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applestar
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Re: My pond project is under way

The turtle spitter was working really well for a while -- in the mean time several small mature green frogs have emerged from the pond. Then it got clogged again late afternoon on Wed. I went to clear it with a jet of water yesterday, and there were teeny-tiny tadpoles the size of match-heads swimming around in the plant saucer birdbath.

Later when I looked in again, I saw a mangled larger tadpole in the saucer which was probably the one that caused the blockage. When will the big taddys learn that they can't play in little taddys' tube tunnel ride? :roll:
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Re: My pond project is under way

That's funny about the tadpoles getting caught in the tubing (a little sad for the ones that don't make it, but Nature provides tadpoles in abundance).
Our previous house we had a little artificial pond with one of those turtle spotters. The spitter and the tubing did need to be regularly cleaned out.
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Re: My pond project is under way

Water Hyacinth and Peppermint I'm letting hang out in the pond are in bloom :D
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Re: My pond project is under way

You might have noticed that except for fiddling with the turtle spitter and occasionally scooping the duckweed, the pond has been a back burner project this year. So nothing much has changed, but here are views from front and rear --

Image

...I'm hoping to work some more on the perimeter and hide/cover up more of the liner now that the weather has cooled down, before it gets cold...

-- Does anyone know if once the water hyacinth has bloomed and then dipped their heads in the water, they will be able to re-generate from seeds next year even here in Zone 6B? I overwintered some in an aerated bucket in the garage (dark) and a tiny one in the Marimo vase under the bright WWL lights in the house. The ones in the garage died in the deep freeze when the garage temps dropped down to mid-20's°F. So all you see here grew this season from one plant I bought this spring for something like $3, which was the best price I could find -- most other places were selling for $5 and some for $7. Trying to decide if I want to try overwintering again -- Could I find them for $3 again next spring, or would it be worth the trouble to try to overwinter.
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Re: My pond project is under way

Big frog with yellow underbelly and 4 smaller ones with white underbelly.
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Re: My pond project is under way

So you've been scooping duckweed. :) Have you noticed your compost pile heating up more?

Maybe with your little pond, you don't have enough duckweed to make noticeable difference. When I was doing that, at the bottom of our hillside was a big natural pond, like maybe 50x50. So I could scoop out a whole bucket of duckweed/water meal at a time. Heated up the compost pile and then the finished compost would be very fine textured.
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Re: My pond project is under way

You are right, I'm not getting a whole lot, especially since very often, the frogs are among the duckweeds and I stop scooping so I won't accidentally injure them. (OH! I'm sorry! I didn't know you were there!) It's also slow work because I visually inspect each scoopful for movement in case I scooped up any tadpoles.... :roll: Sometimes, as soon as I start dipping, the BIG frog comes up and stares at me as if in protest. :shock:

Mostly, I just want to scoop out enough to widen the pond aerator bubble circle. What I've been using them for so far has been as mulch for the nearby Kitchen Garden bed of late-planted basil. :D
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Re: My pond project is under way

With the turtle spitter / tadpole problem... have you considered putting a slightly oversized filter on the pick up? They are pretty easy to hide and pvc takes krylon fusion well.

Section of 3/4" cross drilled with a bunch of holes, end cap on either side, wrap with aquarium "pre-filter" sheet and secure with zip ties, install a pvc/nylon nipple on one end to attach the pick up hose to it. Going slightly large will prevent the tadpoles from becoming trapped in the filter by suction.
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Re: My pond project is under way

Ah ha! I forgot about this! I’m almost ready to to start working on my pond. Thanks @IDjit


...First frog — he Has been singing his banjo-like song ::)

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Re: My pond project is under way

When I was inspecting the pond for signs of mosquitoes after a week of daily rainfall and planning some reconstruction around the edges, I saw these guys which have been ID’d as dobsonfly larvae/hellgrammites.

Subject: Is this a dytiscus larva? >> dobsonfly/hellgrammites
applestar wrote:I saw three of these swimming around in my pond. I was excited thinking they are dragonfly larvae, but the searched images don’t match up.
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I’m thinking they might be DYTISCUS diving beetle larvae? They were about 1.5 inches long. What do you think? Anyone know?

