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Joined: May 2012
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bclark Offline OP
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Hello all, and very happy to be a new member.
I have just finished my first pond! very excited! It is filling with water as I write this. The pond is small, at less than 1/4 acre and will be 6' deep at the deepest point. The water source is a natural spring that originates on our property and runs down a small ditch through our yard and never quits flowing (5-10 gal/minute maybe).
I started with the intention of just scraping out a small and shallow bowl with the tractor and boxblade and using the material to build a small dam around the lower edge (dam being 2-3 feet tall.) It was working great, but in the end I had to rent a track hoe to finish it up and this is when the project changed a bit: I was working with the track hoe from atop the dam, digging dam fill from the floor of the pond (good clay) and building up the dam in front of me as I drove over it/ compacted it, and would move on a little farther. This was working great, but it took way more fill than I thought it would to created the dam, so when I was finished I had dug the pond 4-5 feet below the original grade and the sides of the new and giant hole were now too steep to get any equipment into it.
SO: the result is a pond with a nicely built, smootly sloped and well compacted dam, but a pond floor that I was never able to compact. It is just super soft and loosely dug up clay over the entire bottom: almost like I had run it over with a roto-tiller.
I figured it would be under water, so let it begin to fill up. It is filling nicely and holds water so far (3' deep now after 24 hours) but I waded into the pond after a few hours and sunk up to my knees into the clay mud mixture that covers the bottom due to my lack of planning and its lack of compaction.
My questions are this: will this mucky soft layer ever settle on its own? If not, is there anything I can do short of draining and re-compacting to lessen the softness of the bottom and its probable likelyhood of kicking up silt into the pond every time we swim or stir up the bottom?
sorry for the long post and thanks so much for any input! - Harris

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From your description, I'd say you have an extremely good chance of keeping it at full pool all year long. I have heavy red clay here. If I dig a hole anywhere downhill from in a normally damp spot, I can figure it will have water in it most of the year. Three weeks ago I did a pond much like you describe, exce it did get rolled and compacted. It toojk less than three weeks to fill. I'm using my phone, so I can't easily add a link. But if you search for Catmandoo Pond II, you should be able to find what I did. I plan to add fish this week.

Good luck,
Ken


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bclark Offline OP
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Thanks ken,
It is definately encouraging to hear that it sounds like it will prove to be a water-worthy pond. It will be interesting to find your posts and compare a bit.
My other big concern is: without having compacted the pond bottom, is it doomed to be a mushy, muddy bottom pond forever? or do you think the loose soil on the bottom will become more compact and firm with time? any thoughts? - Thanks again

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I'm now back at a computer. The link to my latest major pond adventure is Catmandoo Pond II Started. This thread was started over a year ago. It got delayed. The pond is smaller than anticipated. It started as a hole I dug out with my small backhoe, box blade, and front-end loader.

I've got small holes all over my property. Once they settle, they stay reasonably clear. Over the winter they are extremely clear. Come springtime, they all "bloom" so they turn green. In August the can be kind of disgusting looking if they don't stay at full pool.

Your bottom should settle in. If you don't add tilapia, carp, or catfish, it should stay pretty mud free. The catfish will generally only cause it to get muddy during late spring time when they are trying to reproduce.

Ken


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Thanks - that is encouraging- good to know about the fish species too.
I did find your link and the pond looks great - I definately regret not finding some way to pack or roll the bottom, but I guess as long as it holds water, then I can't complain too much, right? - Harris

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If the pond gets muddy from stirring up the clay when you swim, adding alum might help give it a kick so the clay settles back out quicker. I know it's a long read, but look for a thread titled "Alum kicks clays butt" or something like that. It has a lot of info in it, and the why's and how's of adding alum to a pond that has turbidity due to clay.

It might compact some by it's own, but nothing like it would be if the heavy equipment were able to pack it down.

By the way, welcome to the forum!


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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I have been searching for that thread and havn't found it yet, but in the mean time I have one question about the alum: if I end up needing to apply it to the pond, will it stay in the water for a year? for a week? what I mean is this: how long will the effects of one treatment last if I have a steady flow of fresh water coming into my pond from the infeed of the spring that feeds it? Thanks - Harris

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Look here . It's a little over half way down the page.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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-Thanks - I found it with no problem this time - man, that thread really has all of the info you need on the subject. my pond has just reached full pool this morning ,so I think I will give it some time to let the grass grow on the dam and then see how the water and bottom look and act after a swim and then probably go ahead with the alum treatment. I had a jar test result in clay staying suspended in the water for over a week with 0" visibility
My pond is only about 2000 sq. feet of surface area so it seems like, after reading the postings on the alum thread, that instead of spraying the slurry over the surface, I could probably scoop it out of the trash can that I mix it in and sling it onto the surface with a bucket. I could probably reach all of the water surface by doing that from the shore line as I walk around the pond. what I gathered from the postings is that the important thing is just that the slurry gets spread on all of the surface area right? Does that seem like it would be an acceptable method? -Thanks

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I think that would work!


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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great- and thanks for all of your help everyone - I will post some results when it is all done- Harris


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