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pond problems

 When I came back from my holidays  last October the bottom of my new pond was covered in pretty red leaves. I decided to leave them in thinking that surely nobody goes cleaning ponds in forests and that life, eventually, finds its way ( I now know I made a mistake and my pond became too rich in nutrients)
This spring algae took over the pond and eventually gave in and installed a water fountain when the water started to smell badly. It did sort the smelly problem but not the algae.
I was however wondering if it's the water fountain what's stopping any bugs coming to use the pond.  A frog appears everynow and then and hides in a quiet corner and there is loads of tiny snails that I return to the pond every time I fish the algae out. Other than that I've never noticed anything.
Also, all the stuff at the bottom of the pond seems to be clumping up and starting to float and the liner is visible again. What could be causing this? Should I be putting some form of soil/ pebbles in the pond so plants have something to hold onto... surely the need something to feed from orther than water.

Sorry for the long post and thanks for reading :)


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,915
    Having a pond that is both a fish pond and a wildlife pond is a tricky balancing act.

    The water has to be clean enough for the fish to be happy but sufficiently “dirty” to be attractive to all the other wildlife that makes up a wildlife pond.

    The fish create poo, which is fertiliser. This builds up over time and encourages algae. But it also feeds waterplants.

    To complicated matters, the pond changes according to the weather (heavy rain can change the Ph of the water), the temperature and the seasons. So your trying to help things as they are at one snapshot moment can actually result in the opposite effect further down the line.

    Your fountain will provide some oxygen for the fish but also for the other, perhaps undesirable, elements in the water. You don’t give the size of your pond. Smaller ponds are more temperamental and likely to change from “nice” to “smelly” more quickly than large ones.

    Install a filter, keep it going, keep it clean and, over time, the water quality will improve.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • thanks Pansyface. Pond is small (about 2 by 1 metres) and very shallow (not quite a foot at it's deepest). It's not for fish, just for whatever come around to my garden. Birds play with it in the morning.
    But yes, every couple of weeks there's a new problem in it. I was so frustrated mid summer that I nearly covered it with soil.
    Now water is crystal clear, so hopefully it's found some balance... time will tell I guess.

  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,915
    Ah, I see.

    At a foot deep, the main problem is going to be temperature control. Hot water in summer, frozen ice in winter. Not many things are going to be happy with that as a permanent home. 

    Think of it as a giant birdbath, maybe. 🙂
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • I supose.
    I'll see what I can do about the ice. Now that you mentioned it  sometimes cleaning the pump from the algae, the water was rather warm...
    Well, it's there for whatever wants it... hopefully the plants will survive, water mint and forget me nots, seem quite happy there for now.
    Thanks for you help... I would've liked a deeper pond but the clay was too hard to dig, maybe I could raise with stones or something for next year

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,201
    I hope the water mint is in a pot. It'll become rampant if it isn't.  :/
    Having some floating plants can help with the temperature of the water.  Some watercress chucked in when the water warms up in spring will help with that. 
    I use a piece of polystyrene, with a concave side underneath, attached to a wire, which I anchor at the side during winter. That creates a small pocket of ice free water. Mine would be useless every winter if I didn't do that. It's also a small pond in clay - about 18 inches deep in the centre. I used a pickaxe to dig it out once it got hard to  do with a spade  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • never thought of a pickaxe!
    Maybe I should put the beach umbrella in front of the pond the warmest days...
    I'll try floating plants next year, being so shallow I didn't dare buying any. The ones I have are marginals. Even the oxygenator has spread out of the water. Looks beautiful in the edges stuck around the stones.
    And the water mint is out of a pot (gets a trim every two weeks or so) because yes, it grows like there's no tomorrow and the algae seem to love the roots.
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