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#460344 - 12/15/16 01:45 PM Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio!
aighead Offline


Registered: 12/14/16
Posts: 38
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Hi All, Austin/aighead here from Dayton, Ohio.

This past May my girlfriend and I bought 6 acres of land on the west side of Dayton and it came with it's own little pond. My goal, in the long term, is to convert it from a poorly constructed hole in the ground, that doesn't hold water very well, to a beautiful, smallish, Japanese inspired swimming hole.

As I was searching around looking at how difficult that goal will be to manage I found the Pond Boss forums and I'm very pleased to see all the useful (overwhelmed perhaps) info and helpful members. I expect over the next few years I'll be asking tons of questions and sharing progress as I make it.

The below is what my pond looked like upon moving in, currently it's only about 6 inches deep, maybe, and covered in a sheet of ice. The 2nd picture is what it appears it looked like presumably a few years back when Bing took the picture. I haven't seen it that deep but it was well into spring when we moved in.

Thanks for having me!


Attachments
pond.jpg (178 downloads)
pond2.jpg (166 downloads)

_________________________
Snort Coffee is a podcast about goofy stuff. Hope to add ponding to my list of hobbies.

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#460346 - 12/15/16 02:23 PM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
Quarter Acre Online   content


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 799
Loc: West Central Missouri
Welcome from newish member.

I look forward to learning about this "Japanese inspired swimming hole". So much so that I will have a hard time not researching the topic. I'll resist the best I can and give you the opportunity, as it arises, to educate us.

Right now, at 6" deep, it's more of a monster mud truck temptation, but yet a beautiful setting. I know how you feel, my place came with a very shallow 1/4 acre hole and it was all I could do to resist challenging the neighbor boy and his 4x4, but that would have ruined my friendship with his dad and I can imagine the work it would have created trying to get the boy's truck out of the 8 foot of silt that resided in the bottom.

All the best of luck, you'll find more advice here than you can digest.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#460349 - 12/15/16 02:59 PM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
aighead Offline


Registered: 12/14/16
Posts: 38
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Thanks Noel! My thought, and again, I assume several years down the road, is similar to the Japanese gardens you see with bonsai around water, but this water will be swimmable. I'm a huge bonsai fan but haven't really had the location or time to work on it, so I think my new place should help with that and give a nice surrounding.

Monster trucking sounds fun! Unfortunately, the whole pond is only 90 feet long if I measure at it's absolute longest and probably 30 or 40 feet of that has been dry since I moved in...

I'm already amazed and a bit intimidated by the amount of into I see so far!
_________________________
Snort Coffee is a podcast about goofy stuff. Hope to add ponding to my list of hobbies.

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#460369 - 12/15/16 07:26 PM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
MaxH Offline


Registered: 11/27/15
Posts: 28
Loc: IN
When I see 'Japanese' I immediately imagine koi. Is that the plan? Or do you want a Japanese landscape? Koi are an awesome species but take some really special water parameters and structure to flourish. What is the end goal, with fish included?

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#460373 - 12/15/16 07:55 PM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
highflyer Offline


Registered: 07/09/11
Posts: 1863
Loc: East Texas
Austin,

I spent a lot of my youth in the Dayton area. What a great place to grow up.

Keep us updated on your progress.
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Brian

The one thing is the one thing
A dry fly catches no fish
Try not to be THAT 10%

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#460551 - 12/18/16 12:08 PM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
aighead Offline


Registered: 12/14/16
Posts: 38
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Max, Koi aren't necessarily in the works, maybe a few, but not mandated. I'm more thinking the landscaping. Fish will likely end up being whatever seems the hardiest around here. We won't likely do much fishing for them, more for snorkeling and swimming with them. End goal is clear water throughout (likely a tiered waterfall system to promote good filtering through plants) to swim around in. Similar to the pictures seen here.

highflyer, I moved up here from Cincinnati about 20 years ago and thought little of it until I lived here for a while. Now I love it. It's a real city with things to do, though I rarely want to participate in those things, and there isn't traffic problems. I live out in the country but I'm 10 minutes from anything. All without spending a billion dollars.
_________________________
Snort Coffee is a podcast about goofy stuff. Hope to add ponding to my list of hobbies.

