Why rocks and gravel for a natural pond

Discussion in 'Pond Construction & Equipment' started by The PondFather, Feb 24, 2015.

?

Do you have rocks and gravel now in your pond?

  1. Yes

    38.1%
  2. No

    42.9%
  3. Considering it

    9.5%
  4. Would never consider it

    14.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. The PondFather

    The PondFather The PondFather with my Grandson enjoying my pond

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    There are as many ways to design and install a pond as there are types of fish you can buy for your pond. I've personally owned a rock and gravel lined pond since 1990 when we converted our cracked concrete pond to a liner pond with rocks and gravel. Wow. were we every pleased with the reduced maintenance never mind the beauty that was possible. Here's a "chapter' from a reference book I've used for anyone wanting to find out more about how to use rocks and gravel. It describes what kind of rock, how much to use and how to place the rock for best results.
    http://issuu.com/aquascapeinc./docs/chapter_11_-_rocks_and_gravel
    upload_2015-2-24_11-37-2.jpeg
     
    The PondFather, Feb 24, 2015
    #1
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  2. The PondFather

    sissy sissy

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    To much work for me .I did put them into start with and that lasted 3 months because the fish kept rooting them up and the pond water would be a mess and all the water levels would rise when I tested pond water .Not worth it they only looked pretty for a month .
     
    sissy, Feb 24, 2015
    #2
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  3. The PondFather

    Jason

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    I hope to have an Amazing Pond like this someday!
     
    Jason, Feb 24, 2015
    #3
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  4. The PondFather

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    An aquatic eco-system is incomplete without some semblance of a Benthic layer, be it soil, sand or gravel.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Feb 24, 2015
    #4
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  5. The PondFather

    Tula

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    I used to have gravel in the bottom of my pond, but over the years it needed a good cleaning and my lilies had gone haywire in it. I had it removed and now prefer it without gravel. I do have pots of lilies and floating baskets of parrots feather etc.
     
    Tula, Feb 24, 2015
    #5
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  6. The PondFather

    The PondFather The PondFather with my Grandson enjoying my pond

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    Darn, that's too bad. I do use the gravel with a skimmer and biofilter that feeds the stream. And add dry bacteria about once a month. Stays incredibly clear and clean. Much less gunk than when I had a bare bottom.
     
    The PondFather, Feb 24, 2015
    #6
  7. The PondFather

    Tula

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    My pond seemed clearer when I had the gravel. I think it acted as a filter, but over time, got really dirty. Maybe I should have removed it, cleaned it and returned it to the pond....but it stunk so bad and was filthy....so I didn't clean and return in.
     
    Tula, Feb 24, 2015
    #7
  8. The PondFather

    The PondFather The PondFather with my Grandson enjoying my pond

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    graveled ponds do require cleanouts but I found them cleaner than bare bottom ponds. The gravel stays in the pond during cleaning. I'd just take my hand and shove the gravel aside to clear a space for the pump at the deepest part of the pond. I'd pump out part of the water into a holding tank/wading pool, catch the fish in the shallow water and put them in the wading pool, cover the pool with netting, and aerate it. then finish the pond draining, hose down the gravel, pump out the dirty water and refill the pond. Kind of like cleaning a garage. My grandkids always helped picking out debris by hand. They loved it.
     
    The PondFather, Feb 24, 2015
    #8
  9. The PondFather

    Sunshine

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    Awesome pond PondFather. I have a thin layer of rocks on bottom. I agree, it looks much better than bare liner. And cleaner. When we made ours bigger, we left it bare liner for a year. Everyone said after awhile, you'll love it. No, I hated it. You could see every little thing in the water plus the liner turning green made the water look green. Put a small layer back in and I love it. With it being a small layer, I don't drain it to clean it. Just normal water changes. They have been in there for years and you can still see the color of the rocks. I used egg rocks. Everyone has their own personal preference.
     
    Sunshine, Feb 24, 2015
    #9
  10. The PondFather

    sissy sissy

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    But you have to admit it is a lot of work with a gravel bottom pond and way to much work when you get older and is really worth the risk to your fish health .I am not getting in a pond again .Look at the pond that ponddigger did for Rosemary no rocks in the bottom.I had egg rocks also and they were black after just one month .
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
    sissy, Feb 24, 2015
    #10
  11. The PondFather

    The PondFather The PondFather with my Grandson enjoying my pond

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    That says it all, "Everyone has their own personal preference". Glad it's working for you! It's not that different from an aquarium - and bare bottom tanks are not very pretty or as nice for the fish who like to forage.
     
