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Old 06-03-2012, 09:07 PM
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Mar 2012
Location: Brest, Brittany
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Default inherited pond and clueless

Hello all,

Sorry for the double posting, I just saw that there were two Pond sections on this forum. Since I'm not sure where the best place to post is, I'm taking the risk. I know this is moving to Usenet, and would post there, but I'm nervous about the spamming consequences, since emails are public there.

I am a new user on this forum, and my two young children do not give me time for much research, so if this question has been asked before, please point me to the appropriate thread. I did not find anything with a quick and dirty search.

Ok, about 6 months ago, we moved into a house that has an established pond. It is about 6 ft by 3 feet, but a paisley like shape. I do know that at one end it is about 2.5-3 feet deep (the fish survive the few days of freezing that we have). The other end is shallower, but I couldn't tell you how deep.

The previous owner, who built the pond, rather proudly said he never did anything to it and never planted anything, just let nature take its course. Considering some of the plants are in pots, I know the latter point isn't true. There is no filtration, no fountain or flow, but the liner does leak a bit at the upper levels, so the water drains a bit, and the pond refills with each new rain (or the hose in the summer). The plants around the pond and in it are a bit of a mess, few natives and lots of alien invasives, BUT near as I can tell, no algae problems. And the fish, all goldfish, are happy, and I'm pretty sure breeding.

Today, I was fishing some quince out that my son threw in there in November, and for kicks and giggles tested the depth at the deepest end. There is a LOT of debris down there, fallen tree leaves, dead water lily leaves I'm sure some dead fish, and probably other plant material. The current depth is not what the previous owner said- it's closer to 2 feet. It actually seems to be doing pretty well. But I'm tempted to drain it and clean it out. Should I, or is that inviting problems? I know if I were to do that, and refill with hose water I'll likely have an algae bloom, but is that bad? I have never had a pond, and have no idea really how to care for it. I know what my goals are for it, but I think I'll save that for another thread to avoid confusion.

Can anyone advise me? And hopefully point me into a good direction as far as learning materials ? I'd like to stick with natural and organic methods.

Thanks heaps! And happy Spring!

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Old 06-03-2012, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amphitecna View Post
Hello all,

Sorry for the double posting, I just saw that there were two Pond sections on this forum. Since I'm not sure where the best place to post is, I'm taking the risk. I know this is moving to Usenet, and would post there, but I'm nervous about the spamming consequences, since emails are public there.

I am a new user on this forum, and my two young children do not give me time for much research, so if this question has been asked before, please point me to the appropriate thread. I did not find anything with a quick and dirty search.

Ok, about 6 months ago, we moved into a house that has an established pond. It is about 6 ft by 3 feet, but a paisley like shape. I do know that at one end it is about 2.5-3 feet deep (the fish survive the few days of freezing that we have). The other end is shallower, but I couldn't tell you how deep.

The previous owner, who built the pond, rather proudly said he never did anything to it and never planted anything, just let nature take its course. Considering some of the plants are in pots, I know the latter point isn't true. There is no filtration, no fountain or flow, but the liner does leak a bit at the upper levels, so the water drains a bit, and the pond refills with each new rain (or the hose in the summer). The plants around the pond and in it are a bit of a mess, few natives and lots of alien invasives, BUT near as I can tell, no algae problems. And the fish, all goldfish, are happy, and I'm pretty sure breeding.

Today, I was fishing some quince out that my son threw in there in November, and for kicks and giggles tested the depth at the deepest end. There is a LOT of debris down there, fallen tree leaves, dead water lily leaves I'm sure some dead fish, and probably other plant material. The current depth is not what the previous owner said- it's closer to 2 feet. It actually seems to be doing pretty well. But I'm tempted to drain it and clean it out. Should I, or is that inviting problems? I know if I were to do that, and refill with hose water I'll likely have an algae bloom, but is that bad? I have never had a pond, and have no idea really how to care for it. I know what my goals are for it, but I think I'll save that for another thread to avoid confusion.

Can anyone advise me? And hopefully point me into a good direction as far as learning materials ? I'd like to stick with natural and organic methods.

Thanks heaps! And happy Spring!
Hi and welcome to the board.

There are others on here who specialise in ponds and may well be able to offer more advice but personally speaking I think you would to well to give the pond a good clear out. Remove the fish first of course ( I save old milk bottles to keep them in when cleaning my pond) drain the water and remove any debris from the bottom. Then clean the sides of the pond to rid it of any algae that may have accumulated. Any household detergent will do the job. Locate any cracks you may have in the liner and tape them up being careful to select a suitable colour tape so it blends in when the pond is refilled. Next, refill the pond with tap water ( not too hot) and reintroduce the fish and any plants you may have and allow things to settle for a few days. Hopefully, all will be well and you can enjoy your pond.

One thing that does concern me is the lack of movement in your pond. Ideally you need a good pump and filtration device to keep things healthy, especially during the hot summer months. I can appreciate that these systems can be quite costly but heres a method that works well at a fraction of the cost. I hire a small Polish child who gently scoops up water from one end of the pond and pours it back in the other through a pair of old tights. I have painted him grey to look like a garden ornament and he is very effective and seems happy in his work.