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#460552 - 12/18/16 01:14 PM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4228
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Paddle fish?

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#460558 - 12/18/16 05:28 PM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
Bill Cody Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
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Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12468
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
IMO don't use paddlefish in a swimming pond which should have lots of Daphnia type zooplankton toi keep the water clear. Paddlefish love Daphnia.
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#460576 - 12/19/16 08:07 AM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
aighead Offline


Registered: 12/14/16
Posts: 38
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
I don't know what a paddlefish is.. I'll have to go look! I guess I have to go look at Daphnia as well. Thanks guys!
_________________________
Snort Coffee is a podcast about goofy stuff. Hope to add ponding to my list of hobbies.

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#460577 - 12/19/16 08:13 AM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5165
Loc: SE Kansas
If you hang around this place, be prepared to learn something.

Like it or not. grin
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John

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#460580 - 12/19/16 08:17 AM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: Bill Cody]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4228
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Bill- That makes sense when you think it through. I just thought that a filter feeder would filter the water, but eating Zooplankton rather than phytoplankton would not likely help with water clarity. Thanks for weighing in!

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#460623 - 12/19/16 01:24 PM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
aighead Offline


Registered: 12/14/16
Posts: 38
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
snrub, I've come to learn that already! Ha!
_________________________
Snort Coffee is a podcast about goofy stuff. Hope to add ponding to my list of hobbies.

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#460638 - 12/19/16 07:10 PM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5607
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: aighead
... Fish will likely end up being whatever seems the hardiest around here. We won't likely do much fishing for them, more for snorkeling and swimming with them. End goal is clear water throughout (likely a tiered waterfall system to promote good filtering through plants) to swim around in. ...


This is an unorthodox suggestion so please take it as such. I don't recall ever reading where someone has done this.

If I have it right, the goal is swimming/snorkeling in nice clear water, observing interesting fish and other aquatic wildlife but would prefer not to have to fish much to maintain balance.

For plants to help with clear water, IMO I would consider going with, at least to start, redtip eel grass and a few hardy lilies. These plants should utilize a lot of the excess nutrients in the pond and provide good habitat for zooplankton to help control phytoplankton. The redtip eel grass stays relatively short so should not impede swimming.

For fish (and this is a real unorthodox thought!) I would consider HSB and PS. The HSB will not reproduce so no need to fish. The reasons I suggest PS instead of something like GSH...

1) Arguably one of the prettiest North American fish so nice for snorkeling. This is the number 1 reason why I am suggesting them with your goals in mind.

2) While BG, HBG etc. tend to nip swimmers, I can't find anything that says PS have this characteristic. (Maybe they do)

3) PS grow slower and stay smaller than many sunfish such as BG or RES. Perhaps the HSB with their limited mouthgap can still control PS numbers? PS fall somewhere between BG and RES with respect to fecundity which MIGHT keep the PS from over populating if the HSB are stocked at appropriate numbers to get the job done but I suspect you would still need to harvest PS occasionally. The good news is PS are excellent table fare! Maybe you could take up spearfishing! grin smile

For diversity and to help control the PS, you could also maybe consider 1 or 2 CC.

Again, I don't recall ever seeing anybody follow a plan like this but, you have unique goals so......

Hopefully, the pros will be along to offer up their experience as to why this may or may not work. At least it is perhaps food for thought and discussion.


Edited by Bill D. (12/19/16 07:34 PM)
Edit Reason: Clarification
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You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#460640 - 12/19/16 08:22 PM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
aighead Offline


Registered: 12/14/16
Posts: 38
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Bill, you are beautiful. Thank you for the suggestions! Catfish, striped bass, and sunfish of some variety if I have my abbreviations right (I'll have to go check now... I did have them right!) sound really cool! I'm a big fan of unorthodox, so keep those ideas coming. Since I seem to be the only one around with this kind of pond I feel unorthodox!

Every swimming pond that I'm seeing has a split between swimming area and plant areas but that seems bland so if I could alter that a bit by adding some life in the main swimming section it'd be great.

