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Hand building a clay pond

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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2014 at 7:31pm
Been away for a couple of weeks due to no internet access. Somebody knocked down the telegraph pole in the village that carried our line apparently!

Observed this on the 28th October, seen a newt in the same place several times since using the infra-red night camera, including tonight at around 19:20

Look at the edge of the pond at the bottom and approximately in the middle!



So the first amphibian spotted using the renovated pond Smile




Edited by GemmaJF - 11 Nov 2014 at 7:32pm
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Iowarth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iowarth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2014 at 8:24am
Well done Gemma.

Video refused to load until this morning and I am definitely bleary eyed in the mornings, but nevertheless saw the bottom left newt very clearly.

All the best
Chris
Chris Davis, Site Administrator
Co-ordinator, Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme
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Suzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2014 at 11:14am
Brill Gemma. Sadly with all my duckweed in the smaller pond I wouldn't see anything.
Suz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2014 at 11:05pm
Hi there All,

May I say what a great project! Congrats. I've read the whole thing with great interest as I shall be building a pond on 13/dec/2014 with a team of friends, about ten of us.

My idea was to have a clay bottom only. We are a permaculture group of a natural non-toxic sustainable material and process is paramount. Given the labour available I am hoping to have three layers of clay of about 6-7 cm each using the local soil as it is very high in clay content.

My main question is about the worms. Living in Cyprus we do not have many worms here but hopefully with the permaculture project under way I'm hoping that there will be more and more in the field. I see mentioned soot and lime. What about fire wood ash, would that work? (is good against snails and slugs). And I presume that the worm repellent would be placed underneath the clay.

What about the top soil? Is that for aquatic plants to use, and is therefore placed on top of the clay, or is it for "external to the pond" plants, and therefore placed under the clay?

We shall be building a rain water harvesting system on the 1.5 hectar field with drains and swales, overflowing into the pond. Planting shadowing trees around the pond to prevent evaporation. Is a weeping willow acceptable or is it too water thirsty and may jeopardise the pond clay structure? Also hoping to have some fish in there but that will be after a Cypriot summer and see if the pond holds.

Also, how does the top lip of the pond works? We don't want the clay exposed to the sun but we don't want top soil leaching into the pond either. Would of dwarf stone wall on the clay be a good hedge between the two? Holding back top soil and shadowing the clay.

Any advice in this project is very welcome and appreciated. Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2014 at 10:26am
Hi Clem,

The soot would go under the clay to stop worms. I have found it very effective to use PVC plastic as a barrier for worms though and this also prevents water leaching into the top soil via capillary action in hot weather. I think wood ash may work, though may be very acidic and would not give the protection against water loss due to capillary action.

The top lip I formed in clay, then covered with the top soil. This in retrospect was probably a mistake, it would have been better to cover it with sub-soil so less nutrients were able to leach into the water. Though in my own situation the sub-soil was.... ....clay! So it really didn't occur to me at the time. If a non-clay sub-soil is available, this would be the best solution for covering the top clay lip. Some top soil went into the pond for aquatic plants, but most of the 'in the water' soil is in containers. Mainly I have done this for ease of maintenance. I have built plenty of healthy wildlife ponds with a lot of top soil added, it just takes time for a balance of bacteria to build up and control the algae which will at first dominate and plants to establish that draw nutrients out of the water.


It is very important the pond is always kept topped-up to prevent  bare clay being exposed to the sun.

I think stone or large pebbles could be a good solution to help protect the clay, my pond has yet to see its first summer, though I have this in mind for the north edge which will catch the most sun if it turns out that it is prone to drying and cracking.






Edited by GemmaJF - 04 Dec 2014 at 10:42am
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