By Eric Triplett
How do you figure out how much water there is in a pond? This is a question that frequently reaches my desk – and it’s important enough to know that I devoted this edition of “Ask the Pond Digger” to answering it.
In the video, I approach this as a practical matter of how you figure out how many gallons a pond contains, offering a couple basic ways to figure it out as well as a cool stoichiometric technique that really nails it down to within a few gallons.
What I touch on a bit too lightly in this episode is the why of knowing the gallonage – and that’s something I want to emphasize here.
I do mention a few reasons in the video: You need to know the volume so you can reasonably know how much water you need to change out each month; how much dechlorinator you need to add to keep up with those water additions; how much conditioner is required and how much beneficial bacteria to add. These aren’t tremendous maintenance expenses, but in the long run they can add up and become burdensome if you don’t have a good idea of how much a pond holds.
Even more important is my mentioning that water volume determines dosages of medicines in the event the pond’s fish get sick. You don’t want any sort of overdose here, nor do you want to go too far with algaecides (if you use them, which I wouldn’t) and other products meant to help you keep the water safe, clear and healthy.
What I don’t mention is the up-front importance of using an approximation of the pond’s volume – the best projection you can calculate – to determine the kind of equipment you’ll be specifying, including pumps, filters and skimmers. Before you start digging, you need to think about turnover rates, for example, and know with some degree of precision whether the system you’re assembling is going to get the job done.
Add in the fact that water volume is also a crucial factor in determining the population of fish the pond will safely and easily support and there’s yet another reason to draw a bead on the pond’s capacity.
My coverage of this episode brings this seven-part series of “Pond Q & A” features to a close. I hope you’ve found them informative. I also hope you will feel free to contact me at the email address indicated below if you have any questions: I’m here to help!
To explore a few methods for calculating pond volumes, click here.