View Full Version : Solar pump for mandala ponds?
26-04-2007, 08:18 AM
I've finished constructing a deep pond in the centre of a mandala but am now stumped as to what sort of solar pump to acquire to aerate it. It is about 3 foot deep so I'm not sure if I can get away with not using a solar pump. What are your thoughts?
29-04-2007, 06:14 PM
There must be someone who has a mandala with a pond in their backgarden, surely??? :oops:
This is new to me. Is a garden sort of thing with a water feature int he center? Sort of like a zen garden? post a piccie. I'd love to see it. I would think off hand that you would have to calculate the amount of water you want to move with the solar pump and then just check out the brands. Some are more powerful than others and also depends on what you want the water to do ie spray high or not, gurgle etc..
Anyway, enlighten me. It sounds interesting. :)
29-04-2007, 09:01 PM
I sorta thought the whole point of a mandela garden was to create a repository for waste and water between plants in an econimcal keyhole shape.
If you have created a pool there then it isnt a 'mandela' garden.. just a cute fishpond with shade and shape.
richard in manoa
30-04-2007, 04:04 AM
Well... A mandala is a fancy word for a circle, right? So, Spritegal has made a series of garden beds in a circle, centred on a pond in the middle. Right, Spritegal?
You might not need a pump to aerate your pond depending on what you are trying to achieve. There are so many variables - amount of sun it recieves, amount of vegetation and animal life inhabiting the pond. How often you want to clean it out (ie harvest the organic matter) etc etc etc.
What I am trying to say is that you may be able to strike a balance with the right type of vegetation that will use up the nutrients in the water and oxygenate it without any extra mechanical devices. But you'll have to think about it, and play with it, and see what happens.
Seems like a pump strong enough to aerate a little pond like that isn't going to be real expensive. Let us know how you go!
30-04-2007, 09:21 AM
back to the issue.
A fishtank pump would do a good job of aerating your pond, they come in a variety of sizes and seem to be very reliable.
Also consider a bilge pump hooked up to a small solar panel, they are designed to work underwater with a variety of power sources.
One of those little windmills would be fun if you have right sort of climate.
30-04-2007, 10:25 AM
I think water plants would be the way to go. They will sort out the aeration. Put a stand in the pond and bung a pot or two with water weeds planted in them on it. Reeds look good. Living things like frogs will also make it natural. I wouldn't use a pump.
30-04-2007, 06:18 PM
Just to clarify a couple of things,
The pond is tiny. 2 foot across, 3 foot deep. Its an old plastic 55 gallon barrel cut in half.
I have put it in because water is not available to the insects such as bees, who come visiting the garden, for about 500 metres in any direction. Linda Woodrow in her book "The Permaculture Home Garden" says it is an integral feature if you want good pollination in your vegies and high levels of predatory insects in your garden. No water = no resident invertebrates.
The windmill idea is brilliant, floot. Thanks HEAPS!! I'll get hubby onto it straight away (he's a mechanical engineer by trade). He might be able to come up with some sort of interesting design I can patent later ;)
I will also plant lots of aquatic plants in the barrell and put in a few goldfish to start, before investing in a solar pump. And yes, I'll post a few photos of the "mini pond" once it is completed.
Thank you for your suggestions, everyone :)
04-05-2007, 01:57 AM
spritegal, I have a windmill on my pond, but it's a big one. It works great. You need an air pump on the windmill that has a hose running to the pond, connected to a stone or ceramic diffuser, then the bubbles come up as bubbles and not a blob of air.
I'm not sure insects will be okay with bubbling water, they drown easily. They really love still water and an edge to cling to. If it's the size of a barrel do you need a pump? Why not just fill it, let it get "organic", empty out the rich water that the plants will love, and refill it every once in a while.'
But if you do a windmill, be sure to secure it to the ground on all three legs with rebar that goes at least 5-6 feet into the ground. Seriously. A storm blew mine over the first time, and luckily it didn't bend the blade, but it's a real issue keeping those upright in high winds.
04-05-2007, 01:06 PM
I think maybe the goldfish will eat the insects when they land to drink. Not sure really but you might find out before you get goldfish as it could be a problem.
I dug a hole about the same dimensions of your barrel in the centre of my mandala. I planted sugar cane around it.
I also laid chicken wire over the top so birds and insects could drink with less chance of drowning and so bigger creatures couldn't get in.
I think sweetpea's idea of letting it go organic is on the right track.
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