I have a small pond, no fish but frogs/tadpoles and other tiny
Today I just took delivery of a solar powered filter/foundtain
In good sunlight I get a spray over 1ft high but the filter is a
fairly course sponge and I'm not sure that is going to help with
cleaning out the pond.
Clearly the pump is not powerful and so I don't want to put anything
more on the inlet side, but I don't see why I shouldn't filter the
free water from the outlet as it falls back into the pond.
Any ideas what might work best? I accept I might lose the fountain
whilst the adaptation is in play but that is a secondary issue.
On Thu, 26 Apr 2018 17:45:54 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (AnthonyL)
The filter is there primarily to stop the fountain nozzles from
getting blocked. A lot depends on the size of the pond, but I doubt it
will do much towards cleaning the pond as a whole. And don't forget
that such a filter will need cleaning frequently otherwise it will
also become blocked.
Now if you had an artificial stream and waterfall with a decent pump
and good flow, that would do it. A neighbour had a something similar,
with a filter system in a rectangular plastic container say 60cm L x
45cm W x 45cm D, packed with many layers of 5cm thick plastic sponge.
Cleaning it out was quite an undertaking, but only had to de done once
or twice in a season.
On Thu, 26 Apr 2018 19:44:29 GMT, email@example.com (AnthonyL)
Well, that might be OK if your pond is rather smaller than say a
kitchen sink, but I'd go for something a lot bigger, like a large 10
litre ice-cream tub, with *a lot* of holes in the bottom and lowest
inch of the sides, and filled with horticultural potting grit as found
in most garden centres. Flush it through with clean water first as
that type of grit tends to be superficially muddy.
Incidentally, how big is this pond, and why in particular do you want
to filter the water? I have quite a big pond (oval, roughly 4m x 3m),
and mother nature takes care of it all by herself.
I know nothing about ponds. It's an artificial pond built into the
rockery of the house we bought a couple of years ago. Actually two
ponds the larger one at a slightly higher level and will overflow into
the lower pond, but consider them basically as separate. The larger
one is about 2m x 1m x .4m at the deepest. It gets soil from the
rockery and a lot of leaves from the overhanging black chestnut and
other trees in the garden. The smaller pond is greenish in colour and
the larger pond is more brown. I've only just taken the leaves out -
next autumn I'll put netting over to stop the leaves from getting in.
The last owner kept fish and had an electric pump/filter etc. I'm
happy to keep just frogs etc. I've got a water butt hooked up to
replenish from time to time and thought a bit of aeration and
filtering would be a good thing and at ?13 for a solar
pump/filter/fountain and no running costs I thought I could with a bit
of ingenuity help clear the pond a bit.
If I try to scoop up leaves or anything from the bottom the silt stirs
up and it would seem ideal to just have the solar device help remove
some of this.
I've also been given some pond plants and told to remove the worms
that seem to be happy in the silt.
The first year here we had loads of frogspawn which matured to
froglets. Last year nothing and this year two clumps of spawn, one in
each pond, which look pretty dead and about 5 tadpoles. My neighbour
(source of the pond plants etc) has given me a bucket of tadpoles
which now inhabit the two ponds and there is at least one frog hanging
about. I'd assumed the dead spawn was a result of a poor pond rather
than an infertile male. But then again I found a clump of spawn on
the garden slabs after it had been raining - are frogs that dumb -
like swans that thing the M1 is a lake in the rain?
I'm a hoarder of plastic containers so I'm sure I'll find something
but not sure what's wrong with the coffee filter idea. Just replace
them if they don't let the water sieve through?
Power to the pump is fine in good sunlight providing the panel is
orientated to the sun. Tomorrow's forecast doesn't look good for any
experimenting though my water butt should fill up. That's another
story as I have to put in a dam to backflow to the back of the house
rather than use the downpipes at the front of the house. Currently a
plastic bag half full of water and the air squashed out seems the most
On Thu, 26 Apr 2018 21:36:25 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (AnthonyL)
Well, try it. I just think it's far too small to have any effect
Remember that ponds, both man-made and natural, do function perfectly
well without any intervention. Wormy things live in the sediment, and
beasties swim in the water, and as long as it stays reasonably well
oxygenated and doesn't get stagnant, it should be OK for years without
much attention. (Have you got any oxygenating plants in there, things
like Elodea or some of these https://bit.ly/2I45lBU ) But gradually
sediment and sludge builds up in the bottom and every few years the
pond should be drained or pumped out and the sludge dug out. Take care
when you do that, not to damage the liner. If you can save the water
in a water-butt or whatever and return it when finished, so much the
better, rather than refilling with tap water. Spread the sludge on
flowerbeds close by so that there's at least a chance any beasties can
find their way back.
I doubt if the pump is going to be anything more than an ornamental
feature and apart from slightly aerating the water it will be cosmetic.
As others have said, the sponge filter on the input is solely there to
prevent crud entering the pump inlet and possibly destroying the pump.
