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  #1  
Old 09/06/09, 03:51 AM
lunagardens's Avatar  
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Akron/Canton Ohio
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What are the pros/cons of a spring fed pond?

We fell in love with a home on 14 acres which has a spring fed stocked pond. There appears to be a small drain pipe which leads it off the property-per the realtor's info. It appears the spring is from a smal creek further up the property but the weeds were not cut so I was not able to see much of the 2 foot wide flow.
A neighbor told me to watch out for leeches and turtles with spring fed ponds. Said leeches/turtles are a problem in them. Is this true?
What are any pros/cons with having a spring fed pond? What care would be needed to make it so the kids can swim in it?
What about having some water fowl live by it? Will it help keep the debri down? I was thinking a few hand raised geese.
I would appreciate any info since I have tried a quick search on the net and can not seem to find very much info- so I turned to you guys for some wisdom.
Thank you.

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  #2  
Old 09/06/09, 04:57 AM
In Remembrance
 
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Turtles are going to be in a pond - period. Only problem with the I think I may have is small ducklings are in their diet (but could be large bass also). And turtle are edible, although perhaps an acquired taste. It is said there are seven types of meat on a turtle depending on location.

Leeches. Depends where you are. I have none in my spring fed pond I know of. I was once in the North Woods of WI and there you couldn't swim in a pond or lake without attracting them. Ask around if they are a problem.

Spring fed ponds tend not to go stagant during summer like catch basin ones do. When the algae and bottom weeds in mine get too bad I sprinkle out 50 lbs of copper sulfate. Works virtually overnight. However, being spring fed it is a yearly process.

Have been told ducks and swans will keep the water snake population down by eating the young. I have Canadian geese come and go. Usually only one or two pair nest there. It is amazing how quickly gosslings grow. I rather like the geese, such as hearing them honking on the way in and their doing three loops around the pond before crash landing. One appears to be a cross as it is mostly grey. Has being coming around for something like 12 years and neighbor said it use to be at one of his ponds before I mine put in.

Swimming may depend on depth as much as anything else. If shallow a trackhoe can make a deep doughnut around the pond edges.

My pond is roughtly an acre. I had it put in. Left two small islands. There is about a 4' head over the drain pipe. Water pressure is such I could likely run a Penton turbine to generate electricity several hour a day without affecting pond level. 8" pipe. Takes three days to drain down 4' and about a month to refill.

One of the islands I keep cleared off except for some trees. It is where my ashes will be scattered. Other I have left to grow on its own.

I don't know why but my pond has never had cattails, although neighbor's pond(s) do. Might be because it is spring fed.

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  #3  
Old 09/06/09, 06:05 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Scharabok View Post
When the algae and bottom weeds in mine get too bad I sprinkle out 50 lbs of copper sulfate.
Don't use this "cure" if you have sheep anywhere near the pond. The copper remains for a very long time and killed an entire flock when the owner was unaware that a previous owner had treated the pond with copper. The new owner used it as a source of water for his sheep and they went down very quickly.
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  #4  
Old 09/06/09, 07:39 AM
 
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In realtor speak, "spring fed" could really mean drainage ditch, so you might want to slip on some boots or waders on another visit and take a look--see for yourself. I would guess that weeds uncut around the drainage might indicate mud that won't allow a tractor or lawnmower to dress it up to best show it. Not that something like that would be a showstopper. As with any pond, I would expect waterfowl, maybe a snake or two, some turtles, and perhaps some fish--maybe algae and pond weeds. A backhoe in winter, when the ground is frozen, might work miracles.

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  #5  
Old 09/06/09, 07:46 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: NC
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If you have a good spring, as a general rule, the water will be better for swimming than anything else you'll find. Rivers and lakes are usually polluted with all sorts of man-made stuff. You won't have to worry about antibiotics, cleaning chemicals and such that aren't removed by sewage plants.

Turtles aren't a problem. In fact, IMHO, from what I've seen with farm ponds around here, they are an asset. And, as to leeches, we're more likely to run into them in a large creek that flows near us. Unless the pond is over run with them (if there's a good population of predators, chances are it won't be) a few leeches aren't a problem either. They aren't dangerous. In fact there are some medical situations in which leeches are used as the part of the treatment.

IMHO, a spring fed pond is a real asset for any property. Source of fish from a relatively clean water source. Recreation - I'd love to have a primative camp site setup beside a farm pond. Source of power, depending on how the overflow is controlled. Water supply for flushing and if treated for drinking in an emergency. Source of water for livestock from the overflow (if possible, keep them out of the pond itself). Potential for geothermal heating/cooling system.

I wish I had a spring fed pond on our place, even if it has turtles and leeches. Shouldn't say this, but I envy the ones that my neighbors have.

Lee

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  #6  
Old 09/06/09, 08:32 AM
stranger than fiction
 
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Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
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We love our spring-fed pond! Free and private fishing for us....perch, sunfish, rock bass, bullhead, creek minnows, crappie, and bass! You may be able to stock it, if the water is suitable and it's allowed in your area.

