Ponds and Water Gardening forum: Pics of smaller ponds wanted and installment info

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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Jan 5, 2013 9:27 AM CST
Hi, I have been wanting a pond for some time. Could you post pics of your ponds please? It will help me to make a decision on what might work best here.

Thanks,
Teresa in KY
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
Charter ATP Member The WITWIT Badge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Daylilies
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Carolyn22
Jan 5, 2013 11:26 AM CST
Teresa

Typically when people put in ponds, they wish they had gone bigger, so go as large as your space and budget will allow. We started with a little 90 gallon Walmart pond, then went to a 1100 gallon pond and ended up going as large as our space allowed to just under 5000 gallons.

There is nothing more relaxing than the sound of the waterfalls or to sit on a Summer's day, look at your plantings and watch the fish and other wildlife that is attracted to your pond.

I have found that I tend to go through a withdrawal every winter when our pond is shut down. Hubby made me some videos of the pond and put them on disk so I at least have that through the winter.

We built a lower deck the butts right up to the pond. You can see some of the deck in the pictures below. It is so nice to take a cup of coffee and sit on the lower deck on a sunny morning.


Post any questions you may have and we will help as best we can. Smiling


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Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
Charter ATP Member The WITWIT Badge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Daylilies
Bulbs Purslane Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder Clematis Cat Lover
Image
Carolyn22
Jan 5, 2013 11:40 AM CST
Installment should not be too difficult. We put in our smaller pond with my son just digging a hole into the ground. When we went to a liner pond, we had a friend with a backhoe come and dig out the hole. The liner is quite heavy, so it will take a couple of people to put in the liner and smooth things out.

What size pond are you looking at, Teresa? What size area do you have that you want to put your pond into?

Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Jan 5, 2013 5:20 PM CST
Well, I would like something deep enough to have fish for sure and to sink some plants. Frogs would be nice too. I don't know about a waterfall, maybe a few rocks for height.

Love the pics! Keep them coming. I am having major cabin fever lol.
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
Charter ATP Member The WITWIT Badge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Daylilies
Bulbs Purslane Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder Clematis Cat Lover
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Carolyn22
Jan 5, 2013 7:43 PM CST
Teresa

Koi need more room than goldfish. Also the water volume will indicate how many the pond will be able to support. One of your biggest issues with fish though is that the pond will need to have some type of filtration.

You don't have to have a waterfall. There is no wrong or right way, it is whatever works for you. We have a bubbler that we turn on when the water temps are over 80 degrees as the warmer water has less oxygen content than the colder water. You could just run a bubbler in a pond or perhaps a fountain. There are a number of different things you could do. I have looked at the spitters myself and would love to have one, but haven't found the perfect one yet.

There are a number of different types of plants and waterlilies that would do well in your pond too. I have a couple of favorite waterlilies myself and have found they trade as quickly and as easily as other plants.


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Name: Bonnie Davis
Clermont, Fl. (Zone 9a)
BonnieGardens
Jan 5, 2013 7:56 PM CST
Hi Theresa,
I totally agree with Carolyn. Many variables in pond bldg. and maintenance. We had 3 and took 2 out due to leaks and dug one larger one last July. My old pond is now 5 years old and about 13 feet more orl ess round. Newer one is rectangular 10 X 20. Both ponds have skimmers, UV lights, but main filtration is waterfalls with filter material in both. Larger pond has fountain in the middle plus waterfall.. Everything we have is all done by myself and fam. members. Complete bldg. process is on other site. I am not good at finding pictures once they are in cyber space or I would gladly post for you.
Do build as large as you can afford the first time or build one and connect others later with stream beds. My larger pond is just for koi. I am partial to butterfly or long fin. Smaller pond is gold fish and a couple of oranda. Older pond is where I put fish after I quaranteen them in small tubs for a couple of weeks to see if they are healthy.
I am in central Fl. therefore don't have to contend with ice covered ponds but there are still other conditions to watch out for.
If you have your heart set on a pond don't hesitate go for it. Just study all the material you can on pond bldg. and filtration. One great way is to attend a koi show and also talk to neighbors who have ponds in your area. Good luck and happy ponding. Bonnie
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
Image
bluegrassmom
Jan 5, 2013 8:33 PM CST
I have a inside track, a garden friend has a business/nursery Ponds Plus. She will be able to help get me started. I hope to see more full pics of others ponds to get an idea of what my favorites will be.

Another friend already has koi and extra to share :)
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
Charter ATP Member The WITWIT Badge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Daylilies
Bulbs Purslane Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder Clematis Cat Lover
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Carolyn22
Jan 6, 2013 1:45 PM CST
Teresa

What size pond are you looking at? With koi you will need enough room for them to swim and good filtration. Filtration is key to keeping the water clear and healthy. You will want to be able to turn over the entire volume of your pond in an hour's time.

