Re: NANFA-- New Pond & 'Gravel Bog'

Brian Haas (
Wed, 08 Aug 2001 11:01:42 -0500

Sounds awesome, Jeff!

Travis Haas
Hazel Green, WI

At 01:07 AM 8/7/01 -0400, you wrote:
>Another Pond Update
>I'm just about finished with the new pond which includes a 'gravel bog'
>that is somewhat modeled off of Ray's Killi Pond.
>I began this enterprise late in the Spring just prior to my ill fated
>trip to Moon's place. There had been a small hole there - a slop hole
>filled with dead leaves and foul smelling water and some Iris and
>Threesquare sedge that had been a breeding pool for Black Banded
>Sunfishes back in 1997. Now it was only good for breeding mosquitos so I
>cleaned it out and pulled the PVC liner (leftover from the renovation of
>the main pond in 1987. The old liner now does duty as a cover for a sand
>I bought a much bigger 45 mil EDPM liner to line a 20' X 8' hole little
>more than knee deep that is dug into the side of the hill just down
>slope from my main pond. Plus allowed for a good bit of overlap on the
>uphill side to accomodate the bog area that would drain into the pond.
>Digging was an on and off affair hampered by frequent rains and hardpan
>that forced me to alter the origional plan somewhat and use the soil
>excavated from the basin to build up a terrace rather than digging out a
>deeper hole. Looks more artificial than I wanted but I just couldn't
>bear digging anymore.
>After stalling a bit - one weekend about a month ago I got really
>serious about deploying the liner. Used recycled poly liners , and old
>carpet , even straw and sawdust for the underlayment. Then my friend
>Mike & I rolled up the EDPM liner which until that time was helping me
>kill grass in prepairation for a new vegetable bed - and we dragged it
>to the site and deployed it just in time before it started to rain! I
>filled it from the retention pond that I use to store water for
>irrigation and topping off ponds and also doubles as a breeding habitat
>for some of the local amphibians!
>Within a week I was confident about moving the pair of Southern
>Starheads - Fundulus notti that Mark Binkley gave me back during the
>dead of winter. These were to be the guinea pigs to test the waters
>before introducting the other species even though I was fairly confident
>that a month in the sun and rain had surely washed any talc or other
>harmful substances off the liner. They made it and a week later they
>were joined by seven Golden Topminnows - F. chrysotus which now school
>with the starheads.
>Interesting to note that F. notti seems much more sociable than the
>Florida Starheads - F. escambiae I've been working with. They are
>nowhere as aggressive and tend to get beat up by the other. During the
>winter I put a female escambiae in with the pair of notti and found a
>few days later the fins of both notti had beed shredded. They have long
>since recovered but may not breed this season - possibly because they
>were put outdoors at a much later date than the F. escambiae in the
>upper pond from which I already have sizable young!
>The bog which drains into the pond is a pocket of quartz gravel
>("Maryland Beach Stone")and peat with some granite grit and play sand
>added to simulate a seepage bog underlaid with a continuation of the
>liner. This setup is modeled off the gravel bogs that used to be common
>in the mid atlantic region years ago.
>I laid down a geotextile mat and poured gravel on it- I would recommend
>to others who wish to follow in my footsteps to ensure that the gravel
>they use is quartz or some other non-calcareous pebbles like granite or
>possibly lava rock - especially if they want to create a habitat for
>plants and fishes that like acid water. I cut the geomat with enough
>overlap to bring the mat up and over the gravel to keep the mix above it
>from settling into it. Then on top of the upper layer of geotextile I
>stated putting down the gravel and peat / sand / grit slurry in
>alternating strata - like a layer cake. This phase stated last week and
>I used some burlap to cover the peaty substrate to keep rains from
>washing it into the pond.
>Today I got alot closer to the finale as I topped it with some long
>fibered sphagnum and some live moss collected locally. I've begun
>planting it some Iris prismatica, Coreopsis rosea from Lowe's and one of
>the Irises from Maple Hill plus a pitcher plant from my other bog and
>some sundews and the Dwarf Joe Pye weed from Wisconsin last summer.
>There is a moisture gradient from sopping wet to well drained and
>constantly moist - the upper edge ought to be ideal for interesting
>botanical gems like Gentians and Lilium catesbaeii and various bog
>Already the water in the pond below is slowly getting a tannic tinge and
>I'm sure the fishes just love it. Now if I could just get some Taillight
>or Dusky or Sailfin Shiners I'd have a really neat setup strait out of
>the Southland!

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