Friday, June 29, 2012

Birds loving the bird bath

It was 108 degrees here in Arkansas yesterday. The humans couldn't be outside and the other critters who live here spent much of their time in the birdbath.  I keep the water clear by putting in about 1/2 tsp of swimming pool chlorine a month. It works great.


Juvenile Bluejay

Red shafted flicker

Indigo bunting and ?

chickadee having a bath

Even though it's too hot for pond building, you can buy my book , "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond" and be ready to start digging when the heat abates. Download it

And join us for pond talk all the time, including what to do for your fish when the heat strikes.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fawn, Finally

It was 106ยบ yesterday here in Mountain View Arkansas.  And it wasn't a dry heat.   I understand dry heat is not as hot as wet heat.  Having been in it, I can assure you it is easily as hot as any other heat.

At any rate, the critters and me have been hunkering down in the AC. Well, the two and four legged, furry and feathered critters have been consigned to the heat, but as you know they have access to the pond and a special bath tub I have rigged up for them, waterfall and all.

I also have a mineral block down by the pond and a motion activated camera in case something strolls by or needs a salt fix.

Yesterday, my first fawn of the year came by for a look around.  Isn't she beautiful.

Even though it's too hot for pond building, you can buy my book , "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond" and be ready to start digging when the heat abates. Download it

And join us for pond talk all the time, including what to do for your fish when the heat strikes.

Find us at

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Saturday Night Bath Time

Are you ready for another episode of Saturday in Mountain View AR?  It's an exciting night around here. Last night was no exception because the cardinals came to visit.

I have not written about Cardinals in "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond," but I did talk about how to build a bird bath.  Download the book here:

For more pond stories, photos and problems, check us out at

Saturday, June 23, 2012

How to Build A Natural Swimming Pond

Swimming used to be done in lakes, rivers, oceans or a pond. As we got older we swam in rectangular, blue bottomed boxes called swimming pools
Swimming pools are changing. We can now have natural swimming pools that use plant material for a filter and look like the pool was there, you fell in love with it and built a house just to be near it. A natural swimming pool will probably cost more to install than a regular swimming pool, but maintenance is minimal and no chemicals are used, so before the first year is out, you have recovered the extra money.

A natural swimming pool is just like a lake, but without the pollution we find in our public waterways these days. It is cleaned and clarified using aquatic plants as filters and consumers of toxins. Use large bog areas to filter the swimming pond.

Material list:

Heavy equipment to dig a huge hole and move the heavy liner and rocks
45 mil liner
Submersible pump
Rocks, gravel
Plant material

1.  Dig a hole the size of the pool you want.  Make one end six inches deep for your bog. Make the swimming area the size you want.  Six feet is deep enough. Make the sides sloping so you can walk in your pool.  Make the sides higher than the area around the pool, so water from surrounding areas will not run off into it and foul your water.  Make a small weir at the bog area to keep the bog plants in place when you start using the pool.

2. Line the pond with 45 mil liner.  You will need help to move and place a liner big enough.

3.  Line the bog area and about three feet past the top edge of the pool as well.

4.  Install a skimmer to catch leaves as they fall in, just as a in regular swimming pool. This will cut down on maintenance.

Second step:

1. Place the rocks around the edge of the pond so the liner won't show.  Cover the liner that you have around the edge.
2.  Install a skimmer to catch leaves as they fall in, just as a in regular swimming pool. This will cut down on maintenance.

3.  Install a dock that will cover the small pump and skimmer.

Finish your pool

1. Purchase bog plants.  Get submerged plants and floating plants.  These plants serve as a filter.

2. Leave floating plants in pots so they will not float into the swimming area. Submerged plants must float free. These plants are the filtration system for your pool, so be sure you have enough of them. Buy one bunch of submerged vegetation per square foot of bog surface area. Make sure one half of the top of the bog is covered with floating plants.

3. Install the submersible pump and run a piece of tubing to the end of the bog garden. Turn on the pump and water will circulate.

I normally do not recommend this as a DIY project, but one of the members of is doing it right now.  C'mon over and have a look.

