Aquaculture Permaculture Design

Tuesday 7-10-2012

I would like to include a pond in my permaculture design that I am working on. Below I have begun to explore some of the issues regarding pond installation and management. I will cover this topic in greater detail as projects are completed.


My site is somewhat sensitive in regard to water management. I have a series of neighbors beneath me that have experienced serious water damage from runoff from my property. In fact one of my neighbors told me I was ruining her life the first time I met her. Having said that, it is currently better than it has ever been given the improvements that I have made, but I still have a lot to consider. For example, if I were to dig a large pond, I would have code enforcement on my property before I could say track hoe. I am also concerned about a water source apart from just rain, as I do not have a creek or natural spring to my knowledge. I do have an overflow pipe that exits just below my garden that could feed a pond. This overflow pipe is from my irrigation tank which is fed by my rooftop rainwater collection system and my open loop geothermal. Here in Central Pennsylvania, we do get about 41 inches of rainfall per year, so I find with my limited irrigating, I do lose a fair amount of water through this overflow pipe. If I could find a way to also send my grey water to the pond as well, then I might be able to support a decent sized pond. I would however need to establish a marsh to clean the grey water before the pond though.


Possible pond placement on contour map


Design Considerations

1. My initial thoughts are to remove the existing pop-up emitter, and connect a pipe to feed the pond directly.


2. Consider adding grey water and a marsh area for a larger pond.


3. The pond site, just downhill from my zone 1 garden, should be far enough away from nosy neighbors to bother me.


4. Ideally I would like at least a 1000 square foot pond that is at least 12 feet deep to keep the fish alive in the winter.


5. I would like a lot of edge and varying depths of the pond to allow for a wide variety of plant, insect, and animal habitat.


6. A liner less pond would be ideal, and can be done with careful compaction by heavy equipment with the right soil, although I need to do more research in this area.


7. A solid dam downslope of the pond would be needed, followed by a planted swale and berm to catch any runoff.


8. Consider adding rocks and tree branches/ trunks to bottom of the pond to allow for fish habitat. This will allow smaller fish a place to hide.


Animal life options

1. Ducks

2. Frogs and toads

3. Trout (For cold water pond)

4. Large mouth bass (warm water)

5. Bluegills (warm water)

6. Sunfish

7. Yellow perch


Plant life options

1. Cattail: Edible parts, water purifier

2. Reed canary grass: Water purifier, can be invasive

3. Cranberry

4. Comfrey

5. High-bush blueberry

6. High-bush cranberry

7. Daylily

8. Watercress

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