7. Minnow

    Waterbug

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    I'm not too sure what substance you're looking to filter, but it sounds like your main concern is fish health because the fish load is growing. So ammonia and nitrite are the targets I assume. You want a bio filter.

    I like bogs for many reasons, but bio filter isn't one of them. Especially in a small pond. A Trickle Tower is just as simple to make, same cost but convert 30 times more ammonia and nitrite for the same size. Plus a TT never has to be cleaned out while bogs do fill with muck.

    For a 250 gal pond Google "strawberry pot Trickle Tower". Or use your barrel idea but just poke holes in the bottom. The only difference is in a bog the rock is almost fully submerged and the incoming water generally isn't slashed on top of the rocks. Where as a TT all or most of the rocks aren't submerged. This provided more O2 and other gas exchange which the bacteria need as much as the ammonia. So they can use more ammonia, divide faster.

    As the fish continue to grow and you continue to test for ammonia and nitrite if you see levels start to climb you can add another TT.

    You also want good water movement within the pond so the bottom water gets moved to the surface. A pump at the bottom moving water up to a TT might not be enough. Unfortunately measuring O2 is more difficult so to me if the fish looks high I say add more movement. So an air pump or just another pump with output pointing at the bottom can get water moving. And 250 gals wouldn't take much.

    You should be able to keep those fish no problem.
     
    Waterbug, Apr 29, 2013
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  8. Minnow

    Carolyn22

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    Tadpoles work too - that is what I use. We used to be inundated with baby koi and totally ran out of places to find homes for the fry, so about 3-4 years ago we started buying the bullfrog tads. Have not had any issues with population explosions since. There really is nothing wrong with responsible birth control.
     
    Carolyn22, Apr 29, 2013
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  9. Minnow

    Minnow

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    Thanks for the great replies!

    As far a population control, a tadpole or two would be really cool! But my hound might be a bit too curious about the bullfrogs when they grow up and hop around out of the pond, so I am not sure about that. Don't bullfrogs secrete something when touched?

    Basically, what I am trying to do is filter the water a bit more to clear it up. It is still a bit mucky and cloudy from the spring cleaning. Currently, the pump sits on the bottom of the pond, elevated to 20" depth, the depth of pond at that area is 24".

    The trickle tower option seems like a good idea. And to save some money, I am thinking the whiskey barrel planter would be perfect as there are already holes in the bottom of one of them!

    Would it be a good idea to plant something in the whiskey barrel also? I have a bunch of extra daylillies I can plant in there. Wouldn't that help with filtering? Or am I defeating the purpose of the trickle tower?

    One final question....

    How many holes are required on the bottom of the barrel? I can see the barrel filling up and flowing over the top.
     
    Minnow, Apr 29, 2013
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  10. Minnow

    vhpond vhpond

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    This is our bog. I usually put in impatient in the spring. But I plan on putting perrenials this year. Even without the plants the lava rock and peagravel are keeping the water clear! Good luck with your bog!!
     

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    vhpond, Apr 29, 2013
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  11. Minnow

    Minnow

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    Thanks for the photo, vh!

    It might not be a bad idea to experiment with this right now before I decide on something semi-permanent.

    And I had another recent brainstorm!

    I know it was recommended elsewhere, and the option is still on the table, but I did not list it above. There is a discount store near me, Ollie's Bargain Outlet. And one of the members here alerted me that they have flexible liners in stock. I checked them out the other day and they were pretty dang cheap in price, but then I saw why, they were only 20 mils...

    So the brainstorm question is this : Could I use a 20 mil liner to add a veggie filter? Obviously, it is not as thick as a 45mil liner, but it will be more above ground that the current pond, so no roots poking into the liner. I could have floating plants like water hyacinth and water lettuce in there and let the water flow down through some rocks/gravel like a stream and then into the current pond.

    And what is the best way to have water from an upper liner flow into a lower pond? Meaning how do I fold the liners together? Don't I need something like a separation so the water from the lower pond doesn't wick up?
     
    Minnow, Apr 29, 2013
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  12. Minnow

    Waterbug

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    A bog clears water by acting as a settling tank. In order to do that it has to be pretty big. It's not something that really scales very well. But the pond will probably clear on it's own so if you add the small bog and the water clears I guess it could "work".
     
    Waterbug, Apr 29, 2013
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  13. Minnow

    Waterbug

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    I was thinking you could scale back the media along with the filter. I mean use coarse sand rather than pea gravel. That would make it a sand filter rather than a bog (as defined in the context of this forum). Dial back the water flow maybe and it would trap some stuff. Not generally stuff as small as single cell algae, but other stuff like larger algae.
     
