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View Full Version : Pond Builders Question, How big do you usually build?


CJF
03-07-2009, 11:43 AM
Just curious and just for some fun...:)

How big and what kind of ponds do you guys usually build for the average backyard? Approximate size, gallon-age? Do you build koi ponds, water gardens, small ponds, big ponds?
I imagine ponds are a big part of a lot of landscapes today, as apposed to several years ago...and one more question, how many of you -- have ponds at your own homes?

Joann

tadpole
03-07-2009, 12:08 PM
I tell all of my prospective customers that the ultimate size and style of their proposed Water Feature is determined by 3 things: Available space, their imagination and their bank account.
I, personally, can not comprehend how anyone can claim to be a Professional Installer if they do not have a Pond at their home, or, at least, a display Pond at their business office location.

CJF
03-07-2009, 12:20 PM
I tell all of my prospective customers that the ultimate size and style of their proposed Water Feature is determined by 3 things: Available space, their imagination and their bank account.
I, personally, can not comprehend how anyone can claim to be a Professional Installer if they do not have a Pond at their home, or, at least, a display Pond at their business office location.


Ok Tadpole, Perhaps many pond builders, have no room to build a pond at their place of business, or some have a home office. Also, they may have no time to build their own pond, or the time to maintain it properly. Ponds are a lot of work, it's not a lazy mans sport or for very busy people that have no time to maintain it. Certainly, a landscaper or pond builder may have no time to have one at home or the desire to have one.

That's why I asked, how many pond builders have ponds at their own homes?
Joann

tadpole
03-07-2009, 01:22 PM
This begs the question: How can an installer give a client professional advise on a Pond without having the hands-on experience or knowledge of the day-to-day workings of a Pond AND it's inhabitants? Kinda like an automobile mechanic that uses mass-transit. Would you let him work on your vehicle?

CJF
03-07-2009, 01:37 PM
In the same token, a doctor can't treat you,
unless he's had the same disease? :)
Joann

tadpole
03-07-2009, 03:40 PM
That is why doctor's go through years of college, internship and residency before they are allowed into private practice. They must have the knowledge and experience from hands-on. Too many "installers" focus only on the aesthetic appeal of a constructed pond and completely ignore the fact that a true pond is a NATURALLY balanced eco-system and should be constructed with this being the paramount consideration. There is a huge difference between a balanced pond and what I refer to as an outdoor aquarium. Knowledge is not just knowing HOW, but WHY. And this is best obtained by daily observation over the entire year. Show me a recognized Pond Professional that does not have a least one (sometimes more) Pond.

CJF
03-07-2009, 08:29 PM
A healthy aquarium is a balanced ecosystem as well.
I think someone with on the job experience (building ponds)doesn't necessarily have to have their own backyard pond. I am not trying to be argumentative, and agree that having a pond and taking care of it is useful
if your in the business, however not absolutely essential. But then agian, I'm not a pond builder, just an enthuastic pond hobbiest. :)

We built our pond with no experience, except for what we read in books and advise we got from a pet shop owner -- that had a large pond in his backyard.
He drew us a diagram on how to built the pond with shelves that are rocked all the way up to ground level, and a bottom drain gravity fed filter system, and we jumped in head first.
I think it's more inportant to built a good pond with a bottom drain, and good filteration. Then it's up to the customer to maintain their pond, either by themselves or with a pond service.
Joann

tadpole
03-07-2009, 08:59 PM
Glad that you had success in building your own Pond. You evidently relied heavily on the pet shop owner. He was able to give you good advice based on his own personal experience--knowledge that he accumulated from day-to-day observation of his own pond. You are right that a pond owner should be responsible in maintaining their pond, but don't you think that they should be able to turn to the installer for answers to their questions and not have to search for solutions on their own. There should be service after the sale provided by any installer and they should be able to answer any question or concern that the pond owner may have, not grab the money and run, leaving the customer with "some additional assembly required". The installer has their responsibilities also and the ability to pass along knowledge is one of the main ones.

