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Pond Mission Impossible?
#262721 06/23/11 04:16 AM
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Howdy, all. Perry - from New Zealand - checking in.

After poring over more than few threads, I have the
sinking feeling that my aspirations border on lunacy.
My proposed pond area is modest, by USA standards.
It'd be measured in square yards, rather than acres.
My guess is about 40 x 20 yards, in an ovoid shape.
Probably not going to be much more than 2 feet deep.

The water supply will be replenished constantly from
the output of a biocycle aerobic/anaerobic waste-water
treatment system. Essentially the supernatant from black
and grey water from five households on the place.

However, the system does not work as it should, with
more suspended solids in the supernatant than there
should be. The good part about that is those fine, sus-
pended solids do seem to act as a sealer, of sorts.
There is no serious or nasty septic tank-like odour.

So, if I am lucky enough to get the project close to
reality, the inflow will tend to facilitate sealing. The
seems a fair presumption, based on leaving the output
hose on the shingle, and watching the water spread
further, over the months. Besides . . .

I plan to have a flowform on the island, to achieve
aeration /good water quality. What's a flowform,
did you say?



The real obstacle here is the 'soil' strata. Stony gravel
with some silt overlay
is how it's described. And I've
dug enough post holes to be sure of that. As I see it,
bringing in a high clay content soil and hand-plastering
it is among my few (natural) options.

I also suspect that the bentonite clay in New Zealand
is not of the same quality or make-up of what you folks
have access to. Not even sure if New Zealand-purchased
kitty litter would be better!

Among the DIY crowd, has anyone tried - say - mushing
soaked old newspapers pulped together with bentonite?
(A variation on the gley option?) Other variants? Yes,
I did read of the alfalfa experiment! crazy

Here's a pic of the stage I'm at, just now.




Last edited by PerryNZ; 06/24/11 05:52 AM.
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #262722 06/23/11 06:37 AM
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Pretty neat setup Perry. Welcome to PB.

I don't know the answer to your question but would be suspicious of any organic material like paper mixed with clay. It is my observation that only good clay seals and nothing else seems to work. And, certain clays don't work. However, you could try it by lining a bucket with holes with different mixes of it.

An Ohio company sells a product called Aquablok. I don't know what it is but they might be a good source of potential information.

www.aquablokinfo.com


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
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #262723 06/23/11 06:40 AM
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PerryNZ welcome to pond boss, it's never lunacy to want a pond no matter how impossible it seems grin.
With your proposed pond area of about 1/7 th of an acre have you looked into the possibility of using a liner.

Stand by for more Ideas from the experts.



Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
adirondack pond #262725 06/23/11 07:03 AM
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I'm a little averse to the liner idea. I also wonder how
much the island may complicate any sort of membrane?
But if ends up being the only viable option, I may just
have to change my mind.

Thanks for the warm words of welcome, too.
sleep time for me!

Last edited by PerryNZ; 06/23/11 07:03 AM.
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #262729 06/23/11 07:19 AM
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Perry, welcome to the forum. I also think that after it's all said and done, a liner will be the only option. I'm not saying the other options won't work, but I'm sure that the liner will work. I don't have any experience with liners, but I'm wondering if it could be put in place, then covered with substrate so you don't see the liner?


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
esshup #262773 06/23/11 04:42 PM
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One big dilemma I see with a liner is the stony
nature of the ground. I'd probably have to run
a vibrating plate compactor over the bed area,
to reduce the risk of punctures.

I have the flowform installer making a site visit,
today. I'll quizz him about options, just in case
his experience covers that sort of thing, too.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #262819 06/24/11 06:06 AM
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I spent a couple of hours on the digger, again, today, after
the flowform installer had been. I shot some levels which
showed that the right hand end needing raising a few inches,
to get closer to level.

I reflected a bit more on liners and related matters. I seems
a little ironic that this pond will have a steady influx of water,
independent of the weather. Something a few pond owners
on this site might envy. Which led to the question: how much?

Whatís an average (statistical, mythical) figure for water use
for - say - an adult? Shower, clothes washing, toilet, kitchen
use, and so on? We stabbed a guess at 25-30 US gallons per
day. Howís that sound? As there are six adults living on-site,
thatís 150 -180 gallons per day, most every day, going into
the pond.

Why is this a consideration? We were talking about leakage
as it relates to liners. Add a little overspray from a sprinkler
system and we have what some pond owners might wish for:
the potential need to lose water, in a small, measured way.
I.e. some leakage might be essential!

What that does is reduce the need for a super-duper seal in
any liner. Plus the amount of fine suspended solids coming
in, in the supernatant, may mean small leaks will self-seal.
That leads me to a budget option thought. (Donít cringe)

If I place fairly heavy black polythene over a plate compactor
smoothed surface, water-proof tape it at the joins and then let
the pond fill with rain and biocycle outflow, might I get away
with that?

Too much thinking time, sitting on that digger!

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #262821 06/24/11 06:35 AM
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http://www.data360.org/dsg.aspx?Data_Set_Group_Id=757

I don't think leakage would be a consideration if you used a liner, but I would check into evaporation rates for your area. Being on an island, surrounded by water, it might not be high, but then again, it might suprise you.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
esshup #262823 06/24/11 06:41 AM
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Perry, I have heard the figure of 270 gallons per day, per home, in the US.

Mine is probably more. I time my Wifes showers by the calendar, not the clock.


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
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
Dave Davidson1 #263746 07/04/11 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
Mine is probably more. I time my wife's showers by the calendar,
not the clock.

Very droll!

My wife says you have no business timing your wife's showers!
Of course, she only says that because I don't have to time hers -
we shower together. (To save water, you understand wink )

Of course the problem with the "per home" figure is not knowing
the number of residents and whether or not it includes watering
the lawns and garden.

For all that, having a continual input of 5-600 litres per day
(130 - 160 US gallons approx) must help with both evaporation
and leakage losses.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
esshup #263747 07/04/11 05:44 AM
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For some reason, that page wont finish loading.
It tries, it starts, it just doesn't get finished.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #264048 07/07/11 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted By: PerryNZ

For some reason, that page wont finish loading.
It tries, it starts, it just doesn't get finished.


