Our annual end-of-summer contest is here, come on down to the Dave's Garden County Fair!

clearing my pond

Scott Bar, CA(Zone 6a)

After fighting a pea soup pond for four years and envying the clarity one can find all over the internet I finally found out about bog filters. Despite dire warnings by a few I finally decided to listen to raves by many and built one about 1/3 the surface area of my pond.

I was sick of my friend's joking question: do you have any fish?

Having spent a fortune on filters, uv, chemicals and a huge amount of labor I went ahead with the final effort before filling in the hole to make another garden.

Since I had a piece of liner large enough left over from my original pond project and a seriously rocky piece of land it was really quite economical to complete.

This pic is very soon after planting the bog plants. Incidentally, the pond was clear 24 hours after turning the pump through the pea gravel before planting anything.

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Scott Bar, CA(Zone 6a)

Three months of super hot weather later the bog is a jungle (obviously getting a huge amount of nutrients and despite a plague of deer browsing) and the water is crystaline. The latest test by the pond shop shows essentially perfect water chemistry. I have treated twice with algaefix for persistent filamentous algae which is now under control.

Just a couple of observations: The water will wick over the sides if the gravel is anywhere close. I would recommend at least 4" of clearance on the sides. Ludwigia and water celery want to choke out everything else! Since the plan is to remove nutrients that may be a good thing.

The upshot of the project has been a great deal of pleasure and zero snide cracks from friends and family!

Bill

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Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

Holy cow! Your water looks great!
I'd love to put in a bog filter, but have no access to rocks. Here in Florida, we pay $20 per rock that's about shoebox sized. No can do.
I've thought about a shallow bog, filled with unpotted plants, like invasive water celery, just to see how well massive root fibers can clear the water?

Scott Bar, CA(Zone 6a)

Mary, I spent ten years in the Florida panhandle and must say that I miss the sandy soil one can actually push a shovel into! You could cope a bog with about anything. A friend did his with 79 cent patio pavers from Home Depot. The two most important things appear to be the plumbing to properly distribute the water and the use of pea gravel. If you have the manifold to adequately distribute the water, even without the gravel, I would think your idea certainly has merit. Even things like water lettuce or hyacinths (if legal where you live) could be added using your idea. Sounds like a fun experiment.

Bill

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Isn't it wonderful when we finally achieve water clarity and can enjoy seeing our fish.

Congratulations-looks great.

Scott Bar, CA(Zone 6a)

You bet it is, Bonnie! I was ready to give up but now I'm loving my pond.
Thanks!

Bill

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Athens, PA

I use bog filters with pea gravel too and swear by them, Bill. I did go with the water celery and it has taken over everything. The next pond will be sans the water celery. I do have excellent water clarity and testing shows that I my parameters are perfect.

Love your pond and your water is so clear. I am glad you didn't give up.

Scott Bar, CA(Zone 6a)

Me too! Had a birthday party last evening on the patio by the pond and had raves about it. Thanks for your comments. I know that water celery is an edible and makes a great addition to soup--but how much can one eat!

Bill

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Decatur, GA

rockminer your pond is spectacular! I commend you for finding a great solution. I would love to add a bog garden to my set up but am not ready to spend the many thousands it would take (just yet)
I too have fought pea soup water and fish infected with flukes etc many times. But in the past season I have found the solution to my problems.
I started the UV lights earlier this year, early March and have been diligent in inoculating the pond with beneficial bacteria. I also stopped flushing my filter regularly. I have done it only about 3 times in the past year.
Things were going well then improved with a new product, photo below.

ps. the pictures are tipped 45 degrees. I asked DG about it and they said it seems to be the iPhones. ?? No comment on maybe fixing the problem. :-

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Scott Bar, CA(Zone 6a)

Helenchild, Your water looks great! Obviously you have found a system that works. I tried uv, barley, external filters, bacteria and a number of various concotions recommended by the pond shop some of which helped in the short run. The bog solved my problems at one lick. It has created at least one new one, however. The bog plants have grown down into the stream and waterfall causing the water to overflow the liner. The pond was about 8 inches down this morning. I'm just now taking a break from clearing that out. The water primrose grows about 3 feet a day putting roots down from every leaf node! Oh well, my clear water is worth having to pay attention to new events. Thanks so much for your input.

Btw, I enjoy your many posts on many other threads as well. You have a wonderful green thumb!

Bill

PS. You can see that the primrose, Ludwigia peploides, has grown 5 feet down from the bog into the pond itself!

This message was edited Aug 21, 2015 12:38 AM

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Scott Bar, CA(Zone 6a)

Pretty yellow flowers though!

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Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

Well drats, I was going to use water celery for my bog-ish type area. But it seems to be everyones nemesis. I bought a few small sprigs last year and all died, so maybe the heat of Florida will keep it under control? I thought about mint, which is invasive in other areas of the country, but I have a hard time in Florida growing it with the heat. Maybe growing it in water will provide what I need?
Bill, do you run your water over the rocks, or under and through the rocks?

Decatur, GA

Thanks Bill,
Judging from your pictures I would say you have a green thumb as well.

Scott Bar, CA(Zone 6a)

Mary, My water is fed through a pvc manifold under 12 inches of pea gravel then over 2 to 3 inch stones in a short steep stream to a waterfall into the pond. When I pulled the ludwigia and water celery from the stream this afternoon the roots were holding a lot of silt. I'm sure that has a lot to do with the clarity of the water. I'm growing peppermint in the bog but in a plunged pot to keep it under control. I'm amazed at how aggresive most of the bog plants are. My most cooperative are zephranthes lilies and Lobelia cardinalis. The forget-me-nots are bushy but showing restraint. Pickerel weed an thalia are large but staying where I put them. Marsh marigolds and rushes are also pretty much staying where I put them. Louisiana iris is plunged in a large pot as I was told they can take over a bog. Not sure how it is in your part of Florida but our summers are extremely hot and plants, like mint, that are problematic in pots seem to thrive in a bog. Spearmint that struggles in a pot when planted by a ditch with flowing water thrives. Thanks for your input and I hope this helps.

Bill

Athens, PA

MM - I believe that Mary (Oberon) does not have the problems with the water celery being invasive, but she also lives in Alaska.....

Scott Bar, CA(Zone 6a)

Helen, I have killed my share of plants! Hopefully my learning curve has improved enough to keep my new plants in a better place.

Bill

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