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#462037 - 01/14/17 09:42 PM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
PerryNZ Offline


Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 43
Loc: New Zealand
So as to do a bank leakage survey, we launched the family pinnace, today. (stifled laughter)



Master mariner skills courtesy of some tutelage from one Captain Morgan. whistle



Edited by PerryNZ (01/14/17 09:46 PM)

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#462038 - 01/14/17 10:10 PM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1711
Loc: West Michigan
is the polymer sealant in yet on top of bentonite or with bentonite? or are you going to decide if you need it or not based on water levels over time?

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#462042 - 01/14/17 10:36 PM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
PerryNZ Offline


Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 43
Loc: New Zealand
We tried the polymer first and that was not successful. I do not blame the product - more likely user incompetence or mis-guided / imprudent preparation / application. My best guess is that the polymer is ideally suited to sealing leaks; less so for initiating the sealing of a pond basin that is sure to leak, because of the soil strata / conditions.

The bentonite supplier had visited the site, some years earlier and was not sanguine about the chances of success. (The project was started in 2007!) More recently - after the failed polymer test effort - I did a small test, using two bags of bentonite and decided - based on the results - that a whole-of-pond effort was worth trying.


Those two bags were applied as a light slurry. The more recent 9.5 tonnes were simply barrowed in and spread with a rake.

There are some awkward-sloping, so difficult-to-seal-with-bentonite areas around the edge of the pond, at the present water level, which may be leaking. We have half a tonne of bentonite left, so we may may try some of the remaining polymer on those places, if we exhaust the bentonite supply.

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#462051 - 01/15/17 12:04 PM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4615
Loc: SE Kansas
We are all cheering you on to success!
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#462061 - 01/15/17 02:28 PM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
PerryNZ Offline


Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 43
Loc: New Zealand
Today, we propose to top up the bentonite in several places along the north bank and around the island. I.e. increase the height up the bank by adding bentonite by careful shovelling from buckets in the stern of the boat. Overnight leakage losses caused a circa 100 mm (4 inches) drop in the pond level.

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#462095 - 01/16/17 08:25 AM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1711
Loc: West Michigan
If you have a bentonite layer, and full of water to add the hydraulic pressure pushing water down into any potential leaking area, that in my opinion would be a more ideal time to add the polymer. It would then have suspended particles and bentonite to bond to as it traveled down and into the areas of water leak...

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#462100 - 01/16/17 09:25 AM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13272
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
I once talked to the owner of Texas Sodium Bentonite. He told me that putting it into a pond with water has a much smaller degree of success than working it into the soil prior to the pond filling. I've tried it both ways and neither worked for me.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#462128 - 01/16/17 02:34 PM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: canyoncreek]
PerryNZ Offline


Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 43
Loc: New Zealand
Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
If you have a bentonite layer, and full of water to add the hydraulic pressure pushing water down into any potential leaking area, that in my opinion would be a more ideal time to add the polymer. It would then have suspended particles and bentonite to bond to as it traveled down and into the areas of water leak...

That's on the ToDo possibly list, certainly. While the water remains cloudy, identifying any leakage points is (or appears to be) almost impossible. I wondered if some harmless dye could be dribbled around in places, on a calm day, so as to observe the direction of any water movement.

After yesterday's efforts of firing bentonite along the water level margins, from the boat, the leakage was less, overnight. Of course, we have no way of knowing where or how that leakage was stemmed.

I likely mentioned earlier that we have a 4-stage anaerobic / aerobic digester for all waste water generated here. The supernatant is irregularly pumped into the pond, depending on the tank inflow volumes. The supernatant has quite a high level of very fine suspended vegetative solids. From past experience, that acts as a leak sealer.

The end of the outflow pipe into the pond has a small float on it. There's also a string line attached at that point, and to a tree on the pond edge. By moving the pondside attachment point of the string line, I can direct that vegetative-solids-imbued supernanant outflow to differing areas of the pond.

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#462129 - 01/16/17 02:43 PM Bentonite Effect Question [Re: PerryNZ]
PerryNZ Offline


Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 43
Loc: New Zealand
Does anyone know what the effect on the pH is, of the bentonite-lined pond water?

Does that change significantly, over time?

Have folks added pH modifiers for any particular reason?

Why?

What compounds were used?

I can't recall where I saw it, but there was a pond stabilising suggestion that I thought made a lot of sense. It was to travel to a similar, long-established, land-locked pond/lake, to get some inoculum. By carefully filling a few suitable containers, from close to the water's edge, it was suggested that adding that to a new pond would inoculate it with appropriate flora and fauna that would help it achieve balance and stability.

That's another task on the ToDo list, but if the pH is too radically different, such an idea may not work.

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#463287 - 02/05/17 03:47 PM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
PerryNZ Offline


Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 43
Loc: New Zealand
Some interesting developments, recently . . .