I just tried it and it opened. Maybe connection speed? It says Australia is around 475 to 500 liters per day. That's per person per day. Data was from 2008 United Nations Development Program.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
esshup #264088 07/07/11 08:23 PM
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What we have in New Zealand, euphemistically referred
to as broadband, is absolute crap, speed-wise, so that
could indeed be implicated.

The Australian figures seem high, when I compare them
to my guesstimate of local output. I suppose it might
be said that the more the better, for my application?

I have the bridge piles and bearers in, but the decking
will be a little later. A bridge over no water! Still,
it did seem essential to get that in before laying out
any planned liner.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #267390 08/09/11 12:57 AM
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Soon, the guy doing the pop-up irrigation scheme
will be visiting to mark out the lines, so we can
plant the specimen trees we have here. I've got
the bridge in place - now I just need a water-
filled pond to give it a reason for being.


The flowform installer is back from Europe, this
week, so we'll see what might happen once he's
again on-the-job. I have to say that dealing with
the NZ flow form people is akin to pulling teeth.

Reminds me of the dance tutor's waltz line, only
without the "quick-quick."

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #267392 08/09/11 04:23 AM
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Perry if you just look at the first pond, it is about your pond size and has a liner. When he first installed the liner he punchered it but didn't know it until it leaked. He drained the pond and patched it, and it has held up for several years now. So a larger pond liner is doable.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eP0i13ZXCCE&feature=youtube_gdata


Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
John Monroe #267556 08/10/11 03:53 PM
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Perry before you get a liner down get some old carpet and use for padding. Most of it will not break down and it last forever providing your liner protection from the rock and debris. I do not know bout there but here you can get it for free from carpet store dumpsters. Just check it for nails or staples. We usually put two layers down then put the liner on top and cover liner with felt pad, then place gravel on the pad.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
ozarkstriperscom #268103 08/17/11 04:52 AM
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Thanks for that tip - I'll keep it in mind. The
pop-up irrigation guy's been here for a couple
of days and has the job mostly finished. He does
need to come back for the 'finishing touches,' as
soon as it stops raining! What this progress means
is that after I finish all the tidying up of the
mess, the pond conundrum is next to be solved.

Trying to think a little outside the proverbial
box, now. I was wondering if a powder might be
applied to the shingle, then water sprayed gently
on it. I was thinking of a mix of bentonite*, plus
cement powder. Say, 4 or 5 to 1. Might that do
an odd mix of penetrate the shingle a little,
then set? I'm thinking of doing a test area,
as, well, a test.

Anyone got any similar odd-ball ideas? Or comments
on mine, of course.

The fall-back is a layer of carpet or under-felt,
overlaid with 50 micron, black polythene film.

* The New Zealand stuff is not as good as the USA product.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #404711 03/20/15 11:11 PM
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The pond still remains empty, but I have not been idle. Far from it. Compare with the pic back in this post.



I can't see how/where to add a video clip to a post, so click here to see a short one like the pic above. Best viewed in a small tab/window, to reduce pixelation.

Last edited by PerryNZ; 03/20/15 11:14 PM.
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #404715 03/21/15 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted By: PerryNZ
Howdy, all. Perry - from New Zealand - checking in.

After poring over more than few threads, I have the
sinking feeling that my aspirations border on lunacy.
My proposed pond area is modest, by USA standards.
It'd be measured in square yards, rather than acres.
My guess is about 40 x 20 yards, in an ovoid shape.
Probably not going to be much more than 2 feet deep.

The water supply will be replenished constantly from
the output of a biocycle aerobic/anaerobic waste-water
treatment system. Essentially the supernatant from black
and grey water from five households on the place.

However, the system does not work as it should, with
more suspended solids in the supernatant than there
should be. The good part about that is those fine, sus-
pended solids do seem to act as a sealer, of sorts.
There is no serious or nasty septic tank-like odour.

So, if I am lucky enough to get the project close to
reality, the inflow will tend to facilitate sealing. The
seems a fair presumption, based on leaving the output
hose on the shingle, and watching the water spread
further, over the months. Besides . . .

I plan to have a flowform on the island, to achieve
aeration /good water quality. What's a flowform,
did you say?



The real obstacle here is the 'soil' strata. Stony gravel
with some silt overlay
is how it's described. And I've
dug enough post holes to be sure of that. As I see it,
bringing in a high clay content soil and hand-plastering
it is among my few (natural) options.

I also suspect that the bentonite clay in New Zealand
is not of the same quality or make-up of what you folks
have access to. Not even sure if New Zealand-purchased
kitty litter would be better!

Among the DIY crowd, has anyone tried - say - mushing
soaked old newspapers pulped together with bentonite?
(A variation on the gley option?) Other variants? Yes,
I did read of the alfalfa experiment! crazy

Here's a pic of the stage I'm at, just now.




Hey, Perry. If water cleanup remains an issue, you might look into the floating islands made by floating island international. Really great at improving water quality, and I know they are active in NZ.

Best of luck!


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 225



Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #404718 03/21/15 05:08 AM
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That's neat; really neat.


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
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #404726 03/21/15 07:40 AM
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I like it also. let us know how it is going.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #459337 11/21/16 02:44 AM
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Some progress has been made, albeit pedestrian in the extreme.

I have some white polymer powder for pond sealing purposes. The tale of how I got that to New Zealand could be an entertaining side-story.

I'm paying a couple of European back-packers to screen the rocks and stones from the pond bed, leaving me with the fines to mix the polymer powder with.

They expect to be finished in a couple of days. It's not overly hard work, but tedious and tiring.

The 'base course' looks like this:


After I've spread the fines where the screening has been done, in preparation for adding and mixing the sealant, the view is like this.


Perhaps I'll be close to having a pond by Xmas?

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #459346 11/21/16 09:07 AM
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While in Austraila we paid someone to get to sift dirt like that.

But they told us there were precious stones in the dirt. grin

Maybe you just need some marketing to get free labor. laugh

Welcome to PBF!

Last edited by snrub; 11/21/16 09:19 AM.

John

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Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
snrub #461942 01/13/17 12:09 AM
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When I'm past my present state of exhaustion, I might script some more details. For now, here's the result of around 9 tonnes of bentonite added, by wheel-barrow and manual labour.



