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    Thread: The Finnish Mud Pond.

    1. #1
      Razoola's Avatar
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      The Finnish Mud Pond.

      As I'm a new member here I thought I would share our pond and experiances with you through its various stages to the current day. We bought our house back in 2006 and it came with the pond at the top of the garden. We did not do much with the pond the first year as we were busy with other things so I'll start the with pictures of how things stood in September 2007.













      Last edited by Razoola; 09-21-2011 at 10:30 AM.

    2. #2
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      During 2008 and we again did not do so much to the pond itsself but started getting to work tidying up the garden around the pond.

      In spring 2009 we put our first koi in the pond. We drove to Helsinki one day a bought twelve koi from a petshop there. They were around 10cm to 12cm in lengh. Got back home and put them into the pond. This was our first mistake. Putting 12 koi from 18c water into 9c pond water = very bad. We lost 6 within a couple of days. The rest managed to survive my error.

      During 2009 I had a few things I wanted to complete before winter came. On my todo list were;

      - Aeration via windmill in summer and electric compressor in winter.
      - Remove the old jetty.
      - Make a small island with bridge over the rock in the centre of the pond.

      I got it all done but was not totally happy with end result. The windmill needed a gale before it would start spinning. These are pictures from June 2009, did not get anything done in the summer as we went away for a long vacation.
























    3. #3
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      In later summer I started work on getting a bank in place on the far side of the pond to allow one to easlily walk around that section. In October 2009 we decided we wanted a bridge to go right over the pond to the new island (my DIY bridge from the island to the far bank. We managed to find one that was really quite cheap by Finnish standards and it would fit perfectly too. Its lengh is five metres. Getting it build it the cold and dark was a nightmare. Really I should have waited until 2010 to build it.





      Winter 2009 was a bad winter..... Real bad.... But beautiful at the same time.





      Last edited by Razoola; 09-21-2011 at 11:29 AM.

    4. #4
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      Spring 2010 arrives and I discover two dead fish, one koi and a goldfish. I was expecting total fish loss but 5 of the 6 koi made it. I did do some wood choping close to the pond and I wonder if this caused the koi stress from the vibrations. Just to be sure I won't be chopping wood again so close to the pond next year.

      Here is a picture of the new bank I made the previous year.



      Spring and time to think about next project to complete before summer... Waterfall. There was a perfect location, after clearing the space and finding some rocks it looked like this.



      One pond liner and and many hours later...





      Last edited by Razoola; 09-21-2011 at 03:09 PM. Reason: typo

    5. #5
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      Summer 2010. We decided this was the year to finally drain the pond clean it so we would finally have an idea of the layout. This took two weeks in total and because of the ponds location it was all done with buckets, spades and wheelbarrow. Its something I hope we never have to do again. I also decided I wanted to remove the smaller bridge and fill the area to make it a bank. In the summer the water would get so low the the bridge was pointless there anyway.

      It turned out our mud pond was not so much mud afterall.

      Draining






      Cleaning
















      Rubbish




      Last edited by Razoola; 09-21-2011 at 12:54 PM. Reason: couple of bad picture links

    6. #6
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      Last post for now to bring us up to the current day.

      Spring 2011 brought the joy of no koi loss, it seems what ever I'm doing I seem to be doing it right. I'll post more in a couple of days of how I deal with winter.

      Not much was done to the pond this year, instead more time was spent doing the garden. I played with some ideas for making a surface skimmer using air but will do more with that next year. Summer was all about relaxing and enjoying the garden and koi. No pics of koi yet, I'll dig out some out in the near future.















    7. #7
      expat is offline Senior Member
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      wow what a beutifull pond to start with and your lucky that what mud you do have is probably sealing any leaks in the stone. good luck.

    8. #8
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    9. #9
      SnowT is offline Senior Member
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      Awesome pond..

      I Love the pond, What do you have planed in the way of cleaning the pond..
      Drain it every few years or will you try a Bottom Drain..?

      the falls are nice and exactly what I would of done..

      Juergen
      A 12mth Newbie to ponds..
      1st pond up and running on 10th April 2010.. pond 500lt/280lt filter system..

      I'm always Learning new thing..
      I might say some dumb things just slap-me and point me in the right Direction..

      I drink to much Bundy Rum..http://www.bundabergrum.com.au/default

      WARNING: I suffer from ideaphoria. This post may contain untested ideas, errors, and excessive enthusiasm.

    10. #10
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      Nice work !

    11. #11
      Wouter67 is offline Senior Member
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      I really love this. I can imagine you like to spend time in your garden.

    12. #12
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      At the moment I have no bottom drains planned I'm not sure they would work in this kind of pond. I do have skimmers planned but because of the ammount of trees they would block very quickly with leaves and pine needles. To that end removal presently is done manually by skimmer nets (sort of like what you would use on a swimming pool). Luckly leaves normally collect at either end so its not so bad to do. The koi love it also, they like to chase the net as I'm skimming which makes the job much more fun.

    13. #13
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      My winter technique for koi survival.

