View Full Version : New house with large pond

08-25-2009, 05:27 AM
Hey all. Just letting you know this is a long post with a lot of questions. Thank you in advance for your patience.

New homeowner and I now have 2 acres with a large pond on the property. I've never owned property that had a very nice and easy access pond before and I have several concerns about what to do with this pond. But first for some background on the situation. I live in Arlington, Washington. The pond (I'm guessing) is about 60ftx30ft oval, and gets to be about 5-7ft deep. Because air temperatures out here vary considerably, I have no idea what to put in our pond. Temperatures go from freezing to 100F. 100F is a rare event, but it did happen this year. Usually we look forward to 70-80F summer and 40-60F winter. On a side note we're having a drought. I've watched the pond pretty much empty itself, with only a little bit of water left. Used to have gold fish in it but I'm pretty sure they've all perished. The previous owner said the goldfish has lived in there for over 4 years. The pond also has poor clarity. I was thinking of taking advantage of this dry spell and landscaping the pond with a pebble bed to help with water clarity and overall look. Here's a picture of it. Not a good one, but all I have at the moment.

http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/7308/pond.th.jpg (http://img258.imageshack.us/i/pond.jpg/)

Now that there's a basic outline for what I'm dealing with; maybe you can provide advice to some of my questions:

1: What type of algae eating creatures can i put in the pond that could deal with these temperatures? Or even how can I make them more bearable. I'd like to get close to a hands off pond ecosystem. If it's possible.

2: What type of fish do you guys think would be good for this type of pond?

3: Thoughts on pebble bottom for ponds. Worth it or not? Pro's con's? Another material? My wife loves the variety of frogs we have in this pond. Not to mention the various lizards I didn't know Washington had. Would a pebble bed deter them?

4: How do you guys handle a dry spell? I'm not excited on the idea of trying to keep my pond filled with water, mainly because it's a dug pond with no barrier to keep the water in . I'd be watering the soil at that water table too. And the minor detail that has a rough estimate of 32,400 gallons of water in it. I heard that sealing it makes problems all by itself with keeping it all clean. Thoughts?

Again, thank you guys for your time!

08-25-2009, 01:47 PM
I would guess a pond in that area of the country has a slightly lower Ph due to the pine trees. I have a pond where I live now, but it is in an apartment complex and has been established for 30+ years. I live in Ohio, however, so it is difficult to say. I can tell you that introducing carp/goldfish into the pond will cause some difficulty as they tend to root around in the mud, decreasing light penetration. There are some species of carp that wont reproduce and do well in that type of pond, but they can be rather pricey, and die off quickly. A lot of it depends on what the pond will be used for (IE: swimming, fishing, etc.). A lot of bullhead species are not recommended due to them competing for food and stagnating a pond. They need a larger area. Wish I could give you more information but I can only say what I have researched and experienced in Ohio ponds. I'm moving to a new home next month with some acreage, and plan to build a large pond in time. I'm sure someone here can guide you better than I.

08-25-2009, 02:33 PM
Welcome to the Fabulous AC!:22:
Thats a nice looking pond!
I'm sure someone will drop in soon to answer your Qs!:19:

08-25-2009, 03:28 PM
Well of course being a Koi lover that would be my first choice. You have plenty of room there for 3 or 4. My only concern would be the drying up of the water in the summer. This pond is probably spring fed. Does it refill by itself? You could also put goldfish in it. We have a pond with Koi and a variety of goldfish. Plain and fancy. They all hibernate through the winter and are fine come spring time. The other fish you may want to consider are Misquito fish. These are little fish much the same size as a minnows but they will help to keep the misquito population down because they feed on the misquito larvae. For you size pond you would want a nice big shoal of them. Another fish I put in my pond in the summer are Plecos. They get really huge out there. Your only problem with them is you would have to catch them and have a big tank indoor for them in the summer. My pond is much smaller then yours so I can catch mine. I see there is a fountain in the middle of the pond. Is there any type of filtration system? You may want to look into that. With the fountain there is electric running out there. That could easlily be hooked up to a filter. Well good luck and let us know how it goes.

