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Pond in School in Churchtown / Nutgrove


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MisseyB
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:17 am    Post subject: Pond in School in Churchtown / Nutgrove Reply with quote

I've recently taken over the maintenance of a courtyard garden in the Good Shepherd National School in Churchtown / Nutgrove.

We've made a lot of progress with the beds but we're at a loss about the pond. Unfortunately all of the fish, that were there for years, died last year but we're at a loss as to how to fix the situation.

We'd love if someone could spare 20mins some morning and give us some advice on how to get the pond healthy again.

All the best
Elaine
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ponddigger
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:16 pm    Post subject: pond Reply with quote

hi, any photos .some one might be able to help you Very Happy ponddigger Very Happy
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tippben
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any idea why the fish died? Could be cold weather, in which case replace the fish, overstocking leading to lack of oxygen, or it could be pollution.
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djh
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A water test kit would be a good start. If there are high levels of ammonia it would explain why the fish died. If not it is going to be harder to sort out.
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ponddigger
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:20 am    Post subject: pond Reply with quote

hi e has the pond any water running in to it ,like a little stream , Very Happy ponddigger Very Happy
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MisseyB
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there. Thanks for all the replies. I'll take some photos next week and upload them.

There is a fountain in the centre of the pond but since my daughter started in September it hasn't been on. As far as i know it does work. Does it need to be on all the time?

All the best
E
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djh
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A pond needs two things, an oxygen supply and removal of nitrates caused by fish waste. If the pond is big and a small number of fish there is enough oxygen absorbed at the water surface to replace the oxygen used by the fish. If the oxygen has to be provided by mechanical means then it has to stay running all year. To save electricity a small oxygenator can be used to replace a filter pump/ fountain setup in the winter.
Filtering to remove nitrates is different. It only has to operate when the fish are being fed which is usually when the water is warmer than about10c.
Oxygenating plants have a dual function, they absorb nitrates and produce oxygen but their activity is reduced in winter.
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vulkan
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding the fountain, djh is right, but the fountain may be part of a biological filter set up.

Have a look round to see are there any black or green "boxes with pipes" round or close to the pond, if so, please take pictures of them.

There may also be a waterfall, but we will see from the pictures.
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MisseyB
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi All

Photographs of pond as promised. Sorry Vulkan, only saw your post after i took the photos. There is a green box with pipes close to the pond but it's not connected to water or power. The guy who maintains the school says it's separate to the fountain, which does work but is switched off.

A lot of leaves have been blown into the pond but there isn't normally that much debris in the pond.

All the best
E



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djh
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It doesn't look as if the fountain has worked for some time. Water lilies won't grow close to a working fountain. However there seems to be quite a lot of vegetation and that should be enough to keep a small number of fish healthy in that size of pond.

The pond doesn't seem to be very deep. A shallow pond can be too cold for fish in winter and in summer there can be too much algae. Algae grows on the bottom in shallow water and then floats to the top. Algae absorbs oxygen when it decomposes so there can be short term oxygen depletion, especially at night, when oxygenating plants are dormant. .
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vulkan
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "green box" sounds interesting, any chance of a picture?

As for fish dying, too many variables to be definitive. But I would say:

Agree with djh

Pond water test should be carried out

May have been designed to have bio filter and UV running (green box)

Something may have got in the pond that shouldn't

-------------------------

Its not normally a good idea to clean the pond this time of year, but if you think there is nothing alive in it (other than plants) You would do your self a favour by pumping all the water out and giving the pond a good clean.

Any decaying matter put it on the compost heap, sort through any plants and get rid of any that look "weedy"

Any rubbish / foreign objects should be removed.

Give liner a gentle clean (water and soft brush works well, I use a plastic dustpan and brush for mine)

Refill and put plants you want to keep back.

Tap water will be ok to refill with as there are no fish going in.
Also take dimensions of pool, pictures would also be good (as its empty and being refilled)

I have found that most "natural ponds" do work until you put fish in them. I.e let any wildlife move in that wants to and leave it at that.
Fish look nice, but do need room to grow and also they produce a lot of waste, hence its always best to have a bio filter and UV.

But next thing clean pond and see what you find.
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ponddigger
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:08 pm    Post subject: pond Reply with quote

hi e.here is a good book on ponds, Very Happy ponddigger Very Happy


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vulkan
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Vulkan thinks]

Q) Why would some one on a forum about ponds want to buy a book about ponds?

A) They don't need a book, its so some one get get their post count up / have the last word (as usual)

[/thinks]
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MisseyB
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:00 pm    Post subject: thank you Reply with quote

Thank you so much for the fantastic advice.

I think a clean out sounds like a good idea. i don't know if i'll be able to do it because i'm doing the courtyard with a 2.5 year old in tow who'd just love to dive into a mucky pond if he sees his mother in there.

I'll keep you posted.

Thanks

E
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vulkan wrote:
Q) Why would some one on a forum about ponds want to buy a book about ponds?

are you querying why someone interested in ponds would have books on the subject?
if someone is asking for advice on ponds, a book recommendation is not an unwelcome suggestion; i think you're trying to turn this into something it is not.
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