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New To Ponds, Would Appreciate Some Advice



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 30th 04, 02:39 AM
WDiamond
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default New To Ponds, Would Appreciate Some Advice

Hi folks,

After many years of dreaming, I've decided to add a small fish pond to
my backyard. I'm not that limited on space, but don't want to take up
to much room with the pond. I'm thinking Koi are out, given some of
the reading I've done about size/gallons they require.

I would really appreciate advice on what components to use (filter,
pump, etc) and best practices for the newbie. I'm a HUGE animal lover
and want to get this right the first time without hurting any fish. I
don't mind spending a little more money for the best products if it
guarantees my success and the longevity of my fish.

Any advice/web links would be greatly appreciated.
  #2  
Old March 30th 04, 03:50 AM
Just Me \Koi\
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default New To Ponds, Would Appreciate Some Advice

Escape now before it's too late!

--
_______________________________________
"The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is
like an eggs-and-ham breakfast:
The chicken was 'involved' - the pig was 'committed'."

http://community.webshots.com/user/godwino

"WDiamond" wrote in message
om...
Hi folks,

After many years of dreaming, I've decided to add a small fish pond to
my backyard. I'm not that limited on space, but don't want to take up
to much room with the pond. I'm thinking Koi are out, given some of
the reading I've done about size/gallons they require.

I would really appreciate advice on what components to use (filter,
pump, etc) and best practices for the newbie. I'm a HUGE animal lover
and want to get this right the first time without hurting any fish. I
don't mind spending a little more money for the best products if it
guarantees my success and the longevity of my fish.

Any advice/web links would be greatly appreciated.



  #3  
Old March 30th 04, 03:50 AM
Just Me \Koi\
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default New To Ponds, Would Appreciate Some Advice

Escape now before it's too late!

--
_______________________________________
"The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is
like an eggs-and-ham breakfast:
The chicken was 'involved' - the pig was 'committed'."

http://community.webshots.com/user/godwino

"WDiamond" wrote in message
om...
Hi folks,

After many years of dreaming, I've decided to add a small fish pond to
my backyard. I'm not that limited on space, but don't want to take up
to much room with the pond. I'm thinking Koi are out, given some of
the reading I've done about size/gallons they require.

I would really appreciate advice on what components to use (filter,
pump, etc) and best practices for the newbie. I'm a HUGE animal lover
and want to get this right the first time without hurting any fish. I
don't mind spending a little more money for the best products if it
guarantees my success and the longevity of my fish.

Any advice/web links would be greatly appreciated.



  #4  
Old March 30th 04, 05:36 AM
jammer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default New To Ponds, Would Appreciate Some Advice

LOL...no doubt! I'm the one with the 70 gallon no frills pondlet, i
am coming into some money, and what did i buy last night? A new
shovel! OH OH!

To the original poster. You DID come to the right place. Be patient.




On Tue, 30 Mar 2004 02:50:52 GMT, "Just Me \"Koi\""
wrote:

Escape now before it's too late!


  #5  
Old March 30th 04, 05:36 AM
jammer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default New To Ponds, Would Appreciate Some Advice

LOL...no doubt! I'm the one with the 70 gallon no frills pondlet, i
am coming into some money, and what did i buy last night? A new
shovel! OH OH!

To the original poster. You DID come to the right place. Be patient.




On Tue, 30 Mar 2004 02:50:52 GMT, "Just Me \"Koi\""
wrote:

Escape now before it's too late!


  #6  
Old March 30th 04, 06:34 AM
Ka30P
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default New To Ponds, Would Appreciate Some Advice


Bigger is better.
Bigger than that is even better!
Build it with maintenance in mind. To that
end skimmers and bottom drains are good,
plan for netting in the fall or spring depending on the trees in your yard. LOW
fish stocking, good filter, water movement with waterfall or fountain.
Someone will have Chuck Rush's webpage handy and post it for you. And there are
other good webpages out there that will be posted.

kathy :-)
  #7  
Old March 30th 04, 06:34 AM
Ka30P
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default New To Ponds, Would Appreciate Some Advice


