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Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Posted by nancym1956 6b Tulsa (My Page) on
Fri, May 28, 10 at 8:30

Getting my pond ready for the pond tour this year, and I think it looks better than it ever has. Very pleased with the selection of flowers that were available this year, even though they were a bit pricey.

Here's some pics of my pond and a few of the "kids".

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.
It looks natural and inviting. Clear water and lovely
fish. I the rocks all around, yet you avoided
the rock necklace look. Your kids remind me of my
kids.
Enjoy your lovely pond, you deserve it.

Joann


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Beautiful, with a capital "B". Your kids are awesome too. Is that wire a Fi-Shock fence? If it is can you answer a few questions? I am checking into getting one before the raccoons start bringing their kits from the nest. Do you have chipmunks? I am worried it will harm them. Do you trip on it? I am the clumsiest person in the world. I can just see myself tripping and going airborne right into the pond.

Jenny


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Thanks, Joann and Jenny. I think the trailing plants sort of soften the effect of the stones. I would like to have used larger rocks, but because of a narrow gate, it's difficult to get hoisting equipment in my back yard.

Jenny, no that is not a shock fence. It's merely a strand of fishing line around the perimeter of the pond, set back about a foot except for the strand on the dock. The skimmer is under the dock, so I needed to move it forward to get the lid off. I saw a pair (nesting pair?) of large, long legged birds in a neighbor's tree a few weeks ago. I netted the pond for a while and haven't seen them since, but I put up the fishing line and have two Scarecrow water cannons set up, so I'm hoping this will deter them if they come back. The birds were definitely NOT blue herons, but may have been some other variety. Not taking any chances.

We don't have any wildlife get into the yard except an occasional squirrel and birds. I have a high net at the top of my 6 foot privacy fence, set at a 45 degree angle, that keeps my kitties in the back yard. The birds come to drink from the stream, but they have learned to watch out for the cat (I never find a dead birds in the yard). The squirrels are a little dumber, but after getting chased around the yard by the territorial tomcat a few times, they get the message. I'm thinking the cat may help deter bad birds, too. He's fearless and very territorial.


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

That's beautiful Nancy!
Is that wild ginger you have growing next to your pond, or is that nasturtium? Its all sooooo beautiful!!


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Nastertium. I had one really nice big one, but a cut worm got hold of it. I stuck it in water and it seems to be rooting, so I'll plant it again, this time with a cutworm collar.


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

I've noticed that you have a lotus in one area and a couple other plants (iris? rush?)in another area. Did you just wall that off with rock or are they in separate containers from the pond?


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

All my aquatics are in "bog pockets", areas where I had excess liner and simply dug down enough to sink a pot. The pocket has a lip that is just low enough to let in water from the pond, and rocks along that area hide the liner.

The blue pickerel (in the last picture before the gray fish picture) is in sort of a mini bog. There is a mini skimmer there that empties into a pipe with holes drilled in it. The pipe is covered with gravel, and the plants, pickerel and impatiens, are bare rooted in the gravel.

The pink flowers are calibrachoa, the white flowers are sweet alyssum. The cattails on the left of the picture are in a large tub that is merely sunk into the ground outside the pond.


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Awesome pond, Nancy. I have a long ways to go before mine is that gorgeous, but pictures like that always keep me going. I love your babies too, they are beautiful.


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

WOW!!! LOVELY!! It seems my pond is slow going..to get there, been raining and friend doing the rock work is only here on weekends...so THANK YOU for posting a taste of the good life...my pond is raised so I don't get the nice bedding area you have all around your pond, but I am making a medieval/fantasy castle beside mine, and it is getting a rock necklace!lol!


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Lovely pond! And as for those enormous "kids" - WOW!!!

Koijoii, since you asked about Fi-Shock fence, here's a photo of my little pond. I've had the fence for several years, when all other attempts (trapping, coyote urine, nets etc) to keep raccoons out of the pond just failed. The pond has literally blossomed since I installed the fence - the water-lily blooms, the fish produce little fish etc. Happy to share more information/experiences with the fence.

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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

dancingcook........I didn't realize you could have the fence bent down like that. That would work better than just upright, and its less visible.
I wonder if coons would jump from the jolt and end up stuck in the pond?


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Nancy, Beautiful Pondwork!... how many gallons & depth... type of filtration?


