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Journal Our (overgrown) garden pond

Wolf6

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18 Dec 2014
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954
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Netherlands
Since my tank isnt in great shape currently and I'm slowly building up to get another tank and rescape the current one, I'll just post my pond instead. We moved into this house about 3 years ago, and 2 years ago we started on redoing the garden (it was an overgrown garden with nothing but tall conifers and grass). One of the first things we wanted was a pond for the kids to get to see all sorts of wildlife, and a trampoline (visible behind the reed). Our youngest son was only 3 at the time (now 5) so we wanted to prevent him being able to accidentally stumble into the deep part of the pond, hence the stone walls around the deep end. There is a little bench there for viewing and maintenance convenience :) The deepest part is about 75 cm, it has several shallower plateaus for various plants, and a 'swampy' zone around the front edges. There is wood decking up front, as seen on the picture. This is basically our view from the living room, with only 2 meters of stone path to the house with tall grasses on the right and a path leading to the left side of the garden.
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As you can see, 2 years later things are taking off. I picked a lot of plants that I knew would run wild, because that is the sort of pond I love, overgrown and sort of natural. There are fish in there too, but none wanted to come out for a picture. 2 golden carp, 5 golden minnows, 5 regular minnows (used to be more but herons got them), and 30+ White Cloud Mountain minnows. There is already plenty of spawn swimming around, but the other minnows are fierce hunters so I wonder if they will grow up. The idea is that the other fish die off and its just white clouds left in the end.
There is no filter or technology involved, just a small fountain that is only turned on when its very warm to get a little circulation going. I take monthly water measurements and correct if neccesary using maerl or specific correcters. There is some hair algea but this far its not too bad. Other inhabitants are lots of green frogs, in spring lots of brown frogs and some toads too. There are at least 12 pond snails, but I rarely see one so I'm not sure they still live. There have been 2 duck mussels added last year, but no idea if those are still there. I'll end this post with a few more pictures :) Sorry for bad quality, just have my phone :) Lots of time is spend by the kids (and me) just lying on the deck and staring into the water.

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This is the edge of the pond, 2 green frogs on the lookout to grab the many flying insects here. Plants are iris siberica, marsilea hirsuta (came out of my tank, survived 3 winters including frost just fine this far), swamp-forget-me-nots, Stachys palustris, water celery, Schizostylis, and no doubt some other ones I'm leaving out :) there is a lot in this pond. Under the surface some Fontinalis here, but its barely visible.

Lilaeopsis brasiliensis.jpg


Lilaeopsis brasiliensis growing well, wonder if its going to get through the winter. Thats all for now :)
 

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zozo

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16 Apr 2015
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Netherlands
Looking nice!!. 💪

Lilaeopsis brasiliensis growing well, wonder if its going to get through the winter.

I've had it surviving a short period under the ice and it remarkably stays green as well. :)
So it's a semi winter hardy plant, depending on how cold and how long... No idea where the critical point is.

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killi69

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8 May 2009
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339
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Milton Keynes
Beautiful pond Wolf. You have got so much going on there. Jealous of the green frogs, wish we had them over here/ this part of UK. Is the Lilaeopsis brasiliensis in a pond basket? What substrate do you use for your marginals?
 

Wolf6

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18 Dec 2014
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Netherlands
The lileopsis is in a sort of bag, I dont know what it is called, its made of coconut fibres. Its basically a bag made out of this coconut fibre rope. It should dissolve in about 3 years, but the plantroots should by then hold most soil in place. Guess we'll see in 2 years from now ;) substrate is a mix of grit, lavasplit and sand with a tiny bit of leftover lily substrate. Around most of the edge its just lavasplit and grit. That is in sort of a trench along the edge of the pond. The rest of the plants are in regular baskets filled with lavasplit, grit and in some I added a few handfulls of lily substrate.
 

rebel

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4 Aug 2015
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Superb looking!

Would you tempted to add a simple waterfall?
 

Wolf6

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18 Dec 2014
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I have considered it a few times, and in fact there is a tiny urn with a fountain in it hidden underneath all that green, but I've not turned it on much last year. I think the urn is leaking, so whenever I turn it on the water level goes down fast. And I'm also too proud of my hortensia's and that is realistically the only space a waterfal could go. :) I may get one of those japanese tumblers or a bowl water feature that overflows into the pond at some stage, because I do enjoy the sound of running water, but its not high on my to do list currently :)
 
Joined
30 Aug 2020
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Bristol
Beautiful pond Wolf. You have got so much going on there. Jealous of the green frogs, wish we had them over here/ this part of UK. Is the Lilaeopsis brasiliensis in a pond basket? What substrate do you use for your marginals?

we unfortunately do have them here, first added to the SE, now can be found across the South, don’t seem to be recorded above a line drawn from Norwich to Bristol, though probably now above that.
 

Wolf6

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we unfortunately do have them here, first added to the SE, now can be found across the South, don’t seem to be recorded above a line drawn from Norwich to Bristol, though probably now above that.
Ah, not native to the UK then? They are native here in NL :) They can be a bit noisy, but nothing that keeps me awake at night luckily :)
 
Joined
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370
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Bristol
Ah, not native to the UK then? They are native here in NL :) They can be a bit noisy, but nothing that keeps me awake at night luckily :)
nope, just one of a number of feral species of amphibian we now have here. Though maybe its a colonisation with assistance from releases, as who knows what species used to walk over doggerland before the North Sea came into being.
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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nr Bath
Hi all,
just one of a number of feral species of amphibian we now have here
I think our feral ones are <"Spanish in origin">. They are common at the RSPB Ham Wall nature Reserve in Somerset, and I've also seen/heard them on the restored section of the old <"Somerset Coal Canal"> at Timsbury and at <"Burton Bradstock"> (Dorset) in the brackish pool a the the back of the shingle ridge. My guess is that London probably has feral populations of several different "Green Frogs" <"at LWC Barnes"> etc.


not native to the UK then
They've decided that the <"Pool Frog was native to the UK">, but recently went extinct, they've re-introduced Scandinavian origin frogs to Norfolk. It has also recently been discovered that we also used to have European Tree Frog (Hyla arborea), but they went extinct in the <"European Little Ice Age">.

@not called Bob have you ever seen the Wall Lizards up on the Downs by the suspension bridge?

cheers Darrel
 

Wolf6

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18 Dec 2014
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Netherlands
Algae are slowly receding as plant mass grows, and the pond is fully overgrown again, but thats how I like it, full of life. I will need to restock on white cloud minnows as they didnt survive the cold last winter. I'm also tempted by rainbow shiners, but I'm not sure if I'd have any frogspawn survive those as they are said to be avid hunters... anyone have experience with them?
Overview on the front of the pond:
20210721_105456.jpg
No idea what this plant is, I thought it was a valisneria when I found it on a riverbank so I put it in the deepest part of the pond where it looked like valisneria for over a year till last year it suddenly came above surface and flowered, so I'm now guessing some sort of sagittaria? Its at 75cm depth so I'm impressed!
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Back end of the pond, with a little bird bath thats often used in spring and during dry spells.

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Overview from the back to front
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And overview from front to back
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