Bigger is better.
Bigger than that is even better!
Build it with maintenance in mind. To that
end skimmers and bottom drains are good,
plan for netting in the fall or spring depending on the trees in your yard. LOW
fish stocking, good filter, water movement with waterfall or fountain.
Someone will have Chuck Rush's webpage handy and post it for you. And there are
other good webpages out there that will be posted.

kathy :-)
  #8  
Old March 30th 04, 10:33 AM
adavisus
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default New To Ponds, Would Appreciate Some Advice

(WDiamond) wrote in message

After many years of dreaming, I've decided to add a small fish pond to
my backyard. I'm not that limited on space, but don't want to take up
to much room with the pond. I'm thinking Koi are out, given some of
the reading I've done about size/gallons they require.


ahah, there's only one thing better than dreaming about an idyllic
pond and that's to fill a new pond with water and dangle yer toes in
it...



The cool time of the year is the best time to sort out a pond dig,
Autumn and early Winter can be a good time to do the heavy work....
over winter the plants and water have time to settle in and be in good
shape ready for the active growing season.

Quite a few perennials need a full Winter rooting in before they show
their best, the water quality has time to stabilise before stocking it
with fish, many a pond will struggle with green water and plants
failing when they are thrown in Spring just as the Summer starts...

Digging a little often during the cooler months might tempt you to
pace it out a lot better without the impatience of fretting that you
are missing the growing season... digging is quite often a lot easier
when the soil is damp, a clay or sandy soil can be much easier to
work...

When starting a water garden, there are some factors which could
influence its progress

1- Location... Is it easy to dig, well drained, to use machinery,
access to utilities, A low lying ground can be a problem, with liners
being backwashed when ground water rises

2- High or low maintenance... if your circumstances change, will the
pond still be manageable, koi are quite demanding of resources,
compared to a wildlife garden

3- Priority, is it for fish, plants, wildlife....

4- Aesthetics- Would an informal or formal pond shape, be attractive,
or maybe you want to maximise a rectangular liner...

5- Security, external influences such as predators... neighbors... A
pond can be made to deter herons etc

6- Safety, Are children or infirm folk likely to be around

7- Climate influences, will it work well in Winter and Summer, can you
reach all areas all year round...

8- Limitations of experience... Water gardens tend to be limited at
the early phase by limitations of effort and experience, ponders often
regret having only one pond when serious problems arise...

Here's a few low maintenance features which would be 'reliable'
aspects of a liner pond that works long term...

Make a pond as large as possible, less weeding or mowing grass in
future where that goes for sure

Planning a flat base to the bottom of the pool, so aquatic plant tubs
can stand stable... A plant ratio of 60% of the pond well planted with
well chosen plants might affect the size of pond which is preferred
(steer clear of invasives or plants which have smothering habits)
Waterlily, aquatic iris, a few accent marginals to add interest
through the year. Good cover from predators, shade on a hot day,
something perky to look at...

An average water depth of 30" will be fine, creating a stable
temperature range not so shallow its going to warm and cool fast,
something algae prefers.... algae likes shallow ponds...

You can steer clear of any mechanical gizmos, outside of a trickle on
a hot day from a hosepipe a pond can thrive fine without subsidising a
lot of folk selling appliances that squelch water about, unless you
intend to overstock fish dramatically....

A pond with characteristics along those lines will thrive on a low
maintenance basis, while you meander off doing other things...

Slumping can be a problem if your sides are too steep, anything
between a 45 to 90 (vertical) side will be vulnerable to
subsiding... usually not in a big dramatic way, more in the way of
creeping when theres a volume of water pressing on the liner, where
theres foot traffic the rim of the pond edge is likely to bulge in
toward the pond, no big problem until one day the ground is really wet
and likely to move, you may find yourself having to rebuild the edge
once in a while

Large flagstones, flat stones or planting grasses with quite binding
roots should reduce that minor problem. At least, with liner pond
construction, the odd problem with subsidence or erosion is usually
straightforward to maintain...