Don't forget you can read about natural swimming ponds and more in my book, A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond. Download it here:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Protect your pond from rats

When we build ponds in locations near rivers, bayous or lakes. Or when we live in or near rat infested cities, we find rats. Rats are destructive creatures and will chew a hole through your pond liner near the bottom of the pond. They arrive on their way through a rat hole and oops, there is your pond, in their way. So they chew a hole in the liner. Of course, you don't know about the hole or the rat until your pond begins to lose water fast. Now you must change the liner - an expensive and hard job because the entire pond must be taken apart to replace a liner. And liners are expensive.

Things You’ll Need:
  • Chicken wire
    • 1 roll 15# roofing felt
    • New liner

Step 1:
Suddenly one day, you notice your pond has lost most of its water. After pumping all the water out of your pond, you see a large chewed hole in your liner that is too big to repair. Under the liner is a hole in the ground big enough to put your hand in. Do not put your hand in the hole or you may encounter the rat that chewed the hole.

Step 2:

Fill the hole with soil. Pack it in well.

Step 3:

Buy a new liner, but before you install the new liner, line your already dug hole with chicken wire. Bring the chicken wire all the way up the sides as well as on the bottom of the pond.

Step 4:

Cover the chicken wire with 15# roofing felt. Cut it in strips large enough to cover your pond's width and place the felt in the hole until it is completely covered.

Step 5:

Place your new liner in the hole. Reinstall the rocks, pump, filter, plants and fish. You will never have rats eat holes in your pond liner again.

Tips & Warnings

  • Instead of waiting for a disaster, put the chicken wire in the dug out hole before you build your pond.

  • Always be careful of electricity and water. Be sure you use a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) for your pump or lights. It cuts off electricity instantly if water touches the outlet.
Read tips like this one and more in my book, A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond. You can download it here.

Join us at to ask your pond questions and get answers from experts.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Garden Green

Gardeners are concerned about the environment. Gardeners have used pesticide for decades and are now realizing that many pesticides and insecticides have found their way into our ground water and into our drinking water, so are changing their pest control methods to make their gardens greener. Focus on the environment, sustainability and use recycled materials and techniques.  Many gardeners are used to gas powered equipment, heavy fertilization and pesticide use.  But today there are many ways the gardener can garden greener.

1.  Stop relying on pesticides.  Gardeners are used to using pesticides whenever they see a bug on a plant, even if the bug is beneficial. Learn what bugs help the garden. If a bug does not cause serious damage to a plant, do not harm it. Choose plants that are native to your area.  Native plants are adapted to your region and can repel pests on their own. They can also provide food for native animals and replace the plant material lost to building development.

2. If you use pest control use organic pesticides.  Bacillus Thuringiensis (bt) is an organic pesticide and is non toxic to the environment. If you use a toxic pesticide, use less of it and use the least toxic to the environment. If you use herbicides, stop. Use mulches. Mulch is the best way to reduce weeds and also is recycled into the soil and therefore enriches it.

3.  Mow the lawn less.  Gasoline powered mowers are polluters. We water and fertilize the lawn so it will grow more and then have to mow it more often.   Add more beds to your lawn. Do not get disturbed if you have a few weeds in the lawn.  If your lawn is small enough, you can  use manual equipment rather than gas powered machinery.

4. Rethink fertilizing.  Most gardeners fertilize much more than is needed. Regular fertilizing is important only when container gardening.  Vegetable gardens only need moderate fertilizer applications. Better yet, use compost and manures from your own compost heap made from recycled yard waste and kitchen scraps.

5. Leave the leaves.  When shrubs or trees drop leaves, either leave them where they are or rake them and put them in the compost heap.  That way instead of bagging up the leaves and putting them in the landfill, you can recycle them right back into your garden and save on buying more mulch.  Gardening greener is easier than using chemicals. It makes our environment cleaner and our gardens safer.

Don't forget to buy my book, "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond." You can download it here.