XStream Aquatics
03-07-2009, 09:15 PM
So if you don't have a pond then you can't be a professional pond builder??????????????Ok I've seen so called professional pond builders with ponds in there back yards and quite frankly I think if they were to show it to a potenial client looking to have a pond built then it would probably scare them away. I bought the house I'm in right now a year ago and thought about building one , but..............................HEY I work on them all day long sometimes til dark and why do I want to come home and do it. My family and I are much more into having an inground pool installed shortly. I want to come home and relax!!!!! If a customer wants to see my work then they can see hundreds of them around the state. I love what I do but I'll tell you right upfront that I could never build my own water feature, my expectations would exceed what I could ever build. I would constantly be reworking something. Not having my own pond does not hinder me from answering a clients question any different than if I had a pond due to the fact that I have enough yearly maint. customers to keep me in the loop on what works and what doesn't. And it's not my first day on the job.

XStream Aquatics
03-07-2009, 09:30 PM
CJF, I usually install on avg. 12'x14'. Last fall I installed a 120'x80' liner and right now installing a 300'x300' (90,000 sq.ft.). Install alot of upflow bogs and alot of bottom drains but the most popular here is rock and gravel ponds.

tadpole
03-07-2009, 10:47 PM
Larry, I will bet that if you had the time and a large budget, you would probably have a Pond at your home and when you retire you will probably build one. The fact that Water Features are evidently your only business gives you the day-to-day 'hands-on' that I referred to. In my area, there are too many self-proclaimed professionals that wear many hats (and none of them quite fit). Water Features are a sideline to their main business and as a result they can not do justice to the craft. As you well know, this IS a specialized craft. You must love it and live it to come close to doing it correctly. At least 75% of my business is correcting the mistakes of others that advertise themselves as professionals.
I guess that my opinion is biased in that I only install and/or maintain Aquatic Habitats (Ponds, streams, Constructed Wetlands). No fountains, no pondless or decorative. My installs must be able to naturally balance in order to support the full aquatic food chain without chemicals, additives, aeration, UV clarifiers or any of the other bells and whistles that manufacturers may be pushing this week. A professional must be in touch with his craft on a daily basis either through observation of their own pond or the observation of those of their customers along with staying abreast of the latest research.

tadpole
03-07-2009, 10:49 PM
Above message double posted

XStream Aquatics
03-07-2009, 11:02 PM
Larry, I will bet that if you had the time and a large budget, you would probably have a Pond at your home and when you retire you will probably build one. The fact that Water Features are evidently your only business gives you the day-to-day 'hands-on' that I referred to. In my area, there are too many self-proclaimed professionals that wear many hats (and none of them quite fit). Water Features are a sideline to their main business and as a result they can not do justice to the craft. As you well know, this IS a specialized craft. You must love it and live it to come close to doing it correctly. At least 75% of my business is correcting the mistakes of others that advertise themselves as professionals.
I guess that my opinion is biased in that I only install and/or maintain Aquatic Habitats (Ponds, streams, Constructed Wetlands). No fountains, no pondless or decorative. My installs must be able to naturally balance in order to support the full aquatic food chain without chemicals, additives, aeration, UV clarifiers or any of the other bells and whistles that manufacturers may be pushing this week. A professional must be in touch with his craft on a daily basis either through observation of their own pond or the observation of those of their customers along with staying abreast of the latest research.

Your post says it EXACTLY!!!! I myself have a high percent rate of fixing proclaimed pond installers work. They keep us in work BUT give installers bad names along with the fact that the homeowner is scared to fork out more money to have it done a second time.

weasel
03-07-2009, 11:05 PM
So if you don't have a pond then you can't be a professional pond builder??????????????Ok I've seen so called professional pond builders with ponds in there back yards and quite frankly I think if they were to show it to a potenial client looking to have a pond built then it would probably scare them away. I bought the house I'm in right now a year ago and thought about building one , but..............................HEY I work on them all day long sometimes til dark and why do I want to come home and do it. My family and I are much more into having an inground pool installed shortly. I want to come home and relax!!!!! If a customer wants to see my work then they can see hundreds of them around the state. I love what I do but I'll tell you right upfront that I could never build my own water feature, my expectations would exceed what I could ever build. I would constantly be reworking something. Not having my own pond does not hinder me from answering a clients question any different than if I had a pond due to the fact that I have enough yearly maint. customers to keep me in the loop on what works and what doesn't. And it's not my first day on the job.

