September 29, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:




Hello Carolyn,

I am getting ready to install a new pond and I am trying to
figure out what size pump I need. I am going to have two
different pools, a lower one and higher one. The lower one is
going to be about 3,000 gallons and the top one (approx. 600 gal)
will have a waterfall 2' wide, that flows derictly into the
bottom one. What size pump do I need?

Another question, I have heard that an old piece of carpet works
fine for a underlayment for the liner. Is this true or will
it eventually start molding and smelling?


- John

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Hi, Gail,

The old belief was that you should use old carpet or newspaper
for underlayment before putting down the liner, but since then we
found it has attracted rodents and other pests. That led to
holes bitten or dug into the liner! So, my advice on that is to
rake and clear the ground well and forget about the old carpet.
There are companies that make underlayment for liners which are
not rodent-attractors.

As for the pump, you didn't say how much higher the head pond
will be so I can't give you anything like exact sizing for pumps,
but look for one that will turn over 2,000-3,000 gallons an hour.
You will want to find a pump that runs on the least amount of
electricity for the most power so check the amperage. Did you
look at MacArthur Water Gardens website? Plenty of pumps to
choose from there. The secret is to combine the two ponds and
figure on turning over the entire water once an hour. If you are
planning on stocking with koi, think about getting the next size
(bigger) pump and filter. Better safe than sorry!

Did I mention that the water from the bottom pond should feed the
top pond?

- Carolyn



I also live in Canada and have found that we need a depth of 24
inches in order for the fish to survive. My question is will this
years' baby goldfish survive. It seems my mature ones were very
prolific and I now have at least 40 little fry swimming around
right now.

- Susan



As if in answer to Susan, this just came in from Brian:

I can help you out on this one. Yes they will over winter just
fine if she does the correct preparation. I take 2" Styrofoam SM
and cut the edges to the shape of the shore of my pond. Then I
lay it on top of the water leaving an opening in it for the pond
heater of about 20" across. The hole is larger than the heater. I
then install an aquarium bubbler into the water, fairly high up,
to help gas off any ammonia. By laying the Styrofoam SM on top of
the water, it helps keep the power bill down, as I am not trying
to heat the world, only the pond.

I have done this for 5 or more years now and it works absolutely
fantastic and I have as many as 15 to 20 goldfish in my pond of
all ages.. Don't feed the fish, keep the heater and bubbler
going and your little friends will be just fine in the spring. In
NB they get a lot more snow than we do, so the frost line won't
be near as deep as ours in Alberta. I even heat the smaller
shallow side of the pond with only a trouble light placed in a
small Rubbermaid tub with pea gravel in the bottom to help it
sink into the water, the pea gravel also absorbs heat from the
light bulb and makes a more consistent heat transfer.. There you
have it, some more ideas. Tell Phyllis to make absolute sure
that the opening at the top stays open, they can get huge amounts
of snow there. The snow will help insulate, but may also cause
the hole in the top of the pond to close over.

Happy winterizing.
Brian Champion,

Note: Thank you, Brian, and all who responded to the Overwintering
in Canada article!

- Carolyn


Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens

MacArthur Water Gardens
PO Box 3628
Alpharetta, GA 30023-3628

Posted by bfogle at September 29, 2005 06:31 PM