And we talk about ponds on my website. If you have questions or answers, join us at

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lower pH in your Pond

To lower Ph use vinegar, a gallon or so per 2000 gallons, then test. This will not lower your pH for good if you have concrete leaching into the water.  Test and if necessary, repeat weekly.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been looking for information on how much of a household substance to use to raise or lower the pond pH. All I have been able to find is buy this chemical, or that chemical.
Thank you.

To learn tips like this one and many more, read my book, "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond". Download it here:

And join us at to exchange pond info with pond experts from all over the world.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

String Algae, Blanketweed, Filamentous Algae

More talk about string algae:

A solution to it, if it's a problem for you.
To get rid of string algae or blanketweed, add about 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide per 1000 gallons of water.  When the algae grows, clean out as much as you can and just pour the peroxide in.  It gets rid of all of the algae.

Is the string algae a bad thing or just some people don't like it. We have it growing on our lilies and it doesn't bother us.

It's an OK thing. It keeps the pond clean and clear. Fish love to eat it, but can't stay ahead of it. I never mind it, but most folks simply can't bear it. I get more letters about blanketweed/string algae than anything else.

Wow I kinda like it lol. Blanketweed is that the algae on the bottom attached to the liner?

Pondlady again:  
Blanketweed is the stuff that looks like angel hair spaghetti. You can get it out of the pond with a spaghetti fork if you wish.

The conversation continues:  
Thats funny, I think I know what you're talking about it was on the waterfall awhile back, whole thing gets covered in algae and one good rain storm its all gone.

Another answer:  
All ponds should have a nice blanket of algae along the sides of the pond that should be about 1/4" to 1/2". At least, that's what mine are like although one pond has no algae along the sides that I can see. I wonder if this has anything to do with the alkalinity of the water.

Pondlady again:  
Algae on the sides of the pond can only help with pH. If a pond is balanced properly, a healthy pH of about 7 happens automatically.

You can learn all about algae, blanketweed or just plain pond scum in my book, "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond", available here.

And visit us at for more conversations like this one and lots more.
Find us here

Saturday, June 16, 2012

An Overdose of Cute

Local chickadee takes advantage of new birdbath....with one waiting in the ummm, wings.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Water Lily Question


I bought a house in November that included a small water lily pond. I cleaned it out this spring, scrubbing the algae off of with baking soda and repotting one of the two lily pots. So far I haven't fertilized (didn't know about that until I read one of the other posts). The larger pot of lilies was doing great. It shot out leaves like crazy, but now they're covered with brown spots and seem to be decaying. Is this normal? Do I just need to fertilize? I've used barley pellets to keep the algae down and packets of some mosquito packets to keep away the mosquito larvae. Could these be causing the problem? The pond is also loaded with tiny little bugs (the size of a pin-head). Could these be causing the problem? I obviously have no idea what I'm doing, so would really appreciate some advice. Thanks.

Pick off the leaves that are dying. Get them all the way down to the base of the stem. The outer ring of water lily leaves decay and die and new leaves grow. It's just the way of lilies. Yes, do fertilize.

I suspect the little bug looking things could be mosquito larvae, but if they are aphids, use this spray.

 Home gardeners should mix one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent with one cup of cooking oil. When pests strike, mix one to two and one half teaspoons of the detergent oil mix with one cup of water. The detergent causes the oil to emulsify in the water. It can be sprayed on the water lilies every ten days. Besides aphids, the mixture works against whiteflies and spider mites. It has been successfully tested on eggplants, carrots, lettuce, celery, watermelon, peppers and cucumbers. It tends to burn the leaves of squash, cauliflower and red cabbage.

To learn about water lilies and more, buy my book, "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond' here.

And join us at pondlady.comto ask and answer pond questions.  We have fun there.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Mendocino Botanic Garden, Ft Bragg, CA
Visit here if you can

When we travel, we try to see botanic garden in the area. We found this wonderful spot and stayed an extra day just to spend more time there.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


These are spitters.  Spitters are statues that are plumbed to allow water to be pumped through them.  Thousands of kinds of spitters are made, from little boys peeing to little girls with umbrellas or huge bronze birds or dolphins costing thousands of dollars.  

