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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving Fishless Ponds
Fishless Ponds
Gigantalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2004-08-22 2:27 pm   Permalink

I have a little pond in our yard, which is okay...the fountain is cool, but I now would like a waterfall, and a little creek.

I'm also tired of the burden of the algae, mosquitoes, fish, and raccoons. I have been considering just going the chlorine route when I rebuild and expand this project. Maybe starting with a railroad tie above ground pond, and a cascade.

I have no interest in Koi, which seems to be what most pond people, and stores have in mind for their ponds use.

Has anyone built a pond and intended it to be fish free? Do the chemicals harm the plastic liners?

Does anyone know of a North California pond supply store that's not just for Koi Farmers?


 
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Shipwreckjoey
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 29, 2002
Posts: 1794
From: San Diego, CA
Posted: 2004-08-22 2:54 pm   Permalink

My wife is currently doing a garden pond & fountain. She picked up this book http://www.ortho.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=BOOKS.detailBook&id=56&affiliate=ortho-20 to help her with some of the same problems you are describing. Pay special attention to the Materials and Balanced Ecosystem sections.

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Gigantalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2004-08-22 5:05 pm   Permalink

Ahoy there Shipwreckjoey, I have several books on the topic however none of them have info on how to assemble a pond for NOT having fish. They do go into great detail on pH and so on if I choose to HAVE fish.

Does this book detail this sort of thing? (I had a look at the link but it didn't specify)

Cheers and thanks.

[ This Message was edited by: Gigantalope on 2004-08-22 17:07 ]


 
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tyger jymmy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 14, 2003
Posts: 554
From: califorina
Posted: 2004-08-23 12:32 am   Permalink

Im a pool man and what you can do is run a floater for a spa with chlorine tabs and buy a chemical checking kit so you can keep the ph and ta and chlorine in balince and if you get a little algie just add an algacide. you can also pipe in a filter from one of those portable pools you buy at big lots ,wallmart,ect there cheep and it has a small filter that can be clean and after so many months can be replaced filters can be bought at a pool store .I have one of these pools and they work great the filter too .Hope this helps you once you get it all in either a pool man in your area or e,mail me and I can give some figures on what to keep your chems at .

 
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Gigantalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2004-08-24 08:28 am   Permalink

Tyger Jymmy

The "Floater" you describe, is that a filter for the surface? Are these just popped in a pool and turned on, or do you just "Float it" periodically, like vacuuming the living room?

I like the in-line filter idea. Most of what I would expect to get in the pond would be yard debris, and some dust. I hope that when finished this will be attractive, and like the thought if the filter being hidden. I like the idea of only having it on when I'm home.

The filers sold for the Koi Ponds I described are pretty costly, which was discouraging.

Thanks for the great ideas, for some reason I hadn't thought of looking at a pool or spa store (It cracks me up when they go out of business, and they are turned into an A-frame cell phone store with a pool in the front)
Big Lots pool stuff too is a great idea.

Thanks


 
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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2004-08-24 6:47 pm   Permalink

Depending on how far north you are in Cali:

http://www.realrockind.com/main.html

Stores in Novato and American Canyon.


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tikifille
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 18, 2002
Posts: 123
Posted: 2004-08-25 10:43 am   Permalink

Gigantalope, Even if you don't want fish, and you are against the chlorine thing, an option would be to get some Gambusia. Their common name is Mosquito Fish (their main mission--to eat mosquito larvae living on the water's surface). I used to use them in classroom aquarium experiments for fourth graders, then they came home to my pond. They are ultra hearty, very small, black, and if you're not looking for them, almost unnoticeable. In So Cal they are available for free from Vector Control (part of your local govt. pest control system)or they are available at fish stores. Good luck!

 
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Gigantalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2004-08-26 2:20 pm   Permalink

tikifille, good call, I know those fish well, they are tru survivors. I only wish exotics like electric catfish were so hearty and easy to get.

