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Water Gardens: bentonite instead of liner

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Forum: Water GardensReplies: 4, Views: 235
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lacemosaic
Hampton, GA
(Zone 7b)

February 18, 2001
3:52 AM

Post #1472

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.
duckweed
Polson, MT
(Zone 5b)

February 18, 2001
10:54 PM

Post #52850

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!
TerryN68
Crofton, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 19, 2001
12:36 PM

Post #52962

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

T
lacemosaic
Hampton, GA
(Zone 7b)

February 25, 2001
3:40 AM

Post #54135

Thanks Terry...do you know WHY it wouldn't work in a garden pond when it will work in a large field pond?
TerryN68
Crofton, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 26, 2001
11:52 AM

Post #54363

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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