Saturday, April 24, 2010

Making a Filter ala The Empress of Dirt

My dear internet friend Melissa over at Empress of Dirt has been kind enough to make a tutorial on backyard pond construction. Just the help I needed to clear up my pond water and relieve me of daily decaying fish food removal.
A filter around my pump is the answer and she has a do it myself version that was perfect for me to try.
I was about to trek over to Ace to buy some hardware cloth but instead found some wire mesh courtesy of the unused chicken coop.
Then I found the wire snips in the potting shed, in Dave's ever so organized Wall of Tools. Luckily  Unfortunately he was out so I had to do this without interference  his help.
I used a small jewelry pliers to bend the cut ends inward and under the filter. Those are my adorable knees displaying the resulting cage.

The view of the intake side. I was careful to make the mesh some distance from the filter intake, so as not to make it work too hard. I also removed the fountain pipe so the clear water would just flow out softly. I adjusted the flow valve to medium low. This is a big pump for this size of this pond, methinks.

The perfect size piece of poly batt was snugged into the wires and held nicely as I place and removed and replaced and removed the pump in the water until I found the right spot to seat it properly.

 Pump and toes, and just the right amount of current, no splashing. I await the onset of scum build up on the batting.
It turns out that I need not feed fish pellets to my little darlings, that they are content to eat the gunk that congeals on the sides of the tub, and the concrete bricks holding up the potted plants. How convenient.
It rained nicely all night and this morning I found two frogs in the tub, trying desperately to get out. How do I know? I came back in an hour and they were still trying to grab onto the slippery edge. So I got my skimmer net and plucked them out to safety. I put them down on the adjacent mulch and they stood still, almost invisible on the woodchips. I am sure they needed a nap.
The water does look a lot better already and when and if the sun returns today I feel certain I will see much clearer water.
Yay Melissa!!! Thanks so much.


  1. Anonymous8:21 AM

    Please out something near the edge of your pond - a pile of rocks that touch the side, or a log leaning against the edge as well as in the water so frogs can get out. If they cannot climb out of the water, they will drown.

  2. Mechelle10:14 AM

    Yes, I agree w/Anon - you need some kind of bridge for critters to get out of the pond. We have a sink outside that lizards kept getting stuck in (to slippery to get out!) I leaned a paint stir stick in the sink on the edge so they can now they have a bridge to get out - no more dead lizards....

  3. Anonymous10:20 AM

    LOL yes save the frogs!

    Congrats on a project well done! AND using what you had on hand, very cool!
    Now I think to keep with the '''flow'' you should go make a frog quilt!

  4. Hi Melody, I'm from the Netherlands and found your weblog just by blog-hopping last night, and I'm already hooked to your blog! Spend about 8 hours just reading and admiring your creativity and those mouthwatering recepies are like the icing of this cake. Love your humor, the way you write, and wish I lived nearby to learn from you. You inspire me, thanks!

  5. Dear Shirley,
    Thank you so much for the nice words. I am thrilled that you found me and hope you will return often.

  6. I was about to ask you to put something in for the frogs to climb onto but I see the other frog lovers have beaten me to it!
    Love the colours in your quilts, so bright and vibrant

  7. Nice job Melody! Don't you just love the internet? You can find the answer to just about any question or problem. I have started making my own Greek style yogurt because I found out how to do it on the net.

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