It's time to renew your membership, dues are $25.00 per household. Make checks payable to Greater Cincinnati Water Garden Society (GCWGS) and mail to:
2847 Little Dry Run Rd
Cincinnati, OH 45244
I had done container water gardening for many years, and finally decided to move to an in-ground pond, thinking it would save me the trouble of disassembling and moving the containers from the outside patio every fall. I began with a 175 gallon preformed pond liner. But within two years I was dissatisfied with how this size limited the amount of plants I could have, and the difficulty of keeping the water balanced for fish. After being inspired by going on the Meyers pond tour in the summer of 2010, I decided to upgrade to a significantly larger water garden. But I found the cost of having one professionally installed prohibitive. After doing a lot of research using books and online websites, I decided I would be capable of installing a satisfactory pond myself. Checking with my local community government, I was informed as to how large and deep my pond could be before I would be required to install a fence around my yard. I designed my water garden to fit within these requirements (less than 125 square feet of surface area, and under 24” deep). Since it has an irregular shape, it’s hard to calculate exactly, but I would estimate it to be about 1400 gallons.
I wanted to have water lilies, as well as a variety of other plants, fish, and a waterfall. I placed the water garden where it would be visible from both our outside patio and the inside of the house (the kitchen and the sunspace). Since I was doing the vast majority of the work myself, I utilized rocks that I could move on my own. I did hire a local contractor to dig the basic outline of the water garden with a track hoe, while I finished the job by hand. My husband and my son helped me install the liner, and move some of the rocks, but I did most of the work myself. While it was basically complete by November 2010, I continued to tinker with it throughout the summer of 2011, making changes to the waterfall and the edging rocks, and adding an IonGen system in the end of the summer. Next year I’ll be able to offer an opinion about how well the latter works. I enjoyed my new fish and plants, and the water lilies bloomed more profusely in their bigger home.
Media Darlings for Biofiltration Learn how filtration media affect a biological filtration system's effectiveness. From Water Garden News www.watergardennews.com
By Devon McPhee
Part of a biological filtration system's effectiveness depends on the type of filtration media used. Filtration media provides a place for beneficial bacteria to grow. When comparing filtration media, consumers must pay attention to surface area, said Hung Hoang, president of SeaGate Filters in Alexandria, Va. The more surface area, the more places for beneficial bacteria to grow, he said. The most common biomedia include bioballs or tubular media, lava rock, filter mats and ribbon media. Filtration media range in price from $18 per cubic foot to $120 per cubic foot, based on surface area. Generally speaking, the more surface area, the higher the price. Bioballs or tubular media offer a high surface area, making them a favorite of pressurized filter manufacturers. They also have developed ways to make maintaining them easy, said Bill Lane, marketing director for Savio Engineering Inc. "Pressurized filter manufacturers have developed solutions incorporating internal jets and hand-operated agitators to make cleaning [bioballs] unintimidating and palatable to the general public," he said. Lava rock appeals to pond owners who want eco-friendly options, Lane said. The high surface area comes with a downside though. "The small pores in lava rock get clogged -- it's no fun to clean and the cleaning process tends to kill the beneficial bacteria -- reducing filter effectiveness until bacterial colonies can grow back," he said. Filter mats are one of the cheapest forms of biological filtration. As the name indicates, they're mats, usually placed behind the skimmer, on which beneficial bacteria grow. The newest media out there is ribbon media, which has a high surface area and is easy to clean. Some manufactures impregnate their ribbon media products with elements that foster bacteria growth. Choosing biomedia boils down to convenience and price, Hoang said. "Consumers who want to do little maintenance will pay more than consumers who are more concerned with price over convenience," he said. Michigan-based freelance writer Devon McPhee's complete article, "Let Nature Do the Work," appeared in the August 2007 issue.