Some people build ponds to have a water feature, some for a water
garden, and others for a fish pond. Me, I have a pond for my turtles,
though they have to share it with some goldfish.
My first pond was built at my old house and ended up, once a tiny
veggie filter and stream were added, at 450 gallons. My new pond, at my
new house, is about 1500 gallons. Of course, it isn't finished yet.
Ponds are never finished. Last summer I add a Skippy filter and planted
a sweet potato vine in the waterfall filter -- a vine that is
threatening to take over the world. I also added a solar-powered
aerator that helped clear the water and sparked a growth surge in my
pond plants. I'm not sure what I'll do next, but I've thought of adding
a small above-ground pond to use as a hatchling nursery.
Below are pictures of the pond as it was being built in 2004, a picture
taken in the pond's second summer, and one last picture taken in
September 2006, as was the picture above.
I started with the turtles in a wading pool while I laid out the main
pond and the waterfall pool with tarps, walking around them for a week
to make sure I was happy with the location.
Next came the digging. I was very glad my brother Hop David and friend
Mike Mekelburg volunteered (yes, actually volunteered) to do the hard
work of digging in rocky soil.
Next was adding the liner and water. It took most of the day to fill.
The waterfall filter is at the back.
Then came the fun of piling rocks around the edge and mounding them
around the waterfall filter.
An awning was added to provide some shade for the pond to keep down
algae. It helps a little but there isn't a lot you can do during an
Arizona summer unless you use a lot of chemicals.
Adding a dog to the backyard didn't do the landscaping any good. Now
there are three dogs and I'm trying to do more with bushes than ground
cover. Bruno and Betsy, are rescues. as is Chuy, the newest
canine. I also have cats, only one of whom
gets out to enjoy the
Here's the pond in the summer of 2005. You can see the turtles basking
on the rocks. Plants are just starting to grow around the pond and I
haven't had much luck in getting pond plants to grow either in the pond
or the waterfall filter.
And here, from a slightly different angle, is the pond in September
2006. The rock waterfall is still there -- covered with sweet potato
vine. The big dark green mass at top left is water hyacinth in a Skippy
filter. And there's a turtle at lower left on the log.