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Pond au naturel....

This is a discussion on Pond au naturel.... within the Pond Construction and Maintenance forums, part of the Water Gardening category; Ok, so, I guess I'll start! This is our pond, no telling how many gallons, ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Pond au naturel....

    Ok, so, I guess I'll start!

    This is our pond, no telling how many gallons, but several anyway. It was dug out by dozer and backhoe, is unlined, and sinks to a depth of 14 feet at the center. It's fed by natural springs that have been channelled to drain into it from the top, and rainwater. This is almost about as full as it gets; earlier in the spring it was about 6 inches higher, but with the heat and summer coming on, the water level will drop considerably, going down several feet lower by the end of October before the rains start again.

    The ugly aluminum protrusion in the middle is the intake pipe for the pump we installed, and from this end, you can just make out our Poseidon stature that guards the small upper pond at the top.




    Next is the pump inside its "house." We wanted a really nice, loud waterfall from the upper pond to the main one, both for the sound and for oxygenation, so this thing puts out 1800 gallons per minute. Diameter of the aluminum input pipe is 12 inches; the output pipe measures 10 inches in diameter. At the very left of the pic is an electric oil-filled heater to keep water in the impeller housing from freezing in winter when the pump is off, and the pump house is insulated with 3/4 inch thick foam pads.




    Here's the small upper pond at the very top. It serves mainly as a reservoir for the waterfall. Poseidon stands 6 ft tall, and we still haven't found a good pitchfork for him yet. Since we live right smack in the belly button of the bible belt, we couldn't find a Poseidon without a ridiculous fig leaf covering his privates, but that's the way it goes. I really need to do a ton of work here, getting rid of the vines and saplings and crap that have grown all through the rocks. Bruce and I cemented in I don't know how many tons of rock to create this thing, and I swear to God, I'll never do it again. Major pain and backache!



    The whole point of all this labor and expense was to create this waterfall. It looks a ton better without all the greenery at the left, since the cascade extends quite a bit under that canopy of vines and stuff. In late fall, when the water level of the main pond is several feet lower, the falling water makes a wonderful roar when it hits the rocks we put in below it.



    Finally, since this is, after all, Arkansas, though koi and swans would be nice, we don't have koi or swans. Instead, we's gottum catfish and geese! These catfish are monsters--some over two feet--since we feed 'em dry dog food spring, summer, and fall, and they'll eat out of your hand. I tried petting one a few weeks ago but the sucker bit the **** out of my finger; anyone who says catfish don't have teeth doesn't know catfish. These are mostly channel cats but there are some blues, and their teeth are like extremely sharp files.




    So there you have it, our pond, a little wild, a little woolly, but we like it a lot, snapping turtles, water snakes, catfish, crayfish that dig silly little holes in the mud on the banks, all of it.

    So what's your pond look like? How did you build it? What made you decide to go to the trouble?

    We want to know!

  2. #2
    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    Louis, this club is for water gardens ...not lakes !!!! Holy Toledo man,,,,I have seen cities that can't pump that much water ! Catfish....yummy ! Ever eat any of them ?

    Alright you normal water gardeners, don't let this lake scare you off...I retract my statement " Bigger is better" and "Size matters" !!

    Seriously, very beautiful pond !

  3. #3
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    Good Lord Man!! I have only seen things like that in books. You know, the wealthy English noble people and their country estates. That is wonderful.
















    You ain't never seeing my little mud puddle after that.

  4. #4
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    (and have you ever seen me with nothing to say!)


    Ok, I'll try it this way


  5. #5
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    Well, thanks for the compliments--building this was a lot of work--but actually, Gilda's right. Our pond is an open system, constantly being rejuvenated with new water, and it's certainly not being gardened. It's about all I can do to keep the grass on the banks weed-eated.

    The kinds of ponds this club is about are closed systems, anything from those black, hard-shell forms that are a couple feet on each side, to setups that are much more elaborate, ponds ten or twelve or twenty feet per side, dug three feet or so into the ground, lined with flexible rubber liners over sand or paper, water pumped and filtered through sand or some synthetic material to encourage the growth of nitrifying bacteria, etc.. That's real water gardening, where you have to put in effort to balance the system, keep the water reasonably clear and free from excessive algae, where you're actually tending and growing plants and fish that rely on you for their care.

    So please don't be intimidated--I really just posted this because it's the pond we've got, and I wanted to get the ball rolling. It really doesn't fit with what this club is supposed to be about.

    So let's see you guys' setups: maintaining a healthy closed system of any size takes some doing, and the smaller it is, the more fluctuations there are going to be, the harder it's going to be to take care of. If you're successful with a small thing, *that's* impressive, and that's what this club is about--in my eyes anyway, people showing through experience what works in small, closed aquatic systems, and what doesn't.

    Ok?

    Ok.

    So let's see 'em!

  6. #6
    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    We started out by sinking a bathtub(Yes, you read this right )...I have old photos somewhere..it will take some digging to find them ,but I will scan them to show how far we have come !....
    We are having out of town guests Sun-Mon. ,so I might be scarce for a while....but I shall return with photos of before and after !

  7. #7
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    You won't ever see my puddle in the green house , I do have a large pond but not pretty like Louis has , no waterfall or trees around it except for one lone willow , it has catfish and bass and perch 4 ducks and a lot of bull frogs lol Gin

  8. #8
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    Gin, we've *got* to see it after that setup!

    *wants to see bullfrogs*

    We've got one here that starts up around mid-June; first time I heard it, I didn't know what it was and thought one of the neighbor's cows had gotten sick.

  9. #9
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    I would love to have a pond fed by natural springs. It is so beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bruce, thank you for the update too.

  10. #10
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    LOL, Tom, you pulled up an old one here. I think I have posted another thread with more recent photos on here somewhere. The pond area has really matured over the years.

    Cheers,
    BD

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