It's a good idea to consider the 'little' things about creating an
aquatic habitat well before completing a pond, some things you cannot
anticipate and living with 'little' mistakes can quite spoil the long
term enjoyment after going to all the trouble of digging a pond

Shallow water areas have plusses and minuses... While you might like
the little critters that are encouraged to move in, it may come as a
shock when predators start to take advantage of a shallow beach area.
Foxes are known to gnaw through liners in pursuit of bugs and critters
trying to hide... a heron will greatly appreciate an easy walk into a
pond. large bullfrogs and water snakes are likely to bask in shallow
areas where the little critters gather....

Personally I stick to 45 angle sides going straight down to a flat
bottomed pool maybe 2'6" or more deep, create a few 'island' positions
where the little un's can loaf, perhaps a floating log for turtles and
place water lilies where their lilypads can create a land bridge for
the intsy wintsy little scuttling flapjacks (baby turtles)

The idea of creating a shallow sheltered spot usually means mr.
moccasin and mr.heron have a ready made all too convenient welcome mat
to a sushi bar... You have no idea the surprise folk will get when
they come face to face with a largish snake head peering up at their
toes, or a scattering of dismembered pond buddy parts decorating the
welcome mat

Puncturing is an obvious factor, you don't want any sharp roots or
stones under the liner, sand or scavenged carpet can backline the
entire area economically.... if you are in an area with trees where
freezing rain is likely, consider the most cost effective liner rather
than some silly expensive brand, if you know punctures are
inevitable... on large scale projects its typical for a bed of 6" of
sand to be laid in the shallows if animals are likely to trample...

No, you definitely do not need pumps, filters, chemicals to make a
pond a success. Beyond a net to sweep autumn leaves out, a pond can be
a lot less bother than your average flower bed to make and to maintain

If you make your sides with 45 slopes.... that is a simple and
effective way to deter herons when they get round to spotting your
fish.... they only approach a pond where its got an 'easy slope'

Use a thick grade of roofing liner to line a pond.... its the same
stuff as what is sold as 'pond liners' only it costs maybe ten times
less (really) at that price the odd leak, falling branch in an ice
storm, or critter damage won't be such a problem to fix in the
future...

Plan to use bucket sized containers for planting aquatic plants, the
likes of water lilies, reeds, irises start well if fish can't get at
the roots of plants, the plants can be moved around easy, and trimmed
when they overgrow in tubs easier.

A plant ratio of 60% of the pond well planted with well chosen plants
(steer clear of invasives or plants which have smothering habits)
Waterlily, aquatic iris, a few accent marginals to add interest
through the year. Good cover from predators, shade on a hot day,
something perky to look at... Plants significantly improve water
quality, most varieties are easy to find on e-bay throughout the year,
waterlilies and marginal plants are easy to find from $5 plus

Try to resist the temptation to introduce plants that are known to
have bad growing characteristics, the native cattail typha latifolia
can destroy a pond with its tunneling rhisomes... some invasive types
of water lily become impossible to control when they romp, too, while
well chosen classy lilies, irises flower prolific year after year, no
problem easy to prune.... Water hyacinth seems so easy, just throw it
in... bear in mind it grows x1000 in one Summer and it is all going to
be dead sludge when the first frost arrives...

Well planned, and planted ponds are labour saving, once installed, no
mowing or weeding ever again.... a few chores do crop up, like, where
shall the lounger go, shall I feed the cute hoard of fish, etc....

I never used pumps or filters, ever, on a pond.... some folk are
convinced early on when they buy a pond that they have 'got' to have
them. Ummm nope, a pond can thrive fine without the gizmo's... they
tend to encourage folk to overstock them. All pumps fail maybe a year
or so in the future, overstocked ponds have a lot of casualties.

A few fish, in low density numbers can be quite happy among well
planted gorgeous plantings and have none of the disease and disaster
problems that many retailers profit on supplying with diagnostic
gizmos and phony meds... well balanced, a pond looks after itself
until something needs thinning out

With a large pond (low tech, low maintenance emphasis) and a low fish
ratio, you may well likely grow to become koi aficionado's quite easy,
if you start with a good set of koi requirements clearly defined...
size and depth of pond, well balanced plantings, a small team of koi,
a basic idea of water quality requirements... Knowing koi can grow two
feet long in two years indicates it takes a sizable pond for them, a
40'x20' would look after a small team of koi quite well, otherwise you
are going to be bogged down with quite expensive mechanical life
support systems like pumps if you try to keep too many in too small a
pond

