Hi, I'm Sharon from Winter Springs FL, a suburb of Orlando. I'm a retired Biology professor, an organic gardener for more than 50 years, and an accidental ponder. I've kept fish from time to time through my life, and generally successfully, but I never really got into it. I would enjoy the fish tank for 5-10 years, and then have to move. I'd give the fish away and forget about them for several years. Then I'd get the bug again and set up a tank for another several years. It was an ornamental thing that you had to take care of -- sort of like house plants.When we moved to Orlando 11 years ago I inherited a water garden from the previous owners. Maybe they had fish in it since they had a filter, but if they did, they took them with them. It was a preformed liner that wasn't level and had a large waterfall made mainly from chunks of concrete and artificial rock cemented together. It was positioned so that it was difficult to get around it for any maintenance. I planted in and around the pond until it was surrounded by a beautiful jungle, watercress covered the ugly waterfall, and lilies bloomed in the water. Snakes, lizards, and birds all enjoyed the water and jungle.Then came the problems. The preformed sprung a leak, so we put a liner in it. The foliage was so lush, it was nearly impossible to do any maintenance on the house -- even washing windows. Then there was the plague of giant Cuban tree frogs, an absolutely horrible invasive species. They prefer to breed in water features. They kill off and out-compete native frogs. They jump onto your windows with a huge noise, poop all over the house walls, jump onto people, and sneak into the house if they can. It's hard for me to believe that it was only 2 to 3 years ago that I looked at the mess after a frost had browned all of the foliage and told my husband that I was going to redo the whole thing -- dig up the plants and put those I wanted to keep in planters, put a little patio in front of the windows, dig a pond and use the liner in it, and then maybe put in some goldfish to eat the stinking Cuban tadpoles. To my surprise, he approved.
I recycle and reuse just about everything. Unfortunately, reusing the liner limited me to a 100 gallon pond. Well, that would be OK, I only wanted 4 or 5 goldfish anyway. So I started on the project of digging up shrubs (some were actually trees) demolishing the waterfall and digging the pond hole where I wanted it. Busting up the waterfall was the big job. Concrete hardens as it ages. som of the stuff I could chip and pry apart. If I got a crack, i could use a wedge to create a break. My husband had a post maul that he could break things up with, but I wasn't strong enough to swing it. I could lift it to shoulder height and drop it, which broke some stuff off. By the time half of the waterfall was broken up, I couldn't get anything else off. So I went to my husband And asked if he could break it up with the post maul, since "I wasn't strong enough." Any married woman knows the strength thing makes this an almost irresistible request.
So he took the post maul, took mighty swings, and quickly broke up half of what was left. Then the handle broke on the maul.