Getting to know the pond

Saving the pond - across the pond to the house
Across the pond to the house

This was a constant source of amusement and worry from the day we moved in. While it was supposed to have filters, they didn’t work, so we had to set about saving the pond…

To begin with, the pond was so green, you couldn’t see fish at all, let alone what kind they were. According to the last owners, the pond contained Koi. Looking at the pond, I doubted whether we had live fish at all.

So one day, while Pen gave the lounge a fresh coat of paint, I attacked the pond’s“filtration system”.

As I have already described, the filter system consisted of two pumps. Each pump had a ball of something that closely resembled a pan scourer. One pump wasn’t working at all and the other, well…

The electrical supply for this feat of engineering was scary. Electricity was supplied via a cable to a twin electrical socket. This was inside a Tupperware box that had been nailed to a fence post at the corner of the pond.

The water was pumped up to a small pool at the back of the pond and returned via a waterfall (another loose term).

The entire setup was totally inadequate. Any fool could have seen that.

Investment was desperately needed. We took a trip to the Yeovil aquatic centre.

Saving the pond

Saving the pond - the filter pool
The “filter” pool

After our trip to Yeovil, we returned with a box about the size of a cat-carrier, umpteen metres of plastic hosing and a pump that together cost more than our car.

After hooking it all up, we simply ran the filtered water directly into the pond – not via the top pool. The system was on for about a week during which time, I cleaned the filters daily. This was a job that took over an hour. Thank God we weren’t on metered water!

However, we were doing what seemed to us to be a really good job of saving the pond.

Cleaning became weekly instead of daily, the pond became clearer and the number of fish more apparent.

Saving the pond - the rill
The rill

So, we set about replacing the top pool with something prettier – a rill, which seemed such a good idea at the time.

We needed to clear most of the greenery from around the top pool and get rid of most of the junk whoever had built the pond had used to make the waterfall.

It wasn’t difficult – at all. To say it was a half-arsed job would be an understatement and we have no idea how it lasted as long as it did.

Next, we needed to clean out the pool behind the pond. This stank to high heaven. Emptying it had us heaving, but in the end, we had our idea of a rockery, or at least gravel and stones anyway.

Most of the stones from the original were re-used and to begin, the rill worked wonderfully, but then began turning green. I discovered that what wasn’t getting trapped in the filters was making its way up to the top pool, where it was settling. Joy of joys, cleaning it added another hour and a half to cleaning the pond.

We needed to rethink saving the pond…