    Waterbug, Apr 29, 2013
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  14. Minnow

    Minnow

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    Waterbug, thanks for your replies and time.

    So, I could build this in a 10-15 (even a 20) gallon planter? Water pumped from the bottom of the pond (at the one end) into the top of the planter (at the other end), gravity fed through the coarse sand and out the bottom?

    Coarse sand? Will the 50 pound bag of play sand from a Lowe's or Home depot work?
     
    Minnow, Apr 30, 2013
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  15. Minnow

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I would pump it up from the bottom through the sand. When I used small "bogs" in my other ponds, the one the water flowed into the top, did not filter well. The muck would collect on the top of the medium decreasing the flow of the water through it. It would eventually overflow.

    Mine have been made with pea gravel. For my build sand would have been too fine.
     
    addy1, Apr 30, 2013
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  16. Minnow

    shakaho

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    If you have 15 goldfish after two years, I wouldn't worry about the population exploding. You do have more fish than is ideal right now, so i t wouldn't be a bad idea to get rid of some, but once you have a few medium to large fish in a fairly small space, they will consume almost of the eggs and tiny fry very quickly, and other predators will take care of most of the rest. My front pond is the size of yours, and in the two and a half years since I added 1 year old goldfish, exactly one fry (named Wonder) has survived, despite almost continuous spawning for six months of the year and sporadic spawning during the rest of the year. The really bad goldfish population explosions occur when someone adds a bunch of feeders to a large pond. They will spawn many times before there are enough large adults to consume the eggs/fry.

    Here's a link to a very easy to build container bog filter.
     
    shakaho, Apr 30, 2013
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  17. Minnow

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Nice build
     
    addy1, Apr 30, 2013
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  18. Minnow

    HTH Howard

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    Off topic but I would like to respond to Fishylove regarding dragonflys

    I am sure I seen dragon fly egg cases for sale. Not sure how common that is.

    On the other hand I am going to be cleaning out the big pond this week, with luck we will start moving the lilies out today. I expect to encounter a goodly number of dragonfly nymphs. If we can save them I would be HAPPY to send them your way for the cost of shipping. I do not know that they would survive shipping but it may be worth a try. Thinking they eat a lot and will be very hungry or dead in the time it takes to ship.

    I love seeing the adults around the pond.

    Found them for sale
    Seems they may also be in fishing bait stores.

    Seems they eat each other so they would have to be packed one to a bag or maybe a baby food jar. Fun stuff. Info
     
    HTH, Apr 30, 2013
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  19. Minnow

    Minnow

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    Isn't a biofilter easy to maintain?

    Oh and a bit of news!

    I was able to acquire two 40 gallon stock tanks today and I began thinking about the bio filter idea. I guess there is no going back now, huh?

    The funny thing is, when I got home and placed the tanks next to the pond, it seemed like all the water in my pond would fit in both stock tanks!

    Before I even consider drilling into one of them, I am still trying to grasp not only the concept fully, but what parts I will need.

    Ok, I do get the concept a little bit. I have read umteen zillion different ways to build a bio filter, and while simple, it seems like everyone has a different way to build one.

    I think the first thing I need to do a full drain of the pond. If I eliminate the shelves I built, I would have more water capacity and then I can add shelves as need with brick and flagstone.

    Once that is done, I can build the filter next to the pond and have it where it will be opposite the submersible pump.

    What diameter input and outputs do you all recommend? And what is the best way to seal the openings on the tank?

    Should I use both tanks or just one?

    Any other advice on how to simplify this?
     
    Minnow, Apr 30, 2013
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  20. Minnow

    Waterbug

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    It can be scaled to any size. Basically what you'd be doing is creating an aquarium filter. 250 gal pond, 250 gal aquarium, not a lot of differences. Some, but a lot more in common. And the really good thing is there is just tons more info on the web about aquariums. People in that hobby have been real serious about clear water and keeping fish alive for a really long time.

    You can find lots of DIY sand filters and many more. Very detailed, lots of experience. Unlike ponds which are much easier and don't require the same level of expertise.
    Play sand is fine. Mason supplies sell coarse sand. Sometimes called sharp sand. You want to wash it first. It's up to you how fine or coarse. Fine sand does trap smaller particles so cleaner water but clogs faster. I was thinking coarse might be a reasonable middle ground.

    I still think a sand filter is not a good choice for clear water in a 250 gal pond. UV and/or water changes is way easier and more effective. Bog, sand filters all do what they do but they are not easy to tweak to get particles to settle. Flow, media size, size of filter, what's making the water unclear, are all factors, and that's a lot of factors imo.
     
    Waterbug, May 1, 2013
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