One of my crane spitters' neck is broken. That may or may not have been an accident

I have these two little cranes because some client didn't want them anymore, so gave them to me. Notice they are NOT hooked up to a pump with water spitting out of their beaks.  In fact, they are not in the water.  They live on the banks of the pond and will never been seen with water shooting out of their beaks unless it's raining hard.

You ask why?  If you have spitters, you don't have to ask. You already learned why.

You see, it all starts with the spitters looking all cute sitting on the side of the pond or even in the water.  Water is shooting out of the intended orifice and all is well. 

As time passes, and not all that much time, the pump picks up some pond debris and water is now slowing down.  It's now drooling out and down the spitter's body.  Two things happen when the drool begins.  Water does not return to the pond and drools out.  And the spitter is wet where the water drools and soon turns black with algae.  Both things are disasters. 

If the spitter is in the water, the pump is grinding away uselessly working its hardest to burn up because it's clogged up with pond debris. And it will burn up, trust me. 

If the spitter is next to the pond, the spitter is drooling water out of the pond, albeit slowly.  It only takes overnight or so to totally drain the pond. There is no such thing as a little leak.

My advice:  Stay away from spitters. Or get them and use them as an ornament, never letting their tails, feet or anything else get hooked up to a pump.   They will make your hair grey.

For tips like this and much more, download "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond" here

And join us at to ask questions and share your pond knowledge with others. Click here

Monday, June 11, 2012

Black Pond Water

The pond water is BLACK!

Well, really not black, but dark tea colored.  How did that happen and how do I fix it?

Chances are your pond is under or near an oak tree.  If so, your tea colored water is caused by the tannin that comes from the tree.

Here's how to fix it.  Get some activated charcoal.  Do not use charcoal briquettes like you use to barbecue with. Go to the pet store or fish store and get activated charcoal.  I know it's expensive, but it's all I know that works.  Put it in leg of an old pair of panty hose and put it in your filter. Or put it somewhere where the water can move through it.

Your pond will be clear and sparkly in a few days. Using activated charcoal is 'washing the water.'

Find tips like this and more in my book, "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond." Download it here.

You can also find hundreds of other pond keepers with questions and answers like this at

Sunday, June 10, 2012

He's Baaaaaaack

Hasenpfeffer for dinner!
Good thing I am a vegan.  That is one lucky bunny.

Don't you dare eat my Dutch Iris

Purslane about gone

The bunny is eating his way around a min-pond with a tiny pump pumping water over rocks about an inch under water. It's a great birdbath and the birds love it.

So does the bunny.

Read about tiny ponds and how to build them here.

Ask and answer pond questions at  We have a good time there.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Water Lily Questions

Cow lily, found wild in the Louisiana swamps.


I'm from Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. This is my third year with a water garden and I love it! I have a small pond - 50 gallons in a preformed liner with a small pump/fountain that I've made sure doesn't splash onto my lilies. I have a corkscrew rush, pickerel rush, and water lettuce plus my lilies. My pond usually gets between 6 and 8 hours of direct sunlight a day. 

Last year I had some problems with my water lily not blooming. We did have a colder than usual summer last year and the lady at my local pond supplier suggested that it could either be because of that or because my lily needed to be repotted/divided. 

This spring, I divided the lily and repotted the two halves. I had to wait longer than I really wanted to because we had a very chilly spring, but I finally got it repotted and into the pond around the end of May/beginning of June which was the first time we had temps stay above 50 in the evenings. Half #1 is doing MARVELOUSLY. There's lots of new growth, large pads and I fully expect to see buds/blooms any day now. Half #2 is not doing so hot. There are some small green leaves close to the rhizome, but only 2 leaves have reached out towards the surface and they were very small and yellow and didn't last long. 

At first I thought maybe it was getting splashed even though I had tried to make sure it wasn't, so I switched fountain heads to further control the fountain and now it is DEFINITELY not getting splashed. Next I thought perhaps it just needed time and fertilizer, but it's been about 6 weeks now and it's not thriving any more than it was. 

