8. Preparing your pond

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Before filling the pond
Fertilizing the water
How to make plant compost
How to make animal compost
Building a crib
Putting fertilizer into the crib
When is your pond ready?

Before filling the pond

191 Make sure that the screens on the inlet, outlet and overflow are in place and tight.

192 Make sure that the outlet is tightly closed. To do this, wrap a wood plug with old cloth, put it in the outlet pipe on the outside of the pond and tap it lightly with a hammer so that it will stay in the pipe when the pond fills with water.

193 If you have built a better outlet with a T or an L piece, turn it to the upright position.

Figure 107

Figure 108

194 If your pond has a monk, put in the boards and put the screen on top (see items 1 13 to 1 19).

195 Put rocks on the bottom of your pond under the inlet where the water will fall when it begins to come into the pond.

196 This will keep the bottom from washing away. It will keep the water from getting too muddy. It will make the water splash when it first comes into the pond and bring air for the fish to breathe.

197 Now you are ready to fill your pond.

Figure 109

Figure 110



Figure 112 - 1 put both sets of wooden boards in the slots in the monk and put the screen in place on top of the first row of boards

Figure 113 - 2 the boards should be as high as the water depth that you want in the pond

Figure 114 - 3 pack the space between them with good clay soil to keep water from leaking out

Figure 115 - 4 let water into the pond

Figure 116 - 5 when the water reaches the top of the boards, stop the flow of water

Figure 117 - 6 leave the screen in place to act as an overflow if the water becomes too high

Fertilizing the water

198 You can fertilize the water in your new ponds with

199 You can also fertilize your ponds by soaking bitter cassava roots in the water, at regular intervals.

How to make plant compost

200 Items 202 to 209 tell you how to make animal compost. If you do not have animal manure, you can fertilize your ponds with compost made with plant material.

201 To make compost with plant material, make a compost pile using layers of grass, chopped leaves or other plant material mixed with a little topsoil. Dampen it with water to make it rot faster.

Figure 118

How to make animal compost

202 Make a compost pile near the pond. Put it in a shady place protected from rain.

203 Make your pile in layers. Make the first layer of grass or leaves mixed with a spadeful of topsoil, and dampen it with water to make it rot faster.

204 Then make a second layer of animal manure mixed with a spadeful of topsoil and some water.

Figure 119

Figure 120

205 Use animal manure from sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, chickens or ducks.

206 In place of animal manure you can also use cotton seed, spoiled fruit, household garbage, ashes from the fireplace or night soil.

207 Then make another layer of grass or leaves, and another of manure, until you have a large pile.

Figure 121

Figure 122

Figure 123

208 Keep your compost pile damp by watering it every few days.

209 Let the compost pile rot for about a month.

210 Take compost from the bottom of the pile or the old part of the pile, where it is most rotten, to put in your ponds.

211 Add new layers to your pile every week so that you will always have compost.

212 If you have too much compost you can use some to fertilize your land.

Figure 124

Figure 125

Building a crib

213 In each pond build a crib from bamboo or wood to hold the fertilizer. Build it in one corner in the shallow part of the pond. The drawing below will show you how.

214 If you have a pond that is bigger than 500 square metres you should build two cribs in the pond. The drawings below and on the next page show you where to put them.

Figure 126

Figure 127

Putting fertilizer into the crib

215 When you first put fertilizer into your crib, pack it down well and fill the crib to the water line. This will be about 60 centimetres deep in the shallow part of the pond.

Figure 128

Figure 129

216 If you are going to fertilize your ponds with animal compost you will need to put in 10 kilograms of compost for each 100 square metres of pond each week.

217 If you are going to fertilize your ponds with animal manure you will need to put in



218 If you are going to fertilize your ponds with animal manure, but you do not have enough of any one kind of animal manure, you can make a mixture of several kinds.

Figure 130

Figure 131

Figure 132

219 You can make a mixture using 1 part poultry droppings, 2 parts pig dung and 3 parts cow dung.

You will need to put in

When is your pond ready?

220 If you fertilize your pond with animal compost or animal manure, the water will start to turn green in two or three days. If you fertilize your pond with plant compost or plant material, it will take one week or longer.

221 When the water begins to turn green, you will know that natural food is growing in your pond. It will take about a week to become green enough.

Figure 133

222 You can make a simple test to be sure that the water is green enough. Put your arm in the water up to your elbow. If you are just able to see the ends of your fingers, the water is green enough.

Figure 134


Check the screens, close the outlet, open the inlet and protect the bank under it

Fill the pond with water

Fertilize the water:

Wait until the water becomes rich in natural fish food

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