Given good fundamentals and a low stock ratio, koi really are tough as
old boots in a well planted, well configured pond... a couple of pages
of instructions can summarise summer, and winter requirements, a good
booklist and a couple of message boards would get them up to speed,
quite comfortably

A good lounger is something of a must, while you read a pond plant
book or two and water gardening magazine, at your own leisurely pace,
of course

Once in a while a sprinkler is crucial though, to top the pond up and
perk the fish... that's about all that's needed for a well balanced
pond... put the sprinkler on a timer, during the hot months, to
oxygenate the water at the right time of day....

You might ask, whats in ponding for me? Well, I like the extra buzz of
oxygen a pond creates, when all is droughted. I like to know that my
environment is healthy.... all the native critters quickly indicate
when there is serious problems, like poisons being released in my
neighborhood.... A pond is always alive, doing different things at the
right time of the year.... Permanent well planned bodies of water are
a mosquito 'magnet' full of predators which decimate the local
mosquito population.... all eggs and larvae are totally destroyed, in
a healthy pond by fish and aquatic predators....A pond is quite a
subtle and effective intruder deterrent, a moat... nobody goes
creeping around outside after dark... once completed, a pond is less
mowing, and weeding, for me! Just another two acres of grass to dig
up, to go...

....Just a few of the more obvious aspects which, if well thought out
before construction, just might determine how rewarding long term your
pond turns out to be...

regards, andy
http://www.members.aol.com/abdavisnc/swglist.html
http://community.webshots.com/user/adavisus
------------------------oo------------------------
  #9  
Old March 30th 04, 10:33 AM
adavisus
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default New To Ponds, Would Appreciate Some Advice

(WDiamond) wrote in message

After many years of dreaming, I've decided to add a small fish pond to
my backyard. I'm not that limited on space, but don't want to take up
to much room with the pond. I'm thinking Koi are out, given some of
the reading I've done about size/gallons they require.


ahah, there's only one thing better than dreaming about an idyllic
pond and that's to fill a new pond with water and dangle yer toes in
it...



The cool time of the year is the best time to sort out a pond dig,
Autumn and early Winter can be a good time to do the heavy work....
over winter the plants and water have time to settle in and be in good
shape ready for the active growing season.

Quite a few perennials need a full Winter rooting in before they show
their best, the water quality has time to stabilise before stocking it
with fish, many a pond will struggle with green water and plants
failing when they are thrown in Spring just as the Summer starts...

Digging a little often during the cooler months might tempt you to
pace it out a lot better without the impatience of fretting that you
are missing the growing season... digging is quite often a lot easier
when the soil is damp, a clay or sandy soil can be much easier to
work...

When starting a water garden, there are some factors which could
influence its progress

1- Location... Is it easy to dig, well drained, to use machinery,
access to utilities, A low lying ground can be a problem, with liners
being backwashed when ground water rises

2- High or low maintenance... if your circumstances change, will the
pond still be manageable, koi are quite demanding of resources,
compared to a wildlife garden

3- Priority, is it for fish, plants, wildlife....

4- Aesthetics- Would an informal or formal pond shape, be attractive,
or maybe you want to maximise a rectangular liner...

5- Security, external influences such as predators... neighbors... A
pond can be made to deter herons etc

6- Safety, Are children or infirm folk likely to be around

7- Climate influences, will it work well in Winter and Summer, can you
reach all areas all year round...

8- Limitations of experience... Water gardens tend to be limited at
the early phase by limitations of effort and experience, ponders often
regret having only one pond when serious problems arise...

Here's a few low maintenance features which would be 'reliable'
aspects of a liner pond that works long term...

Make a pond as large as possible, less weeding or mowing grass in
future where that goes for sure

Planning a flat base to the bottom of the pool, so aquatic plant tubs
can stand stable... A plant ratio of 60% of the pond well planted with
well chosen plants might affect the size of pond which is preferred
(steer clear of invasives or plants which have smothering habits)
Waterlily, aquatic iris, a few accent marginals to add interest
through the year. Good cover from predators, shade on a hot day,
something perky to look at...