Hope this helps
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Old 13-03-2012, 09:19 AM
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Hello all,

Again, sorry for the double post- I received on response on here, and another on the unmoderated version of this forum.

Thanks for the suggestions. To be upfront, we are concerned about the safety of the children with this pond. There is a fence around it (sturdy chickenwire...so a reminder more than a blockade), but we are looking for ways to make it even more safe, short of draining it....that's tough though. My initial inclination had been to drain and fill it in, and that's not off the books, but I've always wanted a pond to attract wildlife as much as for its beauty. And, I think they built it well, so it seems a shame to destroy it. Have you guys seen any creative (and nice-looking) solutions?

So based on the two responses, it's 50/50 whether I should drain or dredge, but 100% on a filter/water flow. How big a deal is it to install one of these systems? Do we have to drain it anyway to do that? The water is brown, because of all the tannins, and I imagine the debris on the bottom, but there's no algae issue or anything (yet, anyway).

I agree that I don't want to disrupt what seems to be a perfectly good equilibrium. Having said that, I want to ultimately change the vegetation over to native plants, to attract the native wildlife, and get rid of those fish. I'd rather have toads/frogs/non-mosquito insects and other wildlife and those fish just eat everything. If they were native fish, my arm might be twistable, but they're goldfish. So, as soon as I can find a humane way of sending them to the next world, they're done.

So, given that fish removal will be a dramatic change, maybe I should wait until they're gone to do anything drastic, then see how the pond reacts to their removal, and if all goes awry drain and clean? I'd love to NOT have to drain and clean. I have enough on my hands chasing my two children around.

Thanks a lot for your suggestions! And say hello to the PNW for me- we were in Seattle for 7ish years and really liked it. You know that when spring comes, it'll have been worth the wait.

Quote:
"Amphitecna" wrote in...

(I previously sent this, ((twice in fact, addressed to both groups.
It sure looked like it went fine, but never arrived on either group,
so sorry if you get it twice, or thrice!)

Hello all,

Welcome to the interest.

I am a new user on this forum,

It's just my opinion, that both this newsgroup,
and the moderated newsgroup (that I have "cross posted" to)
are currently usable. There are plenty of caring and
kind people that will give advice and ideas.

and my two young children

I hate to add a "worry" first thing, but seriously
evaluate & take steps for the children's safety.
There are frequent very sad cases of children
falling into ponds & drowning (even in 2 feet).
No need for paranoia, but consider that first.

Ok, about 6 months ago, we moved into a house that has an established
pond. It is about 6 ft by 3 feet, but a paisly like shape. I do know
that at one end it is about 2.5-3 feet deep (the fish survive the few
days of freezing that we have). The other end is shallower, but I
couldn't tell you how deep.

The previous owner, who built the pond, rather proudly said he never did
anything to it and never planted anything, just let nature take its
course. Considering some of the plants are in pots, I know the latter
point isn't true. There is no filtration, no fountain or flow,
The plants around the pond and in it are a bit of a mess, few natives
and lots of alien invasives, BUT near as I can tell, no algae problems.
And the fish, all goldfish, are happy, and I'm pretty sure breeding.

Hey!! If the current pond works that well (fish happy & breeding)
rejoice!!

but the liner does leak a bit at the upper levels, so the water
drains a bit, and the pond refills with each new rain
(or the hose in the summer).

Perhaps I have been overcautious, but I use hose to
put water into 5 gallon buckets to sit 24 hours
(to lose chemicals and 'moderate' temperature)
before adding to pond.

Today, I was fishing some quince out that my son threw in there in
November, and for kicks and giggles tested the depth at the deepest end.
There is a LOT of debris down there, fallen tree leaves, dead water
lily leaves I'm sure some dead fish, and probably other plant material.
The current depth is not what the previous owner said- it's closer to 2
feet. It actually seems to be doing pretty well. But I'm tempted to
drain it and clean it out. Should I, or is that inviting problems?

I'm probably in the minority and wrong.
But personally, all I would do is reach in and
pull out a bit of the debris each day.
(perhaps use a net on a stick to get a liter
quanity of gunk & debris each time out).

Total emptiying, cleaning, & in effect transplanting
fish just seems to me to be a big risk, for a
situation that's doing well.

I know if I were to do that, and refill with hose water I'll likely have
an algae bloom, but is that bad? I have never had a pond, and have no
idea really how to care for it. I know what my goals are for it, but I
think I'll save that for another thread to avoid confusion.
Can anyone advise me? And hopefully point me into a good direction as
far as learning materials ? I'd like to stick with natural and organic
methods.

Some sort of pump, filter, & water flow (or water fall)
might be nice.

Thanks heaps! And happy Spring!
Amphitecna

Happy spring back to you.
I'm in USA, Pacific NW.
About Tuesday & Wed. we had white shit falling
from the sky. Then we had 2 days with sun out.
Yes, Spring must be coming!
A couple cases of a male duck chasing a female,
and a male goose chasing a female, but they did
get a bit distracted when a bald eagle flew over
and nested in a tree to watch.
Now we got 7 days of rain predicted with almost
all temps staying 31 to 41 degrees F
(so for you in C, 0 to 7).
But, I have faith, Spring will come.


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