More pondless waterfall questions...

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

I've just been reading some of the old threads on pondless waterfalls, and still I have some questions. We used to have a very big pond in AZ, but now that we have downsized in CO, I want to re-do a small pond that we inherited here. I don't wish to have fish anymore (too hard on them, too expensive in the winter, too much maintenance...), so we wish to convert this little pond into a more natural pondless (and fishless) waterfall. It will be small, not much bigger than it currently is, but we're using native rocks (we have TONS!) So, my questions are: do I need a filter if there are no fish? And what size pump do you think we need?

Thumbnail by bsavage
Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

That picture is too small. I'll try to take another pic tomorrow... any advice is very much appreciated!

Brenda

Brenda

My only concern without a filter is that your pump will get clogged....

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

We have a pump in our deep end that has a cage around it to keep out the larger stuff. We have to monitor it to keep it clean so the pump doesn't suck dry. No problems really. If there is enough bacteria to keep the algae down, or if no fish, then you can use (gasp) chemicals. Are you thinking of a skimmer with a mesh pad Carolyn to keep the growing stuff out of the pump.

ms - not me, Brenda asked the question.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

So mstella, are you saying that you don't have a filter... just a cage around your pump?

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Brenda, we have three pumps. One sits at the deep end @ 4'. It is designed the block out stuff from the impellers. Then I have two in the skimmer, one feeling the falls and one feeding a UV. There is a basket and filter pad in the skimmer.

Carolyn, I guess I was asking what you would suggest to keep Brenda's pump from getting clogged in absence of a skimmer arrangement.

oh - duh! I seem to have more and more of the duh moments......(sorry about that!)

we have the base of the pump enclosed in two of the waterlily baskets that are put together around the pumps and then the electrical strapping is used to keep them together around the pump.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

that's a great idea. I keep trying to come up with ways to do things that don't involve buying something -- use what we have, of which there is a huge pile...lol. I cut back my lily buckets from 10 to three last fall so am rolling in those neat mesh baskets.

I am sure there are times when DH feels we should cut back on the amount of waterlilies. We had 20 pots. I have 2 special waterlilies that needed dividing this past Spring and we thought we would increase both of those waterlilies if for some reason we lost them. So, now we have 22 pots, but they are only lifted from the pond twice a year.....

Thumbnail by Carolyn22
Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Beautiful lily, Carolyn! Thanks again for all of your thoughts on this!

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

the 'footprint' of my pond is too small to accommodate that many. They would cover the entire bottom of my pond. And I would never see my fish as even with what I have the pond is 85% covered with the pads. Your lily is gorgeous. I only have one color til this year. I have four (new colors plus a hardy lotus) coming from TWL soon and so will add pots for them, which is why I got rid of so many last fall to make room.

I probably have somewhere between 35-50% coverage with that many pots of waterlilies. The coverage helps to keep the pond cool in the summer and also provides places for the fish to hide - I am between 2 rivers and we frequently will see herons fly from one river over head to the next.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Ah, snack time in transit for the herons. I don't have any predator problems and the water is obviously naturally cool even in the sun. Although I am more attentive this year to taking water temps out of curiosity. Am interested in the variance between the deep end 4' and the shallow +2'. Damien says there shouldn't be much as the pumps and falls rather standardize the temp. Maybe I get more foliage due to the constant sun. I remove the browning ones, but seems like there are more pads than flowers. I use the tabs from TWL as fertilizer. Also, since the pads cool the water, they also cool the tubers in the pots. Wonder if that would lower the flowering rates. So many questions and such a variance in circumstances over the countryside to allow for. TWL says that most of the lilies I have should be in about 12-18" of water but mine sit on the bottom at about 24-30". I still really value what is going on 'outside' as it gives ideas that sure aren't coming from up here. I am taking the Master Gardener's classes this fall to try to branch out (lol, no pun intended) into the gardening community here. I really am a hermit (curmudgeon my husband says.) Just me, my garden and my fish. And well, gerbils, frog, hamsters. Love little creatures, except of course, the miserable meeces out doors.

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