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Filtering the water of a newly made wildlife pond

Hi all,

Last year I built a clay pond. Usually the clay settles and the water clears very quickly.

However, we edged the pond with some loam based topsoil. Since, the water just hasn't cleared. I'm thinking of some way to filter the water temporarily, so perhaps a filter pump but in the short-term just to get the water clear as I wouldn't normally use one in a wildlife pond.

I suspect the problem is the very fine loam particles just stay in suspension in the water and will never settle.

I've also thought of introducing plenty of pond snails as they may do the job in time.

Any thoughts on how to get the loam out of the water or to get it to settle? I now regret using the loam at all, but we live and learn. image



  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    It'll be run off from the topsoil Gemma, and your'e right the particles do take a good while to sink. I'd scrape back any top soil and use aquatic compost on the edges, then plant it up asap to become stable. Once the roots get into the edges you'll get less run off. It will settle but it's going to take some time.

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    Thanks Dave, I think we helped the situation a little by turfing round the edge. It seemed very odd laying turf around a pond in January, but I thought at the time the soil at the edge was washing into the pond and turfs might help the situation. It has been very murky in there for months now. It is tea coloured , so I guess it is soil particles and not algae. 

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 750

    What I've done with my pond is to attach the overflow from my water butt to a pipe I buried, the pipe then pops up just to feed into the pond. I also added a 'T' junction to that pipe so I can empty the whole water butt into the pond from the bottom tap. Essentially I can can refresh the whole of the water in the pond in 4 normal showers. If the water looks a bit cloudy I just empty one of the water butts. It works a treat. I couldn't attach both butts directly so I just run the hose out to the butt that sits on the drive. The nutrients don't get a chance to build up. By the way, great plants for stabilising soil are Salad & Great Burnet they've got very fine roods and salad burnet is great in salads as well as being a native evergreen.

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 750

    By the way, if you pond is for wildlife, the last thing you want to do if to filter it. 

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    I understand about not filtering a pond for wildlife, I wouldn't normally and was only thinking of it as short-term possibility to clear the water.

    I have two water butts that feed the pond, one runs directly to the pond and is usually left to overflow the pond. The second  butt overflows into the first, so I can have a full water butt held in reserve and just switch the hose if needed.

    I found a possible cure today, the addition of bentonite clay in solution may be effective according to one website I was reading.

    It should bond with the particles and get them to settle. I have several bags left over from when we built the pond (we used it as a natural liner) so I spent a good couple of hours running the solution out of one of the butts into the pond. We have newts in there but its is pH neutral and should be safe. Just need to give it a few days and see if it worked. image 

    I'm quite hopeful because when it had a lot of bentonite in it during the build it went clear a couple of days later, I didn't put two and two together and realise why at the time.


  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    Got to be worth a try Edd if it doesn't clear soon. image

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    There doesn't seem to be much improvement yet after adding the bentonite solution, perhaps I need to be more patient!

    I thought Barley Straw might be hard to get hold of, I'm sure I tried to find it a few years back and couldn't.

    The good news is these days it can be bought on Amazon already in net bags to put in the pond. Ordered a few today.image

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