The water is pouring in and the level is slowly rising. We are having hot, strong, dessicating winds, day and night, presently, so evaporation rates are high. That's borne out by the level drop in the swimming pool.

But it does look like - for me - it's Pond Mission Exhaustible, rather than impossible. crazy So I'm happy with that. Nine years in the making! Phew!

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #461948 01/13/17 08:06 AM
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Wow.....very nice!

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


Last edited by PerryNZ; 01/14/17 09:46 PM.
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #462038 01/14/17 10:10 PM
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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?

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #462042 01/14/17 10:36 PM
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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.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #462051 01/15/17 12:04 PM
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We are all cheering you on to success!


John

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Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #462061 01/15/17 02:28 PM
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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.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #462095 01/16/17 08:25 AM
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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...

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #462100 01/16/17 09:25 AM
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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
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
canyoncreek #462128 01/16/17 02:34 PM
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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.

Bentonite Effect Question
PerryNZ #462129 01/16/17 02:43 PM
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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.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #463287 02/05/17 03:47 PM
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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.

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

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #466383 03/11/17 08:04 AM
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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
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #475973 07/12/17 08:28 PM
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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!

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #476033 07/14/17 05:35 AM
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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
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #476043 07/14/17 07:35 AM
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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!!
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #476089 07/15/17 04:50 AM
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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
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #476133 07/15/17 08:05 PM
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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.

Pond Scum?
PerryNZ #477108 07/26/17 08:32 PM
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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.

Last edited by PerryNZ; 07/26/17 08:34 PM.
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #480686 10/03/17 11:46 PM
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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.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #480691 10/04/17 07:14 AM
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How did blue herons originally get to New Zealand? Thanks for the updates!

Last edited by canyoncreek; 10/04/17 07:15 AM.
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
canyoncreek #480701 10/04/17 02:23 PM
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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!

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #481207 10/17/17 06:22 PM
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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]?


Last edited by PerryNZ; 10/17/17 08:43 PM. Reason: added pix
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #482415 11/09/17 07:02 PM
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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.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #482765 11/16/17 03:04 PM
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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.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #482789 11/17/17 08:25 AM
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You have quite an interesting pond Perry.


John

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #483556 12/02/17 02:04 AM
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Still no sign of the awaited pontederia cordata, needed for the floating island. But the pond view-from-the-house is looking very nice.

Mother duck, five ducklings and the hydrangeas reflections. 2 Dec 2017.


Hydrangeas reflected in the pond by the setting sun. A few alstromerias in there, too.


Another view of the setting sun and hydrangeas. The Muscovies waddling off, stage right, not in a hurry, even.


The five remaining Peking ducklings and mother, taking a cruise.

Hungry things they are, too.

Last edited by PerryNZ; 12/02/17 06:09 PM.
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #483560 12/02/17 06:35 AM
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Perry, it looks nice. Good job


Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #483568 12/02/17 08:56 AM
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Gorgeous setting for sure.


AL
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #483586 12/02/17 06:23 PM
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We departed early Sunday morning, for the local Farmers' Market. A great place, great environment, a busker, a cuppa coffee and a delectable treat from the German baker made it a very definite 'place to be' for a light breakfast. Harald also makes a superlative sour dough rye loaf, so one of those went home with us, too. Lunch today will be mashed avocado on rye, dusted with Spike.

<where's the drooling icon?>

The Market locality also has a nearby pond, containing eels, some small fish and a few ducks. The water is largely clear, but that might be because the surface has a 70% plus cover of water lilies. I took three two litre plastic bottles and filled them carefully, from the pond edge, allowing assorted bits and pieces of pond detritus to flow into the bottles.

Somewhere - was it on this forum? - someone had said that inoculating a new pond with water-borne biota from an established and settled pond was a good thing. It might even hasten the settling-down and stabilising of our pond.

Not something that will be apparent in days, of course, but there was no great effort involved. I hope that such an action is in the category of 'might do some good and can't do any harm.'

Last edited by PerryNZ; 12/02/17 06:24 PM.
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #483588 12/02/17 06:54 PM
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Sounds like my kind of morning Perry. I can almost smell that sourdough bread! smile


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Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #483590 12/02/17 07:18 PM
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Well, Bill, one oddity is that the crust seems to have cement reinforcing. When I get it home, I run it under the tap, put it in a plastic bread bag, and do my best to suck all the air out, before sealing the bag.

By midday or so, it's just right. wink

Which reminds me right now, where's that carving board?

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #483591 12/02/17 07:33 PM
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Perry, you got me with "mashed avocado on rye, dusted with Spike". That Spike condiment is my absolute go to seasoning for nearly every meal. And, I love to cook, believe you me!

We long ago (1970s) started using Spike, first the salted then the no salt kind. I'm back to the salted Spike these days.

I've enjoyed every bit of this thread over time. Your progress with the pond is remarkable.

You've got a beautiful spot.

I Like To Cook With Wine . . .
PerryNZ #483598 12/02/17 08:08 PM
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. . . . Sometimes I Even Add It To The Food! wink

Spike costs the earth in New Zealand, so I am a bit selective. Avocado and tomato are the two favoured items for a dusting. One of my favourites is Vogel toast with mashed avocado, topped with finely chopped tomato and red onion, then dusted with Spike.

You may call red onions Californian onions and I doubt if you could get true Vogel bread in USA. New Zealand seems to be the only place I know of in the world where Han Klisser's* original Vogel remains [almost] true-to-the-original-recipe.

I say 'almost' because, since Han sold out, the dough is made in an MDD machine, with the grains being the only ingredients that are soaked, overnight. I.e. once it was made in home-style, now it's made factory-style. And consumers are the losers - as always.

Perhaps your nearest Whole Foods Store might have something close, as an equivalent?

* I once wrote a magazine article that included details about Han's bakery, so know a little more than most on that subject.




Last edited by PerryNZ; 12/02/17 08:57 PM.
Re: I Like To Cook With Wine . . .
PerryNZ #483600 12/02/17 08:17 PM
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New one on me guys. Please share. What is Spike?


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Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #483604 12/02/17 08:52 PM
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Refill packs are better value:


Can use the original dispenser or any other shaker you have available.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #483606 12/02/17 09:29 PM
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Thanks Perry, I will give it a go if I can find it locally!


