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#154576 03/22/09 01:26 PM
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I decided to try making a small Island because the 2 natural floating Islands in my pond attract so much wildlife.

Took a 12ft piece of 1 1/4" plastic pipe, and connected it together with a wood plug. Then took the plug out, taped over each end, poked a small hole in the tape and put the nozzle of the foam can thru and filled it with foam. If you've never used spray foam, make sure you wear disposable gloves, it's sticky. I then put the plug back in and connected the hoop, then used a bungee to keep it oval shaped while the foam hardened, but I did push down too hard and one end crimped, but no problem.
When the foam hardened I wired 2 foam noodles to the frame, then zip tied the 1/2" plastic netting to the frame.
My next step was to use plastic garland for underwater structure, I had purchased 105 ft. for $3.00 at a discount store after Christmas and thought it might help attract more fish and bugs. I put 3ft lengths around the perimeter and some in the middle. I'll probably add a pvc pipe across the frame for strength.
The frame is 5' X 3' and should have at least 40lbs. of flotation with the noodles and foam filled pipe.
When the pond thaws I'll put it next to the dock and put in some peat moss and then dirt. My wife wants to plant flowers and grass on it, then we'll anchor it in the deep end.
When I have something growing in it I'll post pictures.

Here's the frame after filling with foam.


The frame with noodles wired on.


The 1/2" plastic netting was added here.


Here's the frame with garland attached.

I also need to buy longer zip ties so I can attach the noodles to the frame better.
Any bets if it floats after dirt and plants are added?




Last edited by adirondack pond; 03/27/09 08:22 PM.


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thanks for the photos and explanation, ap. That gives me ideas. You shouldn't need too much dirt. It should float fine. Do you think the foam spread out thru out the tubing?


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hey Burger, yea I'm pretty sure the foam filled the pipe, after putting the wood plug in and reconnecting the hoop, foam seeped out around the plug for 3 hours as it expanded, and when hardened the hoop held the oval shape.
If I was gonna build a bigger island I would use at least 2" plastic pipe.

Last edited by adirondack pond; 03/22/09 07:23 PM.


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Foam noodles have a good bit of flotation ability. I think it should hold a good amount of weight. What kind of plants does your wife want to pant?

CJBS2003 #154636 03/22/09 10:25 PM
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CJ, we really haven't decided on what plants would be good on the wet soil, I know instead of normal pond plants she would like some flowers, maybe Bee Balm would work, but we have to do some research.



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A few ideas for your floating island...

Canada Anemone, Anemone canadensis
Swamp Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata
New England Aster, Aster novae-angliae
Bottle Gentian, Gentiana andrewsii
Wild Iris, Iris versicolor
Prairie Blazing Star, Liatris pycnostachya
Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis
Great Blue Lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica
Monkey Flower, Mimulus ringens
Wild Bergamot, Monarda fistulosa
Crimson Beebalm, Monarda didyma
Obedient Plant, Physostegia virginiana
Blue Vervain, Verbena hastata
Ironweed, Vernonia fasciculata
Culver's Root, Vernonicastrun virginicum

And, they're all native like full sun, wet soils and are adapted to your northern climate.

CJBS2003 #154642 03/23/09 01:18 AM
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I like the addition of the garland, seems like a pretty cool idea, I wonder if that could be added to other artificial structure as well.


MikeyBoy #154656 03/23/09 07:47 AM
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MikeyBoy, I would think the garland would be a good addition to almost any structure, the problem is finding it cheap.
We have a chain of stores called "Dollar Tree " up here, everythings a buck, after Christmas they were clearing out the garland 3 packs for a dollar, I couldn't pass that up.


CJ, is that all the species you can come up with, not much to work with. \:D ;\)



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I'm telling ya, there are some cool plants in that list. I particularly like monkey flower... I mean really how can you not like a plant with a name like that! HAHA

CJBS2003 #154739 03/23/09 02:15 PM
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CJ, I showed my wife the list before she went to work this morning,
(somebody's got to work in this family ) and she laughed when she saw monkey flower.
We did have Bee Balm and Cardinal flower at the cabin last year and we'll probably have those 2 on the Island, plus we'll check out the other flowers on the list. I'll be happy if the darn thing doesn't sink.

Here's her flower garden at the cabin. we used a deer repellent that used cinnamon and garlic and it worked great.




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I was gonna ask how you kept the deer out. Those northern winters can be rough on them. Many moose your way? I figured they might like to take a dip in your pond... I want to hunt some snowshoe hares in the Adirondacks. My dad said that was some of the most fun he ever had hunting was for hare in the Adirondacks.

CJBS2003 #154755 03/23/09 03:24 PM
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We do have moose around here, one was spotted by 4 people about a mile down the road, I haven't seen one yet but it's only a matter of time.
There are alot of snowshoe hares here and sometimes I see the guys at the trail head parking lots with their Beagles.
Here's the deer repellent I used.
http://www.hardtofinditems.com/product.php?productid=206



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Oh Dollar Tree. We have that here in southern california as well. I have made many a trip there. Seems like it would be a good idea to start stocking up on those when I can. I am probably 2-4 years out from being able to start a pond going. I like to collect things a little bit at a time. I'm looking forward to seeing how that island floats.