I really hope I can make all this work, if for no other reason than to come back and tell you all how much I appreciate the help and to provide progress pictures and info. It seems as though this technique is pretty common in Europe. Maybe in the good ol' US we just find creeks or dirty swimming holes to hop in, but if things go as I can only hope for now I'd like mine to be an oasis and a work of art.

My girlfriend has given me the go ahead to turn the entire front yard into a pond (probably acre to 1.5 acres), but while I don't think that'll happen it's nice to have her support!

You guys really are pretty cool, thanks for welcoming me in with open fish arms!


Edited by aighead (12/19/16 08:23 PM)
_________________________
Snort Coffee is a podcast about goofy stuff. Hope to add ponding to my list of hobbies.

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#460645 - 12/19/16 09:40 PM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
liquidsquid Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1935
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
That sounds like a fun project! Keep us posted. Bear in mind, it will be expensive and require a lot of work. It takes a lot of plants to take up the nutrients of swimmers, fish, and debris that will enter the pond.
A thought would be to provide yourself a clean-out drain if possible. If it is only a pipe plumbed to the deepest section and brought to an edge that you can connect a trash pump to in order to pull out a bit of accumulated gunk. If you get the water circulating via pumps, you can direct this gunk to the middle to be removed every so often.
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#460646 - 12/19/16 10:44 PM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
aighead Offline


Registered: 12/14/16
Posts: 38
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Thanks ls, I think it sounds fun. I'm guessing it's a several year project, though I'd love to be swimming this summer. We'll see. I'm going to try to point a webcam out the window when I start to take pictures with.

Most of the swimming ponds I'm seeing suggest skimmers. A lot of them are suggesting UV filters as well? Anyone know if I should worry about that?
_________________________
Snort Coffee is a podcast about goofy stuff. Hope to add ponding to my list of hobbies.

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#460650 - 12/20/16 06:48 AM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4228
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
As you probably know, many folks like me and my family swim in a regular old pond. What you add beyond that is based on what aesthetics you want and can afford. A way into and out of the pond that does not mud things up is enough for me. A fixed dock connected to a floating dock works pretty well. My pond edges are filled with emergent plants and the shallows have water lilies.

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#460671 - 12/20/16 10:38 AM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
Quarter Acre Online   content


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 799
Loc: West Central Missouri
With regards to filtration, I suspect you will have to find that fine line for yourself. Somewhere between a muddy hole of water and an actual swimming pool is your answer. Skimmers in the aquarium world (especially salt water tanks) are incredibly beneficial when it comes to removing wastes where overcrowded conditions exist. If our wildlife population in the pond was kept low I don't think skimming would be all that important. I can't help but think that a large (grossly oversized for your pond volume) sand style filter system would be more beneficial, but be ready to replace the sand regularly.

When you joined PB and introduced us to swimming ponds, I thought to myself..."remotely clear water, merely most of the swimming season, will be the biggest challenge (besides snakes)." Without a large inflow of clear spring water there will be a considerable amount of money and time spent filtering, vacuuming and debris avoidance. With that said, your swimming hole could be between a quarter to a half million gallons. That is one large pool to filter and a pond is not near as forgiving as a traditional swimming pool.

UV filtration, in my very limited knowledge, is typically for bacteria control and I can only imagine the amounts of little microscopic critters you would be fighting off in a pond setting. Unless you are a germ-o-phobe, I personally would not worry about UV sterilizers.

I think that creating a pool-like concrete floor and walls would be the best money spent to help keep a swimming hole clean along with the proper vegetation surrounding the area to help filter all incoming water.

Disclaimer - I have no real experience in these matters, but I am enjoying the discussion and the challenges associated with your project.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#460681 - 12/20/16 12:40 PM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
aighead Offline


Registered: 12/14/16
Posts: 38
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Thanks RAH and 1/4 Acre!