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Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #483609 12/02/17 10:16 PM
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We can get Spike at our Safeway market, our City Market (Kroger) and at natural food stores.

A sprinkle on LMB fillets makes them tasty. It is just the right thing on whitetail or antelope backstraps. Hardboiled eggs Spiked-delicious. I even enjoyed cantelope this summer with a dusting of the seasoning.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #483611 12/02/17 10:32 PM
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I don't think it will be hard to locate in Illinois, at all.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #485195 01/12/18 06:45 PM
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It's certainly been an odd week. Those Pekin ducks transmogrified themselves!

They started ploughing and furrowing the lawn! Arrgghhh! They've been banished to the hen run. They seem OK with their tiny-by-comparison pond. For now, at least.


The Muscovies seem more inclined to browse and graze, rather than excavate. One of them may be sitting on a nest, but I've left them all loose to browse around.

Another strange thing is that the cloudiness disappeared from the pond. That seemed to happen 'overnight,' but really over 2-3 days. It almost seems as if the suspended bentonite clay all decided to suddenly flocculate and sink to the bottom. But that the wildest of guesses.

Last week we had some high temperatures, but it's hard to see how that would create any sudden decrease in pond water turbidity. The water still has a dark greenish hue, but only slight.

Anyway - I'm not complaining.

It looks good.

Last edited by PerryNZ; 01/14/18 03:37 AM.
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #485983 02/08/18 08:37 PM
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The floating island is still not done. The three Muscovy ducks are sitting on eggs, so I expect we'll have between 30 and 40 ducklings in a couple of weeks.

The Pekins remain banished to the orchard! The mallard seems to fly in and out, over the 6 foot high fence, depending on when she wants a frolic in the pond.

And we have a new avian guest: Lucy the goose.


She was subject to serious abuse by some louts and was hospitalised. She was treated by my grand daughter (a degreed veterinary technician @ the Vet Hospital 2 hours drive from here).


My grand daughter said she was unsure if Lucy's wing damage would repair enough to allow her to fly, again. The owner was so scared that the larrikins would return, that my grand daughter suggested Lucy could be re-homed, here.

Lucy's mate, the gander, did not survive the scumbags' assault, so Lucy is a little lonely. But not idle, as she defends her honour from the over-amorous Muscovy drake.

The water has largely cleared and there's a coming weekend plan to raise the pump and pipe from the pond bed, to see if the pipe has indeed got claying-of-the-artery. If that's so, the water flow should return to what it was, after we've done some pipe-cleaning.

As the pond 'matures,' other things occur. The pond scum coming-and-going occurrences of months past has been replaced by a spontaneous introduction of what I think is duckweed. It may be watermeal, but I don't have the knowledge to say which. Maybe both?!

Seems that duckweed engenders polar opinion opposites amongst pond owners / users. Very much a love-it or hate-it situation. Because we have mechanical aeration via the flowforms, the de-oxygenation thing may be less critical, here.

In the pix which follow, the 3-rounder-leafed one was intentionally introduced. The two-leafed one introduced itself.

It's possible that the two-leafed one is an immature 3-leaf. I don't know. Perhaps some more knowledgeable forumite will enlighten me?

A close-up of the two types, near the pond edge.


Patches of the two-leafed one, further out from the pond edge.


A wider view


Another wider view


The pond is still leaking significantly, but that leaking is both slowing and occurring at a higher level. I'm hoping that the edges may slowly self-seal with suspended detritus. I'm even adding lawn-mowing clippings around the edges. I have a bit more bentonite clay to use, too. The last application around the pond edges was pecked away by the Pekins. I presume they were after grit for their digestive systems.

No rest for pond owners, eh?

Last edited by PerryNZ; 02/08/18 08:39 PM.
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #485987 02/08/18 10:51 PM
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Perry, thanks for your entertaining update. Ducks certainly can be a problem, can't they? As our pond stayed nearly ice-free this winter, we've had two dozen wild mallards and widgeon spending their time here. Their presence is double-edged. They are eating mass quantities of the abundant, weedy elodea that can choke our pond; they also add lots of fertilizer so we will have to fight a bumper crop of FA and elodea next summer.

Good on you and your grandaughter for rescuing Lucy. It is rather creepy that some people get enjoyment from abusing animals. The picture thread, re-homed, reminds me of pet geese we had when we were growing up.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #486149 02/14/18 05:51 PM
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Well, the various Internet sources I consulted were right. Almost a total (watermeal) takeover in a matter of days. The very hot, unusually humid weather was probably a big help.

Not sure how worried I should be. The flowforms should be looking after the aeration and the watermeal cover may even help the water temperature remain lower than usual.

A few duckweeds evident amongst the watermeal.





In a week or two, we should be almost overrun with Muscovy ducklings. I wonder if they'll eat it? Approx. 45 eggs being incubated by three separate ducks, at the moment.

I spotted a rat in the orchard, this morning, so the bait stations went out, quick-smart, near where the ducks are nesting.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #486151 02/14/18 06:46 PM
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Perry, I just found this thread and love the pond and how much work you have done! Awesome place!

I was addicted once you said NZ. My better half and I try to take a trip to a new far away land every 2-3 years. Last summer (for us, June/July) we traveled the North Island. It is without a doubt my favorite place I have ever been! We are already planning a return trip and also doing the South Island this time. Where exactly are you located? So cool to meet a Kiwi on here.... you truly live in paradise!

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #492505 06/22/18 09:52 PM
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June - winter for us - has just delivered its first strong frost. We don't get ground freeze here, and a frosty morning is usually followed by a brilliant sunny winter's day. That's what it was when I sat out on the deck, sipping my flat white and surveying the pond from under my hatless brim.

The watermeal shows no signs of abating. It's thick and lush. I wonder: should I be concerned? Over the years, I've tended to take a path more or less embodied by the credo: Nature is easy to follow and hard to lead.

The pond level is creeping up and - at a guess - is about 1-2 inches short of being full. That's measured from the bottom of the main struts of the bridge: they are not water immersion treated. I'm still doing a daily top up, pumped from our well, but I do wonder if the watermeal is helping seal around the edges. Edges that we could not get the bentonite clay powder to stay on and seal.

