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jane_in_bristol

New pond-owner Newbie needs help

13 years ago

Hi All,

This is my first time in the Pond forum (houseplant, begonia and gesneriads have been my "home") because we now have a pond.

Our new home, in Central/Eastern MA came with a pond. It seems to be quite shallow (perhaps 18" - 2 feet deep?) and about 4' x 12'. It seemed to be solid ice this winter, and stayed frozen longer than the surrounding yard. There is a waterfall, with a tub hidden in some rocks about 2 feet above the pond level, but I have not yet explored the mechanical aspects in terms of pumps and such. We've only recently been able to explore the yard, since the unusually HUGE snowfall accumulation is finally gone.

I have many questions, but am trying to do searches in this forum and find some answers on my own. However, my initial questions are so rudimentary, I'm not finding much info. Also, FYI, I am an experienced keeper of Planted Aquariums.

So, here goes:

The pond is chock full of oak leaves and pine needles. The water is clear but very dark brown (tannins, probably). When I try to use the small pool skimmer the previous owners left to remove some leaves, there is a strong unpleasant smell, sort of like manure, but UNpleasant (I actually think the smell of some manures are OK, and bring back pleasant memories of childhood next to a horse stable).

So what do I use to clear the leaves out of the pond? Would I damage the liner by using a rake? Also, can I stand IN the pond, or would that tear the liner? The First Step seems to be to get all the gunk out, but I'm not sure how to do this, and the pond skimmer gets like 5 leaves out at a time. Also, there seem to be something planted, I dug up a long green stem, about as big around as my index finger, with lots of branched roots coming off of it. But, I couldn't get much of it up w/ the pool skimmer, so I have no idea what it might be.

Also, should I add something to bring the acidity down? I haven't tested the water yet, but my sense of it is that it will be very acidic w/ the oak and pine debris.

MANY Thanks!

-Jane

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