      I did my homework and read various articles on the things you need to do to achieve success. From all I read the only things we could really do with this size pond prior to winter was get as many leaves and needles off the surface as possible and invest in some airstones. How and where to place the airstones brought up a big can of worms as there seemed to be two schools of thought, one saying put the airstones deep, the other shallow. Easily the majority swang towards shallow.

      To sum up both methods how I saw it. Placing airstones shallow you keep the natural thermal layer which happens in water in place. The down side is there can still be a lack of oxygen or gasses created from anything rotting near the bottom. Placing the airstone deep you remove the problem of oxygen and gasses but your going to get much lower tempretures almost no thermal layering.

      Now bearing in mind we are situated in Finland we are garanteed a real winter. Normally the pond has ice for at least two months solid. Thats two months with out it thawing and reiceing. This was a big factor in choosing what depth to place the airstones. I went for the deep method and had the airstones 30 to 50 cm off the bottom. They were turned right down so no volcanos, just a steady small flow of air.

      Winter 2009 comes early the first year the koi are in there, full ice cover happened at the middle of December. There was ice before this date but the airstones made sure the pond did not totally freeze over. From the middle of December I had to go out on the ice three times a day to make a hole above the airstones. To give you an idea of tempretures were around -20c. We also had alot of snow... That first year winter went on forever. By the end of Janurary I had convinced myself there was no way the koi could have survived but I kept the airstones going and pond open for gass exchange, by this time any hole I made would be re frozen within a couple of hours. At one point I dropped a thermometer down threw the icehole to the bottom of the pond to get an idea of the tempreture. It was 0.15c. At the end of March I was sure that I was just going through the motions. Spring finally came towards the end of April and the 30cm think ice on the pond started to melt. One afternoon after work I could see something red through the ice at the edge of the pond, one dead gold fish. The next day I found one dead koi next to the edge also. I thougt its just a matter of time before the rest float up to the surface.... But nothing. A couple of weeks later I see 2 koi deep on the bottom but alive! The next days I see more and more.

      It turned out that after 5 months of icecover with water tempretures of 0.15c (maybe lower too) all the other koi survived with no i'll effects at all.

      During summer 2010 we put another 12 koi mutts and also drained and totally cleaned the pond. Winter 2010/2011 was another cold one, this time five and a half months of ice cover and again tempretures at the bottom of the pond around 0.15c. Joy came in spring this year when I discovered we lost none of the 19 koi in the pond. I thought back and had a think about the reason of why we lost those 2 fish the first winter. My guess is those two became active to early. I rememberd early spring that first year I chopped some wood quite close to the pond. I am sure the vibrations into the water from my axe swings had something to do with it. It could have also been because the pond had been cleaned also.

      To sum it up from my experiance the idea that winter is leathal to koi based on water tempreture is a bit of a myth. Don't get me wrong however if the koi are not in the right enviroment then you are going to get fish kills in winter. I also wonder if koi have the instinct still in them to bury into the mud on the bottom once the water goes real low. I know some of the carp family do this so who knows.

      I really don't think this method would work in a concrete pond but its something to think about if your worried about long winters. Here are my tips based purely on personal experiance.

      1) Deep airstones can be good, right down to about 30cm off the bottom.
      2) If you place airstones deep, the flow of air should be as little as you can get away with.
      3) Always have someone with you if you have to walk out onto the ice until you are sure its thick enough to take your weight.
      4) Walk softly on the ice so not to disturb the fish. That means no iceskating
      5) If you have to make a hole in the ice never break it, instead boil water and melt it.
      6) Do not clear snow off the ice, its a great insulator.
      7) Have a backup airline onhand as moisture can freeze on the inside the line between the airpump and the pond.

    14. #14
      expat is offline Senior Member
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      I know your winters are much worse than ours but for the past 2 years our mud ponds have been froze for several weeks at a time without any losses, I work on the assumption that if the water in a mudpond is at least 5 to 6 ft deep then the water temp at the bottom dosent change much winter to summer. Also have never use airstones as the ice (although it was at least 3" thick) rarely freezes right up to the edge of the pond. Any we had no losses and there were tosai in there.

    15. #15
      ponyboy2442 is offline Senior Member
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      Nice, I have that exact stone lantern I put a light n it so it glows at night

    16. #16
      Wouter67 is offline Senior Member
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      The main problem with a pond freezing is the snow on top of the ice. That can create serious problems. Just ice should'nt be a problem as long as the sun can get in.

    17. #17
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      What kind of problems can snow on top of ice cause? For the last 2 years there was snow on top of the ice for 5 months.

    18. #18
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      Well the end of September is here in Finland and while today has been quite warm winter is creeping up fast. I have started winter prep of the mud pond....

      I have already cut back the Iris and removed the floating plants (Water Lettuce and Hyacinth). Will keep some of the floaters for over wintering to put back next year. All thats left now is daily leaf removal and disconnecting and storing the pump for the waterfall, I'll probably do that once the water hits 5c. Current water temp is 12c and the koi are still happily taking food, I have moved from a growth diet to the Hikari multi season diet.

      Ohh I still need to remove the dying water lilly pads but I need a new pair of waders first.

    19. #19
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      That is awesome! Great job.

    20. #20
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      Beautiful pond! I love the winter pics, I don't think I could handle living through a winter like that but the pics are awesome.

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