water filtration

dave1940June 12, 2013

Last fall I built a pond, not knowing what I was getting into. What I wanted was a pool of water that would reflect the sky and trees and that I could surround and fill with interesting plants, shrubs and flowers. I considered a manufactured pond liner but chose instead to use clay because I thought it would be simpler and more natural. Because my soil is on the sandy side, I had clay hauled in, placed and compacted with a bulldozer. It leaks and that's my first problem. The water level drops by about 1/2 to 3/4 inch per day. I'd like to know if the leakage problem is common to new clay ponds and is likely to improve naturally over time.

The size of my pond is 60 feet by 50 feet and is 3 feet deep at the center. I have no interest in having fish in it. Just water lilies and other aquatic plants.

I live in the country and woods surround my yard. Last fall, a lot of the leaves the trees dropped ended up in my pond, sunk to the bottom, and have been floating to the top this spring. Algae is attracted to them and the pond at times looks like soup. That's my second problem.

I've been looking for a skimmer but, though I've looked in a lot of books and on the web, I haven't been able to find information regarding the proper size of the pump and other equipment required for the size of my pond. I calculated the volume of my pond to be roughly 45,000 gallons. I would like to know specifically what kind of equipment I need to remove the floating leaves and algae I have.

From what I've read so far, I get the impression there might be other alternate solutions to the use of pond skimmers. I'd appreciate suggestions regarding that issue.

I'm 73 years old and in reasonably good shape but don't want to spend an inordinate amount of time in manually maintaining the pond. Forum members offering any suggestions or solutions should bear that in mind as well as the size of my pond - roughly 3000 square feet of surface. Thanks in advance for all replies.

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It sounds like a beautiful pond.

Since I have a tiny 3x6x3 pond, I sure can't give too many suggestions. I just spent 1/2 hour running around with a net scooping out those darned cottonwood fluffs. Obviously you couldn't do that, regardless of age. LOL

Your local extension service might have information for you regarding stopping the leak in a clay pond. A pond your size, with a clay bottom, might fall under the catagory of "farm pond".

Other than that, I'm not going to say anything because there are others here who know way more than I.

Good luck!!


    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 11:55AM
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Oh my!
Dave let me address a few of your problems. First 1/2 to 3/4 of a drop can easily be evaportation. The water level in a pond is going to fluctuate with the weather. You will need a water source and a float valve to regulate this if it is more than you want. If you do have a leak - it will probably get worse.
You want waterlilies/plants and reflection. Your pond is only 3 feet at the deepest. You will have to contain your plants or they will grow across the water. You need deep water to keep them from spreading and covering the entire surface if you plant them directly in the pond.
A pond vac will remove the leaves. There will be more. Lots more. You'll need a boat, too. Better pond design would have helped. Sloping sides/bottom to a small/deep area near an edge where the leaves could have accumulated would have made this easier. You would need several skimmers to handle this size pond. They still won't get all the leaves.
Enough water plants/lilies covering the surface will take care of the algae. You will need to find a happy medium between plants covering the surface and reflection area.
Every spring you will probably have a period of green water until enough plants cover the surface. You could try dye and chemicals to control the algae. Aeration/moving water will help too. Waterlilies do not like splashing water.
Mosquitoes will probably be a problem too.
Good luck, SAM

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 1:38PM
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