Originally Posted by The Great Ayam
Hello! I am new to ponds. Right now, it's just a hobby for me, but I love ponds. I have dug a small backyard pond (by hand!--whew!) and am looking for any advice from those experienced in digging and maintaining ponds. I have many questions and would love to chat...
I am including some pics of my pond as it is so far. And, I am wondering what is best way to seal it so it will hold water. Does anyone have any advice or info (especially experience) that you'd like to share? Much appreciated. Thanks!
A great natural sealer is a soil with a high clay content. Ask at your local landscape supplier, depending on how much you want to throw into it. Maybe lay some hessian down for the clay to bind too then lay the clay soil about 2 inches (50mm) thick, you'll need to make it thicker in some place that are more vertical. (Maybe try and slope those sides that are more vertical a little bit.)
I would lay flat rocks over the clay to reduce the area plants can get a foot hold if you are using this for a fishy kind of water feature, these can be extended to form a border around the edge of your pond and would look good (to me any ways). I think your pond is a great shape and would lend itself well to this type of feature. My idea for not letting to many plants get a foot hold is so they don't 'choke' up the pond making it hard to see the aquatic life that is down there if that is what you are doing. If you go with flat rocks, try a variation in light and dark coloured rocks.
I've built large "turkey nests" or earthen tanks in country that would not hold the water, our solution was to cart soil in that had a high clay content, usually "black soil" as that stuff sticks to any thing! Where the flowed in from the well pump, we would lay rocks on top of hessian so the falling water would not "punch" through the black soil we had laid on the bottom. We usually covered the entire bottom and sides with the black clay soil about 6 inches or 15 cm deep. Some times it would take several months for the clay soils to seal the dams but once water plants started growing there they were usually good earth water tanks. These earthen tanks were fenced off from stock to stop cattle from ruining the sealing layer by way of heavy traffic in the dams or earth tanks. (We call them "Turkey nests" here in Australia.)
Leaves are already spilling into your pond so maybe some pruning or netting to keep it clean and as for algae, there a few snail species that will thrive on algae even in near freezing temperatures, most fish species require above 45 Fahrenheit to survive.