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Natural pond advice

 
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Dear fellows,

I've read with great interests the topics on pond sealing, watched Sepp's videos and all the videos I could find online.

I am looking forward to create a series of interconnected ponds on a flat land with a 4 seasons climate (Eastern Europe) with hot summers (40C/104F) and cold windy winters (down to -25C/-13F).
Being new to the whole permaculture concepts (which I find quite fascinating) I would like to kindly ask you for advise on this matter.

The property has a rectangular shape (about 17 acres) and I am dreaming about making enough ponds to establish a microclimate there that would normalise the extremes weather conditions I've mentioned and make the hole 'water is life' principle a reality.
There is plenty of rain in spring and autumn, some in winter. Some summers are quite dry though. The property neighbours a small seasonal spring that dries in the summer.
The soil has plenty of clay under the fertile layer, mixed with sand and dirt (is not pure clay). The first drinkable water layer is roughly 7-10m deep underground

Please advise on the following:

1. What dimensions to consider in one pond, how deep should they be, how wide. I would also like to be able to farm some fish in them.

2. Would it be enough to seal the ponds by compacting the clay in the soil? If so please advise on what mechanical equipment would do the job at this scale. Also, how would I seal the sides of the pond?

3. Would rain water be enough or should I also consider extracting water with pumps from a well?

4. Anything else a newbie should consider pertinent to this project ?

Thank you,
Rares

 
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Hi. I have a similar situation. 12 ac plus my daughter's 4 ac, and I want to build ponds. My acreage is a triangle on mtn side with house at the top and apex, ideal for cascading ponds, but we bought before I knew about permaculture-- it faces NE to SE or generally east. I have similar Q's. I know that pond has to be 9 feet deep to prevent algae growth. Pigs can seal a pond very well I've heard. We just killed our 300 pound Pigby and are looking forward to charcuterie in about 9 mos. I'm thinking that I'll need another water well drilled and if I could power it with wind, that would be nice. $$ I'm fascinated by swales and like Geoff Lawton and Molson. Good luck with your farm. I'll be looking for other responses to your post. ~stilus
 
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Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7B/8A
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Rares Pop wrote:Dear fellows,




1. What dimensions to consider in one pond, how deep should they be, how wide. I would also like to be able to farm some fish in them.

2. Would it be enough to seal the ponds by compacting the clay in the soil? If so please advise on what mechanical equipment would do the job at this scale. Also, how would I seal the sides of the pond?

3. Would rain water be enough or should I also consider extracting water with pumps from a well?

4. Anything else a newbie should consider pertinent to this project ?

Thank you,
Rares



I think one of the main concerns in deciding on the size/depth of a pond is that it not freeze solid in the winter. This is especially important for raising fish.
Where I live, 18 inches / 45 cm is plenty, but for you you may need to go down 3 ft / 1m or more to prevent freezing.
Check ponds near you this winter if possible to determine what is appropriate for your area.

As for clay in the soil, it really depends on what percentage of clay there is, amount of average rainfall,etc. What scale do you imagine you will want?
Seal the sides the same way as the bottom. To do this you have to make sure the sides are not too steep. Make long slopes to the bottoms, not steep like
a bowl. This will also help to keep animals from being trapped in your ponds.

Take some of the clay soil and put it in a bucket with numerous holes drilled in the bottom, put water in, see how long it takes the water to drain out.
This will give you an idea of how well the native clay soil will hold water.

Try to use rainwater to be the main if not the only supply. This makes the most sense. Pumping requires energy. Design the surrounding landscape so that run off is directed
towards ponds.




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