Babbling

A constantly trickling water feature is one of my favourite relaxing energies in life, but the maintenance of such a simple object is a nightmare and perhaps a microcosm for home ownership itself.

Nature abhors a water feature; man was not supposed to control the elements in such frivolous displays of self indulgence. The consequences: Too much sunlight and the algae grows like crazy. Not enough sunlight and the irises die. Run the bubbler too much and all the water evaporates. Don't run the bubbler enough and mosquitoes propagate like sunlight-infused algae. Whatever you do, the pump filter needs to be opened up and cleaned every few days - an experience that will leave you wet, mosquito-bitten, algae-covered and minutely dehydrated.

I recently bought a new algaecide which directed me to apply 1ml per 38 litres of water. I didn't install this fountain. I had no idea what capacity it had. I considered that I could search the bigbox hardware website for similar water features and hopefully they would specify the volume, but before I even fired up my little pocket computer I realised I'd need to measure my pond first, to be sure I was looking at the same thing. And at that point it occurred to me that if I had the measurements of the pond then I could apply high school geometry and calculate the volume of water within it! I'd need to also calculate the volume of the three small pots submerged inside the water, combine these results, and deduct this from the main initial volume. I'd then need to divide by 1000 to convert from cubic centimetres to litres.

Solve for V

Solve for V

This could, I believe, be the first time I've applied mathematics from high school in my actual life. And so for me to truly be able to calculate the volume of a cylinder I knew I would need two things: my Texas Instruments 2002 Graphing Calculator, and tall can of Woodstock Bourbon and Cola.

While searching for the former I felt the urge to confirm that the correct formula for calculating the volume of a cylinder was indeed pi multiplied by the radius squared, multiplied by height. So I pulled out the calculator that my teachers told me I would never always have in my pocket and Googled it. Yep, I was right, and with a height of 12.86cm and a radius of 3.4cm the volume was indeed 440mls. Sadly, I also found a bevy of online cylinder volume calculators where I just plugged in my pond's dimensions of 85cm diameter and 8cm depth and got the result. So technically I didn't get to use high school mathematics, but I did get to use primary school maths to add together three lots of plant pot volumes (3x 4 litres) and deduct that from the pond's volume (105 litres) giving me a total pond volume of 93L. This means I will need 2.5ml of Algaecide to kill the algae in my pond (and 0.012mls to kill the algae in a can of Woodstock.).

Next time I won't even need to measure the pond I can just search for this entry.

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