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

  • Posted by horton 6 b Ontario. (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 2, 10 at 20:25

Nancy, wonderful job and so natural looking.
"Horton"


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Nancy I love it... would it be possible to get a closer picture of your falls/stream... we are redoing ours and I need ideas. hewitthousehold@aol.com

Darla


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Pondbucket: 2500 gallons, depth ranging from two feet to three feet. Waterfall doubles as a large bio filter with bags of scrubby material. A 2400 gallon pump in the skimmer. Also, a homemade "trash can" bio filter using a bag of scrubbies and some very healthy verigated water celery in the top. Powered by a 1500 gallon pump in the pond. And lastly, two homemade retro (through the side) bottom drains (toilet flanges, actually) leading to a 50 gallon tub, also homemade, with upright filter pads. This one is mechanical only with two pumps, a 1500 gallon and a 550 gallon. There is also a second mini-skimmer the goes into a mini-bog with pickerel and impatiens planted in the gravel. I have loads of filtration because I'm overstocked with large fish. The water stays crystal clear (no green water), and water perameters are always within rainge.

Darla, I have some waterfall pictures that I'll send to you this evening.


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

I'm not sure how toilet flanges and through the side bottom drains work. Anyone have more information on retrofitting a bottom drain on a pond? Illustrations?

Again, that's a beautiful pond! Thanks for the specifics.


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Pondbucket, here's some pictures of one of my retro drains taken from either side. Hope you can see it okay through the algae. The pvc pipe is attached via a bulkhead fitting and a long sweep 90 degree fitting. The flange itself rests on a small rock under one edge that keeps it about an inch off the floor of the pond.

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The piping is under the ground, not quite a foot down, and because the water in the tub that I use as a filter is the same level as the pond, I keep the pumps behind the filter media and it pulls the water into the filter instead of the pump sitting in the bottom of the pond and "pushing" the water in to the filter.

Darla, here's a couple of pictures of my waterfall, one from last year and one from this year. I use flowers, fountain grass, and sweet potato vines to cover the berm. My yard is flat, so I had to literally build up my stream and falls. This year, I also have some pickerel growing inside the waterfall box.

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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Nancy, I am really in awe of what you have done. Not only is it an awesome pond, but your choice of plants and flowers in and around it is amazing. Really, really, really impressive! What are the greenish/purple leafy plants off to the side of your waterfall? I love how you use calibrachoa around the pond too - that is one of my all-time favorite flowers, I have them all over in hanging baskets but never thought to use them pond-side - but they are perfect there!

So - the pump that powers the waterfall is your 2400 gph pump in the skimmer? Right from the skimmer to the waterfall - no mechanical filter in between? I'm currently struggling with what kind of pump and filter to buy for my new pond - 2900 gallon pond and will have a stream/waterfall similar to yours. I didn't want to get a skimmer because I was afraid that putting the pump in there, as opposed to at the bottom of the pond, wouldn't provide enough circulation. I could do 2 pumps though, I suppose.

Very, very nice!!!!


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

crazydooker, the greenish-purple plants are sweet potato vine "Blackie". It has been putting on some very pretty pink flowers the last few weeks. There are two on each side of the waterfall, one a little below the other. In the upper picture, taken last year, I used purple fountain grass. Calibrachoa and sweet alyssum "snow princess" are my two favorite flowers for planting around the pond because they trail and help cover the rocks. Calibrachoa comes in some amazing color variances.

There is a leaf basket and a filter pad in the skimmer which catches the big stuff. In spring, when green water is a problem, I wrap quilt batting around the pad to trap even more debris. No, there is no mechanical filter of any kind between the skimmer and the waterfall, and when I first set up the pond years ago, the skimmer and bio-waterfall box were my only filtration devices. Not enough, I soon realized.

I'm also a big believer in good water circulation and better filtration, and that is why I did the retro BDs, so I could get some good circulation and good filtration from the bottom of the pond. I've enlarged, modified and adapted my pond to meet the challenge of having a lot of large koi, and so far it seems to be working.


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Nancy, thanks for the photos. It helps paint a clearer picture. You are really lucky to have such a large ornamental pond. Your fittings can be hidden so easily. Makes sense about the water level and filter box... So you just have the toilet flange installed upside down (in the pond) from how they would be installed on a toilet, is that right?


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Yes, the toilet flanges are upside down from what you would see in the bathroom, with the piping attached directly to them. I did not silicone the piping to the bulkhead fitting, so they can be easily removed for cleaning.

Btw, one of the flanges and piping is 3", the other is 2".


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

That's so ingenious. Do you have any kind of strainer material over the 2" & 3" openings?

