Planting in Cinder Block Cells

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by Az Gardener, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I have a small pond with shelves on each side for plants. Unfortunately Raccoon's keep tipping them over. Yes I know, who would think we have Raccoon's in Phoenix? Well we do, clients have the video to prove it.

    My thoughts for a fix is to get some cinder block or masonry type chimney pipe and plant in it I'm hoping it is heavy enough that it is too much work for them to tip them over.

    No fish in the pond yet but want some soon the question is will the block leach out enough toxins to kill fish? The pond is small so the block will consume about 5-8% of the ponds volume. I have a bog for filtration so it is a "naturally filtered pond" we have had fish & it all worked fine but its been without fish for a while. I don't believe it will be a problem but this lady's grand kids will be naming fish as soon as they see them and it will turn into a big problem for me if they turn into floaters. The fish not the grand kids... well I guess that would be a problem too but, nevermind.
     
  2. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,376

    Your plant material will die for the same reason you think the fish in the pond will, except the coons will find and eat the fish first in all likely hood. Find another type of neutral material like clay or plastic to keep the Ph correct for the plant material. With regards to the fish, unless you can make the pond coon or bird proof they will soon be named meals for the local wildlife.
    easy-lift guy
     
  3. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    You don't give the present size (capacity) of the pond nor how many blocks you are contemplating using. NEW concrete blocks WILL affect (raise) the pH of the pond's water column. Some people have used concrete block with no problems by soaking them in a bucket or other container for several days allowing them to leach-out. pH is often misunderstood. Fish and aquatic life can adjust to a side range of pH values. The key is to have a relatively stable pH, regardless of value. Of course too low, values of 5.5 or less, or too high,values over 9.0, will likely cause physiological problems for the fish and possibly mortality.
     
  4. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,376

    Unless you have some means of controlling the wildlife from consuming the fish, the Ph level will be the least of the OP'S concerns. Of course plastic plants are always a viable option for low maintenance and the need for proper Ph for the survival of the plant material is eliminated.
    easy-lift guy
     
  5. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    Aquatic plants, with few exceptions, will tolerate the same range of pH as fish. I would see the void space available in a concrete block as a definite downside. Knowing the growth potential of aquatic plants, they would quickly become root-bound in such a small space. I would utilize larger planting containers with rocks in the bottom to add weight and provide more stability.
     
  6. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,376

    I have seen these neat little plastic fish that one can attach to the bottom of the pond with fishing line and a rock. Never have to feed them and the birds and coons will leave them alone as well.
    easy-lift guy
     
  7. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,134

    I never have fed my fish (Koi) and they are doing great. I have been raided once by Herons. I added a few hiding areas for the fish but I am not sure if that has kept the Herons at bay or if they just haven't come back. I utilize heavy pots and rocks to keep my plants in place. I assume it was raccoons that were knocking stuff over because dogs cant get to the pond.
     
  8. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    Plastic plants? Plastic fish? All encased in, I guess, clear acrylic faux water. You can not be serious.:terribletowel::terribletowel:
     
  9. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    Thanks for the responses. I have a 6' concrete pipe in the bottom for the fish to hide in. I have seen some block with large cells & the chimney pipe is probably 8" x 12" by 16' deep. If Ph is the primary concern I can put it together & just monitor the Ph for a while. Our water is 8-8.2 so we are kind of high to begin with. Thanks for the help.
     
  10. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,376

    The OP stated that it was a coon and that the owners had video as well.
    Coons are very smart and if they found there way last time once they will continue to run the same meal circuit untill the food source no longer exist or the Coon is terminated.
    easy-lift guy
     

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