How to keep a farm pond looking nice?

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by lzrj, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. lzrj

    lzrj LawnSite Member
    Posts: 245

    I have 3.6 acres and about to get a pond back next month that use to be on the property. It will be small, only 1/8 to 1/4 acre. There are three large trees around it for shade and will be supplied by water run off from several acres around it. Once the pond is established, what can I use to help keep it clean and looking good? My wife doesn't want it because she thinks it will be an old smelly mosquito breeding ground. I will be seeding grass all the way up to the water and mowing it with the rest of the property. I want to maintain it like a nice subdivision pond. Ive heard of using dye to make the water look good. Can anyone give me any tips and tricks to make this pond look good.
     
  2. TRBIGCREEK

    TRBIGCREEK LawnSite Member
    Posts: 168

    Aeration is by far the most important issue in ponds like these. You can dye the water a bit to block uv but without good aeration your fighting a loosing battle.

    TR
     
  3. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    Why not think about installing a few aerifiers in it down the road; and maybe establishing yourself a decent little trout fishing pond ?

    :)

    Copper sulfate is the traditional treatment for "moss" in ponds.
    But there are lots more alternatives on the market now; ones that would have no potential for fish kill (if overused) like copper sulfate can.

    Lesco used to market something called "Reflection" that worked really well.
    But you had to use it as a preventive measure...before problems 'break out'.

    Does this pond have a 'natural' out-flow (like a stream)?
    Or is there an actual dam / spillway system ?
    Is there a huge out-flow after heavy rains...or does the pond generally just swell up, and 'contain' most of the rain?
     
  4. lzrj

    lzrj LawnSite Member
    Posts: 245

    What's the cost of an aerifier? This pond will be dammed with a spillway. The only time water will enter and exit the pond is during rain storms.

    I have attached three photos showing where the pond will be. In the first photo, the pond will be to the left of the trees. You can see the ditch area on the far left side of the picture. The pond will be between the trees and the ditch. I will be damming the left side by the ditch. There should be plenty of clay in the soil to hold water. I will probably use some benonite to make sure it is sealed. DNR will be coming out in 3 weeks to help me survery the area and do soil analysis. I plan on having it about 6-7 feet deep in the middle. The spillway will be towards the top side of the picture with the land sloping down towards the ditch letting the water flow around the dam.

    The pictures make the area look more flat than what it is. And yes I will be getting rid of the rock pile under the trees(Is there any concern about using some of that rock for a solid base for the dam before covering it will several feet of dirt and clay?)

    After seeing the pics, anyone have any input?

    DSCF2011.jpg

    DSCF2012.jpg

    DSCF2014.jpg
     
  5. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    I'm not a dam expert (pun intended), but that looks like a GREAT place for a pond !

    Don't forget to place a couple decent size fallen trees at the 'bottom' of the pond, for fish nesting sites!

    Gut instinct alone tells me that putting rocks anywhere in a dam is a no-no...mainly because you're looking for "small" pore space, not "large" pores that gaps between rocks give...but I'll let others in that arena chime in on that.
    I'd probably be inclined to save them for your spillway 'erosion control' run-off ditch line you'll need to make.

    Aerifier costs ? Internet has tons of them, or wait for a response on here.
    I've never gotten into them.

    For moss / cattail / etc controlling chemicals...start by looking up your nearest rural Ag feed, fert & chemical supplier.
    Usually those ol' farmers will carry lake & pond stuff in their arsenal of products.
    Or, as I said before, Lesco / John Deere markets these products, too.
     
  6. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 513

    That is the way to go. They should have some great information and resources about the control of vegetation, fish, etc. I am also not sure of the price of aerators. Looks like it will be a fun project. That is a nice place for a farm pond.
     
  7. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    The key is to get the ecosystem balanced. I would suggest a natural filtration system like a bog. Pump the water from the bottom to one end make it shallow 12"-18" put in a layer of rock, coral is good lots of rough surface for beneficial bacteria to colinate. plant the bog with oxygenating plants and some flowering ones too for the wife. Then just don't let the fish get ahead of you if you notice its getting too cloudy cull some fish. A casting net works well for that. There is too much information to give here but spend some google time and your head will be spinning. I think you biggest cost will be getting power to the area the pumps and such are not that expensive. Look into Nautilus pumps Low energy use, and use bigger pipe than you think you need it is easier on your pumps they will last longer. When ever you do anything think "how will I repair this when it breaks" Good luck!
     
  8. lzrj

    lzrj LawnSite Member
    Posts: 245

    Ya, I was not going to use the rocks for obvious reason for the dam base but the excavator (who is a friend of mine) suggested using them in that area. He has done ponds before so Im thinking he knows a little more than me. And if the rocks make a good solid base then use a lot of dirt, clay and benonite, I can see where he is coming from and seepage should not be a problem. As you can see by picture 3, the subdivsion road runs right by the site so the pond will also be to help the look of our small subdivsion. That's why I want it to look as good as possible. I will post pics as work progresses. I looked up some cost of aerators and it looks like I can get one for around $250-$300. Anyone knows the electric cost to run one (cant find that)? I dont want to spend a fortune on electric bills. I was thinking maybe having a timer and just running it at night. Any further suggestions because Ill take any comments.
     
  9. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,353

    Be sure your over flow pipe is big enough. I had a 8" pipe on my pond and the dam washed away the first year. I now have a 20" steel pipe.
     
  10. lzrj

    lzrj LawnSite Member
    Posts: 245

    I will not be using any pipes. I will be using a spillway off to the side of the pond that will be about 5 to 6 feet wide. That area of the pond rim will be about two feet lower than the rest. All overflow will follow the land down towards the ditch area and on through the culvert under the road. The overflow should not come into contact with the dam much if the plans work out. The water should disperse over a larger area once it comes out of the spillway until it all flows into the ditch. I should not have to worry about fast moving water erosion.
     

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