bentonite instead of liner

Hampton, GA(Zone 7b)

Has anyone used bentonite in their water garden? It's a natural clay product that is supposed to keep water from seeping into the ground.

Polson, MT(Zone 5b)

We've used bags & bags of bentonite in our 1/2 acre pond trying to find a leak! The leak isn't as bad as it used to be! The nearby farmer uses it in his ditch (runs through the mountains for about 3 miles) to slow down the leakage. It works to a degree, but the ditch still leaks enough underground down the hillside to fill up several ponds on our property!

Crofton, MD(Zone 7a)

I've never heard of anyone have satisfactory results with bentonite in a graden pond. A stream fed, large field pond yes.

T

Hampton, GA(Zone 7b)

Thanks Terry...do you know WHY it wouldn't work in a garden pond when it will work in a large field pond?

Crofton, MD(Zone 7a)

The main drawback that I have read and heard about is leakage. A fluctuation in depth will cause the clay to dry out around the edge of a pond. The clay shrinks in the drying process and more water is lost. So, unless you have a fresh water supply like a stream or an automatic filler you will have a constant water loss problem. The roots of uncontained water plants will penetrate the clay, causing even more water loss. In a large field pond the surrounding area is used as a watershed to refill the pond. In most garden ponds we try and prevent rain runoff from entering the pond because it contains pesticides and fertilizers from the neighboring yards.

On a more positive note; bentonite is suppose to be very good for your fish. It promotes good health and enhances color intensity.

Not an expert, just sorta parroting what Iíve heard!

T

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