I guess now the only thing to do is find someone who manufacturers black toilet flanges! :))


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

No, there is no strainer material, but some flanges come with them already attached. I wanted things to flow through freely, but I make sure the opening is about an inch from the bottom, so that none of the fish can get into trouble.

That said, I must add that during a brutal spawn, the pipe came out of the bulkhead fitting, and a six inch bekko was sucked into it. He made the trip through the pipes, and I found him alive and well in the filter, totally unharmed. In thinking about it, I was reminded of the Geico commercial where the lizard gets sucked into the letter pipe.


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

I have a question about this post from you nancym1956 from Fri, May 28, 10 at 20:10, specifically:

"All my aquatics are in "bog pockets", areas where I had excess liner and simply dug down enough to sink a pot. The pocket has a lip that is just low enough to let in water from the pond, and rocks along that area hide the liner.
The blue pickerel (in the last picture before the gray fish picture) is in sort of a mini bog. pickerel and impatiens, are bare rooted in the gravel."

What do you mean by "excess liner"? Do you mean among the folds from the original liner of the pond, or additional liner placed on top of the original liner? I have two areas with shelves for marginals (area that holds maybe 6 -1 gallon pots all total), that are 12 to 18 inches deep. I tried to keep most of the pond deep, but wanted some areas to place marginals on. Now I regret it, as while I've managed to get my top-heavy marginals not to tip over from the raccoons, they now use these stable containers as sitting areas while they fish around the pond. The result is totally squashed plants (looks like the center of crop circles).

Now I am trying floating planters that are tethered loosely to sit around the perimeter of the pond, with the idea that if the raccoon steps on it, it either goes for a dip, or the planter floats to the middle of the pond (mine is round). I've covered all my shelves with rocks, so if the raccoons go in, hopefully they won't punch holes in my liner getting out. But I really don't like the look of the floating planters and prefer the marginals around the edge.

So when I saw your pond (which is beautiful, by the way) and how you have rocks built up around I thought if the raccoons are determined to explore my pond, they could sit on the rocks and maybe my marginals could still be on the shelves without being flattened.

But how would you keep the rocks stable (since I would have to pile them up a good foot and a half) so they wouldn't just teeter over and fall into the pond when those varmits sit on them?

I'm new to the forum, so don't know how to post a picture which would make it easier for you to understand what I am dealing with. Any suggestions would be appreciated....


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

  • Posted by jalal z3/Canada (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 7, 10 at 21:55

Stunning pond Nancy. I like the way the pond has no surface plants--clear viewing area for your gorgeous koi. Do you overwinter them in the pond? I'm intrigued by your second skimmer in your bog area and the outlet from your waterfall maybe in the first picture by the purple flowered plants? Is that another pipe from the waterfall??? Pondbucket--ABS manufactures black toilet flanges--that's all we can get here. PVC not recommended for my climate and is more expensive than the ABS. You can also make a retro drain from a large salad bowl--cut the edges up in at least three places to make "legs". That's how I did mine with the four inch pipe pushed through hole cut in the bottom of the bowl. It works great.


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Gorgeous Nancy, I haven't been around much this summer,
but glad I checked today.
You did an amazing job on your pond, it looks wonderful.
You should be proud.

Joann


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Breath-taking! Thank you for sharing these awesome photos.


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Thanks for the lovely comments. This late in the season, everything is a little weedy and brown after a bit of a drought.

Jalal, yes, the fish overwinter in the pond with everything still running. We sometimes get a crust of ice, but it never completely freezes over here. No, there is not another pipe from the waterfall. It's just a large black waterfall box.

Futsandsutff, the excess liner is in the corners, and my liner was a little larger than I needed, so there was plenty of extra liner for the bog pockets. The edging rocks are pretty stable, although I did have a cat land in the water when one of them tipped with her. That's only happened once, though.


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Nancy,

I'm speechless! Your pond is too gorgeous for words! I am at a conference away from home right now and only have my iPhone with me to look at the pictures you posted. I imagine once I get home and look at them full size on the computer, someone is going to have to be picking me up off the ground where I fainted out of sheer awe and likely jealousy!! ;-)

You can bet I will be studying your photos closely so I can *ahem* "borrow" some ideas. The landscaping around your pond is amazing! I really worked hard to avoid too much of the 'rock necklace' look around my pond. After looking at your pics, I can see a whole LOT of room for improvement in my backyard!

