New member introduction
Hi! I'm a new ponder, but starting to rehabilitate an pond that's been in place at least 15 years. I've been reading for weeks through all the posts, and I thought I might take a moment to introduce myself and my project.
There's lots of unknowns about this pond! It came with the house when my parents bought it more than 15 years ago. They've had various pond consultants in to do various things at various times, but they summarize with "we're not really gardeners". They had some lovely koi several years ago, but between local predators and a pump mishap, they died out and the pond has been circulating and supporting reed, taro, watercress, dragonflies, and bees for years. We are in Sunset zone 23 (USDA 10) in San Diego, so it's a year-round pond.
What we do know... The pond is concrete with mortared-in rocks and boulders. It's built to take advantage of the natural hillside slope, with various size pools over 6 cascading tiers. The top pool (1) is smallish, with a waterfall into the deepest large pool (2), then a cascade of three small shallow pools (3, 4, 5) into the bottom largest pool (6). There is no skimmer, but a t-pipe just off the bottom of pool 6. The pump runs water through a Triton II filter before returning back up the hill to the pond inflow in pool 1. There is a trickle-fill valve with float that tops up the pond from the municipal supply (Ph 8+, chloramine). The pond water is clear, and tested Ph 8.5, no ammonia, nitrates, or nitrites.
The pond was last drained and cleaned at least four years ago. Since then, it has built up quite a layer of muck. The plants are thriving, but are well overgrown and tangled together. Bordering plants include fast-spreading bamboo, a pine tree, the neighbor's tree that drops fruit vaguely like olives, and some other typical marginal plants. The backyard also supports two large exuberant dogs.
The goal for the pond is casual enjoyment and low maintenance. While the parents say they would like to have koi again, I suspect they would be just as happy with some fancy goldfish. But all of that can wait, as I take this project forward one step at a time. A few things on the to-do list and in progress:
-- Dividing and thinning the reeds, taro, and cress so their roots are open enough to work as a bio-filter. Right now, the roots are so tangled and compacted, the water flows over the top.
-- Clearing the muck from the bottom.
-- Planting and floating more water-filtering plants, such as water hyacinth and watercress.
-- Backwashing and checking the filter. (No one remembers the last time it was done; at least years.)
-- Cleaning up the leaves and messy landscaping around the pond to prevent more material falling in.
-- Find a way to estimate the volume of the pond.
-- Having fun, experimenting, and learning.
I look forward to hearing your suggestions and sharing my progress. Thanks already to everyone who has been posting and discussing for the years before I got here, to provide these helpful archives!
Here are some photos of the pond: http://www.flickr.com/photos/the-sweeneys/sets/72157637365396295/detail/
Here is a link that might be useful: Photos of The Pond Project