Stream or Bog maybe a hybrid


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When I built my pond I included a 2 tier stream each approx 4 x 3 ft. X 3" deep. They are fed by waterfall from a 100 gal stock tub filled with yellow flag iris, water hyacinth and a 25 # bag of lava rock that sits on top of a 2 foot long corrugated pipe that bottom fills the tub. The outlets of the waterfall tub are covered with aDIY mechanical filter consisting of a course filter pad and quilt batting. Each stream bed is filled with medium sized river rock. I do have pea gravel in select locations.

I planted the perimeter of each tier. The top with strawberry and cream then added yellow flag iris on both sides of the waterfall. The perimeter of the lower stream is planted with aquatic forget me not and the opposite site has water wisteria , variegated grass ,blue rush and yellow flag. I also have water cress in both streams. This was completed Aug 2013.

From the bottom stream The water flows over a piece of slate creating a 2-4" waterfall to the pond. This year the water cress and aquatic forget me not exploded to completely cover the slate with the watercress extending several inches into the pond. (Bottom pic)

The planted areas have developed a thick substrate (muck). Is this build up from the roots trapping debri? I am wondering if this needs to be cleaned out? I am reluctant to because the water chemistry has been perfect. I did vacuum the non planted regions of the streams with an attachment I DIY to a wet vac minimizing the amount of water sucked in. That sucked up a lot of " muck". That was the first time done since the pond was built.
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Is the stream turning into a bog because of the growth of plants?
Any input for maintaining this is greatly appreciated

Glenn
 

sissy

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It may die off as colder weather gets here but when mine gets to thick I just use a toilet bowl brush to clean some of it off .I usually turn my pump off while doing it but my fish do love eating all the loose stuff that falls into the pond when I turn the pump back on
 
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Well, not a bog, no. But you will get filtration from the roots of any plant that grows in your stream. Watercress is especially effective at growing in running water. And yes, when you pull it up you will find it has trapped lots of silt. What you may also find is that the roots will grow so thick and dense that they will divert your water into areas you don't want it to go, so you need to watch it and thin it out when it starts to get too thick. The root structure is so dense it's like pulling up carpeting. Quite amazing stuff!

I harvested many pounds of watercress from our waterfall this year. Some we used (salads, green smoothies or fresh vegetable juice), some we fed to the fish, and some we composted. It's a prolific grower and especially likes the cooler weather in spring and fall.

In your climate both the watercress and the forget-me-not will die back in the colder weather. They both should also re-grow next year when the weather starts to warm up.
 

Meyer Jordan

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Stop vacuuming the unplanted areas of the streams. I would however vacuum the excess silt (detritus) that has accumulated around and among the plants. If you don't it will eventually make its way into the main pond basin only to cloud your water and clog your filters.
Another thought is that if this silt (detritus) is making it past all of your present filtration, then you may want to re-examine your mechanical filtration's efficiency
 
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It may die off as colder weather gets here but when mine gets to thick I just use a toilet bowl brush to clean some of it off .I usually turn my pump off while doing it but my fish do love eating all the loose stuff that falls into the pond when I turn the pump back on
I noticed the fish would swarm to the loose stuff when ever I was pulling things out of the stream
 
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Well, not a bog, no. But you will get filtration from the roots of any plant that grows in your stream. Watercress is especially effective at growing in running water. And yes, when you pull it up you will find it has trapped lots of silt. What you may also find is that the roots will grow so thick and dense that they will divert your water into areas you don't want it to go, so you need to watch it and thin it out when it starts to get too thick. The root structure is so dense it's like pulling up carpeting. Quite amazing stuff!

I harvested many pounds of watercress from our waterfall this year. Some we used (salads, green smoothies or fresh vegetable juice), some we fed to the fish, and some we composted. It's a prolific grower and especially likes the cooler weather in spring and fall.

In your climate both the watercress and the forget-me-not will die back in the colder weather. They both should also re-grow next year when the weather starts to warm up.
Darn I thought invented something new ..
I did shift a clump of watercress and forget me nots to allow improved flow back into the pond.
How does the watercress taste. I usually use baby leaf spinach in green smoothies,not a fan of kale
 
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Stop vacuuming the unplanted areas of the streams. I would however vacuum the excess silt (detritus) that has accumulated around and among the plants. If you don't it will eventually make its way into the main pond basin only to cloud your water and clog your filters.
Another thought is that if this silt (detritus) is making it past all of your present filtration, then you may want to re-examine your mechanical filtration's efficiency
Why is it not good to vacuum the unplanted areas of the stream?
I do plan on improving my mechanical filtration next spring. I currently have a similar set up to waterfalls in the skimmer box as a prefilter to the pump. I plan to increase the thickness of the filter mats in the skimmer. Not enough room in the waterfall tub to increase the filter pad density. I am also considering adding a settling chamber between the skimmer box and waterfall to improve filtration. Any thoughts on those additions would be appreciated!
 

Meyer Jordan

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The turbulence created in your stream as water flows over the rocks create micro-habitats that are populated by micro-organisms particular to moving water. These organisms only add to the diversity of life in your pond. Similar micro-organisms inhabit the detritus that is accumulating around your plants. They are some of the favorite food items of fish.
Adding additional pads will help, but a settling chamber would be better.
 
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The turbulence created in your stream as water flows over the rocks create micro-habitats that are populated by micro-organisms particular to moving water. These organisms only add to the diversity of life in your pond. Similar micro-organisms inhabit the detritus that is accumulating around your plants. They are some of the favorite food items of fish.
Adding additional pads will help, but a settling chamber would be better.
Ok that makes sense with the rocks. But if the fish like those micro organisms would it be better to just shake loose the excess silt/detritus around the plants ( in small amounts) to allow the fish to feast?

I am constantly ( although signifcantly less since the fall arrived) pulling string algae from the streams and off the water fall rocks. I have noticed the fish come to fed off the detritus that shakes loose and travels into the pond. If I don't keep up with my streams they would be blanketed with the string algae. I was told the string algae is good to a point because it uses nutrients in the water that prevent plankton algae. Do you think the maintance I am doing with the string algae is a good practice?

Meyer, thanks for your guidance
 
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@Gordo33 If you consume smoothies on a regular basis, you should consider rotating your greens. Have you tried the baby kale varieties? They are tender and not as strongly favored.

And yes, managing string algae is best done by simply removing it. It's easy to pull up and is quick work. I do not, by the way, add string algae to my smoothies. I toss that in the garden or flower pots! ;)
 
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@Gordo33 If you consume smoothies on a regular basis, you should consider rotating your greens. Have you tried the baby kale varieties? They are tender and not as strongly favored.

And yes, managing string algae is best done by simply removing it. It's easy to pull up and is quick work. I do not, by the way, add string algae to my smoothies. I toss that in the garden or flower pots! ;)
Have not tried baby kale.
Thanks for heads up with string algae and smoothies
 
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