I heard a frog croaking in the last week or so. Where that came from, I have no idea. I can think of no colonisation sources, anywhere close. Quite a few mosquito larvae spotted, too.

Also, the water has turned a stronger greenish hue, in the last few days. It's been hellishly hot (late eighties, early nineties, with hot, desiccating winds) so that might explain it. I'll let nature take its course.

We've been round the edges of the island and the pond margins, in a little dingy - firing bentonite at spots we thought might be leaking.


After pumping water in on several occasions, only to see the level drop over the following 36 hours, I've given up on that and the level has steadied. I suppose a seasonal change and winter rains and time will be needed to get the levels up on a permanent basis.

We've reinstated the pump and pipework, to get the flowforms going again. The change up in size to a permanent 2 inch pipe was expected to increase the volume, but I wasn't expecting as much as I got. Wow! The pump is capable of 17000 litres an hour (4491 US gallons) at low heads and my guess is it's doing just that.

I had to re-grind the inwards races on the flowforms, to cope with the waterfalls going everywhere. Took several days to get the grinding dust out of my eyes and nose, despite the protective gear I was wearing.

There was a bit of water erosion where the bottom flowform emptied in to the pond, so we used some broken concrete to buttress around the sides of the concrete base. The bit of ribroof is only temporary, until the reinforcing has had a chance to stabilise.

In general, a pleasing outcome. My only regret is that it took so long to get to this stage. Too long. The lady whom this was meant for - the love of my life - died in late 2009, not long after I'd started the project. The island has a dwarf magnolia tree as a centrepiece memorial to her.


A sort-of time-line, pond pictorial compendium can be scrolled through, here.

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#466365 - 03/10/17 09:02 PM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
PerryNZ Offline


Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 43
Loc: New Zealand
It's raining today and has been, overnight. The pond is still holding water, but not 100%. The ripples out from where the flowforms discharge into the water do seem to be causing a small amount of lap erosion on the banks, opposite. Still seems to be a lot of bentonite in suspension, too.

I speculate on what winter temperatures will do.

The water is only around 12-18 inches deep, so probably stays quite warm. With that and the supernatant inflows, we likely have a fairly nutrient-rich situation, as evidenced in the pix, below:


That's the biocycle unit emptying at the time the pic was taken.


That's looking back the other way, after the discharge has stopped.


A bit like lime ripple icecream. sick The weeping willow (salix babylonica) is much the same shade of green.

For about a week, the water went green, earlier in the season. Then after a week or 10 days, the green vanished over 3-4 days. But now it's back.

I'm looking into the idea that anthropic suggested, earlier in this thread: a floating nutrient-stripping island. So far, I haven't been able to find any NZ presence for the outfit he mentioned. Ah, well, there's always DIY. wink

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#466383 - 03/11/17 08:04 AM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13272
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Neat place Perry
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#475973 - 07/12/17 09:28 PM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
PerryNZ Offline


Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 43
Loc: New Zealand
All was well - or so it seemed. The water cleared such that the pond bottom can be seen.

Then something went wrong. After the water level remaining steady for weeks, it suddenly dropped to a lower level and steadied again. Speculating that indicated a leak around the edges somewhere, more bentonite was spread along the banks. But that did not stop the leakage or seepage. And the water level dropped even further. And further.

Chatting with our bentonite supplier, he said that - in his experience - a second application was needed in some of test ponds he'd built, near his quarry. He said that he 'threw' the second application out onto the water surface, using his digger.

From his comments, I speculate that the layer of bentonite we put on the pond bed had become saturated and the water is slowly oozing / seeping through, over the entire pond bed area. If that's correct, then I doubt that a polymer application would solve it.

So it looks like a second bentonite application, broadcast across the surface, is going to be necessary. Bugger!

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#476033 - 07/14/17 06:35 AM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13272
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Perry, I have tried what you are doing and it has never worked for me.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#476043 - 07/14/17 08:35 AM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
RC51 Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4213
Loc: Arkansas
Perry I am sorry for your loss and I understand what making this pond work means to you. I have no experience in what you are doing but as to say don't give up my friend. If it's a constant reminder of the one you loved and would die for and it's dedicated to her press on buddy!! For that one day you can sit out on your bench or chair and look at it all as it should be and have that quite time knowing she is looking down smiling at you and what you finally got accomplished!!

God Bless,
RC
_________________________
The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!

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#476089 - 07/15/17 05:50 AM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13272
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Perry, my condolences.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#476133 - 07/15/17 09:05 PM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
PerryNZ Offline


Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 43
Loc: New Zealand
Somewhat to my surprise, the green bloom has returned. I did not think it was likely, in Winter.

Went out in the dingy, yesterday, to check the screen of the pump, as water flow has reduced significantly, in the flowforms. Very little detritus to brush off, so that's not the cause of the diminished flow.