The Muscovy ducks have proved enigmatic. The first two broods had a 100% mortality. The mother ducks simply abandoned them, after a few days. For the third brood, we snagged the ducklings and the mother and caged them together. We did the same for all subsequent broods - the last one was another batch of 18. Four of them went to a new home, yesterday.

Pictorial Parade
Brood One
Brood Two
Brood Three
Brood Four (Second attempt by that same duck.)

In another quirk, two nests of at least 15 eggs each were abandoned, before incubation was complete. The stories about Muscovies being good mothers was obviously a nasty rumour!

I've done nothing further about the floating island. Aside from some nice flowering pond pickerel, the idea was to shade the water a little. The watermeal is certainly doing that job.

Another reason for that being a failed / deferred project is certain family changes. In this case a house bus, along with daughter and dogs. Being the only one with the necessary licence class, daddy got to fly south and drive the beast back here, to the farm. Took three days and two nights to get the 14.3 ton, 40 foot, ex-wide-bodied coach behemoth back here.

Yesterday, daddy was fixing the water pump and measuring up for a new locker panel to mount a new inverter and counter-sinking the holes on the step kick strips, to get the screw heads down lower.

The perennial rye grass seed scattered over the paddock, following the addition and spreading of 90 cubic yards of river silt by daddy-on-the-digger, is now coming through, despite the cold, wet weather.

No wonder the pond got neglected. Next time someone asks me what retirement is like, I'll refer them elsewhere for polite comment. My observations may be unprintable.

Retirement you say?
What's that, exactly?
Tell me a bit more about it.
It certainly does sound like a concept I could get interested in.

Max:
We're on the east cost of the North Island. You would be most welcome to visit. Nearest city is Hastings and nearby Napier (30 mins away) has a regional airport.


Don't worry! crazy It's changed a lot since my father took that picture. The deceptively-innocent looking babe-in-arms is me, 69 years ago! Plus, tail dragging Lockheed Loadstars are quite out-of-fashion, nowadays, too. wink

And we're quite a long way from the South Island. A 3.5 to 4 hour ferry crossing, (no fun in wild weather, of course), followed by a 4 - 5 hour drive to get here.





Last edited by PerryNZ; 06/22/18 09:53 PM.
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #492506 06/22/18 11:11 PM
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Greetings from the American South, Perry! Like many here, I've always wished to visit New Zealand.

Regarding the watermeal, while it may shade the water & help shelter little fish, it also may heat it up by trapping more solar radiation. That's what happens here with floating plants such as water hyacinths.

Love the ducks! I've had a couple of them at my pond, but the geese tend to dominate.


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 225



Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #492507 06/22/18 11:34 PM
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We have one resident goose - Lucy. In a few weeks it seems likely that we'll also have a male peacock. Are we becoming a sort-of de facto animal shelter, I wonder?

That aside, if you ever do get to travel this way, put us on your itinerary. My dad trained in Pensacola and Corpus Christi and always said that most kiwis (New Zealanders) had no idea of what a real USAmercian was, because their perceptions were based on the garbage that's served up to them on the idiot box (TV): today's opiate of the masses.

Last edited by PerryNZ; 06/22/18 11:39 PM.
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #492925 06/28/18 08:12 PM
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Some people need gardening gloves to prune their hydrangeas.
Some people need a boat and secateurs.
Ah, well, each to their own.

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Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #492930 06/28/18 09:40 PM
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Ducks sure don't seem very frightened of you. I gather there's no hunting of them in your pond?


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 225



Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
anthropic #492933 06/28/18 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted By: anthropic
Ducks sure don't seem very frightened of you. I gather there's no hunting of them in your pond?

You're right. I'm a vegetarian and I think they've figured that out. wink

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #493747 07/14/18 09:30 PM
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I've noticed that the ducks seem to like pecking at the pond edge/bank, while floating on the water. The mallard especially seems to like poking its bill under the long grass that hangs down for the bank. From what I can tell, a very small part of the bank has collapsed into the pond as a consequence.

That was enough to make me test Chevy, the robotic lawn mower. There a guide wire around the pond and if there's too much bank collapse, that puts the wire too close to the water and Chevy in danger of tumbling into the water. That would not be good!

I pointed him straight at the pond where the bank seemed to have collapsed, to see how he'd go. He stopped well clear of the bank and reversed away, but it's something I need to keep an eye on.

Quote:
A duck walks into a bar and asks: "Got any Bread?"
Barman says: "No."
Duck says: "Got any bread?"
Barman says: "No."
Duck says: "Got any bread?"
Barman says: "No, we have no bread."
Duck says: "Got any bread?"
Barman says: "No, we haven't got any bread!"
Duck says: "Got any bread?"
Barman says: "No, are you deaf?! We haven't got any bread, and if you ask me again and I'll nail your dang beak to the bar you irritating dang duck!"
Duck says: "Got any nails?"
Barman says: "No"
Duck says: "Got any bread?

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #497212 10/05/18 02:06 AM
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There are two grey female Muscovies remaining. The rest went back to where they came from. There were simply too many of them to be sustainable within the area we have. However, history may be about to repeat itself . . .

Trevor the (female) Mallard is being followed around by eleven ducklings - being Pekin/Mallard crosses. The Khaki Campbell had ten, but is now down to nine, after I found one dead, floating in the pond.

There does seem to often be some unpleasant inter-generational aggression involving the ducklings. Given there's no food shortage, it seems quite needless. The dead duckling may have been a casualty of that squabbling.

Lucy tried incubating some infertile eggs, until I took pity on her and removed them.

We launched the dinghy a week ago, to pull up the pump and clear the screen. The flow of water through the flowforms has improved, markedly. As has the reduced turbidity from fewer Muscovies.

Summer is upon us and there is all the usual seasonal chores. The main one is replacing batteries and re-programming everything to do with irrigation. Just when I thought that I had the irrigation more or less under control . . . I looked out the carport door this morning to see a gusher atop the shed.

A 19mm aerial irrigation pipe had ruptured. So I turned that off and set about the repair. It's what's called thinwall or lateral pipe, made from alkathene. A section of around three feet long was brittle. I found that out as I sought to cut a neat end in the pipe to put in a joiner, only to see it split, shatter or crack, with each cut. By the time I'd cut back four inch sections until I'd got out of the brittle part, I needed a three foot length of replacement pipe and two joiners.