Either way, the pond is definitely free of any sign of mosquito larvae. :D

...incidentally, I noticed the little guy after uploading the photo? What’s that one?
eastern dobsonfly - Corydalus cornutus (Linnaeus)
http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/mis ... sonfly.htm

Hellgrammites tend to be found in relatively unpolluted water. Therefore, they may have value in bio-monitoring studies (Voshell 2002). Perhaps their greatest value may be their contribution to biodiversity in their habitat as predators.
~~~

I also noted that some tadpoles are starting to make an appearance —

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— yeah look at the size difference based on the green pot rim ...definitely lunch... :roll: ...but maybe hellgrammites will prefer the slower moving snails...?

...life goes on... I might see the garter snake next! :mrgreen:
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Re: My pond project is under way

Finally got the turtle spitter back on-line. It’s working well right now, gurgling and double-squirting at rate of once every 3 seconds.
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Las year, I used a 10 inch clay flowerpot saucer for the birdbath, and there was constant fights going on... plus the little birds were afraid to go in the water that was apparently a little too deep. So this time, I’m using the largest saucer I could find, and built a shallow “kiddie paddling area” :wink:

Full view of the pond. I really want to work on that waterfall area this year ... I envision a small spillway into the upper pond and a sheeting fall down to the main pond —
Image
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Re: My pond project is under way

Wow, your pond looks very lovely. Such a green oasis in the garden... :) :)

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Re: My pond project is under way

I have flowers in my pond!!! :-()

My pond is probably too small for these, but I don’t care. For $10 each color (plus little crowns he accidentally dug up as bonus), they were well worth driving 50 minutes away. Look at the big pond (only about 1/3 of it is in the photo) they came out of. :roll:

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He called them Waterlilies but looking closer, I think the light pink one is definitely lotus, and the dark pink flower in the original pond picture is surrounded by lotus leaves. White one too? That flower is about 1/3 the size of the light pink.

I didn’t have time to do much more than just throw them in and spread out the leaves. I did bury one 10 inch tuber (very lotus-looking) in gravel and sank it in the white pot for now since it insisted on floating around. I’ll try to get them situated better in the next couple of days.

Oh yeah, and while I was doing that, a HUGE dragonfly flew over the pond and circled around back and forth — I felt like it was approving the pond addition. I would say at least 5-6 inches long and wingspread.... oh I wonder if it was a dobsonfly? Maybe it came OUT of the pond?
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Re: My pond project is under way

applestar wrote:I have flowers in my pond!!! :-()

My pond is probably too small for these, but I don’t care. For $10 each color (plus little crowns he accidentally dug up as bonus), they were well worth driving 50 minutes away. Look at the big pond (only about 1/3 of it is in the photo) they came out of. :roll:

Image

He called them Waterlilies but looking closer, I think the light pink one is definitely lotus, and the dark pink flower in the original pond picture is surrounded by lotus leaves. White one too? That flower is about 1/3 the size of the light pink.

I didn’t have time to do much more than just throw them in and spread out the leaves. I did bury one 10 inch tuber (very lotus-looking) in gravel and sank it in the white pot for now since it insisted on floating around. I’ll try to get them situated better in the next couple of days.

Oh yeah, and while I was doing that, a HUGE dragonfly flew over the pond and circled around back and forth — I felt like it was approving the pond addition. I would say at least 5-6 inches long and wingspread.... oh I wonder if it was a dobsonfly? Maybe it can OUT of the pond?
I'm pretty sure those are all Hardy Water Lilies, the one in the center is a Laydeker

I have the same one and a Nymphaea Red Laydeker
nymphaea = water lily

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Pond looks great, I gotta tweak my ponds soon.

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Re: My pond project is under way

Well, the pond is a long way from my ultimate vision of it, but thanks! And I’m glad to hear they look like the hardy Waterlilies you have, because *hardy* was what I was looking for.

Too often, the garden centers sell tropical ones that I don’t have the time/energy to overwinter. And when I was pricing the dormant potted ones this spring, they cost like $25 each.

I was wondering how “clean” his pond was so I asked about the little swimmers that were leaping at the surface then sinking back to the bottom. The guy told me they were tadpoles and that he has frogs and fish in the pond — and showed me by scooping with a giant net and dumping the tadpoles in various stages - babies with just a tail to two legged to 4 legged, and the fingerling sunnies and carp. I’m always relieved to see active frog population in the water since they are pretty sensitive to pollutants. He offered to add the (bullfrog) tadpoles and fish, but I declined... now I wish I asked for the sunnies. :>