Stir up the muck in the bottom of the pond with the pump running and
I'll bet the filter will become fully clogged within seconds.
Consider that your pump is specified at 180 litres per hour. This is
possibly a Chinese specification so divide the figure by at least 2 and
as its solar powered only achievable on a bright cloudless sunny day.
Pumps (power heads) designed for a 2 foot aquarium to circulate water
through a thin gravel filter bed have specifications of 1000+ litres per
hour and run continuously 24/365. Adding something to the output of
your solar powered pump is unlikely to make any difference to the
quality of the pond.
Possibly you need to have a clean out of the ponds, prevent a mass of
leaves entering it in autumn and then, as others have suggested, plant
up suitable aquatic plants and let nature take over. Just remember when
cleaning out the ponds may/will have a membrane that can be punctured
with sharp metal tools.
Enjoy your fountain only for the visual effect and the often calming
influence of listening to splashing water.
Are you sure that the previous owner didn't bury a circulating pump and
large filter container under the rockery with rock slab over the top for
routine maintenance purposes?
No, there remains only a cut mains wire. He asked if I wanted the
fish but I didn't so he took it all away.
I'm not expecting any miracles, anything the little device does is
better than what was happening before. No fountains with today's
Yes frogs are that dumb. I've found frog spawn in the wheel arch of a
car that had been parked for a week. It was parked on road but gutter
had some leaf debris in it. Stream is about 50m away. There is a railed
triangle of trees and shrubs with bark chippings with a 2nd road the
other side of it between where the car was parked and the stream.
Ok that side of the sill and wing had rotted out due to collecting leaf
litter between the bottom of A post and wing.
Probably not deep enough for a wildlife pond,they normally have a deeper
spot where creatures can hibernate over winter. Then as they get active
again in Spring the whole ecosystem gets going again daphnia etc start to
breed and the water greenish and then clears again as things get into
A pump and fountain will help with aeration which is important especially
if you haven’t got many aerating plants. For filtration it won’t do much
good and could actually do harm if it removes microscopic creatures that
would be munching plant material.
Silt on the bottom that is the eventual end of the process may did to be
physically removed eventually but needs to scooped or sucked out with a
The worms you mentioned below will be part of that process so don’t destroy
Same applies to pond snails which are very important at keeping the the
Tadpoles if you find you are not finding many may have become food for
A couple in a small pond will eat them as they emerge from the spawn and
after a couple of generations of frogs are not replaced the pond becomes a
Newt only pond.
A larger pond will allow enough to escape to mature but in a small one if
you want Frogs you may have to remove Newts from it. One UK species is
protected and if you have those then are life could get complicated
legally if you are law abiding.
Good for aeration in fountain mode, and happily it is when water is being
warmed up by Sun that it ,may need it most, rain brings aerated and oxygen
bearing droplets with it and adds more with the splash.
Pump like that will not do much filtration and is not what you want do to
the water any way.
Scooping the silt will cause murkiness but it will settle clear relatively
quickly once you have finished.
That should be done only as an infrequent major operation, as well as
“worms” many other creatures live in it such as Dragon fly larvae which
look quite menacing spend a couple of years down there before climbing a
plant stem and emerging to spread wings then wait for them to harden and
Things like that you should try to return or you will never get any
maturing like that.
If daphnia are the little specks around the top edge of the water that
attract the tadpoles then I seem to have quite a few especially on
spots where the sun is shining.
The aeration I think will help and I've now got some pond plant.
Oh, well the ones I found have been removed to the garden. But
there's enough soil/silt for more.
Yes I try to chuck them back in if they come out with the leaves. Got
quite a few.
I'd love to have newts but frogs only in this area.
Wish I'd been a bit more aware of this when a young teenager. Still
they built the M1 through where we used to play in the woods so I'm
sure they caused more damage than a couple of us with our jam jars.
The water already looks better ie clearer, whether that's a result of
the tadpoles or pond plant or clearing the layer of dead/decaying
leaves I don't know. The fountain hasn't had enough sun to work for
more than a couple of hours.
I'll take more of a passive role and leave nature a bit more to its
own devices. With my new water butt for replenishing, fountain and
plants for aeration, and future plans to limit the autumn leaves all
should be well.
What are you trying to remove?
If its algae then it will keep growing unless you remove its food source.
You can kill it with chemicals or a UV steriliser but you will need to
be careful or you will kill the wildlife too.
I would suggest you do a few partial water changes (25% each over a few
days). Use the mist setting on a hose to fill it so the chlorine has a
chance to escape.
I don't know - I was just put out by this year's frog spawn being
sterile and having none last year, but a healthy load including
tadpoles the spring before (the first year I was here). So I assumed
I needed to do something.
The frogs seemed happy and the borrowed tadpoles seem quite happy in
as much as I can tell (swimming around vigorously and appear to be
I have a water butt hooked up so I can top up as and when there's been
sufficient rain to fill it up. I used tap water last year - maybe
that was a mistake.
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