Tonight, I moved it to a separate tub with some of the pond water along with some fresh water because I'm really afraid there's something seriously wrong with it and if there is, I don't want it to infect the other lily. 

I've checked for bugs and other than a few water snails along the side of my pond, I can't find any evidence of bugs. The rhizome doesn't smell rotten so I don't *think* it's crown rot, but I didn't want to take chances. 

Could it just be that my pond is too small for two water lilies to flourish? Or am I doing something wrong? Or is there really something wrong with my lily? 

Any help/advice that anyone could give me would be *greatly* appreciated. I've searched all my books and I can't find any answers so I thought I'd search online. 

Thank you for any help you can give! 


Yup, your pond is too small for two lilies. Are you fertilizing the lilies? You need to push in 1 Pondtabb per gallon of pot at least once a month. They really like a tab twice a month, but then you will have a gigantic lily. 
Add dechlor if you put the plant in fresh water. The chemicals our city fathers put in our drinking water is a crime. 

Continued conversation:

Thanks for replying! I'm glad to hear that it's just that my pond is too small and that there's nothing necessarily wrong with the other lily. 

Yes, I fertilize my lilies with Pondtabbs (all my plants actually). I did add some "Pond Start" which is supposed to take care of all those lovely chemicals, though I don't have nearly as many as those with city water because I'm on a well, but I figured better to add it and not need it than to not add it and be sorry! 

 More about waterlilies 

I am in the UK and have a waterlily which I found by the roadside therefore I have no idea what it is I have it in a bath which we have on our allotment,which is used as a pond for wildlife I think it has outgrown it as the leaves are high up the sides I have another bath there which like this one is home to all sorts of tadpoles and other creatures, should I wait until winter to divide it as I have never done this before and it is not in a pot I found it in what looks like a canvas wrap or bag


More answers:

Wait until spring to divide it. 
My guess is that it's a hardy lily as opposed to a tropical one or it wouldn't have been growing wild. You will find that if you just plant it in the water and not put it in a pot, it will take over and you will have a hard time getting rid of it after a few years. 
You can remove leaves as they get out of hand and not harm it. It should be blooming now. The blooms will probably be yellow or white and look wonderful.

Continued conversation
They are white with a yellow centre, it was actually dumped not in the water when I found it too so I'm surprised it survived, they are gorgeous though

 And answers:
They are pretty hard to kill, being not much more than weeds. You will love it.

Read about water lilies in my best selling book, "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond" available from Amazon here.

And join us at our interactive pond forum here.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Peter Rabbit....Bah

This is purslane, or should I say it WAS purslane.  It's a sweet little plant whose flowers bloom in the sunshine of midday and close when the nighttime comes. The pale orange of this particular one was beautiful near the running water of the bird bath.  Notice that the purslane is not much but stems, flowers nipped off at the ends.

This is a bunny.  Isn't he cute?  He can make himself so big when jumping across the yard and so small when nestling in the garden.  
I thought, "Isn't that cute? The bunny is almost asleep with his nose in the flowers.  It's as if he is napping, making himself small to escape the notice of marauding predators."  


Well, wasn't I wrong.  He was making himself small so I would notice that the tender, sweet purslane flowers were disappearing before my very eyes. 

This morning, I have no purslane flowers. Wonder if the bunny will reappear when the flowers do.

Don't forget that I wrote a book, "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond" available here.  It talks about the little problems that can drive you nuts with your pond, but the professionals don't tell you. I tell you.    Here.

And for an interactive forum, join us at

Thursday, June 07, 2012

It's Pond Cleaning Time Again

Once a year, and I think spring is a good time, I recommend a total cleaning of your garden pond. This means removing all plants, all water, all fish and giving the pond a good cleaning. This will get rid the pond of any toxins that have built up over the winter, but perhaps not yet to critical levels. These toxins can build quickly if the pond ices over. Leaves can fall in the pond in the fall and winter and start to decompose when the weather begins to warm. If there is debris in the pond, now is a good time to get outside and prepare to get dirty. If you live where the weather is warmer and some trees do not shed their leaves until spring, wait until after the leaves are gone or you will be scooping dead leaves out of your clean pond. If you do live in warmer climes where your water does not freeze, a partial water change might be all you need. 