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Re: My pond project is under way

I usually drop in a tomato Spike in the pots and cover with rocks to keep the koi off of them.
Mine are about 14" deep from the top and they winter over just fine.

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Last edited by applestar on Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed the image link

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Re: My pond project is under way

Tomato spikes — what a great idea! Thanks! :D


...they looked a bit more at home this morning...
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Re: My pond project is under way

applestar wrote:Tomato spikes — what a great idea! Thanks! :D


...they looked a bit more at home this morning...
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Next year they'll look even better because the stems you have now are long and will be shorter next season, I'm guessing they are long from the depth of the pond they were taken from.
I try to keep mine 14" from the surface so most of their energy isn't spent reaching from deeper depths.

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Re: My pond project is under way

That makes sense. Some of the leaves are trying to push up onto the edge now.... But two new flowers opened this afternoon. :D

Image

— You can’t see it behind the turtle spitter but the darker pink flower is still hanging in there... the white one and light pink may have been damaged during transport because they didn’t last (But I wasn’t surprised — I didn’t expect him to give me such big plants so I only took a 5 gallon bucket to put them in).
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Re: My pond project is under way

So I’ve been watching the Waterlilies for a few days now and realized these flowers close for the night. They start to close up in the late afternoon once the shadows get longer, and by evening, are mostly closed. In the morning first light, they are tightly closed. I never knew they did this. So cool! :D
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Re: My pond project is under way

I thought this was going to be the light pink flower, but when I went around to the other side of the pond for a closer look, I found this;
Image

...I wonder if this IS the light pink flower when it blooms in the heavy shade of the mulberry and plum rather than out in full sun, or if he managed to snag me a different root when he gave me the bonus plant. :D
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Re: My pond project is under way

Two more of the peach-colored Waterlilies opened :D

Image

...so funny, I just noticed the warty-looking leg :mrgreen:
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Re: My pond project is under way

It’s getting cooler now, so I was looking for frogs in my pond — lately I have seen 2 — thinking if I want to do any digging around the perimeter, I need to do it while they are still out and about.

I noticed them one by one. It turned out there were three. It was kind of interesting and I had to make note of the way they were sitting almost equidistant from each other along the perimeter of the pond

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Re: My pond project is under way

I’m determined that this year, I will move ahead with modifying my pond to install the biological filter upper pond and waterfall features.

To that end, this morning, I decided to start peeling back the excess pond liner that I had left untrimmed for the waterfall area. I was prepared to find the snake under there somewhere... but NOT as soon as I picked up the edge. I think we scared each other, really. :lol:
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Re: My pond project is under way

applestar wrote:I’m determined that this year, I will move ahead with modifying my pond to install the biological filter upper pond and waterfall features.

To that end, this morning, I decided to start peeling back the excess pond liner that I had left untrimmed for the waterfall area. I was prepared to find the snake under there somewhere... but NOT as soon as I picked up the edge. I think we scared each other, really. :lol:
I have a few ideas for mechanical and biological filtration if you are interested

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Re: My pond project is under way

Thanks @SQWIB!! It would be great if I could pick your brains. :wink: If it’s OK with you, I’m going to start posting my vague ideas and project references, and I would love to get some pointers from you and anyone else who knows, on how these might be achieved specifically— materials and parts I would need — or shoot holes and tell me they are not practical.

For now, very generally speaking,
- the bio filter will be made from that purple dinosaur kiddie pool used as gravel bed/bog garden
:arrow: https://www.pondtrademag.com/bog-gravel ... er-nature/

- waterfall will be made from/by burying a Rubbermaid Tub (looks like/size of a medium kitchen trash can but sturdier

- in both cases, I will be using airlift pumps (I have yet to build a serious one however, but my little spitter works on very basic idea of this principle — stick an air tube in side of larger water tube
:arrow: How to make my high lift/submergence ratio airlift pump. Lets rewrite the textbooks! - YouTube