Ditto! However at my first home I installed a 16x12 with one waterfall and by the time I sold that home the pond was 18x20 w/3 waterfalls re-scaped it at least 5 times. All in all they are exactly what I tell my clients they are and that's a luxury and with all luxuries there's responsibilities. We now have a pool and it too is a lot of work,but the wife doesn't mind to helpout with it.lol:laugh:

XStream Aquatics
03-07-2009, 11:10 PM
I realize that contractors of many trades are trying to make a buck or two but when it comes to the water industry part I wish they would leave it to the pros. I know I started from scratch at one time but when it was time to learn how to install water features that is the only thing I did , so therefore all my time went into it, not 10% here and 10% there.

XStream Aquatics
03-07-2009, 11:11 PM
Weasel your right I'm sure my wife and kids wouldn't mind to help.

CJF
03-08-2009, 09:17 AM
Wow Larry, those are humongous ponds. I would imagine ponds that size come with maintenance contracts?

There are a lot of people that get ponds installed knowing nothing about ponds, therefore leaving the mechanics of it to the pond installers, trusting that they will get the pond of their dreams.
Although they get a well built pond, with bottom drain(s) adequate filtration systems etc...and yet these people still can not maintain a clear, clean and healthy pond. I always call it "getting your ponding groove" Knowing how to maintain a good healthy clear pond.

We have a friend that put in his pond a year after we did and practically copied it to a tea. We advised him to put in even a bigger filter system and he did so...We added an addition to our pond and also added a biological pond to service the main pond, he did so as well. Now, is his pond as clean and healthy as ours? Are his fish as friendly? No. Why? we don't know. He just never got it together. He uses chemicals, a uv light and still his pond is never clear and he never sees his fish.

We never use chemicals, (other than salting our ponds in the late fall after we remove our plants) and we don't use a uv light. We have a DIY filter system that is three rubber maid type tubs daisy chained together, and a 200 gallon biological pond that the water travels back and forth via underground.
The pond water leaves the filter tubs travels underground to the bio pond, the water travels through the bio pond getting scrubbed by all the vegetation in the bio pond, travels back underground and re-enters the main pond. Now our friend has the exact same system, and yet his pond is always brownish and murky? Like I said, you can have the most state of the art system on the market, or an well built DIY system and still not be able to maintain a good pond.

One thing we do religiously is frequent water changes. Luckily for us we do not have to use a de-clor. We run the hose in the pond everyday for 10 to 15 minutes. We estimate that we probably exchange about 35 to 40% of the water each week. We clean the filter material as needed. We look at the water clarity to determine the frequency of cleaning.

Now, as professional pond installers, how do you educate people on how to properly maintain their ponds? My hubby always says, "a pond is as much work or as little work as you want to make it." Well, he loves it and makes it much work. :) But what about the person that wants a nice clear pond, but wants to achieve it with as little work as possible? Is that possible?
Joann

STL Ponds and Waterfalls
03-08-2009, 01:01 PM
My averge pond is 11x16 with a skimmer filtration and many plants acting as a small bog filter. The only time we have tea colored water is when to much debris gets in the pond. Usually from the customer not cleaning leaves out or to much mulch or fertilizer getting in the pond. New installers get a lot of bad info from the net or manufacturers. I build ponds because they are fun and I grew up in the creeks and ponds of my area. With that being said I maintain my ponds like mother nature did in our creeks. I do use alagefix to keep the algae down since that is the number one thing that customers hate next to replacing pumps. I don't make pond maintenance a science. I just keep the amount of fish at a minimum, keep debris out and just let the system do it's part naturally. This does take a while for the system to get established but I have good luck this way. I think some people try to overclean thier ponds and create more work than normal.

My business is 50% water features (No fountains) and 50 % hardscapes/landscapes. Ponds and waterfalls are fun to build and the rest is work for the most part. I'm building my own pond finally after 3 years of trying to decide what I wanted. Well, I'm just building one with what I have and I will add on as time goes by and use it as a testing grounds for myself and for my customers. As far as being a professional and knowing all there is to know about ponds and maintenance if you make that claim at my kitchen table I'll through you out of my house, because you will always be learning something new.

tadpole
03-08-2009, 04:18 PM
STL brings up a good point. That is the fact that it takes time for a pond's ecological system to get established. Although the biological filter may be sufficiently colonized after 4 - 6 weeks, it actually takes one full year for the entire system to achieve maximum biological equilibrium. I tell all of my customers that the key to a healthy Pond is what I have heard called "Benevolent Neglect". Assuming that the Pond is set up correctly from the start....proper filtration, lots of plants and a limited fish population....all the customer should do is empty the skimmer when needed. while still being vigilant to potential problems that are almost always caused by external influences. A Pond is an extremely dynamic eco-system, undergoing change from minute to minute to maintain it's balance. All that chemicals and UV clarifiers do is disrupt this natural balancing act. The smallest negative influence can cause major problems. The 'Butterfly Effect', so to speak.
The is probably why, Joann, that your friend has problems with his Pond and you don't.

