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Old 03-13-2019, 01:31 PM   #1
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Default Ionizers in small ponds

Hi, y’all. I am having my pond and stream cleaned out for the first time in ten years, and the guy is trying to sell me an Ion-gen to cut down on string algae. The algae is a bit unaesthetic but not hurting anything. I do have some fish, but also large numbers of amphibians lay eggs in my pond.

Do any of you have experience with these devices? I am not enthusiastic about having to test my water all the time for pH, alkalinity and copper.
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Old 03-13-2019, 02:43 PM   #2
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Hi, turttle. Nice to see you posting.

I am not familiar with the device, but, if you feel it is not worth your trouble...or may make it less habitable for your amphibian residents, then maybe follow your gut.

(Maybe some more knowledgeable member will respond.)

As I recall, your stream is in a wooded area. I am in the process of finally adding a stream and waterfall to the larger pond I dug last year. (Well, I will begin the process again in the spring. )

The area is a slope with some trees several not too far away on one or two sides. Knowing that you have an even more woody area makes me feel hopeful that this area will work for me.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:59 AM   #3
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Hi, dap! The one trick with a stream or waterfall in a deciduous forest is to get really good netting and put it up when the acorns start falling, here about 2-3 weeks before the leaves), and leave it on til all the leaves are down. The acorns are really high in nitrogen and cause way too much algae.

This is the first time I have had the pond and stream mucked out since I put it in around ten years ago. My fish and plants have been fine, but I decided it was time, and I am not physically able to do it myself. It is impressive how much muck is coming out.

Apparently the Ion-gen and other cooper devices are great in decorative ponds and waterfalls without fish and amphibians. There are enough anecdotes on line of them killing fish that I have decided not to put one in, though the pond guys want to do it ($700!). String algae is an aesthetic problem, not an ecological one.

I have been having health issues and haven’t been psyched to post, but will try to do so. I miss y’all!
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:37 AM   #4
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Hi, dap! The one trick with a stream or waterfall in a deciduous forest is to get really good netting and put it up when the acorns start falling, here about 2-3 weeks before the leaves), and leave it on til all the leaves are down. The acorns are really high in nitrogen and cause way too much algae.

This is the first time I have had the pond and stream mucked out since I put it in around ten years ago. My fish and plants have been fine, but I decided it was time, and I am not physically able to do it myself. It is impressive how much muck is coming out.

Apparently the Ion-gen and other cooper devices are great in decorative ponds and waterfalls without fish and amphibians. There are enough anecdotes on line of them killing fish that I have decided not to put one in, though the pond guys want to do it ($700!). String algae is an aesthetic problem, not an ecological one.

I have been having health issues and haven’t been psyched to post, but will try to do so. I miss y’all!
This is a great example of the problem in back yard gardening in the modern age. Aesthetics usually trump prioritizing ecological balance. Good for you in your decision, Turttle. So sweet to see you posting; I was wondering what was happening on that beautiful property you have... Be well...
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:10 PM   #5
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Hi, dap! The one trick with a stream or waterfall in a deciduous forest is to get really good netting and put it up when the acorns start falling, here about 2-3 weeks before the leaves), and leave it on til all the leaves are down. The acorns are really high in nitrogen and cause way too much algae.
I recall reading your posts regarding the netting. It occurred to me, while putting in my pond, that I may need to do the same.

My pond is not really in a wooded area...but there are some trees nearby...and a large tree probably 100 feet away--most of its leaves stay not more than 25 feet away. Some leaves do blow in from trees that are closer.

There is a lot of open space around the pond and the slope where I will add the stream and waterfall. Time will tell if I will have to employ the netting.

Thanks for the advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turttle View Post
This is the first time I have had the pond and stream mucked out since I put it in around ten years ago. My fish and plants have been fine, but I decided it was time, and I am not physically able to do it myself. It is impressive how much muck is coming out.

Apparently the Ion-gen and other cooper devices are great in decorative ponds and waterfalls without fish and amphibians. There are enough anecdotes on line of them killing fish that I have decided not to put one in, though the pond guys want to do it ($700!). String algae is an aesthetic problem, not an ecological one.
What do you plan to do with the muck?

I am hoping to create a wetland below my main pond. Muck would be great for that. I plan to add Iris versicolor, skunk cabbage, various sedges, and other natives to this area.

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I have been having health issues and haven’t been psyched to post, but will try to do so. I miss y’all!
So sorry to hear about your health problems. I have been away for too long...making sporadic forays back over the years. Over the past few weeks, I have tried to check in more often.

Great seeing you post. We all seem to miss the golden age of WG. Hopefully, you will be feeling better...and finding more time to post.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:21 AM   #6
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We all seem to miss the golden age of WG.
So true! Comparing posts now to those in 2012 is depressing. I find myself wondering what has happened to so many who were here so often. I could name so many, but I'll refrain... perhaps many have transferred their time to FB, or some may have gotten ill. If any old timers are reading this, please just check in and let the rest of us know you are okay...
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Old 03-17-2019, 08:36 AM   #7
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So true! Comparing posts now to those in 2012 is depressing. I find myself wondering what has happened to so many who were here so often. I could name so many, but I'll refrain... perhaps many have transferred their time to FB, or some may have gotten ill. If any old timers are reading this, please just check in and let the rest of us know you are okay...
I agree with Jack. It would just be nice to know you are still out there.

I know that, unfortunately, I have transferred more of my time to Facebook than I would like. For years, I had an account but nearly zero interest in it. Later, someone added me to a native plant group there...then another. That got me checking in on occasion.

When Jeff and I got married, he changed his status and told me that I should really do the same. I did. Then came all of the congratulatory posts to which I had to reply--that is when I got fully sucked in.

I have made a concerted effort to check in to Wildlife Gardeners and post some or reply to posts. Without new activity, it is hard to imagine anyone else checking in. That is why it is nice to see familiar faces posting again. Hopefully this can have a ripple effect. I am.not expecting the level.of activity we once had...but it would be nice if it were no longer a ghost town.

For weeks now, I have wondered about creating a Wildlife Gardeners presence on Facebook again. I recall that was done years ago...but I had no interest in Facebook back then. The drawback, as I remember, was that the group there would have discussions that didn't necessarily transfer back to the forum.

I may start a thread to see if that is worth trying again.
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Old 03-19-2019, 03:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turttle View Post
Hi, y’all. I am having my pond and stream cleaned out for the first time in ten years, and the guy is trying to sell me an Ion-gen to cut down on string algae. The algae is a bit unaesthetic but not hurting anything. I do have some fish, but also large numbers of amphibians lay eggs in my pond.

Do any of you have experience with these devices? I am not enthusiastic about having to test my water all the time for pH, alkalinity and copper.
I sure wouldn't want to be monitoring the pond weekly like they suggest using that route

Have you ever considered using barley straw to cut down on the algae growth? It's sold in tiny bails that you just toss in. You can add weights to sink them so they are not visible. Another route to get rid of some the nitrogen it needs for growth is to do partial water changes but anything of any size gets pretty time consuming and..... costly unless you pull up from your ground-water table.
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Old 03-19-2019, 03:22 PM   #9
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I pretty much just stick my arms in here and there and twirl them around and around to gather most of what's floating. Come fall I literally drain my ponds, set the planters of sunken aquatic plants topside and go in and toss out the muck as you call it. Basically it's decayed plants and what have you that's fallen in or comes from the fish and your feedings (if you do that) which you really don't have to...Nature provides well!

The muck is tossed onto the top of a nearby flower bed. Not too thick though as it will smother things. it's really heavy and pretty much becomes an adobe brick like cap over the surface. There's not much of anything in it to keep it aerated and crumbly but still certainly worthy of using.

You also need to pay attention to WHERE your lawnmower tosses the greens. You do NOT want it in the pond and if more than just some blows in..... skim it off with a large fine mesh fish net and again, in the fall do the same with the fallen leaves before they sink.
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Old 04-03-2019, 12:58 PM   #10
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Hi, Jack and Havalotta. Do you have to empty your pond for the winter, there in the frigid north? Sounds like a lot of work.

Dap, an alternative to netting, given the leaves more blow in rather than fall into the water, is to put up a barrier of some kind that thewould stop the leaves. I have a very low tech fence that does that, which is now covered in Jessamine. Or plant shrubs to do the same thing. I have oaks and maples dropping stuff directly into my pond, and I ended up with very tight mesh netting since the cheap stuff was useless.

I also miss everyone being on WG. I got out of the habit. I will try to get back in!
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