    The PondFather, Feb 24, 2015
    #11
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  12. The PondFather

    Sunshine

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    What is the risk to fish health?
     
    Sunshine, Feb 24, 2015
    #12
  13. The PondFather

    sissy sissy

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    When you stir up the stuff trapped under the rocks .I saw one pond here that the poor people put rocks in there pond and they decided to clean there rocks and tested the water after the fish all died by the next day and the all the levels were high .They thought they could just get in the pond and brush the rocks off and filter would pick up all the stuff .They lowered the water level and started cleaning .I meant them at the koi farm when I was there getting pond plants .They were looking to replace there fish .Sad because they read that they could do that without removing the fish and even said they saw it on you tube .Not sure about that part ,I think they just made a big boo boo
     
    sissy, Feb 25, 2015
    #13
  14. The PondFather

    Tula

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    I liked the lighter bottom with the gravel as I could view the fish nicely. I didn't realize how dirty is was becoming and had never cleaned it. Trust me, it was a huge, stinking mess and my lilies had gone haywire.

    My pond is a straight drop on the sides, so not easy to get in and out of. I'm fine with the pond as it is, but do concede, it looked nicer with clean gravel.
     
    Tula, Feb 25, 2015
    #14
  15. The PondFather

    The PondFather The PondFather with my Grandson enjoying my pond

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    Fish can be healthier WITH rocks and gravel if the "system" is designed and maintained well. I've heard of fish deaths before from old ponds or overstocked ponds that weren't cleaned when they needed to be. The biggest maintenance item from my experience on a gravel pond is adding water treatment bacteria. They colonize the bacteria in a well circulated pond (high dissolved oxygen) and break down fish waste without needing a lot of weekly intervention. External filters clog much faster and also work instead of gravel BUT MUST be cleaned at least weekly. I've seen too many ponds with bare bottoms and external filters that have sick fish due to lack of maintenance. Fish do prefer gravel bottoms based on their scavenging feeding habits.
     
    The PondFather, Feb 25, 2015
    #15
  16. The PondFather

    Sunshine

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    As PondFather stated, he takes his fish out when he cleans it. So there is no risk to fish health. When I had a lot of rocks, I took my fish out also. And to me, no it's not a lot of work. It's one sunny afternoon. I enjoy getting in the pond. I have to get in there anyway to take care of the lilies. My egg rocks look the same now as they did back when I put them in. But, since my pond is between my 6' privacy fence and a covered patio, maybe that's why mine don't get dirty, I don't know. I don't have have to look at a pond someone did for someone with no rocks in it, I've seen plenty and for me, I like rocks. Like I said, it's a personal preference. And my Koi made it all them years of rocks in the pond just fine. Gracie is 8 and Dr. Phil is 7.
     
    Sunshine, Feb 25, 2015
    #16
  17. The PondFather

    The PondFather The PondFather with my Grandson enjoying my pond

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    Thanks and love your fish names!!!
     
    The PondFather, Feb 25, 2015
    #17
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  18. The PondFather

    Lisak1

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    I love my rock and gravel pond! I think one thing that's key is keeping the gravel shallow on the bottom. When people talk about all the gunk that builds up under their gravel I'm really perplexed. The bottom of our pond is as clean as the day we first filled it up. So why do some people get a gunky bottom and others don't?

    As for gravel making cleaning more difficult - our pond is five years old and we have never "cleaned" it. We scoop debris that falls in and keep the plants trimmed, but that's it. We've never even done a water change, unless you count topping off when the level drops. And yet our pond is crystal clear. Our rocks do have carpet algae, which some people don't like, but we love the natural look and leave it alone.
     
    Lisak1, Feb 25, 2015
    #18
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  19. The PondFather

    The PondFather The PondFather with my Grandson enjoying my pond

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    Congrats on your great success. Sure sounds like the kind of pond I most appreciate. Balanced and uses Mother Nature to keep it clean. Others who do experience more dirt buildup may have a lot more fish, feed more and maybe they're under some trees. I'm a little surprised your pond works so well without a skimmer but clearly your bog filter is doing its job. Hope spring comes soon for you now.
     
    The PondFather, Feb 26, 2015
    #19
  20. The PondFather

    Sunshine

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    I don't have a skimmer either.
     
    Sunshine, Feb 26, 2015
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