Pondgardener's ponds...

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Pondgardener's ponds...

#1

Post: # 764Unread post pondgardener
Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:31 pm

When we moved here 15 years ago, almost the entire backyard was covered with grass. The following Spring, I rented a Bobcat, removed all the existing grass, laid out a bunch of garden boxes and hand dug two pond areas at least two feet deep. The koi pond extends at least another 16" above ground, so it is 40" deep and about 1500 gallons and the goldfish pond is around 850 gallons. I have a 110 gallon, mostly buried tank for each pond which acts as a settling tank and bio filter. Water hyacinths are added to the bio filters in May and removed in the Fall to add to the compost pile. I usually have at least 2 or 3 waterlilies in the koi pond in buckets to keep the koi from tearing them up and the goldfish area is usually half covered with water hyacinths as the season progresses. I do weekly water changes in the Spring, Summer and Fall and use the water in the vegetable garden. In the winter, the koi usually stay at the bottom but the goldfish move around somewhat, although I cover most of their area with a tarp to minimize debris that could be blown into the pond. In the winter, the koi pond has frozen over, as temps can get below zero, but water is circulating under the ice 24 hours a day, year round with aeration. This may not be the most elaborate setup, but it allows us to sit outside, watch the fish and listen to the moving water. And the main pond is just outside the kitchen window, so we can watch birds, dragon flies and an occasional pair of ducks stop to visit.
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Re: Pondgardener's ponds...

#2

Post: # 768Unread post Bower
Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:58 pm

Super cool! 8-) :D Gorgeous fishies. ;)
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Re: Pondgardener's ponds...

#3

Post: # 778Unread post MissS
Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:52 pm

Your ponds are just beautiful. How many of them do you have? What type of filtration system are you running. How are you keeping so many fish in the second pond without issues?
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Re: Pondgardener's ponds...

#4

Post: # 780Unread post PhilaGardener
Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:55 pm

Great koi!
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Re: Pondgardener's ponds...

#5

Post: # 783Unread post SpookyShoe
Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:12 pm

Elegant water gardens, Pondgardener. Watching your koi must be a very enjoyable thing to do.

We have a very tiny natural pond in the backyard. It has just a few goldfish in it. I have some pictures from last summer, but really when it is the prettiest is when the spring bulbs are blooming around it. I aerate the water by using just a large aquarium air pump.

Donna, zone 9, Texas Gulf Coast
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Donna, zone 9, El Lago, Texas

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#6

Post: # 784Unread post pondgardener
Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:22 pm

Very nice, Donna...set up in a very natural type look

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Re: Pondgardener's ponds...

#7

Post: # 791Unread post pondgardener
Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:07 pm

MissS wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:52 pm
Your ponds are just beautiful. How many of them do you have? What type of filtration system are you running. How are you keeping so many fish in the second pond without issues?
The two ponds are enough to keep me busy. The filtration system I use is mostly the few water hyacinth I buy in the Spring and they multiply into the hundreds by the end of the growing season. They get so thick in the tanks that I have a little trouble opening a space to remove some of the crud that has settled to the bottom. The bio filter media use naturally occurring bacteria to clean up the water.

And I never intended to have so many goldfish. When we moved to this home I had brought a number of goldfish from the other house and wintered them in a buried tank in the yard. After I had constructed the main pond, I added water into the pond, treated it to break down the chlorine, let it sit a few days and then added the fish...and they all died! Come to find out later that the local water utility treats their water with chloramine, which requires a different product to break down the chloramine bonds, and render the water safe for fish. So finding this out, I purchased TWO feeder goldfish to test the waters and as luck would have it they lived and got along too well. It wasn't long that I had hundreds of tiny fish in a pond that I decided I wanted to put koi in. So I drained it down to about 20'', climbed in and spent the better part of the afternoon trying to net all these tiny fish, that I couldn't see very well, as the water got murky. Eventually I got them all out and since my wife didn't want them destroyed and I wasn't going to release them in the local river system, I ended up building the second pond to harbor all of them, But as they grew, they started to fill that up. But a hail storm wiped out a bunch of them and thinned out the population a bit. And as time went on, I haven't seen any more little ones, as they probably never got big enough to avoid being eaten. I keep telling my wife that when the goldfish are gone, the place where they are will be the new home for a patch of corn, but so far no luck.

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Re: Pondgardener's ponds...

#8

Post: # 810Unread post MissS
Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:07 pm

Your ponds are gorgeous Donna.

Pondgardener that sure is going to be one tasty crop of corn when the time comes. I had a similar problem. I bought Koi for my first pond. The pond was plenty deep for them to survive but we had a freeze/thaw type of winter. The edges of the pond would thaw and the fish would surface to get the fresh air. Night time came and the ice froze again with the fish stuck in the edges. Spring thaw was a stinky mess. The next year my DH went and bought me 50 feeder goldfish for $5.00. They did great and no more freeze/thaws. The fish produced many fry and I donated them to a teacher at school who had a 50 gallon aquarium. At the end of the year each child could take one home. It was a win/win deal for all.
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Re: Pondgardener's ponds...

#9

Post: # 814Unread post pondgardener
Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:20 pm

Yes, winter is a time for concern. Aeration is important, especially in the winter. When the pond does freeze over, air is being drawn into the water above the ice and the air entrained water is returned below the ice. And it makes some interesting patterns on top the ice.

