Home › Forums › SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION, ENERGY and WATER CONSERVATION › Backyard projects › Building a Pond (for zero dollars)
November 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm #513245
Blue Wren I am lucky enough to have lots of limestome around my place so I try and use that as much as possible. However, I am after some bluestone to edge the pond and provide a thermal mass that heats up in winter (as well as summer of course) and provides warmth for skinks, lizards etc so they can laze away in creature comfort. Builders hate the stuff ‘cos its so heavy so you may be able to find a builder/landscaper/property owner that is renovating/demolishing a building that contains any stone and pick some up for free?November 7, 2011 at 8:17 pm #513246
porgey post=329001 wrote: Blue Wren I am lucky enough to have lots of limestome around my place so I try and use that as much as possible. However, I am after some bluestone to edge the pond and provide a thermal mass that heats up in winter (as well as summer of course) and provides warmth for skinks, lizards etc so they can laze away in creature comfort. Builders hate the stuff ‘cos its so heavy so you may be able to find a builder/landscaper/property owner that is renovating/demolishing a building that contains any stone and pick some up for free?
Thanks porgey.I’ll keep my eyes open.May even run to an ad in the local rag.I guess most old properties in QLD are timber and tin though.I’ll ask around.November 8, 2011 at 12:13 am #513247bluesnipMember
xgeckox post=328953 wrote: Bluesnip: I’m interested in what you said regarding goldfish and frogs. Will native fish discourage frogs from inhabiting a pond? I ask because I’m concerned that if I dont have some kind of fish I would have a problem with mosquitoes..
Mozzies are always a concern. Most native fish are very small, so aren’t so much of an issue for developing tadpoles, though they will often happily eat mosquito larvae.
Its a mine field of misinformation out there regarding native fish and suitable fish for ponds! You can be sold all sorts of illegal things through pet shops (not always knowlingly) and ‘mosquito fish’ (Gambusia) are a pest too. Do your research about native fish in your area and find an ethical supplier. Or go for a small introduced species recommended by your local NRM authority that wont escape into the water ways and become a pest.
If you have a functioning little pond ecosystem, mosquitoes wont be a concern. There are plenty of predatory macro-invertebrates to gobble up the larvae. These will find their own way to your pond in time. Just provide different depths (temperatures) of water and a few different types of plants (submerged, emergent, floating) and you’re well on the way.
Don’t forget some frog-friendly plants around the pond and maybe even a bog garden for the overflow so froggy adults have somewhere to chill out.
It’s often stated that people’s pot saucers are a worse source of mosquitoes and should be filled with sand to avoid breeding mozzies in them. Badly maintained water tanks are also a good source of mozzies.
Oh, and another good tip is to put a strip of shadecloth hanging in the water if you have pond liner – its super slippery and the shadecloth strip allows lizards, beetles and anything else that inadvertently falls in to find a way out again. Including frogs that are starting to grow legs 🙂November 8, 2011 at 2:30 am #513248
Piece of shadecloth ….how good an idea is that!! :tup:
Porgey, we ponders have hi-jacked your thread a bit.Is that OK? I have a few pond questions, may I ask them here, please , or would you prefer me to start a separate thread?November 8, 2011 at 11:33 am #513249
Bluesnip, thanks for such a good post. There are a whole lot of things I had thought about and some I had not even considered. Great info.
Blue Wren, no you certainly havn’t highjacked the thread and please ask any questions that relate to ponds, water and water life in general. The more information about ponds and the flora & fauna they attract the better, as I am, along with many others I hope, trying to provide as much habitat as possible for all things natural around the garden.
The first Butternut Pumpkin seed has germinated in the smaller bed adjacent to the pond hole and with more rain forecast I hope more will germinate before they rot in what is becoming quite sodden soil.
The bottom of the pond hole is pooling with water after all the rain so I hope that is a good omen for maintaining a leak proof pond. There is a drainage reserve at the back of the property which often gets sodden at its lowest point so hopefully the natural hydrology will provide the conditions suitable for creating another more wetland style pond in a lower part of the garden.November 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm #513250
porgey post=329055 wrote: … The first Butternut Pumpkin seed has germinated….
