Establishing A Large Water Feature Or Pond.
Any Advice on establishing my new water feature thats a 10 by 24 metres pond.
One of the main keys in creating a water feature such as a pond or large lake is to achieve a depth and volume of water. This might sound an obvious requirement but its often overlooked. The reason for this is that it will help even out the waters temperature through out the year. You often find that smaller ponds in particular shallow ones the water temperature rises quickly in the summer, limiting the oxygen available to water plants and fish, then in the winter the temperature plummets very quickly and this can often shock both plants and fish.
Once the water feature is built the next possible problem is an excess of nitrogen in the water. This is either from the mains water the pond has been filled with or in the case of a naturally created pond etc from the clay base or soil around the edges.
This excess nitrogen fuels the growth of algae and uses up all the available oxygen in the water. This is when the water turns green especially in June/July when light levels or at there highest.
To remove the excess nitrogen one method is to add some straw or hay in half or full bales in a larger water feature or in net bags in small water features. This causes the bacteria and other micro organisms in the water to go into over drive trying to break down the straw or hay and in doing so they use up all the available nitrogen in the water leaving none for the algae creating clear water.
one point worth mentioning at this stage is if you are creating some planted areas or seeding/turfing be careful not to allow any of the base fertilizers you use to wash into the water feature because this will raise the nitrogen levels in the water.
If the water does turn green and you are looking for a quick solution there are a number of products on the market such as liquid barley extract which can be added to the water.
Next to maintain the balance you need to plant the water feature up with a range of plants aquatic and marginal these will help remove naturally accruing nitrogen and will maintain a balance in the water as we as encouraging wildlife and providing natural food for any fish.
With regards to adding fish to your water feature ideally your water feature needs to be a descent size. There are many type of fish you can add to a pond or lake however one of the best from the point of view of interest and entertainment value has to be the carp or fish in the same family such as Golden Orfe and Koi. This is because these fish love to bask in the shallows on a warm spring and summers day and so you will be able to see them. In the case of other fish such as tench, roach and other common fish you might stock your water feature with these fish and never see them again as they do not come to the surface much.
Main people consider stocking there water feature with trout however only the largest lake will produce enough oxygen to support these fish
One of the most important items in relation to stocking your water feature with fish is to consider the local heron population as they can clear a pond in an evening. The key with herons is to place a statue or number of status of herons next to the pond or lake before it is stocked with fish and ideally before the pond is filled with water. The reason for this is that herons are very territorial and once they see that a certain pond or lake has a resident heron they tend not to visit it. If however you place a status of a heron at your water feature after a local heron has visited then the local heron will investigate and find what it thought might be a threat to his or her territory is in fact a statue. . For More information click here