Building a natural lake

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by csl, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    That should prove to be a fruitful visit. A hatchery is going to provide the cultural and habitat requirements that you need. You can design and construct around that info. Keep us posted.
     
  2. csl

    csl LawnSite Member
    Posts: 235

    yeah i kinda feel like a moron for not even thinking of it. but thats why it pays to ask around. thanks again
     
  3. BluestoneOL

    BluestoneOL LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Just kinda quickly reading your post and replies I think you better slow down and make sure you know what you are doing here. I'm not suggesting you don't know how to build a pond its just that I don't know if you know how to build a pond like this.

    I don't build water features and don't know anything about them but I do have a 1.5 acre pond in my back yard and know maintaining a quality (and survivable) fishery is much different than what most people understand. While the contruction may not be much different the design and maintenance is another story.

    The first thing you need to do, besides consulting your local extension office, is to check out the pondboss website. There is a discussion board there that has more info and knowledgeable people than anywhere on the web. They're friendly too, you'll get multiple answers to any question you post. There is also a pond boss magazine that is published bi-monthly which may or may not be of assistance. Finally, they have a resourse library of about a dozen books abailable for purchase and immediate delivery, some more helpfull than others but all are more benfificial than anything I can tell you.

    Good Luck!
     
  4. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    Can't speak for csl, but I appreciate the post (as I am sure he will). Just from a quick scan, I can see that the Pond Boss site can be an invaluable source of info that I can use for reference. Thanks for the post.
     
  5. JoJo1990

    JoJo1990 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 244

    If you are doing a liner pond, you absolutely need filtration. Even though this is a large pond, you simply cannot hold the fish waste in the pond and not have it filtered out at some point. While a small liner or concrete pond, say 10X15 may need to be turned over once every 1.5 hours, a pond this size, depending on stocking density, could be turned over every 4 hours or so. The important consideration is stocking density and inches of fish per gallon. 10 fish in a 100K gallon pond VS 50 fish in the same size. The organic load on the system will raise ammonia levels faster than it can de-compose on its own. A very large bead filter or several of them will work. Stay away from sand filters. You could also build a large waterfall where the water, pulled from the bottom of the pond, splashes over large porus rock such as lava rock or feather rock. Biological bacteria will build up on the rock and convert the ammonia to nitrite, then into nitrate which the fish can tolerate. Remember, not only fish waste but uneaten food, leaves and debris all accumulate and count toward the organic load in the system.

    If you can talk him into a natural bottom pond or earth pond, you will not need a filtration system. Make sure the aeration in either system is sufficient. There are plenty of 'calculators' out there to tell you what size blower and stones to use.
     
  6. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    Only if he leaves it bare liner. Back filling with about a 12" of the excavation spoil will result in , for all intents, an earth bottom pond. I assume that this will be the plan. Difficult to have sufficient plantings, which are an absolute requirement (especially in a fishery pond), with bare liner!
     
  7. csl

    csl LawnSite Member
    Posts: 235

    we dont have much clay in our area, so it will be a liner pond with backfill. pondboss is a great site, never heard of it before, but the info is a little jumbled, and takes a while to manage through. i will keep you all informed as time progresses. thanks again for the help
     
  8. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    Are you planning on using polyethylene or polypropylene liner?
     
  9. JoJo1990

    JoJo1990 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 244

    While some backfilling will provide space for microbes to do their work, you will still have and accumulate a large amount of organic material (fish waste, leaves etc) at the bottom of the pond. The koi fish/pond industry has lots of information on how to construct a pond with a bottom drain. I know this is not a koi pond, but if the homeowner wants to have a higher stocking density, the waste needs to be managed in a a liner pond. That organic material does not disappear on its own. Just something to think about because water quality will suffer down the road.
     
  10. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    You, evidently, have been indoctrinated, as have been many, that Nature cannot take care of its own, that man's technology is the only sure way of doing things. In case you haven't noticed, natural earth bottom ponds have been around for millions of years and, guess what, fish have been living and thriving in these ponds the entire time with no bottom drains, no artificial filtration and no aeration. The water quality and balance is maintained by Biofilm and the Benthos. The reason that aeration is added to an earthen pond is primarily for the benefit of the bacterial and microbial population as they are the largest consumers of Oxygen in a aquatic eco-system and because the fish stocking densities may be higher than what is natural, these bacteria and microbes will require more oxygen to maintain the water quality. Brush up on your Freshwater Biology!

    BTW, the organic matter that you refer to will disappear on its own..by bacterial and microbial action.
     

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