• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Mike Haasl
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • James Freyr
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • jordan barton
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • Greg Martin
  • Leigh Tate

Justification for a pond? ('cause I love them!!)

 
Posts: 36
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello!

I am starting a homestead project- chickens and guinea fowl are here and the gardens are going in soon. Rabbits in about a month and Toggenbergs next year.

I have always wanted a pond but I would like each element that I add at this point to have a reasonable and practical purpose. Is there one for a pond? I love ponds and have always wanted one but am having a hard time justifying one for the amount of work that would end up going into it.

Also, if I go ahead with a pond, there will be no pumps or electric filters; how do people keep their ponds clean?

Thank you for the tips
 
pollinator
Posts: 442
Location: Pennsylvania Pocono Mt Neutral-Acidic Elv1024ft AYR41in Zone 5b
27
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My reasons for installing a ponds are many. Aquatic foods are paramount. My grey water system will be feeding the ponds, aquatic plants, and bare soil will be cleaning the water. I also want a wet home for beneficial critters like fish, frogs, snakes, turtles , etc. One thing I have always wanted was to attract and house bats for conservation and insect control. In my area bodies of water are crucial for bats. If you really want an expert "justification" for a pond I would recommend videos by Sepp Holzer on his waterworks.
 
gardener
Posts: 900
Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7B/8A
49
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Sophie Thomas wrote:Hello!

I have always wanted a pond but I would like each element that I add at this point to have a reasonable and practical purpose. Is there one for a pond? I love ponds and have always wanted one but am having a hard time justifying one for the amount of work that would end up going into it.

Also, if I go ahead with a pond, there will be no pumps or electric filters; how do people keep their ponds clean?

Thank you for the tips



I don't know where to start! lol

Practical purposes for ponds:
1. Water storage / catchment in general
2. water for animals wild & domesticated.
3. Fire protection. (keep some buckets nearby, put out fires faster than with a garden hose)
4. Temperature and environment moderation, microclimate creation.
5. Emergency water for power outages (flushing toilet, bathing, etc)
6. Raising fish as hobby / food
7. Ornamental beauty.

Those are some practical purposes off the top of my head.

Justifying work:

The reasons above. Also, the amount of work is tied to how large the pond is.
I've hand dug and built small ponds by myself in two days that fill all of the purposes above.
There is a vast difference in the time and work to build a small pond 6-10 feet wide and 2-3 feet deep than a 1/4 acre pond.

Amount of work to maintain:

The bigger the pond, generally the less work. Larger ponds can better support aquatic life cycles and tend to self moderate better.
A smaller pond is harder to keep flora and fauna balanced- There would be more need to intervene (scoop out overgrowth of plants or filter the water if there are large numbers of fish,etc)

That said, I have a couple of small ponds, that are only 2-3 feet deep that really balanced and require almost no work beyond tossing a few pinches of fish food for the goldfish. Native wood frogs (rana sylvatica) have colonized on their own and they eat any mosquito eggs. Floating surface plants keep algae from forming.
I had no pumps in these ponds until a neighbor surreptitiously added goldfish to them, and then only put in some cheap submersible pumps just to add a bit of oxygenation.






 
Posts: 181
Location: Central Ohio, Zone 6A - High water table, heavy clay.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Researching the option of putting in a pond as well... but 1/4 acre seems more the size i was thinking. We have some soggy soil issues that could hopefully be addressed in part by a pond and some water diversion.

My main concern is being able to build a self-sustaining ecosystem in there so that things don't go bad (algae over-growth, etc.).

Following this thread with interest!
 
Posts: 171
4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have a large pond that, in a dry summer like last year went down dramatically, allowed us to drag out several hundred wheel barrows full of organic matter in various degrees of decomposition, which we've used as a sheet mulch for several hundred square feet of new gardens.

We also have two smaller ponds for ornamentals, lotus, water lily and a variety of "floaters". Cheap little goldfish are used for mosquito control. They produce tons of biomass which goes on the gardens in the fall, and nutrient rich water which can be fed to any plants you want to give a boost.

Of course beauty is a perfectly valid function that feeds the spirit. And they can be fabulous stages for photographing wildlife.
DSC07561.jpg
[Thumbnail for DSC07561.jpg]
DSC07573.jpg
[Thumbnail for DSC07573.jpg]
DSC07692.jpg
[Thumbnail for DSC07692.jpg]
 
Story like this gets better after being told a few times. Or maybe it's just a tiny ad:
Rocket Mass Heater Plans - now free for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/7/rmhplans
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic