To rock or not to rock


Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
6,986
Reaction score
5,057
Location
Ct
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
The fabric also helps hold the rocks in place and not slide down to the lowest point.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Nov 11, 2010
Messages
3,933
Reaction score
3,714
Location
Chicago Area
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
Thanks to everybody for the pics and experience, it helps a bunch.
Hi and welcome. I have never put gravel or rocks on the bottom other than some spilled gravel from planters and everything runs well. I’m able to vacuum the bottom pretty easily with it being smooth. My pond is 42 inches deep so I wouldn't see the rocks if I did have them. It’s a personal choice but I think most people here have smooth bottom ponds because it’s easier to maintain.
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
6,986
Reaction score
5,057
Location
Ct
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
My depth is 6 feet deep 72" inches deep and you can pick out a dime at the bottom in between the rocks. Now there is no doubt a bald rubber bottom is by far a easier area to use the vacuum on then is a bottom covered in stone but it is not a nightmare it just requires some Macgiver techniques. I originally installed 3/4" rock to the bottom and found out that the larger the stone here the easier it is to vacuum. But even then it took a little finess . I taped a small FINGER onto the vacuum hose this keeps the hose up off the rock but the debris is disturbed by this 1 inch pipe rolling the rocks and letting the vac do it;'s thing.
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
6,986
Reaction score
5,057
Location
Ct
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
In the fall it's no fun but I was never home to skim the leaves from the surface and again in the spring. but regardless if rocked or not i would lean toward that's a must every year spring and fall. it all depends on how your pond does with algae. it takes some time it is not like vacuuming the rug it's primarily drag across the rocks slowly . There's no push, its lift push the tube across the water let it drop and direct it as you pull it back. Ponds can be minimal maintenance but they definitely require Especially in the first couple years, until your pond gets established. it has become less and less but i have also got better and better at it to i know my pond better and learned the tricks . but i wouldn't go to a bald bottom i have a spot that has rocks that have been pulled off by the fish and to me there's no competition
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
6,986
Reaction score
5,057
Location
Ct
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Me i am banned from vacuum's, washer machines and dish washer's I tend to break them when i use them so the wife has banned e from those tasks " it's just not FAIR"
 
Ad

Advertisements

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Donor
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
41,541
Reaction score
25,499
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
I never vac hardly ever scoop the bottom just stays nice.
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
84
Reaction score
49
Location
Western New York
Hardiness Zone
5B
Country
United States
My pond is 16 years old and finally had to remove ALL the gravel from the pond because the skimmer box was clogging full of algae every 10 minutes. The pond had finally reached a tipping point. You should have seen the volume of black sludge that we vacuumed out. Unbelievable. I won't ever use stones again but there are those with different experiences. I did like the look of gravel, but alas, it didn't work for me over time.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2020
Messages
1,011
Reaction score
579
Location
Pacific NW
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
@Corgi Mom: What do you think the contributing factors were to all the algae you were getting. Do you have lots of fish? What kind of filtration are you running? Pond in full sun? Lots of leaf fall?
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
1,765
Reaction score
1,898
Hardiness Zone
7b
As everyone else has implied: there is no wrong answer. I know the Aquascape guys and especially Ed the Pond Professor really advocate for a rocked pond to help foster a healthy ecosystem. I do think the key to lower maintenance is whether or not you have a skimmer or intake bay to help pull in debris and whether or not you have a really well-balanced pond. A well-balanced ecosystem will have just the right number of fish and the right number of plants - and it sometimes can take a couple of years (or longer) to get to that point. The bacteria in a healthy pond are pretty efficient at using up small waste. I don't have a lot of crud on the bottom of my pond either. Whenever I think I see something that looks like gunk or funk, I get out the big long handled skimmer net and try to get it. It's never anything substantial. I think Addy1 calls it "mulm." It's pretty neat, actually.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
11,633
Reaction score
11,723
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
You should have seen the volume of black sludge that we vacuumed out.

I've seen this mentioned more than once by other ponders and always wonder - how deep is/was your gravel? The layer of gravel on the bottom should just cover the liner. There's literally nowhere for "black sludge" to build up in the gravel at the bottom of my pond.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
84
Reaction score
49
Location
Western New York
Hardiness Zone
5B
Country
United States
@Corgi Mom: What do you think the contributing factors were to all the algae you were getting. Do you have lots of fish? What kind of filtration are you running? Pond in full sun? Lots of leaf fall?
I have a skimmer box and filter and a lava rock biological filter. I didn’t always have a lot of fish but the pond is in full sun. Lots of leaves in fall. I skimmed out what I could but I also left sone in. This year I’m going to clean the bottom much more aggressively. I probably still wouldn’t add gravel because it’s just not worth it to me. I do have some gravel on my top ledge and I can see how much debris gets trapped under it. As someone else said after 2 weeks algae covers the liner. I will see how much of a difference this makes come spring.
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
84
Reaction score
49
Location
Western New York
Hardiness Zone
5B
Country
United States
I've seen this mentioned more than once by other ponders and always wonder - how deep is/was your gravel? The layer of gravel on the bottom should just cover the liner. There's literally nowhere for "black sludge" to build up in the gravel at the bottom of my pond.
The pond installers dumped ALOT of gravel in the pond. You could not see the liner at all. Probably a few inches at the bottom. And I mean all over the pond.
 

brokensword

...and not every pond in Michigan has a loon!
Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Messages
4,202
Reaction score
3,306
Location
Michigan
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
The pond installers dumped ALOT of gravel in the pond. You could not see the liner at all. Probably a few inches at the bottom. And I mean all over the pond.
maybe their ideas was to have you hire them back every year for a pond cleanout, hey? Bad bad pond installers; take 'em to the woodshed, yessirree!
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
11,633
Reaction score
11,723
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
You could not see the liner at all. Probably a few inches at the bottom.

Therein lies the problem. When people say "gravel bottom pond" you really have to quantify what you mean. That's just too much space for stuff to build up. My gravel is so shallow that the fish can shift it around and expose liner if they're feeing feisty.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
6,986
Reaction score
5,057
Location
Ct
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
MINE is not that thin but it's not far off the entire bottom is covered but not so they can roll a rock around if they remove a rock from the bottom yes there's a good chance you may see liner
 
Ad

Advertisements


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top