Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Algae Soup

Our pond, like all ponds, is a continuing saga. Ponds are like that. You think you'll dig a hole, put in a liner, fill it with water, toss in a few plants and sit back in the hammock with a cold soda and reap the fruits of your labor. Then you find you've signed up for a starring role in Mother Nature's soap opera. Solve one pond problem, enjoy the result, and wait for another dilemna to present itself.

When our pond finally thawed, it was mucky with decomposed leaves from last Fall. Then Zelda, who uses the pond as a giant waterbowl, manifested a bacterial infection around her muzzle so we drained all the water from our small pond as a precaution. Sounds simple, yes? Move the outlet hose, ditch the soil, hurriedly extend it with makeshift board-and-plastic-bag channel when it begins flooding, ditch more dirt, try and keep the dogs away from the mud, try to keep your shoes out of the mud...breathe a humungous sigh of relief when you're finished. Filled with clean water last February, it stayed gloriously clear for weeks and weeks. Then visibility gradually disappeared until we could barely see any rocks deeper than eight inches down. The algae were happy with the warm weather and we knew another cleanup was in our immediate future.

So here is our Spring pond in all its green glory--when I can no longer stand to look at it and begin wondering which dog will get an infection first.
A trip to the pond store for ten more feet of hose compatible with our pump and we were able to start emptying it--this time right onto the lawn, no ditching necessary.
Yes, I realize I need more rocks to cover the liner and no, maybe we didn't quite pump out all the dirty water...still, we did okay.

The result is a much clearer pond (although this photo doesn't do it justice) and cleaner rocks. Please notice that some flowers survived the winter and our grass is Irish green.The froggies are still out there croaking in enjoyment and I've bought myself some breathing space as I reinvent the filter and discharge system. (Did I mention that as a puppy, Zelda ate part of the filter liner as cheap afternoon entertainment last Fall and caused a leak?) Then I plan to sit in the new viewing area and enjoy the result. Because they say that once your pond achieves equilibrium, it's fairly easy to upkeep. Of course, they don't say how long that might take...


  1. Always humming5/07/2009 9:56 AM

    If you really want to know about the microbiological successions going on in your pond, I will be happy to tell you (since I just got done teaching all about it). It might be hard to keep the algae away unless your rocks are really, really clean. The decomposing leaves will provide nutrients to the next season's algae, so if you can clean those out before the winter, you can minimize the algae blooms. And microbial activity always increases with an increase in temperature. I warned you!!!

  2. Always humming5/07/2009 9:57 AM

    By the way, the pond looks great! I was hoping to see how it has been evolving.

  3. I was going to ask about a filter but it seems you are on top of it! And it looks fabulous. I would love to hang out there. :)