I will be starting a project shortly that involves the restoration of a natural spring-fed Pond with a capacity of about 200,000 gallons. The owners have hired every Tom, Dick and Dumbass in the past, who have done everything except contribute to the health of the system. The Pond is presently in such bad shape that not even algae will grow. It will take everything that I have learned in 10 years plus a lot of additional research to restore the health of this system. It will probably take 2 years to achieve any semblance
of balance.
I will not install anything less than 2,500 Gallon capacity. Anything smaller will usually not support the diversity of flora and fauna that a system needs to achieve and maintain bio-chemical balance.

CJF
03-08-2009, 09:20 PM
Tadpole, I can appreciate what you're saying, that a well balanced pond is a complete and self contained ecological system, however, that does not apply to a koi pond. At least not our koi pond.
The koi pond needs a bottom drain, lots of filtration, frequent water changes and lots of attention. We have a skimmer that we hook up just for early spring to catch the pollen from the trees. Once the pollen subsides sometime in the end of May, we shut the skimmer down and use the skimmer pump for another waterfall. The bottom drain removes the fish waste which is then trapped in the first filter tub.

We have four waterfalls in the main pond, and one in the bio pond.(the fish love the aeration) We usually only run two waterfalls (2 pumps)
and one in the bio pond (one pump) we have all together 5 or 6 pumps. Only one is 1200 gph, the rest are 500 and 700 gph.
We could never rely solely on a ecological pond, as we're over stocked with large koi (by normal standards) We have 10 koi that are 24-26" long -- they are 11 and 12 years old.
We have 3 large orfes that are 11 years old and two goldfish that are 12 years old, as a half dozen or so koi babies born in our pond. Our pond is 2500 gallons and 12 years old.
Joann

tadpole
03-08-2009, 10:01 PM
My first reaction to your post is that your pond is overstocked. The koi stocking rate that is recommended by the Koi fanciers with the very expensive Koi is One Koi per 350-500 gallons of water depending on the pond set-up. Under normal stocking conditions a bottom drain is not necessary. Have you ever visited a Koi Hatchery. They are raised in mud ponds. There is no filtration or bottom drains. I have a 6,000 gallon natural system (no bottom drain) that right now has about 50 Koi. Yep! My Pond is overstocked, but this will be corrected soon. I have yet to have a problem with pathogens of any kind, even parasites. The water stays crystal clear and all water tests pass with flying colors. These tests are done on a Hanna Bench Photometer for maximum accuracy. Koi do not need sterile conditions. It weakens their immune system making them susceptible to many health problems. Koi, goldfish and orfe are, after all, basically river fish.

Where did you get your Orfe? I have been looking for a reliable source for several years? They are really beautiful speedsters.

CJF
03-08-2009, 11:22 PM
Oh Tadpole, we know we're overstocked. Most backyard koi ponds are
overstocked, hence the need for a bottom drain to get rid of the waste.

We have one pond testing kit and truthfully we use it infrequently. Our fish are the best barometer for the health of the pond and water. Cliff knows every fish up close and personal. The Japanese believe a white fish in a pond is good luck. The main reason perhaps is if your fish are stressed, the white fish will develop a pink hue, thus alerting the pond keeper to a potential problem with the water quality.

Our koi pond is always crystal clear, and many times it's gin.
There are two orfes in this photo. We use to have 5 orfes, but gave two our our friend. Yes they are speed demons and get all the worms we toss in. We have two pond nurseries by us on Long Island. One is decades old. Called Scherrer and Sons and the other is Surburban water gardens. Both are on the internet and ship fish.