Cleaning your pond is much easier with two people. See if you can find a helper, even if you have to bribe one. Both of you should wear very old clothes that you will use again only to clean your pond. And maybe even throw away when you are finished. Pond cleaning is not for the faint of heart. Pond scum is as awful as it sounds. 

Tools you need:
  • Solids handling pump with very long hose attached
  • Wet/dry vacuum cleaner
  • Fish net
  • Large bucket or box to hold fish in while cleaning
  • Trash bags
  • Boots or waders
  • 2 milk crates
Steps in order:
  1. Put some pond water in the large bucket or box. Put the pump in the pond. If you have a sump in your pond, put it there. I put the pump inside a milk crate to keep the worst of the bottom debris from clogging up the pump.
  2. Stretch the hose out to where you want the water to go; if you have a veggie bed or garden bed or just lawn you want fertilized, place the hose end there.
  3. Plug in the pump. Make sure you are using a GFI outlet. If not use a GFI extension so you will be protected against unknown electrical problems. Keep the ends of the cords out of water.
  4. While the water is pumping out, remove the plants. Yes, you have to get in your pond to do that, so put your waders on first.
  5. If you are dividing plants, do it now. If not, clean the sides of the pots off, cut all dead growth off, remove all live growth that has leapt from the pot. You can repot the extra plants and share with friends and neighbors. Please do not throw them into any public waterways because they can be invasive and become a public nuisance.
  6. Remove your anacharis. Put the clean anacharis in one pile, the dirty anacharis in another. Make your helper remove debris from the dirty anacharis and rinse it off. Your pond should be almost empty now.
  7. Net your fish and put them in their temporary home.

    Wet vacuum the bottom of the pond. Rinse it with a strong hose stream, wet vacuum again. Continue until water is clear. Don’t forget the waterfall, the pond sides. between the rocks. This is the hardest part of pond cleaning. When you are finished with this, the rest is easy.
  8. Put the debris, fish poop, just plain pond scum you have removed in the other milk crate. When the dirty water drains out, it is not so heavy to carry. It is the best fertilizer you can find, so put it under trees, plants, in garden beds, veggie beds. I know it stinks, but that goes away in a few hours. If you cannot put it in your yard or compost pile, put it in trash bags.
  9. Put the larger debris, e.g., sticks, limbs, old shoes, golf balls in the trash bags.
  10. Put the clean plants back in the pond where you want them to be.
  11. Start running new water in the pond.
  13. When the pond is about half full, put the fish in plastic bags, tie the top closed and float them in the pond for a few minutes so the old water temperature and new water temperature equalize. Release your fish within 15 minutes. Continue to fill the pond until full.
  14. Plug in the waterfall again. The fish will play in it.
Whew, that’s done for another year. 

You can also probably find someone in your area who cleans ponds. I used to clean about 200 ponds a year and charged from $245.00 up. That should help you choose someone. 

Learn how to care for your pond in my book, "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond,' available for download here..

And visit us at my website to get pond questions asked and answered.  

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Pond Critter Question

Questions and answers from

Just started my new small outside pond I'm adding under water plants and top plants as well. I'm adding just 4 goldfish. I wanted to know what other kind of animals I can add without messing up the ecosystem I'm trying to create. can I add a snail or a plecostomus.

****A lot depends on how "big" your "small pond" is.

It's going to be right under 300 gallons

****Other animals will find your pond on their own. Toads and frogs will arrive, so will dragonflies and butterflies. Birds will want a drink and maybe a bath if you have a shallow end. Do not buy snails. They will get their by themselves as well. The plecostomus is a tropical fish and will not survive a winter. I have seen them do so every once in awhile in zone 9a and scare the pants off you when you are cleaning the pond in the spring when one slithers over your bare foot. If you anticipate freezes where you live, any tropical fish will not survive a winter.

