Tiny pond, brilliant or stupid?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by SueinWA, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    My soil is quite sandy, so I have been adding non-clumping clay cat litter (new, not used) to my garden beds to help retain moisture and nutrients.

    The main ingredient of this cat litter is Bentonite. Bentonite is the clay material that is used to line leaking ponds, rather expensive in large amounts.

    I had an idea yesterday. Why not dig out a small (half-metre across) hollow in the soil in the veggie garden area, line it with a decent layer of this cat litter, and spray it until it forms a clayey wet lining, then fill it with water? I have wild quail and the occasional tree frog, plus bees and other useful insects that might find it useful.

    I am wondering about drainage. Most water goes bad if just left to sit. Would the clay have any effect on this (I've never worked with clay soil)? Might it be better to build up a mound and make the hollow in that (like a short volcano), so I could drain it with some plastic tubing periodically? I could shore up the outside with rocks -- I've got plenty of those.

    Any thoughts, ideas or admonitions?

    Sue, who has had some good ideas, and some not-so-good ideas :oops:
     
  2. hardworkinghippy

    hardworkinghippy Junior Member

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    Re: Tiny pond, brilliant or stupid?

    Anything you do to have water in your garden is a good thing.

    We've puddled a few clay ponds. The water's stagnant, but nature soon sorts it out and it becomes full of interesting things. This is one of our ponds after two years, but even a very small puddle can be treated in the same way.

    [​IMG]

    Try it out and see what happens. :)
     
  3. MikeB

    MikeB Junior Member

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    Re: Tiny pond, brilliant or stupid?

    I have the opposite problem of too much clay and not enough sand. I fixed it by buying a truck load of river sand (mostly silica sand) and hiring an electric cement mixer. 2 parts clay to 1 part sand roughly tumbled in the cement mixer for a couple of minutes makes a great garden soil mix for my area, no water used. I also added clay breaker makes, for good drainage.

    With your pond just use an old plastic shower curtain to line you mini pond cover with your kitty litter, pack and fill with water. If it stays very cloudy use some flocking compound like diatematious earth to make it clear. frogs etc will make a bee line for any local water source and don't worry about it going stagnat. nature will take care of it quite quickly.
     
  4. JoanVL

    JoanVL Junior Member

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    Re: Tiny pond, brilliant or stupid?

    I once buried and old plastic sink bowl, stuck a few rocks in the bottom, filled it with water and grew water cress. It was on a slope, just in front of an outlet from the roof drain pipes, so when it rained heavily the old water ran out and some new water ran in.

    But when it stopped raining all together for ages I had to give up on it.
     
  5. Cosmic

    Cosmic Junior Member

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    Re: Tiny pond, brilliant or stupid?

    I have a tiny old 20cm x 15cm fish tank growing watercress just fine and the water is crystal clear. With plants in it the water will be perfect.
     
  6. houstonlady

    houstonlady New Member

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    Re: Tiny pond, brilliant or stupid?

    I live in Houston, TX and am looking to construct a tiny pond for a few frogs in my yard. I'd be interested in knowing how your idea worked out. I suppose one could sink a small aquarium into the ground as well? Any further suggestions?
     
  7. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Tiny pond, brilliant or stupid?

    I think bentonite is the clumping litter
    Atapultite (magnesium-rich clay) is the non clumping one.

    Both good to add to a sandy soil.

    I have been thinking of digging a hole in a soak area of my small garden- so let me know how you go.

    With sandy soil you will need some waterproof liner.

    The ABC Garden show had a good segment on this ( a few months ago) It might still be on their website
     
  8. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Re: Tiny pond, brilliant or stupid?

    Sue,

    I would consider two things. The authenticity of the Bentonite and also the proportion of cat pooh.

    As for building a pond. I assume you live in an environment that most ponds freeze for some months of the year. Your froggies may need other environments beyond our Aussie ones. Here in most of Australia, if we make it 'wet & permanent' we have frogs. You may need to delve into this a bit more.

    If you create a pond, you may also be able to treat the bentonite by washing or settling and make it a useful addition to any ponds/soil. I would consider this first because on a manure scale, cat pooh is a concentrate and tends to be poisonous to most flora if concentrated. More so if the cat is on a regular parasite regime.

    As an aside and to offer balance. I believe cats should be infected by parasites and not protected but thaqt is another issue.

    cheers,
     
  9. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Re: Tiny pond, brilliant or stupid?

    I was planning on buying new cat litter for the pond, not using the stuff with 'deposits'. :D

    So far, I've been too busy to get to the pond.

    Sue
     

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