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Re: Pondgardener's ponds...

#10

Post: # 1747Unread post Nan6b
Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:07 pm

A family with a toddler moved in next door to us. No fence separates our properties. What to do with the 2' deep pond? The local herons had long ago eaten the fish. I cleaned the pond well and added river stone such that there is only about 7" of water above them. I bricked in a spot exactly as big as the pump so the pump can still be underwater and can be easily removed for cleaning.
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Re: Pondgardener's ponds...

#11

Post: # 1748Unread post MissS
Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:13 pm

I had no fence around my pond and it was ground level. I had no neighbors to worry about but I had a toddler. If you are outside most of the time, I would do as I did and put those little bells on the kids shoes. That way you can hear them coming. Of course it will be harder for you since you aren't the caregiver following the child. In that case I would fill the pond in or place a fence around it. Children are just too precious to lose.
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Re: Pondgardener's ponds...

#12

Post: # 1761Unread post pondgardener
Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:58 pm

Nan6b wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:07 pm
A family with a toddler moved in next door to us. No fence separates our properties. What to do with the 2' deep pond? The local herons had long ago eaten the fish. I cleaned the pond well and added river stone such that there is only about 7" of water above them. I bricked in a spot exactly as big as the pump so the pump can still be underwater and can be easily removed for cleaning.
Sometimes, no matter what you do, tragedy can happen. I would never had thought that a child could drown in a partially filled 5 gallon bucket, until I saw a demonstration. When I first started laying out the pond areas, I put in a 6 foot high fence next to the existing 42" chainlink fence around the entire back yard, planted Virginia Creeper vines to weave within the fence and have locked gates on both ends. And whenever we have any children over, someone is always supervising them. But kids, if they want to investigate something, will find a way to get in. So, it seems like you have done your best at minimizing danger around your pond and hopefully the neighbor acts responsibly as well.

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Dog fights

#13

Post: # 1905Unread post SpookyShoe
Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:00 am

If your dog gets into an altercation with a raccoon, if there is nearby water, a raccoon will try to lure the dog into the water and can drown him.
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Donna, zone 9, El Lago, Texas

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#14

Post: # 27140Unread post loulac
Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:04 am

pondgardner wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:20 pm
Tomatoes… get regular water from the ponds, so are not lacking there.
I must say my curiosity is aroused : could you give us some details about the ponds ? I’ve driven past the maximum security prison not far from your home (Never stop for hitchhikers !) and if I remember well there was no water visible in the area. Are you lucky enough to have natural springs filling natural / artificial ponds, do you collect rainwater or needed deep drilling ? Your answer will be welcome.
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#15

Post: # 27146Unread post pondgardner
Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:49 am

@loulac, the ponds that I mentioned are two small ones that I dug out, a 850 gallon goldfish area and a 1500 gallon koi enclosure. Water comes from the city utility. Weekly water changes of 15-20%, similar to what you would do with an aquarium, are done and the old water spread out among the garden. The Arkansas river runs through town and there are a number of small lakes that were formed when sand and gravel were removed. There is also a large reservoir west of the city that the river flows through, that was built over 50 years ago, to control the periodic flooding that occurred when we would get an occasional cloudburst. This area experienced a devastating flood in 1921, levees were constructed and years later the reservoir was built. As far as rainwater, I have a small 55 gallon barrel next to a garden shed but amounts have been minimal this year. I would be surprised if we have gotten an inch over the last couple of months. So we are dependent on the reservoir to store snow melt to be used throughout the year.

Here is a link showing my two ponds...

viewtopic.php?f=59&t=119#p764
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George
Zone 6b
Elevation : 4600 ft or about 1400 meters
Climate : semi-desert
Avg annual rainfall = 12.26" or about 311mm

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Re: Pondgardener's ponds...

#16

Post: # 27164Unread post loulac
Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:36 am

Thank you for your time and patience, giving the same description several times on the same site can really be annoying. As I have done quite a bit of digging and masonry when my years were lighter I can appreciate the amount of work you did and its quality.
The vegetation is quite impressive too, I suppose the soil is fertile or you may have improved it. The same altitude in the Pyrenees mountains 60 miles from my home means a possibility of frost in the early morning even in summer. I hope your tomatoes can escape the danger.
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Re: Pondgardener's ponds...

#17

Post: # 27180Unread post pondgardner
Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:25 am

@loulac, while we are high in elevation, usually last frosts are in May and the first one is usually mid October, although it can occur as late as November. This year I managed to get some plants out in around April 23rd, which is unusual here. The climate would be considered semi-arid with hot summers. So I have yet to have a problem getting plenty of tomatoes. Hail is the big factor here, as early storms can turn transplants into sticks and later ones destroy mature fruits.

The beds I have constructed have had at least 8 inches of soil removed from each box, the ground double dug and garden quality soil put back in with amendments added every year. I too am getting up there in years, so when I started another bed this year, I loosened the soil in the ground and am building raised beds at least 12"(30cm) high. My wife worries every year that I will start digging up parts of the small lawn we have, but I have plenty of beds to work with.

And I moved your initial post so it wouldn't change the direction of the tomato thread and I had no problems adding new information to an old thread.
George
Zone 6b
Elevation : 4600 ft or about 1400 meters
Climate : semi-desert
Avg annual rainfall = 12.26" or about 311mm

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