I live in south Texas 30 minutes from Mexico. We don't get freezing weather down here, but I will keep that in mind. I found a pond place in a city nearby but when i asked them for anacharis they had no idea what i was asking for. So i ordered from ebay. I don't know what zone I'm in but are average temp is mid 90s. I'm new to ponds and I really appreciate all the help. Thank you.

****You can use hornwort if you can't find anacharis, as it is becoming known as a noxious weed and outlawed in some states. Ebay is a great place to get pond plants. If you are brand new to ponds, you might want to buy my book. You can download it to your ebook reader here

Not that I am trying to sell books or anything.

Join us at to get your questions answered.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Dratted Bird Bath

The bird bath is now equipped with a ½" hose that goes through a hole in a rock and comes out the top end.  The pump is too strong.  Even though it says I can adjust it, I can't seem to do that and make the outflow less.  As with any attempt to move water in a small container, it splashes out.  

It looks pretty……for a little while until the water level gets too low and the pump starts sucking air.  I bought a 300 gph LIttle Giant pump because the little pumps for little fountains last about 3 months and then die.  

The few visiting birds have had a drink out of the birdbath, but so far none has ventured in.  They are probably scared to death by the Niagara sized waterfall rushing out of that hole.  

I will keep filling the little washtub for a few days until I figure out how to do it better. I suspect I have to make the container bigger and the rock with the hole in it bigger even if it means drilling a hole through a larger rock.

Learn from my mistakes and learning experiences in my new book, "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond"  Download it here.

And for design ideas, pond problems, swapping ideas, join us at

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Bird bath progress

A trip into town yesterday yielded no ½" hose.  Not one.  So the birdbath is cobbled together using rocks to direct the water.  

Now directing water with rocks is something I have done hundreds upon hundreds of times, but I had a collection of hoses to rival a hardware store.  So unless I can find a hose at an auto parts store, drive two hours to find one or order one online, I shall have to be happy with the rocks. But I'm not.

PIcture this morning.

By the way, birds started visiting last night. They would have a drink, but not one dared to get his feet wet.  Maybe today.  

Of course, it's about to rain.  I don't know if birds bathe in the rain. Do they?

We desperately need the rain. My creek is dry. Burn bans are in force all around.  So I'll take the rain and wait until I can find a ½" hose.

Don't forget, I wrote a book, "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond."  Download it here. 

What you can't find in the book, you can probably find at my website,

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Pond Pump Question

Until I get my birdbath wired on Monday, see this latest pump question answered by the pondlady

Pump question:

My tub pump not working (sucking) for pond?
I am using a pump from a jet tub for my pond. I put the intake directly into the water it works normally, I use one stick of PVC with all required fittings and glued properly and the pump will run but not suck.

I can't figure out why the pump will not suck with a 3' stick of PVC attached.

I have primed the pump, done everything I could think of.

Any suggestions?

Pondlady sez:

There are a couple of things that might be going on. First of all, is the pump running? You can usually tell by a slight hum when you touch it. It could have tripped the GFCI, so the outlet needs to be reset. Try that. Or the impeller could be gummed up with something. Check the intake end of the pump. Use screwdriver to move the impeller to loosen it. Of course, you have the electricity off when you do this.

Or the pump does not have enough head to push the water 3 feet up in the air. That is probably the reason if the pump is working normally otherwise.

You can see the answers to dozens of pond question in my book, "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond" available

Or join us at to get your questions answered or share your pond experiences.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Make a Water Rock Birdbath

I am in Stone County, Arkansas and it lives up to its name.

These were found just outside the back door.

And will be put in this, which I did not find outside the back door.

Along with these, I have special rocks given to me by a friend.  Note they have holes in them.  
Holes that I can put a piece of clear 1/2" tubing through and attach the tubing to a 300 gph pump

I will artfully arrange the rocks inside the tub (It's a small one) and by tomorrow, will have a tub full of water and wet rocks.

Why on earth would I want to do that?

Birds will bathe in it and drink from it and generally have a ball in it.

Pics when I am finished.

Total cost: less than $70.00 and 50 of that was the pump.

To read tips and ideas like this, read my book, "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond".  Download it at or any ebook site.

And visit my website at