Nice sentiments expressed - thanks - but Barbara died a while ago, now (2009). That did not stop the labour-of-love, of course.

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#477108 - 07/26/17 09:32 PM Pond Scum? [Re: PerryNZ]
PerryNZ Offline


Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 43
Loc: New Zealand
Well, "green bloom" (illustrated back in this post ) does not do it justice. Despite being winter and much colder temperatures, the green is now something else. As before, I'll let nature take it's course.







I have acquired a couple of ducks - a Mallard and Indian Runner and they seem to have no problem with the pond state. I even suspect that they are eating some of it.


Edited by PerryNZ (07/26/17 09:34 PM)

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#480686 - 10/04/17 12:46 AM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
PerryNZ Offline


Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 43
Loc: New Zealand
The white duck died (prolapsed oviduct), so we have added three muscovy ducks and a drake. The mallard is sitting on some eggs, somewhere, but I doubt they'll be fertile.

One thing that I can attribute to the ducks is that the pond remains cloudy. It seems that their paddling about stirs up the bentonite. That is a bit annoying, but, just maybe, there's a side benefit? And I get the impression that any sort of larvae (mosquito or otherwise) get gobbled up, enthusiastically.

I have the vague idea that the unfortaunte leakage that started some time back has slowed. I wonder if the paddling ducks are causing a drift of suspended bentonite particles towards where the slow leakage is happening?

We had a damaging cyclone here, on Good Friday eve. It's also (now) the beginning of the irrigation season. Because the micro-sprinkler irrigation was rendered unusable in the cyclone-hit woodlot, that 6 hour cycle pumps into the pond, for now, three nights a week. That will certainly keep the levels up.

Had a blue heron drop in, briefly, as well as a brace of paradise ducks, once or twice. Perhaps some avian gossip will spread the word that here is a safe haven? wink

Still ruminating on a floating island of flowering aquatic plants as the next to-do thing.

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#480691 - 10/04/17 08:14 AM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1711
Loc: West Michigan
How did blue herons originally get to New Zealand? Thanks for the updates!


Edited by canyoncreek (10/04/17 08:15 AM)

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#480701 - 10/04/17 03:23 PM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: canyoncreek]
PerryNZ Offline


Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 43
Loc: New Zealand
Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
How did blue herons originally get to New Zealand?

No idea. Not something I've ever given any thought to. A lot of birds in NZ were introduced here, many years ago. Some less desirable than others!

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#481207 - 10/17/17 07:22 PM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
PerryNZ Offline


Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 43
Loc: New Zealand
It's drizzling at the moment, so the pix will have to come later. But, for now, I wonder how those with ponds - especially ones with islands - deal with / manage the plant ecology involved.

I think that control of some weeds on the island might be a good idea. But others might have tested the view: "let Nature takes its course" and found it to be the best policy.







I also wonder how organic matter - pond litter, if you like - of fallen leaves, blossoms and suchlike add to or detract from the oh-so-slow sealing of a pond with minor leaks[s]?



Edited by PerryNZ (10/17/17 09:43 PM)
Edit Reason: added pix

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#482415 - 11/09/17 07:02 PM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
PerryNZ Offline


Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 43
Loc: New Zealand
We've recently added a mother Peking duck that had-ten-now-eight ducklings in tow.



And a Pukeko seems to have moved in.



I've also heard some frogs, but I wonder if the Pukeko might deal to them, depending on the frogs' size? Pukekos also predate upon ducklings, so the mother duck is often on her toes.


The green pond scum seems to be more absent than present, but I don't know why. The water is still quite green, though. Pleasingly, the levels are dropping less between each irrigation cycle and that's just great.


The flow of water through the flowforms has slowed. I have my suspicions. Does anyone have any experience of bentonite clay doing a sort of clogging the artery walls thing to the delivery pipe from the pump? It does seem to build up in the flowforms and need regular and energetic brushing off and away.

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#482765 - 11/16/17 03:04 PM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
PerryNZ Offline


Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 43
Loc: New Zealand
Well, it went quiet for a while, so I thought the frogs had got unlucky! But I heard a croak, yesterday.

The Muscovies are flying about the place in an unprecedented way. Wandering a bit further round the property, too.

The floating island of nutrient-stripping aquatic plants is getting closer to happening. A couple of days ago, a neigbour gave me two lots of aquatic plants and I'm waiting for some pond pickerel to come via a local garden centre.

It may seem odd, but I will be 'fencing off' the floating island to allow the plants to establish without being waddled over. Not sure how long the fence will stay there.

Pix before Xmas, if I'm lucky.

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#482789 - 11/17/17 08:25 AM Re: Pond Mission Impossible? [Re: PerryNZ]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4615
Loc: SE Kansas
You have quite an interesting pond Perry.
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