An average water depth of 30" will be fine, creating a stable
temperature range not so shallow its going to warm and cool fast,
something algae prefers.... algae likes shallow ponds...

You can steer clear of any mechanical gizmos, outside of a trickle on
a hot day from a hosepipe a pond can thrive fine without subsidising a
lot of folk selling appliances that squelch water about, unless you
intend to overstock fish dramatically....

A pond with characteristics along those lines will thrive on a low
maintenance basis, while you meander off doing other things...

Slumping can be a problem if your sides are too steep, anything
between a 45 to 90 (vertical) side will be vulnerable to
subsiding... usually not in a big dramatic way, more in the way of
creeping when theres a volume of water pressing on the liner, where
theres foot traffic the rim of the pond edge is likely to bulge in
toward the pond, no big problem until one day the ground is really wet
and likely to move, you may find yourself having to rebuild the edge
once in a while

Large flagstones, flat stones or planting grasses with quite binding
roots should reduce that minor problem. At least, with liner pond
construction, the odd problem with subsidence or erosion is usually
straightforward to maintain...

It's a good idea to consider the 'little' things about creating an
aquatic habitat well before completing a pond, some things you cannot
anticipate and living with 'little' mistakes can quite spoil the long
term enjoyment after going to all the trouble of digging a pond

Shallow water areas have plusses and minuses... While you might like
the little critters that are encouraged to move in, it may come as a
shock when predators start to take advantage of a shallow beach area.
Foxes are known to gnaw through liners in pursuit of bugs and critters
trying to hide... a heron will greatly appreciate an easy walk into a
pond. large bullfrogs and water snakes are likely to bask in shallow
areas where the little critters gather....

Personally I stick to 45 angle sides going straight down to a flat
bottomed pool maybe 2'6" or more deep, create a few 'island' positions
where the little un's can loaf, perhaps a floating log for turtles and
place water lilies where their lilypads can create a land bridge for
the intsy wintsy little scuttling flapjacks (baby turtles)

The idea of creating a shallow sheltered spot usually means mr.
moccasin and mr.heron have a ready made all too convenient welcome mat
to a sushi bar... You have no idea the surprise folk will get when
they come face to face with a largish snake head peering up at their
toes, or a scattering of dismembered pond buddy parts decorating the
welcome mat

Puncturing is an obvious factor, you don't want any sharp roots or
stones under the liner, sand or scavenged carpet can backline the
entire area economically.... if you are in an area with trees where
freezing rain is likely, consider the most cost effective liner rather
than some silly expensive brand, if you know punctures are
inevitable... on large scale projects its typical for a bed of 6" of
sand to be laid in the shallows if animals are likely to trample...

No, you definitely do not need pumps, filters, chemicals to make a
pond a success. Beyond a net to sweep autumn leaves out, a pond can be
a lot less bother than your average flower bed to make and to maintain

If you make your sides with 45 slopes.... that is a simple and
effective way to deter herons when they get round to spotting your
fish.... they only approach a pond where its got an 'easy slope'

Use a thick grade of roofing liner to line a pond.... its the same
stuff as what is sold as 'pond liners' only it costs maybe ten times
less (really) at that price the odd leak, falling branch in an ice
storm, or critter damage won't be such a problem to fix in the
future...

Plan to use bucket sized containers for planting aquatic plants, the
likes of water lilies, reeds, irises start well if fish can't get at
the roots of plants, the plants can be moved around easy, and trimmed
when they overgrow in tubs easier.

A plant ratio of 60% of the pond well planted with well chosen plants
(steer clear of invasives or plants which have smothering habits)
Waterlily, aquatic iris, a few accent marginals to add interest
through the year. Good cover from predators, shade on a hot day,
something perky to look at... Plants significantly improve water
quality, most varieties are easy to find on e-bay throughout the year,
waterlilies and marginal plants are easy to find from $5 plus

Try to resist the temptation to introduce plants that are known to
have bad growing characteristics, the native cattail typha latifolia
can destroy a pond with its tunneling rhisomes... some invasive types
of water lily become impossible to control when they romp, too, while
well chosen classy lilies, irises flower prolific year after year, no
problem easy to prune.... Water hyacinth seems so easy, just throw it
in... bear in mind it grows x1000 in one Summer and it is all going to
be dead sludge when the first frost arrives...

