Welcome to Ky-Dan's stream & veggie filter page!

At last- after years of procrastination- we finally got around to constructing a pond stream & veggie filter!


This is the way our fishpond looked for 5 years. Just a pile of rocks to form a little waterfall with a garbage can bio-filter sitting behind the rocks.

stream construction

We considered having a dump truck load of "top soil" brought in to build a hill but that would have smothered established beds of purple coneflowers and black eyed susans. We decided to use the ever popular concrete castle blocks to form the structure for our stream and veggie filter.
April 15

castle blocks taking shape
It would have been more natural looking if we had a sloping hillside here but we all have to work with what's there. Hauling in tons of dirt and moving dozens of established flowers just didn't sound like much fun to us!

Pond Stream With some help from an energetic son, things were shaping up pretty well by the morning of day 2. Note the waterfall stones have been removed and the pond pump is temporarily splashing directly back into the pond to keep the fish oxygenated.

Pond Stream
We lined the inside walls with landscape fabric to keep the mud and roots from coming through the cracks between blocks. I'm not sure if this is absolutely necessary but it seemed like a good idea.
Notice also the garbage can filter appears to be buried in the rear of the stream area- it's not- more on that later.

Putting in the liner
The next step was placing the EDPM pond liner in the stream bed. Note, water pump hoses are laid under the stream liner. This keeps them hidden but somewhat accessible. Pond liner is available at many larger home and garden centers, especially in the spring and early summer.

Garbage can filter
The black hose is a drain/flush out connected to the lower right. Also note the white fitting in the top left side of the filter. This is where the filtered water exits the can when it's in operation.

Filter goes here
Now you see it-- the garbage can sits in this compartment that is located inside the block wall at the upper end of the stream. It's a "wall within a wall" and is formed of the same castle blocks.
A black plastic mortar mixing pan will soon be placed on the bare dirt seen at the right of the compartment.
This compartment allows the can to be removed for maintenance without disturbing the dirt or the stream bed.

Veggie filter Now you don't!
In this view the garbage can has been placed into it's compartment and hidden from view by a layer of thin flat rocks.
You can see the water lines from the pond pumps at the top center of this picture. The pond water passes through the black rectangular veggie filter and then drains out a hidden PVC pipe in the lower left of veggie filter and into a hole cut in the center of the lid of the hidden garbage can filter. The garbage can is filled with LOOSELY packed nylon window screen fabric. Pond water passes through the screen material in the garbage can and drains via a 2nd piece of PVC pipe into the top of the pond stream!

Garbage can drain The black flex hose seen here is the garbage can drain and flush out hose. It's simply tucked up under the rocks on top to keep it from draining until needed. When we need to clean the garbage can filter or drain it for winter we just lay that hose down into the flower bed and gravity does the rest.

Parrots feather
There are many different plants you can use to "populate" your veggie filter and stream area. In this late summer view Parrots feather is taking over the veggie filter and stream!
The light green plant on the upper left of the stream is moneywort or creeping jenny.

Vinca is planted in the dirt outside the veggie filter to trail down and "soften" the hard block walls.

Water cress (bought in the salad isle of the grocery store) thrives in cool days of spring and fall but by late summer the parrots feather and water celery rule the veggie filter.

September 17

Fish pond
The pond looks a little overgrown but the fish don't mind. All the plants tie up nitrogen from the water as well as filter out dirt while allowing the natural "ammonia eating" bacteria to live in their roots. The low nitrogen level keeps algae to a minimum.
Our pond water stays crystal clear and never smells sour or fishy.

Dan & Rita at Yellowstone National Park In spite of our stream project we still found time to visit Yellowstone National park where they have a pretty nice stream and water fall too!! This is the lower falls of the "Grand canyon of Yellowstone".

That about does it for the pond stream and veggie filter project. We hope you enjoyed your visit. Maybe we'll meet again, in the garden or in the woods.

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If I have misspoken, misspelled or made a typo I'd be grateful if you'd drop me a line so I can fix it.

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This page was first put online February 19, 2006

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