— ‘waterfall’ just needs to pump up and fill — more volume for more interesting flow but I can live with just a trickling — I will probably use this as first test
— the bog/biofilter pmp will be the stronger one to push the water through with some force and fill a bigger volume, so I intend to dig deeper/bigger hole for a larger slim-can, and build a full-featured airlift pump but out of 2 inch rather than 4 inch diameter if I can.
— but for these, I need fully pressured bubble chamber)
:arrow: original Dutch design - Airliftsturing samengevat - Koivrienden
:arrow: OlomanaGardensAquaponicsSystem - YouTube

— thinking of building of of these gravel beds on the patio to replace the 4 ft windowbox that is starting to fall apart as a trial
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Re: My pond project is under way

Here is an upflow veggie filter for my Koi Pond. I feel that an upflow and longer dwell time are very important to get the best out of a veggie filter.
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Underlayment and pond liner are installed. Up flow pipe slotted. These slots will face downwards. The slot spacing gets longer the closer you get to the feed end.
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The plumbing is put together and glued. I Siliconed the feed pipe in place and need to wait twenty four hours to cure. I used Dow Coring 732 Black silicone, I wanted to use 832 but only had a tube of 732. The 832 has a stronger adhesion.
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Feed for the Veggie filter
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Drain and Feed plumbing

This is the veggie filter feed and drain, a small aquarium power-head is hooked up to the up flow tube. The pump that feeds the veggie filter sits about 6" below the water surface in the lower pond, just in case the pond flow tubes were to be clogged. the Worst case scenario would be the veggie filter world overflow until the lower ponds water dropped below the filter and the pond loosing 6 inches of water, leaving thirty inches of water.
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Scrubbies for Bio-media
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Another layer of bio-media
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I usually grow peppers in here.
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to winterize I remove the fill hose to drain and cover with a cedar plank and we usually put mums and pumpkins on this.
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Re: My pond project is under way

I also built another small veggie filter for flowers, this is not an upfeed, it feeds through the top, this drains into the lower veggie filter.

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Re: My pond project is under way

For my Koi Pond I decided against a waterfall because I didn't want to much disturbance on top of the water so you can enjoy watching the fish, but wanted to add more filtration and not take up space inside the pond.
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So this is what I came up with. Sitting on the edge of the pond is a Wendy Filter.This is an upfill design, it fills through a pipe in the top, flows to the bottom and swirls around as it fills and filters through two layers of Black Matala then a layer of Green Matala, a bunch of pot scrubbers, then a bunch of Bio-balls.
Once it's filled, it overflows into another pipe then flows down and out of the planter.
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This is the sitting area across from the koi pond, I keep food for the fish by the bench so the neighbors can sit here and feed the fish.
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My original plan was to grow something out of the top, but decided against it, instead, I covered the top in blue filter media and topped with some artificial flowers.
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Re: My pond project is under way

The frogs were out today... 78°F... and so was the snake!

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Re: My pond project is under way

This is the kind of project I’m least good at — I’m so impatient to begin, but I know I really should set all design details beforehand. It will be interesting to see when I will realize I forgot something important....

@SQWIB — yours has most of the elements I’m looking for — thanks! — just need to fit to my space and work out the details.

... start small ... test material and design ideas ... before starting. I do know I need 1.5-2” pipes for the bog filter, and I would like to use garden hose for any surface runs, so will need adapter fittings to connect. The main airlift needs to be as wide diameter as I can make it at the collector end on the bottom, but reduce down to the bog filter for compressive force, so maybe 2-3 inches depending on fittings available for them.

I might find myself in the pvc pipes tubes and fittings aisle just trying different sizes and styles until I have what I need — who would have the most variety I wonder?

Last I looked Home Depot has only very limited specific sizes and styles/materials.... There IS a plumbing supply house near here, but they had the opposite problem - very open/crowded bewildering shelves and bins and you had to tell them exactly what you needed.
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Re: My pond project is under way

Still trying different ideas for the airlift pump designs as detailed in this thread
:arrow: Subject: Airlift pump design -ideas-

