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#36685 - 08/25/06 01:13 AM Floating island
Rad Offline
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Registered: 03/06/05
Posts: 957
Loc: Chumpon Thailand
I would be very interested in hearing more about the New Zeland floating islands. I have rip rap banks and no plant growth at present. I was looking at a floating island that was used in Australia that sounds similar to the ones you describe. I am trying to track down the design now. I have the plants and the flotation part, I need the planting mix info. I need to introduce plants soon.
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#36686 - 08/25/06 06:13 AM Re: Floating island
Eric Offline
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Registered: 11/30/03
Posts: 538
Loc: Rochester NY
Rad, Have you looked at this thread?
http://www.pondboss.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=20;t=002890

I had built my own floating island modeled after a few I had seen on the web. Its been in for over 2 years and herons, ducks, frogs, ..etc all use iit and the small fish love it under the island and the root systems from the plants provide great cover. Nice easy project to do and it works great.
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#36687 - 08/25/06 08:08 AM Re: Floating island
Bruce Condello Offline
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Registered: 08/01/04
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Eric,

What materials are involved in your version of this island? It looks great!

Bruce
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#36688 - 08/25/06 08:55 AM Re: Floating island
Dave Davidson1 Offline
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Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13088
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
In Bobs Blog, I was wondering what kind of fish were feeding on the plant roots.
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#36689 - 08/25/06 09:27 AM Re: Floating island
ewest Offline
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Edited by ewest (05/11/10 10:41 PM)
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#36690 - 08/25/06 11:13 AM Re: Floating island
Dave Davidson Offline
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Registered: 04/22/02
Posts: 1892
Loc: Hurst & Bowie Texas
Rad, a caution. Ahvatsa (Al) reports that as algae built up on his styrofoam floats, the tilapia grazed on it. It created somewhat of a mess and I might question the viability of an island in a tilapia pond. It might depend on the substance used for the floats.

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#36691 - 08/25/06 12:51 PM Re: Floating island
burgermeister Offline
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Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 4025
Loc: Houston, Tx.
I'm thinking one could use a crosshatch trellis framed around the sides for the bottom. Attach flotation to the frame. Then use the shade cloth then biomesh. That should give good support, but allow for continuos watering of the plants(wicking).JUST IN CASE it doesn't rain for a long time. I've got to have a plant island. Was considering just putting in a piece of plywood for shade, but Eric's invention is 1st class.
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#36692 - 08/25/06 01:42 PM Re: Floating island
trialsguy Offline
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Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 794
Loc: Mo.
I was thinking that I may just wrap the shade cloth around 2" pvc that is glued together in a square frame. do you think that the 2" pipe would be enough to float the entire island well enough or would you have to put noodles in it. On the other hand you wont get a natural looking island if it is just a square design.
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#36693 - 08/25/06 01:54 PM Re: Floating island
burgermeister Offline
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Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 4025
Loc: Houston, Tx.
Not sure. I would think that as the plants/grass grows, takes up water, it will get heavier than the pvc can support.
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#36694 - 08/25/06 03:43 PM Re: Floating island
Chip Rowland Offline
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Registered: 07/17/03
Posts: 214
Loc: Lima, OH
Here's a interesting page on the subject that may give some ideas.

http://www.oceanarks.org/restorer/indepth/

Chip
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#36695 - 08/25/06 03:58 PM Re: Floating island
Bruce Condello Offline
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Registered: 08/01/04
Posts: 8854
Loc: United States
OK, can I just buy some industrial size plastic tubs, secure some swim floaties around them, poke holes in the bottom, use a mooring rope to the sides of a small pond and grow plants in them? What is the best media that I could use that would stay within the tub--heavy enough to stay in and big enough to not diffuse through the holes? Are there plants I can grow in them that I can sell?

...or am I just greatly overimplifying this?
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#36696 - 08/25/06 04:50 PM Re: Floating island
Chip Rowland Offline
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Registered: 07/17/03
Posts: 214
Loc: Lima, OH
Here's a link to Bruce Kania's website that shows some neat examples.

http://www.floatingislandinternational.com/

Chip
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#36697 - 08/25/06 06:40 PM Re: Floating island
Bruce Condello Offline
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Registered: 08/01/04
Posts: 8854
Loc: United States
Thanks, Chip.

The local Wal-Mart is trying to get rid of their summer stock of kids swimming pools. Could I suspend swim noodles around the edge and grow stuff in that?

I need an idea for a substrate that wouldn't fall through the root holes, and wouldn't float out of the top of the pool, and would support a cattail root structure. The cattails should grow so rapidly that they would suppress algae formation by serving as a nitrogen sink. Then I could pull it to shore twice a year and remove and discard 3/4 of the cattails.