Well, the timers and automation part seem O.K. so far anyway . . . (fingers crossed)

The pond is still getting a top up for an hour, as part of the daily irrigation cycle. Probably around 3,000 gallons - maybe 3,500.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #506743 06/01/19 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted By: PerryNZ
The various Internet sources I consulted were right. Almost a total (watermeal) takeover in a matter of days. The very hot, unusually humid weather was probably a big help.

Not sure how worried I should be. The flowforms should be looking after the aeration and the watermeal cover may even help the water temperature remain lower than usual.

Well it was early 2018 when I made that post, with the accompanying pix. It's now June 2019 and a lot has changed.

1) A week ago, I captured and removed to a local wildlife sanctuary, over 25 ducks. There are four amphibious avians left.
* Trevor the [female] mallard
* Two ugly-but-cute Muscovy females
* Lucy the rescue goose.

With luck, that should arrest any further population explosions.

2) The continuing pond bank damage and my sanity made that re-location essential. But something else happened at approx. the same time. The dense, total water surface cover of watermeal and duckweed has gone. Happened in about a week. I've no idea why - but I'm not complaining.

In the next day or two, I'll take some pix and present them here for all to see.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #506744 06/01/19 05:28 AM
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No idea why on the plants


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
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #506782 06/01/19 11:55 PM
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To refresh your memory, back in an earlier post I had this image:

The total coverage of the watermeal coverage is obvious. That pic was taken in early Spring.

Much later, (over a year), in early winter, taken from approximately the same point . . .


It was a windy day and the small amount of duckweed and watermeal remaining is at the same windward end of the pond as the photographer.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #509676 08/01/19 09:21 PM
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I went away for 43 days and lowered the daily pond fill rate for that period. Being winter, I thought it might rain a lot. It didn't. After now being back and 2 weeks of longer daily pumping, the water level is getting close to what it was before I left.

I've been around some parts of the edges with assorted butressing that enabled me to reclaim / rebuild edges which the ducks had severely eroded. It will take a while to get all the way round the parts of the edge which need repairs, as I need grass roots to grow and bind the edge fill so it won't collapse, before I move the butressing to the next position.

Water
It's certainly been a kaleidoscope of experiences. Cloudy water; clear water; pond scum total coverage; pond weed total coverage and now slightly cloudy and green-hued water. Like the other experiences, perhaps it's just a matter of waiting and seeing what happens. Sometimes, I wonder if changes in water depth produce observable changes in water 'quality.'

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #509688 08/02/19 04:51 AM
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Perry, same thing has happened to me. I assume that less water is available to handle the nutrient load.


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
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #509710 08/02/19 03:20 PM
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The pond is - of course - a closed body of water, with fairly nutrient-rich supernatatant being added daily from our waste water bio-digester. The grass-eating, in-pond-pooping ducks will be adding a very small amount, too. I imagine seepage losses are probably equal to the inputs, but that's a guess.

I could get some water testing done, but what use would that be? Beyond telling me the 'state' of the water. It's not a swimming pool! I can't imagine what I could do to change any aspect of the water's dissolved salts / other components, realistically.

For the time being, a keep waiting and watching stance seems akin to a masterly policy of inactivity, to me. wink

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #509979 08/07/19 11:42 PM
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The water seems to be getting greener. And, in the slow 'evolution' of the pond ecology, pond scum is returning. To me, it does not appear the same - close-up - as any previous incarnations.

The pic of the scum is deceptive. The greenness of the water obscures the greenness of the scum. And is it scum? A collated patch of bubbles? I wonder if it will cover the whole pond surface?


Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #510103 08/10/19 10:55 PM
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Strange - I'd Forgotten

Overnight, we had a brief period of fairly heavy rain. Not a downpour, nor a sprinkle. After rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, I peered out the bedroom window in the morning to see a pond with its surface clear. Huh?

Then I remembered a previous occasion. Rain seems to obliterate certain pond scum incidences. Certainly the ones which depend on clusters of bubbles. Later, when I looked more closely, the only remaining vestiges were under overhanging trees, where the bubble-scum would dodge rain drops arriving from the sky at terminal velocity.

Tis a weird pond world.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #513949 11/12/19 12:33 AM
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I got down on my knees the other day and groped under the pond edge. Sure enough, the mallard et al are pecking (billing?) in under the bank edge. I could slide my fingers in a couple of inches where the undermining was happening.

Seems that I'll need to consider a solid pond edge / margin, in the form of bricks or paving slabs / stones or re-cycled bits of broken concrete or the like. If I don't do something, the pond will get bigger than I want it to, as the undermined bank collapses downwards on itself, from time-to-time.

I wondered if - like hens - ducks need grit for their crops, so 'mining' for grit and stones from the pond edge is a sort-of natural phenomenon.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #514269 11/23/19 06:11 PM
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Without ceremony, the floating island was launched, today.


November 2019 and the duckweed returned with the advent of summer. And how! 24 November saw the launch of the floating island, the plants of which are intended to be nutrient strippers, to help clear the water, as well as be decorative.

Pond Pickerel (pontederia cordata) should give some lovely spikes of blue flowers, later in the season. Around the edges, the other plant (sweetflag), did not like being out of the water that long. It was two weeks from building the floating island to launching it in the pond.

The framework is a discarded plastic pallet. Floatation courtesy of eight soft drink bottles. Old wire netting, doubled, stops the growing media from falling out. Eventually - I hope - the roots of the plants will bind the bark chips together. The scraps of netting on the top are to stop the ducks digging.

Last edited by PerryNZ; 11/23/19 06:12 PM.
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #514270 11/23/19 06:47 PM
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Interesting idea Perry. Please post update photos as your summer goes along and the plants fill in the island! smile


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Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #514271 11/23/19 06:59 PM
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Will do. Long view . . .

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #514272 11/23/19 07:45 PM
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Looks very serene. Did you anchor the island or are you going to let it drift around?


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Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #514277 11/23/19 09:33 PM
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My plan is to anchor it, with a (say) five foot long cord. The reason being I want it to swing with the wind, so the plant roots don't establish a grip on the pond bottom.