...as you can see in the recent photos, I moved the purple dinosaur sandbox which will become the bog/gravel bio-filter and in the process, added blocks under the liner to support it along the pond edge... AND have managed to develop some poison ivy rash on my right forearm for the effort. :x

We had 2 inches of rain yesterday — the pond is full and so is the sandbox which I actually need to empty or at least near-empty to drill and fit with a trickle drain pipe ... and possibly add another block under the middle of it to support it better... so I took a break today.

The water was clear to the bottom this morning in spite of all the sediment stirring I did yesterday
Image


This is a good time to review how the pond floor is shaped, I think ... photos from Nov. 2015 —
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Re: My pond project is under way

Yay! Finally had the time and energy to make some progress on the bog/gravel filter and the current version of the airlift pump (turbo = compression fitted air chamber with drilled “airstone” holes).

- Couple of days ago? I detached the bog tubing from the pump so the bog would drain into the pond

- This morning, I bailed what was left in the bog — there were still enough to fill two 4.5 gal kitty litter buckets and some more, but I was able to tip it up and over to empty.

- As I feared, the middle of the purple dinosaur sandbox was starting to bottom out due to insufficient support, so I put another flat cinderblock (actually I learned its a stacking stove pipe chimney block) in the center where I hadn’t been able to put it before, and added a couple more bricks as well. (ultimately, I’m going to stuff subsoil that comes out of the holes I will be digging under there)

- To create a trickle drain, I drilled holes in the inner and outer walls to fit a grommet for a 1/2” tubing (I did need to be able to get to the underside to properly fit the grommet, so emptying the bog was a necessary step

- (...and I just now realized I forgot to take pictures... but) I pulled out the turbo airlift pump and attached the gravel tray water intake on one side of the tee and my diy mayo jar intake on the other side.
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This is what I’m calling a “gravel tray” (don’t know if the pump that it came with is still working....)
Image

- I had some trouble setting the tray down on the step and the base of the pump on the very bottom of the pond, but I managed to get it to at least half depth, and started tinkering

- I needed to add an extra couple of elbows for the bog filter distribution pipe, then had to twist it this way and that way — eventually finding a perfect angle to lay the pipe flat on the bottom, more or less on the opposite side from the drain

- the air escape module was still giving me problems — I tried out the idea to capture the small burps and gurgles of water by connecting it directly to the turtle spitter, but no matter what I did, as soon as I connected the 1/2 inch, the bog distribution pipe started bubbling like a hot tub... and the steadily pouring drain reduced to a trickle then drips and stopped

- I tried out leaving it open and reducing to a 1/2 inch pipe to gurgle and burp — a larger version of the turtle spitter, and considered finding a fitting to reduce further to make it squirt ... and, instead, found a fountainhead in my bag of odds and ends. I had to be a bit clever to create a tight fit, but yep, it worked

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...it’s not a steady fountain since what comes out is a lot of air and occasional gurgle and burst of excess water (every 5-20 seconds with pretty good sized spray once in a while). It does make enough watery, drippy noises and spray bursts of water that I think it will be attractive to the hummingbirds

- I only had one bag of gravel, so I piled them up along the distribution pipe. I think I will need 3 more bags.

- Once the turbo airlift pump was running for a while through this setup, the pond water started to really clear up ... enough for me to see the gravel tray — it was stuck at an angle on the step wall — and I could see why — there was a sunken stick blocking it. With the stick removed, I was able to settle the tray flat on the step

- It turned out that the angle of the elbows and pipes made minute differences in the turbo airlift performance. With the fountain head as well as the water outlet to the bog tubing adjusted, the drain pours in a steady stream that makes steady water sounds as it falls into the pond. This will attract wildlife in general

Here’s the pond now, viewed from upstairs window:

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...I am in serious pain — back muscles and core muscles in particular — but I am really pleased with the progress so far

...oh BTW, I found the little snake’s NEW hiding spot — haha — I was going to get a couple of bricks from under a temporarily placed flagstone, and tilted it up ... and there it was, coiled and looking put out. At least I’ve found out that it has moved away from the waterfall mound and the pond liner, so this means I can dig there now.
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Re: My pond project is under way

I’ve been researching ideas for the waterfall mound contouring and weir assembly and geyser airlift well and skimmer weir assembly designs. I did fiddle with the bog/gravel filter drain pipe to hide it with a few rocks and have the water drip from the edge. Didn’t have a chance to take a picture yet, though.