Instead of shelves, we put bogs around the edges of the pond. These bogs are what would normally be the shelves in the pond, but instead of an open shelf, DH foamed rocks on end at the end of the shelf. After this area was dry, then prewashed pea gravel was used to fill these areas. Plants were then planted directly into these areas. We have a small pump that empties directly into the larger of the bogs and the water is then pushed through with the pea gravel and the roots from the plants filtering the water into the pond. Koi produce quite a bit of waste, so it is important to stay on top of the filtration in the pond.

I tried to find photos that show what I am talking about with the bogs. Typically we open up our pond around the beginning of March and the water celery is already starting to grow - one thing I should mention, we put in the water celery not realizing how invasive it can be. It is great for the filtration,but it has started to jump into the other bogs.

Bonnie - so good to see you here - I am wondering if you can find some of the photos from when you did your last pond? That may help Teresa.

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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
Image
bluegrassmom
Jan 6, 2013 1:55 PM CST
Do all koi get that large? Wow some look like they could be 5 lbs! How long does that take?
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
Charter ATP Member The WITWIT Badge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Daylilies
Bulbs Purslane Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder Clematis Cat Lover
Image
Carolyn22
Jan 6, 2013 3:04 PM CST
That is an interesting question - my largest koi is not my oldest koi. Genetics of the koi will determine that. My largest koi is my kohaku (the orange and white koi in the forefront). Last I checked he was just under 2 feet long. That was in 2009, so he is probably somewhat bigger than that now. The thing with koi is they grow faster in the first 2 years of their lives. After that, they tend to slow down. I have a koi that are older than the kohaku and not as large - so I really think the genetics of the koi are key.

When we put the kohaku in, he was about 4" long. Most of my fish were about this size when they were initially purchased. I am thinking that he is 7 or 8 years old - possibly even 9 years old.

The orange and black fish on the far left, second fish down is older than the Kohaku. He hasn't grown in years so I am thinking he is as big as he will get. The kohaku is easily twice his size. How do we know the genetics of these fish? We don't unless we are buying top of the line koi that have their lineage documented - they tend to be thousands of dollars which is far too rich for my pocketbook. You are better off getting the fish from your friend.




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Name: Bonnie Davis
Clermont, Fl. (Zone 9a)
BonnieGardens
Jan 8, 2013 8:51 AM CST
Hi Theresa,
My oldest are about 5 and are about 1 1/2 feet long not counting their beautiful tail. I'm a butterfly koi fan. They grew fast first year and then supposedly grow about 1 inch per year. I have 1 blue standard koi (not long fin) that has grown so thick bodied it amazes me. They are just like people. Have their own characteristics and quirks. My oldest are always first up to top to feed. They are both gold but definitely different. One is Goldie and 1 is Blondie. I only actually bought 3 to start with. There are about 30 fish in newer pond now but mostly donations. All are koi escept 1 called Meatball that is an oranda. I am surprised he has lived outside as we do get some cold snaps now and then.
Due to loosing a lot of fish last spring I no longer add any to either pond without quaranteening them first and treating for parasites. I'm sure Carolyn will remember what I went thru. Sick tanks set up all over the place. Hope I have learned how to avoid that now but every once in a while fish will get sick and die no matter what you do.
Will try to find my pics of pond being built and post.
Good luck, Bonnie
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
Image
bluegrassmom
Jan 8, 2013 8:57 AM CST
Ok, thanks
How do fish sick act? Just not eating or lethargic? Do you remove them then?
Name: Bonnie Davis
Clermont, Fl. (Zone 9a)
BonnieGardens
Jan 8, 2013 9:05 AM CST
Will try to load pic of my old pond. We have learned a lot since bldg. that one.Thumb of 2013-01-08/BonnieGardens/038611
Name: Bonnie Davis
Clermont, Fl. (Zone 9a)
BonnieGardens
Jan 8, 2013 9:14 AM CST
Thumb of 2013-01-08/BonnieGardens/136250 Before I placed all the rock around edges. I lifted all that I could with my little Kubota which is my favorite toy. Also dug most of it out with it and the rest with shovel. Have completely pumped it out 3 times and pressure washed the whole thing and refilled. I like clear water and had a hard time at first getting it. Bought a test kit and now know enough to test water regularly. We have well water and that has its own problems as it is high in iron. My swimming pool is also a problem with water quality but over the years I usually can clear it up with the right chemicals. When I refill ponds I use Proform-C which keeps desease down. For reg. maintenance I use enzymes about every 2 mos. Start up isn't cheap but doing all the work ourselves really saved us a lot. My husb. did all wiring and plumbing and I'm the greatest ditch digger for the piping.
My son and his 2boys helped me a lot with last pond which I will try to locate pics for you. It's 10X20 and my fish just love it.
Bonnie
Name: Bonnie Davis
Clermont, Fl. (Zone 9a)
BonnieGardens
Jan 8, 2013 9:20 AM CST
When my fish get sick they go off by themselves; lethargic yes- often times float on their sides-sometimes markings on theskin like ulcers.
Check out a site called koicrisis.com and many other sites tht will come up if you type in koi fish deseases. Over time I have learned alot and often feel like Dr. Doolittle. I have a huge business in Orlando that has fish biologist on staff that I call for help. Also a couple that run a fish farm not far from us have helped. It's definitely a learning process. I'm sure I still have a lot to learn. Carolyn has always been a huge help.
Now I keep fish meds on hand. The quicker you treat them the more chance they have for survival.
Bonnie
Name: Bonnie Davis
Clermont, Fl. (Zone 9a)
BonnieGardens
Jan 8, 2013 9:25 AM CST
Forgot your question. Yes you immediately remove them from pond and place in tubby or sick tank and start treatment for particular ailment mostly by their body signs or syptoms. I keep an air stone and aquarium filter on hand to put on smaller tank.
Water changes and meds every day. It's a job in itself. Can't live them in with other fish as its easy to spread desease and it could wipe out whole pond of fish. It's a challenge but I still love the fish and listening to both my waterfalls.
Bonnie
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
Charter ATP Member The WITWIT Badge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Daylilies
Bulbs Purslane Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder Clematis Cat Lover
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Carolyn22
Jan 8, 2013 6:02 PM CST
Teresa