Today's launch was a sort-of concept test. (I had hoped it would float, rather than sink.) As I but dimly understand it, once the acorous and pontederia roots tie the bark chips together, their root mass will generate some gas that will co-generate buoyancy. If that happens, then I may be able to remove some of the PET soft drink bottle floats.

I may be persuaded to construct another floating island. Consequently, I'm wide open to suggestions for good nutrient-stripping water plant varieties, that can cope with ducks and are available in New Zealand.

By-the-by, I have heard a frog croaking away, in the last few weeks. Last time I heard that was back in 2017. It's always a source of wonder and perplexity to me as to how Nature 'seeds' things. Last I knew, neither tadpoles nor frogs had wings. wink

Recall that, "Nature finds a way" remark by Sam Neill in Jurassic Park?

Those two fly-in-invaders and 'seeding'' mallards being yet another example.

Last edited by PerryNZ; 11/23/19 09:33 PM.
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #518651 03/31/20 10:04 PM
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Well, the pontederia has thickened. One even separated in some way and seems to be starting its own little island. (In the circle, top right, in the first pic) The acorus seems to have all perished. Also, if the information was indeed correct, the island is not generating much root mass buoyancy gas. It used to have half to a quarter of an inch freeboard. Not now!
[Linked Image from spillerfamily.info]

The duckeed and wolfia is almost thick enough to walk on. That seems to be enough for the breakway piece of pontederia to start its own island. After it first 'broke off,' it lay on the surface, horizontally, for quite some time. I shall be watching with some interest. Especially as winter temperatures seems to thin the surface weed mat.
[Linked Image from spillerfamily.info]

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #523568 07/13/20 04:46 PM
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The acorous all seemed to perish and the breakaway island seems to have vanished. I have the notion that the pontederia is deciduous, so the floating island looks somewhat 'winter-chewed,' compared to the pic, back in this post. Maybe the 'pup' island will reappear once the warmer weather returns?

The most noteworthy thing of the moment is that the pond seems to be slowly - and noticeably - sealing itself. My guesstimate of the points of greatest leakage were the banks of the pond and the island, as the ducks had kept pecking (billing?) at those places. Perhaps seeking crop grit? Anyways, I've been constantly (and automatically) pumping water into the pond on a daily basis, although I have changed the length of time, depending on the season.

I'm used to seeing the level rise a little each a'noon and drop a little over the following 24 hours. But just in the last week, the amount of drop has slowed, markedly. A welcome trend!

No sign of the weedmat abating this winter, unfortunately.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #525032 08/22/20 12:39 AM
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I've been mulling over the weed-mat problem. Unlike last year, it did not diminish at all, over this past winter in New Zealand and the water is smelling quite anaerobic, despite the flowforms' aeration. What to do . . .?

More for floating debris than watermeal or duckweed, over in this thread, Busarider29 mentions a surface skimmer requirement.

After casting about the Interwebz, I came across this site. It was hard work wading through the oil, but some good came of the effort. Eventually, I got to this page, which made me a little more optimistic.

This video was impressive.


As the prices are eye-wateringly expensive, I searched the pondboss forums, but could not find any forumite mentioning experience with floating weed control using this commercial item.

I sent an email to the company, asking for details rather than sales fluff, puff and bluster, but it seemed to reach someone whose written comprehension ability was limited. (Being polite, there.) 90% plus of the reply was exactly what I'd asked not to be sent. Doh!

From amidst all the blurb, I did glean one important item. The purchase price was $NZ6,092.07. Plus freight; plus pump; plus hose; plus whatever is used to retain the weed but allow the water to return to the pond.

Bejabbers!

Last edited by PerryNZ; 08/22/20 02:14 AM.
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #525108 08/24/20 06:08 AM
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At those prices, I would probably drag my pond out in the road and chunk rocks at it.


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
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
Dave Davidson1 #525339 08/30/20 09:12 AM
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Dave Im not sure that would be very effective or practical


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #525347 08/30/20 03:58 PM
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I have made a little progress.

Proskim - at least in one video - show the whole process.

This page shows the whole kit. Although the price is much the same, at least it's all-inclusive, aside from the shipping to NZ cost. For the other option I mentioned earlier, the price was just for the floating skimmer part.

The apparent depth of the floating skimmer could be a concern. My pond is only knee deep.

One other potential problem is there are two screens: one for watermeal and one for duckweed. I have both weeds!

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #525441 09/02/20 02:31 PM
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I wonder if anyone following this tale lives in the right area of Connecticut?

I've tried phoning several times (in the a'noon - Connecticut time).

To call Proskim, I dial 00-1-203-6722258. I'm getting the ringing tone, but get no answer. No answer phone response, either.

Perhaps they're suffering from covid-19 'fallout?'

Gooble maps indicate a private residence, (27 Coachman Drive, Branford, Connecticut 06405), but how reliable that is, I know not. No big pond, 'out-the-back,' according to the satellite view.

Ahhhh, well - I'll keep trying.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #529351 01/02/21 07:01 PM
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I see that it was June 2011 that I first wandered into these hallowed precincts, wondering if madness had seized me - with the desire for a pond. I haven't been taken away yet; and neither has the pond.

The floating island is still floating - surprisingly, considering the plant mass atop it. Note the arrow in the upper right. It's reason for being will be clearer later in this post.
[Linked Image from spillerfamily.info]

[Linked Image from spillerfamily.info]

[Linked Image from spillerfamily.info]

The now constant-for-two-years watermeal and duckweed cover means the water has become a little anaerobic and it's beginning to smell that way, too. So . . .

My 2021 New Year resolution is to bite the bullet and buy that pond surface skimmer that I mentioned, back in this post.

The stark reality is being past the point of no return, so-to-speak. I.e. What's the point of getting this far, to be cheated of full enjoyment by some weed?

Trevor has done her thing - again - and is raising nine little tykes. She brings them over to the house for some kibbled maize, several times a day.

[Linked Image from spillerfamily.info]

Seems that (because I host it, personally) I can't add the video in here, but this is the link to it.


