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Posts tagged ponds

Building Natural Ponds Book is Released

Pond building was not entirely new to me when I decided to build a large pond ten years ago. I had built a few small traditional ponds in the past, and my previous project was a large, multi-level waterfall and pond combination. These had all followed traditional designs and used pumps to keep the water clean. My new pond would be in an area that did not have electricity, and I didn’t really want to run a new hydro line to the location. I wondered, is it possible to build a natural pond with no electricity?

After much research it became clear that all of the experts agreed – it was not possible to make a lined pond without pumps and filters. That made no sense to me and I decided to prove the experts wrong. Move ahead 10 years and I have not only built such a pond, but have become somewhat of an expert on the subject. After writing a few articles for magazines like Mother Earth News, a publisher approached me to write the first book on natural ponds.

I am very happy to announce its release; Building Natural Ponds, by Robert Pavlis.

Building Natural Ponds, by Robert Pavlis

Building Natural Ponds, by Robert Pavlis

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Beneficial Pond Bacteria – A Waste of Money

I was reading some gardening Facebook posts and a lady said she buys beneficial pond bacteria for her pond and adds them weekly. WOW! That was news to me. I’ve had a man-made pond for over 8 years that works just fine without added bacteria. I must be missing something important?

Truth be told – I smelled another gardening myth. Let’s have a look.

Beneficial pond bacteria for ponds - koi

Beneficial pond bacteria for ponds – koi

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Pond Pumps and Pond Filters

About 7 years ago I started developing various water features, both garden ponds and water falls. As part of my research I found consistent comments like the following:  you can’t make a natural pond using a pond liner without pumps and filters. The use of the word ‘natural’ here refers to the pond filtration system, not the esthetic look of the pond. I’ll deal with esthetics in a future post on how to build ponds.

In a natural pond the water, soil, plants, and animals all live in harmony. No one comes along to clean the pond or to aerate it. There is no big man-made filtration system that keeps the water clean. The common advice is that a pond liner is artificial and a pond built with it will never reach a natural state where the water, plants, and animals live in harmony the way they do in a natural pond. If you don’t filter such an unnatural pond it will become full of algae and the water will be dirty and smelly. The only way to have a pond with a liner is to add aeration and filtration.

Is this really true? Do you need pumps and filters to provide artificial pond filtration?

pond pumps and pond filters

Author’s pond at Aspen Grove Gardens (1 st year)

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