RAH, to your point I'm a little nervous about mud water, but that is mostly because this is just an unknown puddle to me at the moment. I think if I were to empty it completely out I may be less nervous about it. I don't mind the mud and dirt too much but if it's not crazy amounts of work why not shoot for a clear mountain pond! I guess what I'm trying to determine now is what equates to crazy amounts of work...

1/4 Acre, while I don't have first hand experience with the kind of pond I'm speaking of, in Europe, they seem to make it work relatively well where most of the filtering is actually done with strategic planting. There's a decent chance I'm missing something but so far I can't determine what it is.

I think part of my question is can I do a hybrid pond between the fishing holes that are popular here and the swimming ponds seen mostly in Europe. In saying that most of the swimming ponds do seem to have the walled pit. I'm not entirely sure how it really has an effect other than just not having the pond exposed to as much dirt, but I'm considering options there too. I may be able to acquire a decent amount of stone and do something as seen here or here, which I think is incredibly lovely but I'm also not seeing the various work that has gone into them or the money spent... I think if I could seal the bottom then apply gravel and stone that would be ideal, but man it's a bit scary to start a project like this thinking "well, maybe it'll work..."
_________________________
Snort Coffee is a podcast about goofy stuff. Hope to add ponding to my list of hobbies.

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#460683 - 12/20/16 12:44 PM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4228
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
You should do what you want. I was just offering possible options. As I wrote earlier, I would start with making sure it holds water fairly well, and then move on from there, unless you are in a big hurry. I think it is like getting your foundation right before building the house.

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#460711 - 12/21/16 07:11 AM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
liquidsquid Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1935
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
I would guess the swimming area would be a concrete inground pool with the top rim lowered a few feet below grade. Then a much larger area would be 2-3 foot deep wetland full of plants, gravel, and sand through which water is circulated. There is likely some magic ratio between the two areas that works well.
UV is pointless. Losing battle there, and you would be destroying the very life you are emplying to clean the water.
Personlly I would want some non reproducing fish in the pond to keep the numbers low, but get after bug larva. Not sure what that would be. First thought would be mollys each spring. They would be killed in cold water, but would do thier jobs during the bug season.
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#460715 - 12/21/16 07:57 AM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: liquidsquid]
fish n chips Offline


Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2315
Loc: Northeast Ohio
Your right about the walls of the swimming area. However the water is usually so clean that you can see deep, so it would be worthwhile using a natural material like big boulders, sandstone block, or even rot resistant timbers. I think the reason the deep pit, steep walls, is that this area is deep enough for swimming but it helps separate that margin of plants and swimming area. If there was a bit of a higher border of the walls( where plants meets swim area), the soils should not so easily wash/erode into the deep area, helping longevity.

Fish may be detrimental to this kind of pond. I would research a lot on this.

If needed, couldn't a UV filter could be added later thru a pumping sitituation, like in a water fall setting? A skimmer might be helpfull with aesthetics and eliminate some regular chores.

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#460718 - 12/21/16 08:46 AM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
aighead Offline


Registered: 12/14/16
Posts: 38
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Thanks for the continued notes guys! The ratio I'm seeing is 50% plant life (and thus filtration) to 50% swimming area. Looking at seeming success stories it looks like there is some potential variability there...

What about sharks, can I put sharks in it? smile
_________________________
Snort Coffee is a podcast about goofy stuff. Hope to add ponding to my list of hobbies.

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#460723 - 12/21/16 09:18 AM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
fish n chips Offline


Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2315
Loc: Northeast Ohio
In anything you find on the pools you like, do any of them have fish in it?

Shark idea is cool. How about having an area you can lock it into while you are swimming and letting it out when the "undesirables" come?

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#460732 - 12/21/16 10:07 AM Re: Previous lurker from Dayton, Ohio! [Re: aighead]
aighead Offline


Registered: 12/14/16
Posts: 38
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
That's a good question fish n, I remember reading that, yes, people had fish in them but I don't really recall what or how much...

The undesirables being some of my kid's friends I'm sure! I want a great white in there that just kind of flops around because it's not quite enough water for it. It'd just be teeth thrashing! Ha!
_________________________
Snort Coffee is a podcast about goofy stuff. Hope to add ponding to my list of hobbies.

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