Starting my pond over...have lots of questions
I have some questions about starting my "new" pond off right, since I changed the liner 2 days ago (2-22-10). I've been reading so many posts on this forum and have found some extremely useful information from all of the very knowledgeable people here. I thank you all for taking time to give it, but it brings up a few more questions for me.
I started my pond in about 2000. My pond had been sitting idle for a couple of years, except for mosquito fish, since the liner had holes/rips in it from sun damage and time. It finally dried up from the drought we had in FL last summer. I never had any filters or anything, just sometimes ran a sump pump. It doesn't work any more, so I need a new one. And I'm trying to do this on a budget.
How big a pump will I need? My pond surface area is about 7' x 10' oval, it's 14" deep, with an edge shelf of 7" deep. (I've figured any where from 563 gallons to 735, according to the calculator I use.) There is a 6 ' - 6 1/2' run including the 2 foot rise of the waterfall, which has what I think you call a "weir" from reading posts and looking it up at dictionary.com. (It's a "reservoir" at the top of the falls that the water pools in before coming down the falls. Pics at the end of this post.)
I will make a pre-filter like I have read here that other people have made. (A box with stuff in it to filter the water before it goes through the pump.)
I think the only fish I will have are mosquito fish because of the Koi and gold fish waste products fouling the water, and the raccoons, Heron, and snakes love to eat them. (They always seem to find a way, even with a net.) And I will get a few leopard frog tadpoles since they are my pond buddies. I have a few water lilies to put in, the only plants, so far.
Is there any way I can avoid an algae bloom, or prevent it from getting bad? Should I put in some pond enxyme now to get some good bacteria started?
Sometime I might need activated charcoal (is it the same as activated carbon?), in case I get a problem with the water. (I've learned that the oak leaves cause the brown water I used to have, and the oak leaves are starting to fall here now. I bought a new, and plan to put it over the pond today.) I used to have green water, too. One year I had string algae, how do I avoid that?
I have searched for activated charcoal/carbon on eBay and online, and it is pretty expensive. HD doesn't have any. Most of what I see seems to be the powdered kind. Where can I get the chunk kind least expensive?
A question about the pre-filter ..... I read that you need to clean out the filter material every few days. I also read that this is where the good bacteria lives. Doesn't cleaning the filter material kill the good bacteria?
Sorry so many questions, and not in a good order, either, but I guess my mind is running faster than I can think! Thank you for any tips, advice, or any thing that can help me do this on a budget.
Above, my pond in about 2000.
My pond now.
Top for falls .... weir?
Pre-formed falls front.