Important if last - I hope all you USA-based pond aficionados have survived. Physically and financially. New Zealand has fared well, but not quite to the extent of the rosy pictures that are portrayed in some o'seas media. My wider area (two provinces - NZ is about the size of Colorado) has had no new cases since 28 April 2020. Some of the main centre cities have not fared quite so well, but many of the new cases being reported are already in (or associated with) managed quarantine facilities.

The economic impact has been cushioned by massive amounts of government borrowings (using govt. bonds) and that has kept the country afloat, financially, for now. Tourism was one of NZ's biggest foreign currency earners and employers. It is only a few steps from complete ruin, as in-bound flights bringing international tourists have been (and still are) banned.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #529356 01/02/21 08:45 PM
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Beautiful pics, Perry! Love the floating island and Trevor's family.

You must have a lot fewer predators than we do here in the US. Dogs, cats, coyotes, opossums, raccoons, wild pigs, etc, etc, would make raising a duck family on shore a perilous & probably futile endeavor.

One thing that's become clear about the Wu flu in Europe and the US is that economic lockdowns don't work over the long haul. Neither do mask mandates. The vaccines are our best shot (if you'll pardon the pun), since we cannot isolate ourselves the way NZ and Taiwan have done so successfully.

Can't speak for anybody else on PB, but our little pond place in the woods of east Texas was a true blessing, a refuge in time of panic. Always something to do, or at least something to watch with all the life, aquatic and otherwise!

Last edited by anthropic; 01/02/21 09:27 PM.

8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 225



Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
anthropic #529358 01/02/21 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by anthropic
You must have a lot fewer predators than we do here in the US. Dogs, cats, coyotes, opossums, raccoons, wild pigs, etc, etc, would make raising a duck family on shore a perilous & probably futile endeavour.
We don't have raccoons or coyotes in NZ. The rest of your list: yes. Rats, mustelids* and hawks are predators here, but Trevor keeps her eye on the sky and I have plenty of cover (tree canopy). I have many rat bait stations around, too, plus one ferret trap.
Originally Posted by anthropic
Can't speak for everybody else on PB, but our little pond place in the woods of east Texas was a true blessing, a refuge in time of panic.
Sounds like a multi-faceted sanctuary.

Do tell an ignoramus from far away: what are the hieroglyphics in your signature? confused

* Ferrets, stoats, weasels.

Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #529361 01/02/21 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by PerryNZ
Do tell an ignoramus from far away: what are the hieroglyphics in your signature? confused

* Ferrets, stoats, weasels.

LOL. Here, this may help. https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92442#Post92442


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
1 member likes this: anthropic
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #529363 01/02/21 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by PerryNZ
Originally Posted by anthropic
You must have a lot fewer predators than we do here in the US. Dogs, cats, coyotes, opossums, raccoons, wild pigs, etc, etc, would make raising a duck family on shore a perilous & probably futile endeavour.
We don't have raccoons or coyotes in NZ. The rest of your list: yes. Rats, mustelids* and hawks are predators here, but Trevor keeps her eye on the sky and I have plenty of cover (tree canopy). I have many rat bait stations around, too, plus one ferret trap.
Originally Posted by anthropic
Can't speak for everybody else on PB, but our little pond place in the woods of east Texas was a true blessing, a refuge in time of panic.
Sounds like a multi-faceted sanctuary.

Do tell an ignoramus from far away: what are the hieroglyphics in your signature? confused

* Ferrets, stoats, weasels.

Sounds good, Perry. Raccoons in particular are extremely common here and death on any eggs they can reach. They can swim, too, and have cleared out goose eggs on our island. Don't mind that, to be honest, but I hate the thought of them getting duck eggs. At our place we've chosen to leave any non-dangerous dead trees alone, as wood ducks can pretty safely use holes for nests. Eagles like them for vantage point, also.

I use hieroglyphics because I want a written record of pond history, including stocking. Signature space is limited, so abbreviated. But I'm writing for and to myself, so it's okay.

Last edited by anthropic; 01/02/21 11:46 PM.

8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 225



Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
esshup #529365 01/02/21 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by PerryNZ
Do tell an ignoramus from far away: what are the hieroglyphics in your signature? confused
Originally Posted by esshup
LOL. Here, this may help.
It did, but I respectfully decline to learn it all. However, in the post that you linked to, Theo averred . . .
Originally Posted by Theo
You can mark a special thread by putting it on your "watch list".
Now, I can locate a follow / unfollow, but not a watchlist. Where am I not looking right?

The Floating Island List
PerryNZ #530194 02/02/21 07:23 PM
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Today, I waded out to the island. It had stopped moving with the wind. The cause was evident from the bank. A serious list to port. wink Grounded on one side, actually.

I took out three more buoyancy aids, but I doubt they were sufficient. The weight of the summer top growth is simply too much. The notion that some gas might be generated by the root mass and so provide a modest buoyancy boost now seems fanciful.

For now, I'll wait and watch. Depending on what happens:
* I'll try to add more buoyancy aids;
* Hack off some of the top growth to reduce the weight;
* Wait for winter to do much the same.

Pond pickerel is supposed to be deciduous, but last winter did not eliminate the top growth; just diminished it. Possibly because of the temperature modifying effect of being surrounded by water.

Hereabouts, we do not get ground freeze. Just colder winter morning morning frosts.

Re: The Floating Island List
PerryNZ #530214 02/03/21 11:16 AM
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Hi Perry!

I'm assuming no fishes in that pond? Would fish help eat that weed?


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
Re: The Floating Island List
PerryNZ #530230 02/03/21 08:08 PM
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You're right - no fish. The pond is only knee deep, on average. I know not if any fish eats wolffia (watermeal) and duckweed. Hereabouts we have kingfishers, adept avian fish foragers, so any such fish would need to be a big 'un.

Re: The Floating Island List
PerryNZ #530240 02/04/21 08:30 AM
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Hi Perry,

Did some quick googling and it looks like Koi might be the right fish for you


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
Re: Pond Mission Impossible?
PerryNZ #530268 02/04/21 09:26 PM
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They are in NZ, but I don't think they'd work, at my place. My strata is shingle and the pond is lined with bentonite. Fish that disturb that bottom 'seal' would not be welcome. Koi Carp are not favoured in New Zealand, either, as you'll see here.

But thanks for the thought, anyway.

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