I have some of the Mosquito Fish in my pond now both at home and on my wasteland property...they're great, and they are indeed survivors

I wish they ate algae and visiting raccoons as well at larvae!

I do have mixed feelings about going the chlorine route...it goes against my nature to make such a cauldren of inhospitable water, just for my own pleasure...but it's no worse than a hot-tub really

Still mulling all of this over, but thanks for the idea!





[ This Message was edited by: Gigantalope on 2004-08-26 14:20 ]


 
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Tikiwahine
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3288
From: Victoria, BC
Posted: 2004-08-26 4:03 pm   Permalink

Hi Gigantilope,
I have done a lot of work on my ponds this year. I put in one the year before last, and this spring I replaced it with a rigid liner, then a flexible liner behind and above the first with a fountain and waterfall between the two.

With my first pond I had some problems with algae. There are some things you can do to remedy the situation. Snails eat algae, as do small fish called comets. They are only $1.99 each. Not only do they eat algae, but also those pesky mosquito larvae. The fish can look after themselves; once the pond is established and has several plants they just munch away on whatever happens to be there. Being cheap, it's not so terrible when a few become a late night snack. If you don't want fish at all, the pump, filter and waterfall or fountain should do the trick. Mosquitoes don't like laying eggs in moving water.

I just bought myself the "Scarecrow"
http://www.scatmat.com/Products/Scarecrow/overview.asp a motion sensitive sprinkler system perfect for keeping away raccoons, herons, cats, dogs, people etc. They just screw into your hose and stake into your lawn.

Snails will help somewhat with the algae on the sides of the pond. I'd recommend at least 6 per 100 gallons. Not only are they no maintenance, but they reproduce. Unfortunately, raccoons seem to love them.

A filter will help 100%. As soon as I plugged in mine, the water turned crystal clear, even after a raccoon attack.(the next day the water is quite muddy)
Pumps start at $30 and I would suggest a bio filter, which is simple enough to make yourself. "Biological fitters are installed in a pond to aid in the ecological balance of the water. Beneficial bacteria colonize inside the filter and help convert harmful ammonia to nitrites, and then to nitrates, which is food for aquatic plants." I would suggest reading up on them online. I was able to find mine at a garage sale, brand new in the box.

Once the water clears up, ponds are indeed a joy. You never have to water the plants, and they provide such a nice ambiance to the entire area. I just hooked up a light, which changed the look entirely at night. It's on a timer, so there's no need to worry about turning it on or off.

I'd love to answer any questions you have, or help out in any way. I'll take some pictures tonight, there are at least two tikis watching over it!
Mahalo,

_________________

Great Minds Drink Alike


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Gigantalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2004-08-26 7:10 pm   Permalink

Tikiwahine
Wow, what a great font of info you are, and it sound like we've faced many of the same problems.

I had several snails eaten, along with everything else...even my studebaker-esque plekkie got killed.

The systems of bio-filters which you mentioned sound great.

Keeping the thing from looking like a superfund site is important to me...

I will be picking your brain in the comming weeks as my questions blossom into pannic.

Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge (all of you'se)

Cheers


 
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tyger jymmy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 14, 2003
Posts: 554
From: califorina
Posted: 2004-08-28 12:20 am   Permalink

the floater is the type that floats on top of the water .Another thing you can do and what I do on a spa that I service, it has a rock water fall that the water flows into the spa is I put a 3 inch chlorine tab in were the rocks are and that elimates the floater and chlorinates the hole system .And for the Filter/Pump Just buy a portable pool like I was saying take the pump/filter from it and use that I purchased mine for 49.00 dollars thats realy cheap and it will filter more than enough water for what you need .For the last 20 years ive been doing this stuff servicing and built ponds and spas and know what works .The only reason I say to use the chlorine way is you wont have to worry about algie as long as you keep tabs in it you,ll be fine and for the pump/ filter thing just clean the filter every so and it will be very low maintance and trouble free .This is what I do on them Hope this helps you and all the best .Regards Tygerjymmy

 
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