Woo Hoo!!! Brings a smile to my dial every time I see new life!!! (Even weeds and pests are fascinating! :sick: )
porgey post=329055 wrote: …The bottom of the pond hole is pooling with water after all the rain…
Don’t want to punch a hole in the bottom of your pond porgey, but we have what I can my sandpit (A largish hole where I have been excavating granite sand for use elsewhere on the block) and it has water pool in it when there’s been lots of rain. I know it’s just sand, and I know there’s no vegetable matter (so also no gley), so the water will just drain away…. My fingers are crossed that your pond WILL retain it’s precious fluid!November 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm #513251
Thanks porgey for letting me join your thread .My pond is very much “build as you go and hope it works”.I’ll add a couple of pics of work so far.Any thoughts/advice welcome.I know that a pond at the lowest point is more natural but mine won’t be that natural looking and the lowest point is not available!!
I’m going to build up the soil at the back and sides for planting,highest at the back,where I am also going to erect an old weathered fence post to give height and be a “feature”.I’ll need to organise a bit of by planting shade for the ponds.I have salvaged a few rocks from our roadside that washed down in last year’s heavy rain from up the road somehwere!! But I’ll need more and larger,flatter to disguise the feed bin edges etc. as well as low plants there.
The rectangular one is actually level although it doesn’t look it in the pic.
I was thinking of putting a much shallower container in front and downhill of the rectangular one that I could keep boggy, but that’s all extra water I suppose, and I won’t want tall plants there.
I will need to arrange bricks or rocks in the bins to provide some shallower aress.I’m not going to grow water chestnuts in these ponds as Green Harvest recommends them to be grown in a container two thirds full of organic material.There’s an old bath tub “up the back” in DH’s “treasures” area that will do the job! :laugh:
Good to hear your pumpkins are on the go.I bet they will make a bee line for the pond!! :shrug:November 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm #513252
BlueWren post=329062 wrote: …I was thinking of putting a much shallower container in front and downhill of the rectangular one that I could keep boggy, …
Maybe a bit of old builder’s plastic or a pond liner covered over with some old or cheap shade cloth would be the perfect base for your bog BlueWren? Depending on how much plastic you got your hands on, it could wrap around a bit of your feed bins perhaps and help to soften the lines?November 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm #513253
BlueWren post=329062 wrote: … and I won’t want tall plants there…
Oh, and isn’t it all the short carniverous plants that love a good bog?November 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm #513254
Yep Snoopy, first Butternut so thats great, I just hope the slaters dont get at it.
Blue Wren you have such great soil and I look forward to following your pond building posts.November 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm #513255KasaliaMember
Blue wren have you thought about building edges with sand bags, they are fairly cheap and stack well. You can then edge your area and sink the pond bits so you would have a garden with water areas, or put in another plastic bin and make it a boggy area even the bath. Place your rocks here and there and by the time all the plants grow will cover all the edges, bins sandbags and all.November 8, 2011 at 5:20 pm #513256
Thankyou so much for all those ideas.I do have good red soil, as our property used to be a farm many years ago.I sometimes wonder about any residual chemicals but can’t say I’ve noticed any problems and am not going to get soil tests done.I doubt the land has been cultivated for well over fifty years. I will update the pond now and then.One thing I really need to know is the name of suitable plants for in and around the water.I did have a go at a greasy pole rat trap in the meantime but the buggers are just too clever – just wasted more peanut butter!! 🙁
I just love ALS and all the good people who frequent and contribute to it.January 29, 2013 at 11:24 pm #513257XioMember
A great thread. Congrats to all the contributors to date :tup:
XioJanuary 31, 2013 at 1:23 am #513258
Thanks Xio – I had completely forgotten this thread and my contributions to it!! There has been some progress on my pond although six months of bone dry weather didn’t do much for growing plants! We’ve just had over 350mm of rain in three days so that’s no longer a problem! My camera has broken – but I think DH took some pics of the pond recently.
How’s your pond going , Porgey?January 31, 2013 at 10:35 am #513259FishfoodMember
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