NANFA-- pond, stream and sand

Crail, Todd (
Mon, 3 Jun 2002 13:12:07 -0400

Hello all,

Well my native gardening is coming right along. The wet-prarie design
that I posted a couple weeks ago has been working out very well. The
soil has stayed very saturated without any additional water or rain...
I'm excited to see if the rain we're having today will flood it. It was
exciting to smell the lovely smell of sulfur (noting that the soil is
wet enough to be completely anaerobic) when I added some new plants to
it over the weekend :)

I'm also very excited to use this design to create a flooded wetland as
a rush dominated garden with forbs like pickerelweed, arrowhead and blue
flag iris to add some extra color. I'd like to see standing water of
4-6 inches. In there, I plan on keeping mudminnows and possibly some
other species that had been mentioned when I inquired about this last
time. I'll be photo-documenting all of this so others may do this is it
piques their interests...

Now for the fun stuff :)

The pond/stream... I've built ponds before but they were horribly
sterile systems that relied on UV to see in, which is not what I want to
do. I really liked the design of the Dace stream that was in this last
AC, and I am going to follow with it. Thanks to the fella who submit
that (can't remember your name right now :)

I noticed that he had used sand as a substrate in the system. As I'm
tearing down my reef aquariums, I'm going to have an incredible amount
of carbonate sand that, well, I'm going to kill. I seeded the sand with
grundge from Live Rock boxes and it's crawling with critters that keep
the sandbed moving (various types of detritivores). I've not found
anyone who was willing to pay for even the cost of the sand, and since
it was so expensive, I'm just going to convert it and use it again for
native critters. It will help buffer the system as well, as the water
bodies around here have a pH that runs about 7.9-8.2 with all the

There's a fair amount of phosphate and nitrogen locked up in the sand
and I guess this is my question.

- Have any of you on the list used sand in ponds?
- Did you seed it with any substrate from nearby bodies of water?
- How long did it take for the sand to begin become populated and how
did you go about monitoring the population densities?
- Advantages/Disadvantages you've found if you had used sand?

I'm pretty certain that after the marine algaes and such crash when I
expose them to air and then freshwater that I'm going to have somewhat
of a nutrient cycle to deal with. I'm assuming I can get this under
wraps quickly with hornwort or some other type of aggressive converter,
but some of this pond will see full sun and I'm hoping to avoid a full
out algal bloom. Perhaps this is a mistake?

Anyone have any thoughts or comments? They'd be most appreciated. I
really can't ask the local pond place because they'd rather just sell me
an UV unit ;)

Thanks in advance :)
~ Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day...
Teach a man to fish....
good luck getting him off the water. ~
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