This is the two foot deep section on a sunny day.


http://backyardpond.homestead.com/files/p1010009fish__rev__4-28-04.jpg

This is the 3 1/2 foot section...There are two milk crates over the bottom drain. The koi dig in the lily pots and the stones from the pot scatter on the pond floor and clog the drain. we have since come up with a solution to keep the koi out of the lily pots, so we have since removed the crates to uncover the bottom drain.

http://backyardpond.homestead.com/files/p1010038lily__rev___6-28-04.jpg


Our fish are very active, they are top swimmers and come running to the beach section of our pond as soon as they
hear the back door open.
http://backyardpond.homestead.com/P1011442alex_rev_6-23-07.JPG

weasel
03-09-2009, 01:07 AM
STL brings up a good point. That is the fact that it takes time for a pond's ecological system to get established. Although the biological filter may be sufficiently colonized after 4 - 6 weeks, it actually takes one full year for the entire system to achieve maximum biological equilibrium. I tell all of my customers that the key to a healthy Pond is what I have heard called "Benevolent Neglect". Assuming that the Pond is set up correctly from the start....proper filtration, lots of plants and a limited fish population....all the customer should do is empty the skimmer when needed. while still being vigilant to potential problems that are almost always caused by external influences. A Pond is an extremely dynamic eco-system, undergoing change from minute to minute to maintain it's balance. All that chemicals and UV clarifiers do is disrupt this natural balancing act. The smallest negative influence can cause major problems. The 'Butterfly Effect', so to speak.
The is probably why, Joann, that your friend has problems with his Pond and you don't.

I will be starting a project shortly that involves the restoration of a natural spring-fed Pond with a capacity of about 200,000 gallons. The owners have hired every Tom, Dick and Dumbass in the past, who have done everything except contribute to the health of the system. The Pond is presently in such bad shape that not even algae will grow. It will take everything that I have learned in 10 years plus a lot of additional research to restore the health of this system. It will probably take 2 years to achieve any semblance
of balance.
I will not install anything less than 2,500 Gallon capacity. Anything smaller will usually not support the diversity of flora and fauna that a system needs to achieve and maintain bio-chemical balance.

This should be cool. Another company near me has a pond install biz and a fish nursery. Their pond in their back yard is only 2000 gallons and and the water comes from a creek pumped in and they use a swimming pool filtration system and change the water daily. Those are the biggest damn fish I've ever seen they grow about 2ft a year. The water temp is cold and the eco balance is great. The frogs are huge and the plants grow like crazy. You should have pretty good luck. Have any of you ever used a system like this?

weasel
03-09-2009, 01:15 AM
Tadpole, I can appreciate what you're saying, that a well balanced pond is a complete and self contained ecological system, however, that does not apply to a koi pond. At least not our koi pond.
The koi pond needs a bottom drain, lots of filtration, frequent water changes and lots of attention. We have a skimmer that we hook up just for early spring to catch the pollen from the trees. Once the pollen subsides sometime in the end of May, we shut the skimmer down and use the skimmer pump for another waterfall. The bottom drain removes the fish waste which is then trapped in the first filter tub.

We have four waterfalls in the main pond, and one in the bio pond.(the fish love the aeration) We usually only run two waterfalls (2 pumps)
and one in the bio pond (one pump) we have all together 5 or 6 pumps. Only one is 1200 gph, the rest are 500 and 700 gph.
We could never rely solely on a ecological pond, as we're over stocked with large koi (by normal standards) We have 10 koi that are 24-26" long -- they are 11 and 12 years old.
We have 3 large orfes that are 11 years old and two goldfish that are 12 years old, as a half dozen or so koi babies born in our pond. Our pond is 2500 gallons and 12 years old.
Joann

I can say at my personal pond I never had a problem. I never drained it and washed it out. The fish and frogs kept it nice. I would on occasion treat the water. However, every pond is different.From the plant life to fish and most importantly location. (Amount of sun, temp., short or long winter) I've installed some that I knew would be high maintenence, but it was what the cust. wanted.

CJF
03-11-2009, 09:19 AM
Weasel, A koi pond is high maintenance. Koi make a lot of waste, without a bottom drain how can you possibly keep a clean pond. The ecological system can work on a pond with small fish, plants etc...My hubby had one as a kid in his backyard, it was a long shallow cement pond, with plants and a few tropical fish (guppies) It was clean, but as I said, it just had a few guppies.