In the mean time, I've got shade for the fish. \:\) I'm thinking of doing this in my Dad's little pond. It's receiveing about 24 ounces of food each day. I'd need enough plant growth to offset this nutrient load.
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#36698 - 08/25/06 07:18 PM Re: Floating island
Eric Offline
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Registered: 11/30/03
Posts: 538
Loc: Rochester NY
Bruce on the thread I posted earlier I had all of the materials laid out but here is what I did.
Page 2

Also for 'Bruce Kania's website'
http://www.floatingislandinternational.com/
That is where I got the initial ideas from. They have great products but was a bit pricy for my blood. Thats why I came up with the following. It has been in my pond for 2 years now and looks great and holds up well even over the winter. I also love the fact that I can tie the line down to my areation system and keep the island from floating around too much and always find my system. The fish love love love it and stimulate the plants to grow by eating the root system that comes through the bottom of the island.

If you want to try this island it was an inexpensive one and all the wildlife love it and some people who stop by are amazed that it is not a real island. I had one little girl tell her mother that the island moved and her mother scolded her saying that islands dont move. I have fun telling her that she was right and mommy was wrong!! \:D

If you want I think PaPond also build this and you can ask him how his turned out. Good luck!!!

Materials:

1. 8 Floating noodles - ones kids use to play with ( should have holes all the way through them. Got mine at the dollar store for $1 each.

2. Heavy Duty Garden fabric. Stuff you get at Home Depot or Sams ( I got 200 ft of it for $25 at Sams club ) only used about 20 ft of it all together.

3. Found some bio mesh material at Home Depot ( sort of like a straw feel or texture material used for starting grass of plants - it was Held together via thin plastic type of mesh on both sides ) that was about $15 but only used part of it.

4. Heavy duty plastic rope - about 100 ft. $2.50 at walmart.

5. 30 lb test spider wire of other good mono fishing line, for stitching things together.


Steps:

Thread rope through noodles and tie ends so that it holds the bent shape you desire. I made a outside loop with about 5 noodles. Then threaded other noodles and made spokes in the loop to provide support for the structure above.

Took heavy duty landscape fabric and looped a portion around the outside frame of noodle structure. Used sewing machine and hand sewing to sew a pocket where the noodles ( outside structure only ) would fit into. This left the rest of the material to just sit on top of remaining spoke structure. leave enough loose material to allow about a 5 to 6 inch dip. This will be what you fill in with the bio mesh material.

Placed bio mesh/mat material into and on top of fabric sitting on top of noodle structure. Tied and sewed that to the sides of the structure and to the landscape fabric. This holds the material in place until the plants start growing.

Seed the bio mesh material with whatever you want to grow. Place specific plants in place if desired.

I then used the rope up from the diffuser system to tie to the bottom of the island structure. I gave it enough of a swing to move away from the main bubbles by about 15 ft. This allows the fish to stay under it at all times.


As for the questions, this is the second season out there and yes I did leave itin all winter. The ice formed over it and snow did as well, but it held up better than I expected. COme spring I did nothing more than add more grass seed where I wanted things to grow better.

I have found as the FA grows around the structure I move some up to the sides and on the edges of the structure where the noodles are the high point. By doing this I am using the algea to be the bio structure that the grass grows onto and the softens the edges to the water and make it look less like a fake island and more like grass growing right down into the water.

I hope that this helps. It took me all of about 5 hours to build and put into place
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#36699 - 08/25/06 07:22 PM Re: Floating island
Eric Offline
Lunker

Registered: 11/30/03
Posts: 538
Loc: Rochester NY
Dave, With my Island the perch and FH minnow feed on the roots. I also see tons of bugs there so in turn you see many bass hit right around the edges. Not after the roots but after what feeds on the roots.

Also with the way my island is constructed none of the outer noodles are directly exposed to the fish. They are covered with the cloth, sort of a loop around the noodle. Thus only the other supporting noodles open to the water. Thus I dont know if they would have too much of an issue with talipia. Also since the Island is tied to my areation system, it is close to the air flow and as such sees less of a FA buildup that you would expect elsewhere in the pond.
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#36700 - 08/25/06 09:25 PM Re: Floating island
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 11983
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Eric has a good concept of covering the floating swim noodles with shadecloth. I have used the noodles to float fish cages. After 2-3 years the noodles became pretty deteriorated and gradually were disappearing due to UV light exposure and weathering.

As I recall there are two sizes of diameter for those floating noodles. Regular size of 2.75" and a larger size about 4.5" diameter. I think the large size would be better and the extra money well spent to use the larger diameter noodles for floation of the islands. It will not take long (3-5 yrs) for the biomass of plant material to build up to where the overall weight will eventally cause the island to gradually sink.

Hopefully we can collect a list of plant names that will grow well on these floating islands. Maybe Andrew Davis can help us with this list.
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#36701 - 10/11/06 07:09 AM Re: Floating island
andrew davis Offline
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Registered: 04/18/03
Posts: 180
Loc: Carolina's
Hi Bill,
Apologies for dawdling, some rather demanding projects to surmount etc...

