Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sick Fish

As with many animals, when a fish is diseased the other fish will attack and kill it. If you see a sick fish, remove it as soon as you see it. There is a chance you can save it and also not have it infect the other fish.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Overflowing ponds

Building fish pond using pond liner...What to I need to do/know?
I have been hearing scary DIY stories like people's pond flooding! How do I prevent that?

If you mean will your pond overflow, it could. But it won't overflow any more than the rest of your property will. If your yard is flooded, your pond's water level will be higher, but will never overflow its banks unless your neighborhood is flooded as well. Think about it. Lakes/rivers flood all the time and the pond gets covered in water too. But the pond by itself will not overflow.  I suppose it would if you put a hose in it and turned it on, but one would hope you would watch it or set a timer or somesuch.

Check out how to build at my website:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Repairing natural bottom ponds

We just purchased a home and moved in end of July. There is a nice sized pond in the front, and its getting lower and lower every day, to where at the moment, its more of a dirt hole than a pond. I know the rainfall hasn't been quite good this summer, and with the heat, water does evaporate... but I wouldn't think it would be as it is now. I also see other people with ponds and theirs are still relatively full. We aren't the ones who built this pond, so I am not certain what was done when doing so. To me, it doesn't look like anything special was done other than digging a great big huge hole... I dont see a liner or pump system, or anything like that. We do have some frogs in there, and some pussy willows growing... other than that, maybe a fish or two in there, but we aren't certain. Can anyone tell me if we have a leak somewhere, or if we need to drain what water is left and line it, or what we need to do so we can actually enjoy a full pond at our new house. I know rainfall isn't much for us in Ohio, so, how do others keep theirs full?
Any help I can get would be great! I have tried to google and get answers on my own, but they all talk about turning off a pump, and ours doesn't have one.


If you have a natural bottom pond, get some bentonite. It's clay and perfect for sealing natural ponds. If I were you, I would put a liner in it and then refill it. For lots more info about how to do that, see my website at:
Click on Jan's articles.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Build your pond above grade

If you do nothing else while building your pond, build it above grade. You can use my method or just pile up the soil you removed from the hole around the edges, but if you don't build it up, run off from your yard can kill your pond.
When you are digging your hole, dig straight down. If you dig a bowl shape you will slide down into the water every time you try to get in your pond to do maintenance.  The extra surface area exposes the pond to more sun and therefore more algae growth.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Trapping pond wildlife

Trapping Wildlife

If you trap visiting wildlife like raccoons, and want to relocate them, check with the Wildlife Commission to see if (1) you have rights to move them to a more suited environment, (2) if they are prone to mark their territory and return, (3) have the local humane society trap and move them to a more fitting area.
If they are taken to a brand new neighborhood, they are likely to be unable to find food and die.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Prepping pond plants for winter

If you have not yet cut back your Louisiana irises, cyperus or papyrus, do so in September so new growth can start freely in the spring.
Water lilies begin dormancy in September. Their leaves get smaller and smaller and they stop blooming. Don't worry. They are reacting to shorter periods of daylight.
Stop fertilizing water lilies in mid October in the South. By starving the plants at the end of the season, they will form some small, hard and durable tubers which survive the dormant period better than the large fleshy root of the main plant. This, along with dropping the water lily to the bottom of your pond will give you a better chance of your lilies coming back in the spring.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Overwintering water lilies

I have a lilly in my pond and it seems to be dying off does it die or need to be cut back to over winter ?
i bought it this summer and had a couple of flowers and and has quite a few leaves but they are slowly dying off.will it completely die off for winter or do i need to cut it back .if any one has any advice on how to over winter it would be much appreciated

  • Answer:

  • If you live where the night temperatures are starting to drop below 55ยบ, your lilies are going dormant. They will soon do that in warmer climes. Here's an article I wrote about water lily care. It should answer all your questions.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pond building cost

What is the cost of having a little fish pond made in your backyard?

It always depends on the size. A 6' x 9' kidney shape turnkey with pump, filter, waterfall, plants and landscaping would run about 5 thousand bucks.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pond liner?

What is a pond liner?

Anything that holds water indefinitely can be a pond liner. 40 mil butyl rubber is the best. You can cut it to order, it lasts well over 20 years and is my choice for ponds.
Concrete not such a good choice because it's brittle and has a problem with temperature extremes.
Flexible PVC is cheap and widely used, but does not hold up at all.
Preformed liners are popular, but just like PVC is only good for a short time.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

What size liner do I need?

I have built a garden pond measuring 3m x1.5m x1m deep can someone tell me what size liner i should get ?
i would also be grateful if you could suggest what size LPH pump i will need.


Here's how to find out what size liner to buy:
Buy the largest pump you can afford. 1200 gallons per hour would be perfect.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Is pond maintenance hard?

Building a pond?
Once it's built, how hard is it to maintain?  I'm looking to make a in ground one with liner.  I wanna know how hard it is to maintain.