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Do the foam things ever lose their flotation ability?


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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It doesn't seem so Dave, I had them off my dock last year to help keep fish feed from blowing back under the dock, the only problem was ducks pecking at the foam because of feed floating up against the noodles. That's why I put the foam inside the circle of plastic pipe.



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I think over 3 or 4 years they will loose some of their flotation ability. Won't know til you try though!

CJBS2003 #154941 03/24/09 02:10 PM
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I've had problems with the swim noodle foam holding up for 3-4 summers. It appears the UV light is real hard on it. It keeps getting smaller each year.

Why not take thin wall 4" dia sewer pipe fill it with foam connect it into a square or rectrangle, cover it with seine netting or plastic netting. Then cover netting with sphagnum moss and plant the plants in it? All the plants need is a substrate to get rooted in and then the root mass interconnects.

I question how well your island will float once you get dirt and plants on it. Once the island has a significiant amount of plant growth, then by itself, it may have enough bouyancy to float on its own. They are called floating bogs in nature.

Does Eric(NY) have any new pictures or experiences with his homemade islands?

I included a short segment on floating islands during a recent Pond Clinic I conducted. Here is the list of plants I suggested to them.
Bog Plants – Bog Lily, Dwarf Cattail,
Water Iris, Sweet Flag
Herbs: Mints, Dill, Chives
Grasses – Rye, burr reed, Various Sedges, wild rice if one can keep the waterfowl away from it while it is still young.
Canna, Marsh marigold, Lobelia (cardinal flower)
Rushes: Soft rush, 3 Square, Giant bull rush
Water Plantain, Lizard’s Tail, Flowering rush
Spike rushes
Hydroponics Vegetables
Any species that you find in or on the side of a temporary or permanent drainage ditch should grow on an island. Most wetland plants would also be good.




Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/24/09 08:26 PM.

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Bill Cody #154995 03/24/09 07:27 PM
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Bill, with all due respect, please remove Reed Canary grass from your list. There is enuf of that crap already.

if you want canary reed you dont even need to make an island, it will make its own.

Yes it grows but it grows way too much and forms monoculture desserts. And universities are improving it.

ohmygod.

and although native i dont think the strains generally available and invading are native.

it is time for me to spray mine and i have plenty. my strategy is if its grass that remotely looks like canary reed, its canary reed and it gets sprayed.

ohmygod, please, please please do not recomend that. please show me plant community where you have had canary reed for more than 3 or 4 years and we can compare to where i have been spraying canary reed for 3 or 4 years and take a poll. and if it isnt all canary reed, then your picture is not truthfull. maybe i will post my picture anyway. i can post pictures of canary reed desserts in the beautifull Iowa river valley.

you are way more than me but i have to change your recomendation, i am begging, please

i would like to start campaign to banish it from seed market, it is toxic, i have spread plenty of it (mowing) and am ashamed and will not mow canary reed in seed anymore. mowing after Jun1 is forbidden until into august because of it.

so, yes, it makes a difference, but there is not a single place that is better for it after a couple years, when it is all bad.

please

cliffbrook #155010 03/24/09 08:23 PM
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cliffb- okay. But is does grow well for those that are green thumb challenged.


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Bill Cody #155067 03/25/09 02:15 AM
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I built mine just as Bill described, except they are not foam filled. They have been in the water for about 3 to 4 years. Flotation has never been a problem, but balancing the plant life is.

I have a predominant plant that is slowly squeezing everything else out. I made 3, 1 meter square sections and bound them into an L shape, the ever aggressive plant has cloned a forth section, almost a perfect square and is now filling in the center.

I let the island free float and it finally anchored itself. It is now closer to a peninsula than an island.


1/4 & 3/4 acre ponds. A thousand miles from no where and there is no place I want to be...
Dwight Yoakam
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Sagittaria, speedwell, scarlet pimpernel,and ranunculus are not invasive, and would look pretty nice on an island.

Sams Club has some nice non woven 20 year UV proof fabric in 4'x200' rolls. I think I'll get a roll and make me an island over a PVC frame. I'll stuff the 4" PVC pipe with styrofoam peanuts and shoot Great Stuff foam into it for flotation.

bobad #155163 03/25/09 04:19 PM
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There's a hundred different ways to make these Islands, and thats what makes it fun. I used some materials I already had, it might not be the best way, but the garland was the only thing I had to purchase for it.
I put the noodles on the inside to protect them from critters and sunlight, but no matter how you build them they can be a valuable asset to pond habitat.

These are my natural floating Islands


Last edited by adirondack pond; 03/27/09 08:23 PM.


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thanks for the great ideas! I was looking at buy a floating island, but was not happy about the price. Does the garland in your picture have metal? Is this a problem? if it just plastic won't it float outside the island instead of hanging down?


Brian
Retired Coach

Just another day in paradise!


CoachB #155276 03/26/09 03:10 PM
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Yea Brian, the garland is plastic but the stem is wire with plastic coating so they sink. I've had some in my fish tank for 4 months and it's doing ok, but long term who knows.
If you build your own Islands no matter how you do it there really isn't much expense to it, and they add alot of value, both environmentally and aesthetically .

Larry



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What's your experience with the floating islands... What benefits have you seen? I have no experience with them, so I am curious!

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