Thank you for sharing your pictures!! Were your pond tour visitors as impressed as the gang here on the forum?

~Jenny


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Thanks. Here's a couple of recent pictures, taken after the plants grew more.

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Forgot . . . .

Oh, yes, I forgot to mention, the pond tour was a huge success. We had hundreds of people come by those two days, and everyone had a good time.


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

This is stunning. Thank you for sharing.


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Nancy, I love your pond. You have done an outstanding job. One day I hope mine is half as gorgeous.

In reading your post, regarding your waterfall, I also had a flat yard and had to build up a berm for my waterfall. As far as I can tell, your fall box is similar to mine. Being the inexperienced pond builder, I did not know exactly what I was doing, so now my fall box is still very exposed and I want to hide it. I have two options. One is to dig in behind, underneath the box to remove the blocks I set it on and lower it. I would also have to dig a trench along the side for the tubing to be lowered also.
Or two, I could stack more rocks up higher, which would hide the sides, but that leaves the problem of disguising the front lip where the water first drops out of the box.

How did you go about designing/building yours? I just need to figure out the best way to go. One thing that makes the second option a little harder is I don't have much liner along the sides of the falls so I would have to be extremely careful that I don't end up with leaks. Here are some pictures which will hopefully help you see what I currently have.

Berm and blocks set for fall box:

Filterfalls on blocks

As it is now. You can see I have stacked some rocks under the lip to hide that area:

Filterfalls with WH growing

A closer shot where water first flows from box. You can see where the liner comes out the side. It goes back underneath the rock the bird is standing on:

Birdie and view of 1st drop

Thank you,
Vickie


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

The waterfall was probably the hardest part of the pond for me, and it remains a yearly problem of how to conceal it. Mostly, it is concealed with tall plants, planted on the soil I placed around the box as a berm.

I kept a large pile of soil from the initial pond dig, and When I placed the waterfall box, I piled the soil on two sides of it, forming a berm. The first year, the soil settled some, so I added more the following year, bring it almost all the way up to the top rim and sloping it to ground level. Over the berm, I used landscaping fabric to keep the soil from washing off during rains -- I don't have to tell you about the strength of Oklahoma spring rains! Most of the plants I use are tall and cascading, like purple fountain grass, but this year I decided to try the sweet potato vine. The latter covered the berm well, but it has spread totally out of control, spilling out onto the grass of the yard.

Below is a picture that shows how ugly the waterfall is during the winter, before it is planted. You can see the rocks I use to shore up the berm (It is actually layers, like stairsteps, and onto each of these "steps", I plant whatever I want to conceal it. In this case, the fountain grass). When I took the picture, I was focusing on the flowers I had just planted, but it does show the berm.

Currently, I also place pots of blue pickerel inside the waterfall box near the edges. These will also grow and lean and help cover the edges.

Hope that helps!

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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Thanks, Nancy, for the reply and especially the pictures. Having a picture is worth a 1000 words. You are right when you say the waterfall is the hardest part. I think part of the problem is the height, so I may be going with option 1 and finishing up like you. The landscape fabric idea is definitely ingenius as it would help during our downpours. I am glad you mentioned that, because that's been another problem, that I can now say is solved, thanks to you. Enjoy our cooler weather.


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

BEAUTIFUL!!!! Love the water lilies! So Lovely! Wish I could get to pond tour!!


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Nancy, that is one gorgeous pond you have built. I have been reading and looking at your pics and think I am going to change my skimmer setup and possibly put in a small dock with it underneath making it easier to access.
Do you like that setup and would you mind posting a pic of your dock, it looks similiar to what I have in mind to do?

Vicky, with the waterfall, I have a homemade, but similiar setup that I dug into the ground some and instead of plants, I used a fake rock for the top and real ones around it. I also used the black foam and just pushed large gravel into it where rocks wouldn't work. Here is a pic. I still need more plants to fill in around it.
2008eAUG25
Flora


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Flora, certainly. Here's a couple of pictures of the dock.
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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Nancy thanks, that is really nice and it is a clever way to disguise the pond workings.
Is the wood treated with anything? How do you have access to your skimmer...does part of it lift up?
Flora


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RE: Spring 2010 (Pictures)

Most woods are treated these days, and these board probably were as well, but I haven't seen any problems since I installed it in the early spring.

Yes, I don't have a picture of it, but the short board between the two posts and the next four boards are connected with vertical braces on each side, and lift right up allowing me to get to the skimmer basket and mat.


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