I know a lot of people with ponds without bottom drains, and they go crazy in the Spring, trying to clean the ponds, get rid of the green and discolored water, so that they can enjoy their pond and see the fish. They use chemicals like PP, uv lights etc...Many have to empty the ponds for cleaning, putting their fish under stress by doing so, re-filling the pond and the have to start all over the the algae bloom from hell...Many end up putting in retro fitted bottom drains.
Just a skimmer does not cut it. When I see what we take out of our first filter tub each week, there is no way this waste will break down in our pond. Comparing the average size backyard pond with a natural pond in nature is no comparison. They are two completely entities.
Sorry if this offends anyone here, that installs fish/koi ponds.
Joann

tadpole
03-11-2009, 10:35 AM
No offense taken.

All of the spring problems that you mention must be climate (temperature0 related. We do not have these problems in the South (at least my customers don't). The water stays clear year 'round. A bottom drain (though efficient) does not remove all organic debris, especially in a pond that is rock lined such as yours. Organics will accumulate in the crevices.
Again, none of my customers have bottom drains in their Ponds and none of them ever have a problem with discolored water, except that caused from oak pollen which is easily corrected with activated charcoal.
All contructed ponds with rocks eventually will need some degree of cleaning.

CJF
03-11-2009, 11:31 AM
tadpole, I don't have a rock lined pond bottom. I do have a beach section which is shallow, it's 4' x 5' that section is rocked lined. We clean the beach every spring by hosing it and turning the rocks around to expose the clean side. You're right that a bottom drain can't possibly get rid of all the organic matter, (as you know, some organic matter is good ) but it does a great job
getting rid of the fish waste, which in a populated pond is essential.
If you're looking at the photo and seeing the pebbles on the pond floor, that's from the fish digging in our lily pots.
We have since come up with a solution to keep them out of the pots, but more about that later.
We built our pond with shelves, the shelves are about 16" deep and go all around the pond. The shelves are built up to ground level with stones, mostly flat stones and some round stones, In between the stones are plants either bare root plants and some plants in pots. The pots are completely hidden with the rocks for a natural look.
After the weather warms up in spring and the fish have been on their feed
for a couple of weeks and very active, my hubby goes in the pond and moves the rocks around on the shelves to fix them. (none are cemented in --and some fall off the shelves in winter) at that time he hoses the shelves with the garden hose and does the Spring planting on the shelves at that time.
We are very conscience of our fish and their needs. We never clean the pond
right off as the pond bottom can be host to many parasites over the winter and early spring is when the fish are at their most venerable after their long wintern nap. In twelve years of ponding we're only lost one fish due to sickness. So we are really attached to our water pups that are ten, eleven, and twelve years old.
Our pond bottom is all slightly tilted toward the bottom drain. The drain is fitted with a dome, the water swirles around the drain and gets that sucked into the drain (along with fry that haven't yet learned to stay away from the bottom drain)

An artist friend did this drawing to show how the shelves and beach are constructed. Our rocks on the ledge are flat, not round as depicted in the photo.
http://backyardpond.homestead.com/joann_pond.jpg
I am feeling stupid explaining all this on a professional pond building sight, however, I started it...

CJF
03-11-2009, 11:49 AM
This is how we keep the koi out of the lily pots. Take a wire basket (the kind with the moss liner) remove the liner, invert the wire pot over the lily pot, and wire it to the lily pot. They can circle it and bump it all day long, but they can't dig in it, making a big mess scattering the pepples all over.
This has saved our bottom drain from getting clogged with small pepples, thus we are able to remove the milk crates over the bottom drain, making it more efficient.

http://backyardpond.homestead.com/files/p1010018terminator__rev_5-28-04.jpg

http://backyardpond.homestead.com/files/p1010115red_nose_rev___5-28-04.jpg

tadpole
03-11-2009, 03:18 PM
You northern Pond owners really are required to do a lot of maintenance chores that aren't necessary here in the South. My installations, as most others do, incorporate shelving. However, I do not use pots. The planting area is built directly into the shelf (we call them planting pockets). The plants are rooted directly in these pockets which are filled with gravel. Trimming of dead foliage is required, but rarely do the aquatic plants enter complete dormancy in our climate. Our major problem is heat. In the summer, a pond without ample shade will very quickly reach water temps into the 90's which, we all know, can be fatal to most fish.

CJF
03-11-2009, 08:16 PM
Tadpole, We plant lots of plants bare root in our shelves, we don't even use pea gravel, just shove them behind rocks to keep them anchored down and away from the fish. The plants we keep in pots are a few of our Taros and
umbrella palm. These plants are in pots because we bring them in every fall and put them in our basement until Spring.

