Croydon Ducks - Garden Pond and Fish

Latest update: 7th October 2011

The photos on this page are of the pond as it evolved over 20 years, including the last rebuilding in 2002, and the fish.

 

This was the first pond built around 1990, a poor quality Polaroid.  The main pond is about six feet
away from the fence, with a very small pond next to the fence, overflowing into the main pond.

 

A closer look at the first pond in the nineties, another Polaroid. There was very good planting in the early days, before ducks started
eating it all.

 

This is the second pond in 1999, build by combining the two previous ponds together and widening it near the fence
and adding a large shallow beach area.  The island in the current pond was built where the row of plants sit, the fish are
sunbathing in the shallow beach area that proved easy for the crows to land in and steal fish before they could swim
 back into deep water.  The new pond had no such beach. 

 

Construction of the new pond starts in September 2002, the previous pond can be seen, full of lilies, about half the size of the new pond. 
The fish are still resident in the pond. The island was at the edge of the old pond.

 

November 2002, the new hole is finally finished, all dug by hand.  Note the planting shelves and steps down to the deep areas. 
A small wall at the far end support the concrete slab path next to the fence. The bottom of the hole is clay. All the spoil remained
in the garden, and some was eventually used to raise the height of the lawn around the pond, to increase the depth slightly.

 

Another view of the completed hole, showing more steps and stone ledges.  The fish are all in the raised pond at the top left of the
photo, where they spent about three weeks.

Photo

November 2002, the finished pond hole, with geotextile underlay covering the sides, ledges and most of the bottom, designed to prevent
damage to the rubber pond liner from sharp stones and roots. The liner itself is piled up around the island in the middle, awaiting being
unfurled over the underlay.

 

November 2002, the custom made butyl rubber pond liner from Russetts Developments goes in, over geotextile underlay, it
weighed 75kg and has a skirt welded around a hole in the centre for the island. The pond is now  partially filled with water, the
weight of which causes the rubber to flatten against the shelves and walls. Unfortunately it's very windy so lots of leaves in the
pond already. 

Photo

November 2002, the new pond still being filled with water for the first time, I've been wading in the water to position the edging rocks
on the shelf along the back of the pond and around the island, the front ones still piled on the lawn.  The fish are already in the new pond,
relieved after spending four weeks in the small top pond, during which time several died. 

 

Small fry one year old.

 

Ditto.

 

The net used to try and stop leaves falling in the pond in the autumn, high enough to allow access to get the leaves that fall through
the holes, and to use a leaf blower from underneath.

 

General view of the pond in April 2007.

 

Ditto, with ducks on the island, bridge still in place.

 

Wider view in summer 2006.

 

View in May 2007, with the duck sitting on her nest on the island.

 

View of the duck nest on the island, the three filter tanks, top emergency and settlement pond, and stream.  When this photo was taken,
there are two submerged Oase Aquamax 10000 pumps feeding one Oase Biotec 10 and two small older Cyprio tanks, all with ultraviolet
clarifiers. Both the original pumps died, and were replaced with larger Aquamax 12000 and 16000 units, with the small tanks with a better
Biosys tank that is easier to clean, with a bottom drain.

The main pond is about 5,000 gallons, the top pond about 300 gallons.  The filter tanks empty in the top pond where gunge settles,
before the water returns down the stream to the main pond. The next project is to at least double the size of the emergency pond
since there are now far too many fish to fit in it. There are two infra red CCTV cameras on the tree branch over the island.

 

The duck on her nest again.

 

Some koi, up to 15 years old now.

 

More koi and other fish.

 

Ditto.

 

Views from the underwater CCTV camera, the quality of the pictures depends on how recently the lens was
cleaned and lighting conditions.  The camera has infra red illumination, but it only reaches 12 inches or so.

 

More fish.

 

Ditto.

 

Ditto.

 

Ditto.

 

The previous year I put six small clumps of oxygenating plants on the plant shelves, which grew and spread around the pond.  It also seems
to have rooted itself in the silt in the pond over a metre down, and is now growing vertically to reach the light, like a forest.

 

A mixture of very old and young fish in the early morning sun.

 

Ditto.

 

Ditto, this underwater shelf has a container holding the duck food, any food on the pond edge is eaten by pigeons within a few
minutes, but the ducks are happy diving for food.  Unfortunately the waste from this underwater food poisoned the water,  causing
a lot of fish to die, so I no longer use it, I found a better floating duck food.

 

More monsters.

 

Easter 2008, snow covered the garden for a morning.

 

Three years ago I planted a few small bunches of an oxygenating plant Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) which
grows at vast speed, some rooted in the bottom of the pond and grows three feet up looking like an underwater forest,
other grows on the surface.  All the growth in the photo was in the first three weeks of May.  Unfortunately the ducklings
ate all these plants, and all the lilies during the summer.

Photo

Molly the cat walking on water, since the ice is slowing sinking under her weight. Despite a long and cold 2008/2009 winter, ice only formed
on the pond a couple of times, and melted within a day.

Photo

But Croydon did have several inches of snow in a single night in February 2009, a rarity. There was no ice on the pond, just slush
from melting snow.

Photo

Another view of the snowed up pond.


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