Creature from the Black Lagoon

Bogs, the image of a bog can sometimes conjure up somewhat swampy unpleasant scenes, think “Creature From The Black Lagoon”. Bog has never been a particularly nice word and in our language it can be used to describe sticky hard to get out of, undesirable situations. “Hi honey, I can’t get home for dinner, I really bogged down with work”.
But what is a bog really? A place that is hard to move around in or get out of? Well, ok, yes, I’ll give you that one; however bogs are nature’s water filters purifying life giving and sustaining water. Bogs are areas of thick dense aquatic plant growth, nature’s filters. Contaminated water can flow into a bog and emerge clean and pure to sustain our planet.
To put a nice spin on a bog we can also call them wetlands. Wetlands is a pretty word for swamp, for bog, and people bend over backwards to protect our wetlands, as they should be, but at the end of the day the word bog can be substituted for those areas, but it just ain’t perty.
So, how does my rambling relate to ponds? This is the Love your Pond blog after all isn’t it? Sure it is, and here is the connection; bogs, can be used to filter ponds. A small scale bog can be constructed for a pond as a form of filtration and they are incredibly effective! Bog filters for ponds are not a new idea, but they are not a popular idea yet either with the general public; but among professional pond builders bog filtration is coming into its own because of the undeniable powerhouse of a filter they can be. Bog filters are constructed for ponds and planted heavily with aquatic and emergent plants. The pond water is delivered to the bottom of the bog filter and percolates UP through the gravel and plant roots then returns to the pond, typically by way of a waterfall. This method is extremely effective at filtering pond water to amazing clarity while processing and removing nutrients at very high levels, returning to the pond beautifully clear and naturally purified water. This is also a great way to feed your aquatic plants by literally delivering nutrient rich water directly to their root systems. Plant growth in bog filter can be up to 400% faster than plants grown directly in the pond (but, still use plants in your pond too) which will consume nutrients by the “teabag” method. Bog filters are easy to maintain as well, typically needing service 2-3X annually, other than plant pruning.
Ponds that utilize bog filtration also do not have green water issues and algae growth is greatly reduced or eliminated. When it comes time to install, renovate, or upgrade your pond; talk to your pond expert about installing a bog filter system for your pond. You will be happy with the results!


Reed Rogers

I’ve constructed a pond with a bog system that is 25% of the surface area of the pond and waterfalls back into the pond about a foot. The pond is about 60000 gallons. How much supplemental aeration might be necessary to keep water clear or will the bog and waterfall be sufficient. Pond is 8 ft deep. Bog area is 8 ft deep as well but that is to allow for limestone gravel under the active bog to buffer acidic well water source.
If aeration is needed is it possible to utilize the bog pump and maybe introduce air inline and have it come in through bog waterfall? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Mike Gannon

Hello Reed. Bog filtration / wetland filtration typically will create some pretty spectacular water quality and clarity. Additonal aeration can happen wherever you’d like it since you are dealing with a closed re-circulating system. If you want the best spot to locate the air diffuser then try to place in an area where water movement is slow. You can also add aeration to your bog, but it should not be necessary. Your bog sounds very deep! Most construction for bog filters do not need to be quite as deep. Since you did go that deep it would not hurt to add aeration there. Thanks for reaching out. Good luck!! -Mike


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