Another plant we keep in a pot is cat tails. Our plants multiply like wild fire, and we have many baby taros that we put around the pond and give away. We also have lotus, that we plant in large tubs outside the pond. We plant the lotus pots at ground level, right next to the edge of the pond and you would swear they are growing in the pond. It's a great way to have huge lotus, when you have a small pond. I was at Lowe's today and saw 20 gallon tubs for 6.99 they would be great for lotus.

When we get really hot weather we add cool water a lot. Usually we add water every morning, but when it's really hot we'll add some more water in the afternoon as well.
I am going to get you a pic of the lotus. I bet they do great in Fla. where it's hot and sunny. In our yard we're surrounded by huge oaks, so we're lucky to get 5 hours of sun on our pond everyday. This fall we had our trees trimmed again, so we're hoping for more sunshine.

Joann

weasel
03-11-2009, 11:32 PM
No offense taken here either. It must be a southern thing like tadpole brought up. I would never mislead a client about maintenence or statistics just to make a sale, but I promise that my ponds installed in my choice of location rarely need cleaning. We use Nolichuckey river rock which is round and somewhat pourous and earthtone color. I like a lot of movement in my falls and most a 3 tiered. We don't like to use to many aquatic plants especially ones that spread like crazy. I do put some in pots and we build the pot into the rock so not to be seen. Afraid of roots growing thru liner. I've seen a lot of different ponds some I like better than mine and some I don't. I definetely don't consider myself a know it all about aquatics,but I guess I've figured out decently what has worked for me. That's why I like this forum so much. Free education! BTW how deep do you dig your ponds up north?

CJF
03-12-2009, 09:26 AM
Weasel, Up north we build a section that is 3 to 4 foot deep.
Our deep section is 3 1/2 feet deep. The rest of it is about 2 foot.
Because the koi love to swim we added a section in 1998 that is 6 foot wide X 13 foot long. We call that section the dog leg. The fish love to sunbathe
in that section. We love a lot of action as well in a pond, actually the fish provide the action as they are colorful, large and very active swimmers. They are always on top of the water and very interactive with us.
I looked through all my photos last night to try and find some lotus pics but can only find small ones...they get huge, about 6 + foot tall and spread out, that is the reason we plant them outside the pond. I have two I can post
now, and more if anyone is interested. Long Island is very lush and green.

july 5,04

http://backyardpond.homestead.com/P1010072pond_pic_rev___7-5-04.JPG

by the end of July they are 6 foot tall.

http://backyardpond.homestead.com/P1010273lotus_rev_7-31-06.JPG

http://backyardpond.homestead.com/P1010281lotus_rev_2__7-31-06.JPG

weasel
03-12-2009, 11:47 PM
CJF...that's nice I like all the color.

CJF
03-14-2009, 06:05 PM
Thanks weasel for responding.
How deep do you make the ponds in the south?
You have the heat element to contend with.
This is another ideas that you guys may find useful. We have a skimmer that we just use in the spring for the oak pollen. Anyhow, it's a DIY skimmer that we made using a 700 gph pump and a 5 gallon bucket. We only use it in early spring until the oaks finish dropping their pollen. Then we shut it down. When it's in use we usually have to empty it twice a day.


This is where it is located and not visable from anywhere in the pond.
These photos are Spring photos, before it becomes a jungle out there.:)

http://backyardpond.homestead.com/files/p1010044dock_rev___5-28-04.jpg

view from the front
http://backyardpond.homestead.com/files/p1010003dock__rev__5-28-03.jpg

view from the back...

http://backyardpond.homestead.com/files/p1010006pond_rev_back_5-23-04.jpg

weasel
03-14-2009, 11:49 PM
16x20 is the size we start with and it is 3 shelves and a total depth of 3.5-4 ft. When we get to build bigger ones we like to get to 4.5-5 ft. So far only about a dozen of those. With the economy we have had residentials only getting small ones and we have built about 50 for these planned communities which are water features, some disappearing water falls, and retention ponds.

CarpinitoLD
03-15-2009, 12:25 PM
Usually anywhere from 200-600 gallons multifall. Usually pondless for the ones over 1500gal. Mostly native species and ferns.

slangman63
05-04-2009, 08:44 AM
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