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  1. #1
    Platinum Member Eric Salop's Avatar
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    Default Alien Invasion - I want my pond back !

    A few years back I started a project to restore a farm pond. Last year I thought I was almost finished and ready to stock with fish. Then, back in September, I realised that wasn't going to happen anytime soon. An initially innocuous looking alien from the other side of the world had stolen my pond and I now want it back. Perhaps it's better if I start at the beginning ...

    I first bought this farmland back in 2003. It is rolling pasture with mostly fast draining sandy soil, with the sand having been deposited by a glacier in the last ice age. That glacier also dumped a fair amount of clay. The clay has been extracted on a small scale in the past for making bricks, leaving behind good sized farm ponds for watering the livestock. There is no water running in from elsewhere, all the ponds are filled by the rain.

    As we went through the first summer I noticed that a 1/3 acre pond up by the roadside was in poor shape. From a distance it looked ok.

    Alien Invasion - I want my pond back !-original-pond-jpg



    In reality the water was only a few inches deep in some places. After a couple more weeks warming in the summer sun there was almost nothing left but a green and brown scum to the surface.

    If this was to remain a pond it was going to need some serious dredging work. At the time I had many other higher priority things to keep me busy, so I added it to the bottom of the mental list of jobs-to-do and didn't think about it again for the rest of 2003.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Alien Invasion - I want my pond back !-20150430_202322-jpg   Alien Invasion - I want my pond back !-original-pond-jpg  

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    NE Indiana
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    1710 Ford

    Default Re: Alien Invasion - I want my pond back !

    I put some Asian Carp in it. They were triploid and no outgoing water so they couldn't leave. They eat a lot of weeds and this allows the surface to move more and keep the algae off of it. They had recommend 14 per acre but I only put in 5 per acre and they made it much better. There are still some weeds but the algae comes and then the next day or so it is gone with the movements.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member square1's Avatar
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    Michigan
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    Ford 1700 4x4 w/ FEL

    Default Re: Alien Invasion - I want my pond back !

    Perhaps it's better if I start at the beginning ...
    I'm lost...stilll

  4. #4
    Gold Member mx1alex's Avatar
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    FAYETTE, MO
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    Kubota L3940 HSTC Cub Cadet 2086

    Default Re: Alien Invasion - I want my pond back !

    Quote Originally Posted by Creamer View Post
    I put some Asian Carp in it. They were triploid and no outgoing water so they couldn't leave. They eat a lot of weeds and this allows the surface to move more and keep the algae off of it. They had recommend 14 per acre but I only put in 5 per acre and they made it much better. There are still some weeds but the algae comes and then the next day or so it is gone with the movements.
    I assume you are refering to grass carp? There are many different species of carp and "asian carp" is usally a generic term for either Silver or Bighead carp.

    I don't know about in the UK but here in the middle of the U.S. they say ponds need to be at least 6', but preferably 8' deep to survive freezing over in the winter.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member Eric Salop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alien Invasion - I want my pond back !

    By 2004 I had learned that this pond and a few others in this area were home to water voles.

    Alien Invasion - I want my pond back !-water-vole-jpg

    These little creatures are now quite rare here, mainly due to the fact that mink find them extremely tasty. Mink have no natural predators here and got into the wild after being released from mink farms. With few rivers in this area, this has become one of their last strongholds while many dedicated people try to trap and remove the mink from other parts.

    Anyone who has read or seen "Wind in the willows" will be familiar with "Ratty", who wasn't really a rat but a water vole.

    Alien Invasion - I want my pond back !-ratty-jpg

    This has given water voles a high public profile and helped make the pond eligible for restoration under a European environmental scheme. The scheme would pay half the money towards hiring machinery to dredge the pond. Sounded too good to miss, all I had to do to qualify was to carry out the work by 2006 and then leave the pond in it's "natural" state for 10 years from the date of signing, which would take me to 2014.

    So I signed up and then ignored the summer-stinky pond for another couple of years.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Alien Invasion - I want my pond back !-water-vole-jpg   Alien Invasion - I want my pond back !-ratty-jpg  

  6. #6
    Platinum Member Eric Salop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alien Invasion - I want my pond back !

    Quote Originally Posted by square1 View Post
    I'm lost...stilll
    Sorry square 1, it will make sense after a couple more posts.

    I've wound the clock back to the beginning of the project and I'll get to the Aliens in about 10 years time.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member square1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alien Invasion - I want my pond back !

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Salop View Post
    Sorry square 1, it will make sense after a couple more posts.

    I've wound the clock back to the beginning of the project and I'll get to the Aliens in about 10 years time.
    Standing by
    Thanks,

  8. #8
    Platinum Member tractorshopper's Avatar
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    Upstate South Carolina
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    Kubota BX2370-1

    Default Re: Alien Invasion - I want my pond back !

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Salop View Post
    I've wound the clock back to the beginning of the project and I'll get to the Aliens in about 10 years time.
    I'm very curious and want to hear about this, but don't know if I have the patience to wait ten years until you get to the Aliens part of the story.

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Texas

    Default Re: Alien Invasion - I want my pond back !

    I thought the water voles were the Aliens.
    Bird

  10. #10
    Gold Member
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    Northeast Ohio
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    JD 5105, IH-Case 255, JD 3038E

    Default Re: Alien Invasion - I want my pond back !

    Quote Originally Posted by Creamer View Post
    I put some Asian Carp in it. They were triploid and no outgoing water so they couldn't leave. They eat a lot of weeds and this allows the surface to move more and keep the algae off of it. They had recommend 14 per acre but I only put in 5 per acre and they made it much better. There are still some weeds but the algae comes and then the next day or so it is gone with the movements.
    You are referring to triploid white amur. They are not in the carp family, they are actually in the minnow family.

    Not sure if they are legal in the UK. If the pond is as shallow as you say, there probably are not many options open to you. Many of the water dyes
    require somewhat deep water to filter out the sunlight to reduce weed growth. There are several herbicides available in the US,
    not sure what is labelled in the UK. Reconstructing the pond with deeper areas would help tremendously.

    The photo looks like a muskrat species on this side of the "big pond." Trapped for fur, although prices have dropped a lot this spring.
    Just depends what end results you would like and what regulations you have to deal with in the UK and how much money you are willing to spend.

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