Well planned, and planted ponds are labour saving, once installed, no
mowing or weeding ever again.... a few chores do crop up, like, where
shall the lounger go, shall I feed the cute hoard of fish, etc....

I never used pumps or filters, ever, on a pond.... some folk are
convinced early on when they buy a pond that they have 'got' to have
them. Ummm nope, a pond can thrive fine without the gizmo's... they
tend to encourage folk to overstock them. All pumps fail maybe a year
or so in the future, overstocked ponds have a lot of casualties.

A few fish, in low density numbers can be quite happy among well
planted gorgeous plantings and have none of the disease and disaster
problems that many retailers profit on supplying with diagnostic
gizmos and phony meds... well balanced, a pond looks after itself
until something needs thinning out

With a large pond (low tech, low maintenance emphasis) and a low fish
ratio, you may well likely grow to become koi aficionado's quite easy,
if you start with a good set of koi requirements clearly defined...
size and depth of pond, well balanced plantings, a small team of koi,
a basic idea of water quality requirements... Knowing koi can grow two
feet long in two years indicates it takes a sizable pond for them, a
40'x20' would look after a small team of koi quite well, otherwise you
are going to be bogged down with quite expensive mechanical life
support systems like pumps if you try to keep too many in too small a
pond

Given good fundamentals and a low stock ratio, koi really are tough as
old boots in a well planted, well configured pond... a couple of pages
of instructions can summarise summer, and winter requirements, a good
booklist and a couple of message boards would get them up to speed,
quite comfortably

A good lounger is something of a must, while you read a pond plant
book or two and water gardening magazine, at your own leisurely pace,
of course

Once in a while a sprinkler is crucial though, to top the pond up and
perk the fish... that's about all that's needed for a well balanced
pond... put the sprinkler on a timer, during the hot months, to
oxygenate the water at the right time of day....

You might ask, whats in ponding for me? Well, I like the extra buzz of
oxygen a pond creates, when all is droughted. I like to know that my
environment is healthy.... all the native critters quickly indicate
when there is serious problems, like poisons being released in my
neighborhood.... A pond is always alive, doing different things at the
right time of the year.... Permanent well planned bodies of water are
a mosquito 'magnet' full of predators which decimate the local
mosquito population.... all eggs and larvae are totally destroyed, in
a healthy pond by fish and aquatic predators....A pond is quite a
subtle and effective intruder deterrent, a moat... nobody goes
creeping around outside after dark... once completed, a pond is less
mowing, and weeding, for me! Just another two acres of grass to dig
up, to go...

....Just a few of the more obvious aspects which, if well thought out
before construction, just might determine how rewarding long term your
pond turns out to be...

regards, andy
http://www.members.aol.com/abdavisnc/swglist.html
http://community.webshots.com/user/adavisus
------------------------oo------------------------
  #10  
Old March 30th 04, 06:01 PM
Robyn Rhudy
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default New To Ponds, Would Appreciate Some Advice

On Tue, 30 Mar 2004, Just Me "Koi" wrote:

Escape now before it's too late!


Ain't that the truth! I'm in pain today after spending 6 hrs cleaning my
153 gallon pond yesterday. Plus, I just spent $700 this morning on my
animals, fish, and ponds.

--
_______________________________________
"The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is
like an eggs-and-ham breakfast:
The chicken was 'involved' - the pig was 'committed'."

http://community.webshots.com/user/godwino

"WDiamond" wrote in message
om...
Hi folks,

After many years of dreaming, I've decided to add a small fish pond to
my backyard. I'm not that limited on space, but don't want to take up
to much room with the pond. I'm thinking Koi are out, given some of
the reading I've done about size/gallons they require.

I would really appreciate advice on what components to use (filter,
pump, etc) and best practices for the newbie. I'm a HUGE animal lover
and want to get this right the first time without hurting any fish. I
don't mind spending a little more money for the best products if it
guarantees my success and the longevity of my fish.

Any advice/web links would be greatly appreciated.





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