...And today, I saw a wet-looking hummingbird preening feathers on the mulberry branch just above the pond. Wondering if she had been playing in the airlift water bursts.


...Having decided to try turning the little airlift pump I made for the turtle spitter upside down, I’ve been working on coming up with an improved design. I tried pricing check valves and swing valves, then looked at half a dozen DIY instructions and videos, managed to cobble together a rudimentary set of pvc fittings and materials (with conclusion that I’m missing a critical fitting) ... and then thought of a simpler design that might work ... and then it occurred to me that maybe all I might need is a flap of rubbery material to glue to a rubber grommet or washer.... I think I can sleep now. :>

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Re: My pond project is under way

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Had just finished scrubbing the bathtub and taking a shower, and was settling down for the evening around 6:30pm when I noticed a Craigslist free offer for {river rocks 2”-10” ... approx. 2 pickup truck loads}. It was local - my town. It had been posted 4 hours ago. — I had to think about it for a minute ...I was very comfortable... but it was a no-brainer. Fortunately the person wanted to be texted — a quick inquiry and no one had picked them up yet... address was texted back with invitation to back my vehicle up the driveway — the rocks were piled 2 feet away by the garage.

Coaxed DD into helping and we were off. We managed to get about half of the pile in my suv... maybe a little more. :D

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...as you can see, we ran out of daylight.
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Re: My pond project is under way

I took a picture of the bog/gravel filter drain pipe hidden with/dripping from some rocks ... through one ocular of the binoculars. Note the first lotus flower bud.

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...DD said it was more fun to see the black pipe sticking out of the corner of the purple dinosaur’s mouth...
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Re: My pond project is under way

It was going to get hot today — in the morning, DD2 and I — mostly DD2 — unloaded the rocks and sorted them by smoothness/roundness, then rinsed them off:

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I then prepped where the stones will be stored by the pond — needed to cut down a bunch of volunteer plum and rose of Sharon saplings, pull garlic mustard trying to go to seed, and carefully pull and bag a few overlooked poison ivy, then laid down cardboard over the out-of-control vinca minor. I came inside around noon ...completely wiped out. When I pulled off the nitrile gloves I had worn to protect from poison ivy, it actually started dripping.

DD1 and DD2 braves the heat and moved the rocks to the backyard —

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...even though they called it quits with this much remaining, they pushed themselves too hard and both have been suffering from heat exhaustion. Image
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Re: My pond project is under way

For some reason, the turbo airlift pump air vent/fountain was spraying higher and looking rather more impressive this morning —
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DC228FD1-8DB8-4570-AD62-F79D1DA1132C.gif (1.71 MiB) Viewed 305 times
May be one or more of these factors?
- being spot lighted by rising sun?
- yesterday’s high was 90°F and this morning’s overnight low was 56°F, so warmer than air water?
- atmospheric pressure has been has been rising — 29.7 this morning, 30.0” now
- grackles discovered the gravel bog and has been bathing in the shallows on the gravel covering the dispersal tube. This morning, the gravel was almost all dislodged and tube was uncovered....
- it’s trying to look good so I won’t try to replace it or even disassemble/dismantle it for parts in pursuit of an upgraded design


I made a screen to keep the bog/gravel filter drain pipe from being blocked by floating debris —
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- plastic 1 pint strawberry basket covered with purple produce netting, secured in place with a couple of rocks



Unearthed the brown Rubbermaid container that I thought will be perfect for the buried waterfall reservoir. Ended up getting distracted and cleaned out the left front section of the shed..... Swept debris off of the part of the liner that had been preserved for building the waterfall, laid it out to determine/site the position of it, then folded the liner away to plan how to contour the area:
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Re: My pond project is under way

I saw a dobsonfly yesterday — they are like the B52 of dragonflies. It was too fast and somehow would not stay where I could take a photo. Only hovered close when I my iPhone was put away. :roll: I did see HER land on the edge and dab at the pond liner and water so maybe laying eggs.
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Re: My pond project is under way

This morning, it was NOT open, but when I looked out of the window in the afternoon, the first lotus flower had opened :D

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- robin found a submerged rock he can stand on to bathe
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