Odd you should mention floating islands, I'm tinkering with a little sedge little more than 4" tall which self seeds and makes a floating island all on it's own. Currently it is an island a couple of feet wide and new islands are springing up all over a 40' pond (eek)

Aquatic iris have buoyant rhisomes and roots, if they were to be jammed into position over time they would form an extensive buoyant knot of plants on any kind of structure. A string of those durable bread trays lashed together would suffice...

The neat thing about aquatic iris, they make real tough fibrous masses which will cope with fish grazing at their roots

One downside, having foliage like sails, they would catch the breeze and tug hard in a storm on any anchor

How buoyant are they? hmmm, I planted a few chunks of Laevigata snowdrift on a 3 gallon bucket of heavy soil in 30" of water. In about two years the plant mass was a gently drifting floating island...

A very popular spot for tiddlers fish fry among those roots and shoots... The big fellas liked loafing in the shade beneath the islands...

Regards, andy
http://www.members.aol.com/abdavisnc/swglist.html

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#36702 - 10/11/06 09:29 AM Re: Floating island
Eric Offline
Lunker

Registered: 11/30/03
Posts: 538
Loc: Rochester NY
Andrew, I had tried that approach originally but found that it was not possible to contain a floating bio mass similar to what you talked about. With the method I ended up with you are able to contain the bio mass in an area and as such not fill the pond totally with plants. It also allows for root growth under the island and as such has fish around it at all times. Here is what it currently looks like.

As you may be able to see in the second picture I have water Iris and some water hyacinths on the pond. The hycinths will take over if you let them, but are also great for floating cover and roots to hide in. My Iris are on the sides where I can contain them fairly well.



from a distance:


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1/10 - 1/4 acre pond Upstate NY 14 ft deep


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#36703 - 10/17/06 04:48 AM Re: Floating island
andrew davis Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/18/03
Posts: 180
Loc: Carolina's
Hi Eric,
That is a wheeze, quite a picturesque setting, great photo to boot.

Add a little sail or outboard motor, an anchor and you have quite the mobile island feature

Regards, andy
http://www.members.aol.com/abdavisnc/swglist.html

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#36704 - 10/17/06 10:34 AM Re: Floating island
Eric Offline
Lunker

Registered: 11/30/03
Posts: 538
Loc: Rochester NY
Thanks Andy!

While I don't think I could get an engine on it, it does move around a bit based on the wind and how much line I let it have from the areation system. I usually have some critters living on it (frogs, dragonflys, mice, ducks, etc) Its sort of fun to come up along side of it and see what jumps off or flys away.
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1/10 - 1/4 acre pond Upstate NY 14 ft deep


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#36705 - 10/17/06 03:39 PM Re: Floating island
ewest Offline
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Hall of Fame 2014

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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 18946
Loc: Miss.
Eric -- beautiful pond and island. It is a good thing you are up north. If I put out an island down here and just pulled up alongside it - what would jump out into the boat would be a copperheaded rattlemoccasin. \:D

http://www.pondboss.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=20;t=001215;p=1
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#36706 - 10/17/06 04:56 PM Re: Floating island
Eric Offline
Lunker

Registered: 11/30/03
Posts: 538
Loc: Rochester NY
Eric, Thanks! I have had snakes on the island but not many stay there. I do not take kindly to snakes. I also have a few birds of prey ( Golden Eagle and Bald Eagle ) on the property that come down and help me with any snakes I might find roaming around!!
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#36707 - 10/18/06 01:27 PM Re: Floating island
ken Offline
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Registered: 01/31/03
Posts: 350
Loc: ohio
pond looks awsome. like to see some pics of the leaves changing. i think your seeing juvenivle bald eagles. it takes 4 or 5 years for them to get their white heads. golden eagles are out west and are a very rare site east of the big river. that be something , pull up to the island and a water moccasin jump into the boat lol
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#36708 - 10/18/06 01:43 PM Re: Floating island
ewest Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 18946
Loc: Miss.
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#36709 - 10/18/06 03:50 PM Re: Floating island
Eric Offline
Lunker

Registered: 11/30/03
Posts: 538
Loc: Rochester NY
Ken, we do have the juvenivle bald eagles, but we have full grown Golden eagles around here as well. Up near and around lake Ontario the golden eagle has made a great comeback in recent years. I have seen about 10 in the area. ( 50 sq mile ) I am just lucky to have one in the woods behind my house. ( I have over 100 acres of wetlands behind my property where it is protected and thus lots of interesting critters. The one near my pond has a wing span of about 8 ft. Beautiful creature!!

Hey Ewest, I like the flower pics on your post there. I think all Erics have an eye for such things. Heres one or two from the pond area as well.

One of many Birds of Prey around Pond:


Flowers in or around Pond:





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