08-26-2009, 04:04 AM
Hey, took some measurements today. The pond has a tear drop shape. Apparently my guess was off by a lot. We took a cross-section of it and it is 100x68x6 ft. ^_^ Lots of bubbles as I waded through. Apparently we have 2.5 ft left of water in there, lol. So now I'm trying to get a reasonably accurate calculation for the pond. I tried this site, but the numbers seem grossly over stated. I used this site for example: http://www.watergardengems.com/category.php?categoryKey=505&categoryName=%20Pond%20Calculator

I tried oval, and well, you'll see. I don't think those numbers are right. That info would be very helpful though. But it's at least over 100,000 gallons of water. Sq footage is what looks wrong to me. Anyone have a calculator that they prefer?

08-26-2009, 11:58 AM
we need smaug here! :hmm3grin2orange:

08-26-2009, 10:49 PM
Thats a much larger pond then I'm used to dealing with!Thats 54 thousand gallons.I see it has a fountain pump thats a plus as the best way to keep algae at bay is aeration.Another method that will work in conjunction with that are barley straw bails,2 of them kept above surface level but partially submerged on the edges of the pond release compounds into the water that help with water clarity.I do not recommend using stones or gravel on the bottom as they will really add nothing that will help clarify the pond.With a dug pond with no liner it will be impossible to keep water in it permanently but I have heard of a treatment that can be applied to the pond that will help seal the bottom ,it is called ess-13 sealant,it is a non petrol, oil base resinous polymer emulsion that alters the physical shape,moisture content,particle charge and surface tension of earth ponds to alleviate seepage loss of water.This was taken from "the complete pond builder"I know nothing about its success rate.In my area we have many such ponds that vary in depth or even dry out every few years.I do not recommend stocking such a pond with any fish at all,it is a death sentence.The best that can be done is to make it as nice as you can with boggish type plants that can withstand dry spells for a time.
It would be expensive and labor intensive but it would make an awesome lined pond if you waited for a dry spell and lined it with an epdm liner,that is really the only way to make it fish worthy.

08-27-2009, 01:26 AM
Once I get a house I want to put in a pond. Needless to say that pond is WAY past even my wildest ambitions! I hope it works out! I can't wait to see more photos. thumbs2:

08-27-2009, 04:19 PM
Read my second post. I have a fare bit more that 50k gallons...hundred thousand gallons (if online calculators are to be believed). I looked at liners, if i go with EPDM (by itself) it'll cost around $2600. Heh, don't think I'm ready for that. I like your other idea about ESS-13. I'll look into that. If I were to go liner route, instead of buying a protective sheet for the liner, maybe I'll go with sand. I'd bet it'd be a lot less expensive. What do you think?

Maybe in the next few years I'll build this. I definitely would like to make this into a fish worthy pond. For now, I'll make a plan and pull together a parts and price list. I'll pull some drawings together for the system, and maybe you guys can provide ideas. ^_^

All the filters I've found are made for ponds with much less water than mine. Know of any that would take care of this size pond? Or maybe how to DIY one? I guess a large pump would be needed as well.

What else (structurally) would I need to worry about. We have the Liner, Sand, Filter, Pump, Aerators...what else?

Lady Hobbs
08-27-2009, 05:43 PM
Lovely pond that would look awesome with planted grasses and bog plants around it. My son had a large pond in MI and he'd call in the Lake Doctor every couple of years that treated it with some blue chemical that killed the aglae and cleared the water. It was stocked with fish the neighbor kids had caught. I think he had it dry out just once and he got in there with his equipment and just dug it deeper and removed the muck from the bottom.

I suppose it depends greatly on if you have a lot of gravel and sand or clay in your dirt on how well a pond would hold water. Also how deep the water table is. Good luck with it and hopefully this drying out is not common and is a very rare occurance.

08-27-2009, 11:43 PM
ok,I read the 2nd post.I didnt doublle check your numbers but that is probably very close.Here is the calc I use.