Bonnie has done a great job at describing that a sick fish does act differently from other fish. Usually they will isolate themselves from the other fish. Quarantining is so important. DH and I use our original 90gallon pond from Walmart that we started with to quarantine our fish. We have gotten to a point where (knock wood) we don't have a lot of problems nor much in the way of illness. About 3-4 years ago we started salting our pond when we shut down for the winter and that has gone a long way towards keeping all of our fish healthy.


Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
Image
bluegrassmom
Jan 10, 2013 3:40 PM CST
So where did you buy the large liner? Do you think it is better than a hard formed one?

I don't think I would want one over 10ft long.
Name: Bonnie Davis
Clermont, Fl. (Zone 9a)
BonnieGardens
Jan 10, 2013 4:05 PM CST
I went on line for about 2 hrs. one night and just searched and searched until I found a 15 X 20 with freight free. I think it was from the vets. site Foster & Smith or Best Nest. Can't remember. I looked for freight free as they are very heavy. I moved mine around with my bucket on Kubota and dragging. Spread it out in back yard, checked for holes then rolled it back up exactly as they had it cause then when we put it in I could unroll it much easier. Took 2 of us to unroll it and spread it our smoothly. Fold corners perfectly flat and its much easier with rectangular than round. My old round pond has many fold overs in it which isn't good as it traps crud in there easier. My liner is stapled all around onto 2X4's. One wall is backed with cement blocks cemented tog. as there is a walkway leaning on it. All other walls are framed up 2X4's with 3/4" plywood screwed to it to keep walls from caving as that is a big problem here with the sand. Go back to DG and find my new pond in progress thread and it shows and tells all there. I mean #1 thread. We started end of June and in middle of July fish were put in after letting it settle and run pump etc. for 2 weeks. We learned a little more every time we built a pond. I took all river rock out of old pond and didn't put any in new one as they accumulate too much crud. Doesn't look as pretty but sure is a lot easier to take care of. Takes a 15 X 25 liner to end up with 10 X20 pond. By the time we came up 2 ft. sides and over 2X4 only had 4" sos there was no triming on it and no waste at all.
I think Carolyn's pond is beautiful and I know she enjoys it as I do. Personally I don't like a preformed pond but thats all a matter of preference.
Lots of sies will tell what size liner to get for the size pond you want. Formula for figuring gallonage for rectangle is length, times width times depth and that gives amt. of water. Formulas are also on lots of sites. You can also call many places and ask how deep it should be for your climate so you can have koi and goldfish.
If you have your heart set on one as I said before go for it. You will learn a lot along the way.
Bonnie
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
Charter ATP Member The WITWIT Badge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Daylilies
Bulbs Purslane Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder Clematis Cat Lover
Image
Carolyn22
Jan 10, 2013 7:30 PM CST
There are alot of places you can get the liner and the underlayment. I did what Bonnie did as well, but ended up with my local nursery for liner. The reason is that my nursery would deliver the liner and put it where I wanted it, which in my case was my back yard. A lot of the online deliveries, will drop the liner in the street and it iis up to you ro get the liner where it needs to be - this for me was difficult as I have back problems and my DH is disabled and it is difficult for him to get around.

Figure out where you want your pond, mark it by putting a hose on the ground to the shape you want your pond to be. Measure from there.

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