Ponds require very little maintenance once balanced. If you have goldfish and the proper plants, the pond loves benevolent neglect.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Peace lily problems

How do you revive a peace lilly?
I was given a peace lilly from my church after my dad passed away. I went on vacation for a couple of days and nobody was home to keep my peace lilly watered. I have never had a green thumb and I am not sure exactly what I need to do to revive it. i would hate to just neglect it because it was given to me as a blessing for my dad! Is there any way to revive it? Is there a point where it can no longer be saved?


Try putting it in the shower and soaking it real good. If you can't do that, put it in water and let it sit for a half hour or so. Take it out, let it drain, then keep it in the house. Do not fertilize it.
If it can be saved, that's the only way to do it. It should perk up in a day or so.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Potassium Permanganate

I need to make a potassium permanganate solution to clean my pond. what is the ratio?
I have 50g of Potassium permanganate. how much powder in how much water??

You are much better off not using that for anything. There are many ways to clean a pond without chemicals. The stuff is poison and will harm your plants and fish.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Winter plant survival

Will floating pond plants survive in the pond over the winter?

I have a small black plastic pond in my backyard that I keep fish in and this year I've added three floating water plants to it as well: Miniature Water Hyacinth (Eichornia sp.), Sensitive Plant (Neptunia aquatica) and Yellow Water Snowflake (Nymphoides crenata). I live in Maine so the winter isn't warm or easy, but there is a floating de-icer in there as well, so the water they're in won't ever freeze over. So would any of those plants survive the winter? If not, would it work to bring them inside for the winter months and then put them back out in the spring?

They will not survive your Maine winters. You can try to bring them inside. It might work.
They do go dormant in the winter, but plan on replacing them in the spring.
You know you will lose them outside. You have some hope of keeping them inside.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Preformed koi pond

Above ground koi pond using a preformed liner?
I want to take an odd shaped preformed plastic liner and place it in my yard but above ground. Can I do that?
You can put it above ground. Here's one way: Put the liner where you want it, then build a box around it. Using landscape timbers would probably be easiest. Now fill the pond with water. No fish yet, but with the water in the pond, fill around it with soil. When you are finished and the pond water is filthy, pump it out. Now fill the pond with the water the fish will swim in. Add dechlor, massive amounts of filtration, a pump and put the koi in. Preformed ponds are usually 18" deep, so the koi will not do well at all. They like water 3' deep. If you put goldfish in, you will have better luck. If you are where it freezes, your pond will freeze solid in the winter.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Duck pond

Help me with building a pond?
I'm planning on making a pond for my ducks out of either a plastic pond form (not the liner) or a stock tank. The only problem is they poop a lot in their water. Anyone with experience with ducks will know what i mean =) so I want to have a good filter that can handle the poop and I don't want to spend over $50 on it.

What type of filter would be best?
i have electricity in my chicken coop but i cant have a cord coming out during the night (i need to be able to close the door). so that means i need a filter that does have to run constantly.


You cannot filter duck poop from a pond. Try to find something that you can hose out daily. It would need a shallow end so you could use a power nozzle to hose the pond out. Ducks are messy critters. No filter will work. Put Mosquito Dunks in to keep mosquitoes away. You could run a pump if you like, but since you have to hose it out often, you really don't need one.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

What liner is best?

What is the best, strongest pond liner?


Buy a Firestone 40 mil butyl rubber liner. It's the best.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Money plant?

Is the Epipremnum aureum aka "money plant" an aquatic plant?
I need to know for a science fair project.

It is not an aquatic plant and will die if you try to grow it in water. You could use that as part of your science project. Money plant in water opposed to horsetail fern in water.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Tiny pond

Aquarium Plants question?
I am getting a 20 gallon bucket and I am going to turn it into a mini guppy pond with these plants in it.
-Java Fern
-1 bamboo plant ( half in water and the top part sticking out)
-1 water lily
-Marimo Moss ball

Can I grow these plants in a few hours (4-7) of sunlight each day? would they survive? and do I need any special tablets/plant food or any other equipment to keep them alive. I am trying to keep these plants alive without a special aquarium lamp.


You will need some submerged vegetation like anacharis or hornwort to help keep the water clear. The water lily needs at least 5 -6 hours of sun daily to grow, so you might want to consider another floating plant. If you do put a water lily in there, 20 gallons is too small - another reason for choosing another plant.
It just occurred to me? Is your mini pond going to be indoors? No water lily will grow indoors unless it is in a greenhouse with special temperature controls.

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Monday, September 06, 2010

Slugs in the garden

Besides salt, what is a solution to SLUG infestations?
I have slugs crawling not only on the ground, but now, on the siding of the house. I can use salt to kill the ones I see, but would like to know how to eradicate them.  Help please.


You can buy snail and slug bait at most nurseries and big box stores. It works.

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