Personally, if it's a natural pond, I highly doubt it will be totally free of leeches. Doesn't mean you will ever see one, though. If there's turtles, there are likely to be leeches. I wouldn't swim in our pond, although the old owners did, just because of the thought that there "could" be a leech. Yuk. I've seen a few snapping turtles in ours (I actually caught one by the shell while fishing once). Anyhow, I think it's only natural: if there's fish, there's fish predators, and therefore, predator parasites like leeches.

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  #7  
Old 09/06/09, 08:34 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Akron/Canton Ohio
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I am clueless when it comes to pond stuff. I grew up around salt water beaches.
I was not sure what care- if any- was needed for a spring fed pond. The realtor said they believe up to 3 springs bubble up to feed the pond. No cattails on the edges either. Hmm. I will see if I can find a pic from their site to post. It may be at a slight distance but should give the general idea.
Thank you for all the great input!
~Clueless on ponds

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  #8  
Old 09/06/09, 08:36 AM
stranger than fiction
 
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Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
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Oh, and with our pond, seeing it's moving water, not stagnant, we do not notice any bigger amount of mosquitos than when we were living away from water. Although we're in Canada, right, so in spring there's ALWAYS tons of mosquitos at first.

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  #9  
Old 09/06/09, 09:36 AM
 
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Location: Indiana, USA
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Our pond uses ground water and runoff for it's water. It's difficult to keep the water leverl up during the summer/fall. Plus we fight with sediment from plant matter, more

I'd take a spring, or creek fed pond anytime. a regular supply of (usually) clean water, will keep a pond healthier and a regular water level.

If you create a swimming area with a sandy bottom, you won't have problems with leeches. having bass in the pond will also take care of them.

Not sure why turtles would be a problem. Even snapping turtles will avoid humans when possible.

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  #10  
Old 09/06/09, 11:01 AM
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Hey.

You didn't say if there are fish in the pond. Fish eat bugs such as mosquitos.

Don't encourage geese and ducks...they crap all over the place. They also kill the fish.

Watch out for ear infections when swimming in stagnant ponds.

For a balanced pond, you need aquatic vegetation.

RF

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  #11  
Old 09/06/09, 01:11 PM
In Remembrance
 
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I disagree with Rocky Fields. My pond has a resident population of about six muscovys and from zero to 40 Canadian geese. I suspect they crap mostly in the pond as I don't see much of it on the banks. To me it helps fertilize the ponds. I think their benefits far outweigh the negatives in a farm pond situation. Now in a city park, golf course or office complex...

Yes, ear and eye infections can be a problem when swimming in any water not treated.

Old jokes:

Farmer walks down to feed the fish and finds three quite attractive young women swimming in his pond. They get embarrassed and ask him to leave. He said, "That's OK, I just came down to feed the alligators".

Doubt this one is true, but was told to me like it was. Guy had trained his fish to come to the dock by tapping on a pipe buried in the bottom. When he tossed out the feed the water would boil. He'd wait until someone was swimming in the pond, tap the pipe a couple of times, throw out the feed and yell, parranas, parranas, parranas.

Some 12 years ago now the pond I put in cost be about a much as a full-sized pickup at the time. Pond is there, but what would the pickup be.

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  #12  
Old 09/06/09, 08:02 PM
stranger than fiction
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
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Quote:
We have a spring fed pond and don't have a bit of problem with mosquittos. We also have Canadian geese come here and get to watch the goslings grow.
You can keep them! They are a menace here! Please, feed them and welcome them with open arms, it means there will be less of them here.

Sometimes beaches get closed here because the amount of goose poo causes a high bacterial count, which causes those ear aches, etc. Also, the beach will become disgusting with watery goose poo. You won't have a very nice beach when you're done. Geese will return to nest in the same area every year, so what is cute at 5 geese is not so cute when you're overrun with 200. And they can get aggressive when tame, particulary when breeding or when caring for chicks.

I wonder, if bird flu becomes prevalent again, how long before those darned geese spread it? Not long, I think. Gahhhh!
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  #13  
Old 09/07/09, 11:15 AM
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Hey.

DixyDoodle is right on. When we had Canadian Geese visit our pond, they stayed for nesting. They spend a lot of time out of the water crapping green tootsie rolls all over the place. They go into attack mode if you get too close to their nesting spot. We had trouble with the ducks and geese always wanting to nest in my wife's flower gardens near the house. The ducks would leave partially eaten fish strewn about...many only had one bite taken out of them.

RF

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  #14  
Old 09/07/09, 12:28 PM
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Pros and cons on ducks and geese.

I'll keep mine.

Just be aware if you kill a wild duck species (e.g., mallards) or Canadian goose out of season you may end up looking through bars. SSS.

I suspect if you were to fire a shotgun over them every day for a couple of weeks they would get the idea and leave.

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