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Old 26-06-2011, 04:13 PM
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Default wildlife pond

I am new to this forum but was very pleased to see section on ponds - I am currently building a large wildlife pond for a school 16,000 gallons approx.

I am wondering what peoples views are on soil inside the liner or not?
I have been told it will help to encourage a full range of wildlife but others say it may make the water murky and encourage blanket weed.

Also any views on best plants to encourage wildlife ? Situation is fairly open, shelves at various depths
Plants in basket planters or not?

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Old 30-06-2011, 05:23 AM posted to rec.ponds.moderated
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Default wildlife pond

A pond's mission in life is to fill in eventually.
To thwart that I'd keep plants in baskets and the bottom
free of debris.
You can still support wildlife.


Wildlife need lots of cover so lots of plants along the sides
are important. I built an island for my pond with aged builder's
brick with a large, wide shallow planter on top. The builder's
brick provides hidey holes for the critters.

Surface plants provide cover also. A small pond can end up
being a buffet for predators so cover evens up the odds. Surface
plants and underwater plants give the insect larva a place to hide
and mature. (I treat for mosquitoes as it can sometimes work too
well!)

Lots of plants help filter the waste of the animals in residence.
There is nothing as fun as spotting a frog on a lily pad :-)

Winter care involves a hole in the ice for gases to escape. People
made ponds are usually overstocked so the hole helps the critters
winter over. A heater or bubbler will work.
Most people clean up most, but not all, of the plants in the fall to
help the pond
from overloading with nutrients.

I've supported fish, frogs, turtles, various insects, snails in my
pond
over the years. I've been visited by numerous backyard birds and
predators - kingfisher, blue heron, egret. It helps to not name your
fish or get too attached to them. If mammals get to be too much of
a problem you can ring the pond round with a shock fence until
the animal leaves it alone. But also realize that you might be
discouraging other animals that are active at night. Fences can be
put on timers. (Warning 13-yr-old boys consider it a test of
manhood to run up and grab an active fence...) A motion activated
sprinkler can help. Sometimes it takes a combination and being
smarter than the mammal involved.

It's a balancing act.

k :-)



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