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Georgia

Thinking about a pond- lots of questions

5 posts in this topic

Hi all! Hope all is well. I'd never thought I'd ever post in this section. :rofl

 

So my fish having been living in a 29 gallon for quite some time now, and much to no surprise, they have outgrown it and are due for an upgrade. I had found a wonderful deal on a 90 gallon on Craigslist, but my mother refused to let me get it. So I'm back to the drawing board now.

 

I easily can fit a 40 gallon breeder on the current stand that I have so I could always upgrade to that--but, the problem is that I'll be leaving for college in about a year or so (I'll be a senior next school year) and I'll most likely not be home to do routine maintenance on the tank, as I do not plan on taking my fish with me. So that leaves my mother to do my tank maintenance for me while I am away, and I'd like to make it as easy as possible for her with little risk that she'll mess something up and potentially harm my fish.

 

So that brought me thinking to a pond. It would give my fish the best quality of life that I could offer and have less maintenance than a tank would (basically just clean the filters regularly, feed the fish and do water changes, right?). I'd love to see them grow in a pond as they are a bit small for their age. I am completely clueless when it comes to ponds, however, so I have lots of questions! :rofl Okay, here goes:

 

1. I'm looking at a pond somewhere over 50 gallons but not really too much over 100 gallons (just a tub on my patio, not in-ground) . How much water do you pond people usually change and how often? I've heard somewhere around 10-20% a week. I probably won't get any more fish unless I absolutely love one, so the pond will be lightly stocked.

 

2. Is it best that I just take the fish inside for the winter or buy some sort of heater?

 

3. How do you plug stuff into outside outlets without them getting wet when it rains?

 

4. I currently buffer my water with crushed coral or else it will drop to 6.0. How do you buffer water in ponds? Baking soda? Or does it not matter? Does rainwater affect pH much?

 

5. Do debris build up very quickly in a pond? Can I use a gravel vacuum to suck it out?

 

6. I really like the look of Laguna tubs, however I can't find much if any, and which ever ones I have found are really expensive. Do you guys have any links to any ponds that are not...err.. that ugly?

 

7. Okay, so the concept of filtration for a pond had been bothering me for a while because I cannot for the life of me DIY one. :rofl BUT-! I finally found one that is actually quite doable and did not hurt my brain reading the assembly in this thread.  How often would you have to clean a filter like this?

 

8. What is a protein skimmer? Do I need one?

 

I'm sorry for so many questions. I'm sure I'll come up with more later. :rofl Thanks for helping! :D

 

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Hi. I'm pretty busy right now so I have to make it short. Do like the TuffStuff containers from Tractor Supply. You can get 110 gallons for $70. That's a good deal. They also have a drain plug near the bottom which is great for water changes. I do not change much ch water at all in my pond since ammonia and nitrate are always 0. More debris will collect in there since it is outside but I haven't found it to be a problem.

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Hi. I'm pretty busy right now so I have to make it short. Do like the TuffStuff containers from Tractor Supply. You can get 110 gallons for $70. That's a good deal. They also have a drain plug near the bottom which is great for water changes. I do not change much ch water at all in my pond since ammonia and nitrate are always 0. More debris will collect in there since it is outside but I haven't found it to be a problem.

Haha no problem! I'm in no rush. :) I'll have to look into those! I definitely don't want to spend a lot of money on a plastic tub. :rofl3

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Oh boy, a whole new subject!   Honestly I don't know where to start Georgia.  Google "Koi Ponds" for some good starter notes.

Filtration is key, and you'll need to protect your babies too.

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1. I'm looking at a pond somewhere over 50 gallons but not really too much over 100 gallons (just a tub on my patio, not in-ground) . How much water do you pond people usually change and how often? I've heard somewhere around 10-20% a week. I probably won't get any more fish unless I absolutely love one, so the pond will be lightly stocked.

 

Like  DP,  I consider the TuffStuff 110  a best buy.  It looks pretty good too.

 

I do continuous drip water change, dripping in fresh water at a rate of 10% of the pond volume per day, overflowing the excess water.  If you build an external filter with a volume 1/10 that of your pond, you can get away with changing 10-20% of water a week.  That little internal filter isn't much more effective than an aquarium filter, so you really need to treat your pond like an aquarium.

 

2. Is it best that I just take the fish inside for the winter or buy some sort of heater?

 

Unless you insulate and cover the tub, the electric bill will go through the roof if you try to heat a tub of water outdoors in the winter.

 

3. How do you plug stuff into outside outlets without them getting wet when it rains?

 

You can put on an outlet with a weather cover.  If the outlet is on the wall of the house, the eaves usually protect it.

 

4. I currently buffer my water with crushed coral or else it will drop to 6.0. How do you buffer water in ponds? Baking soda? Or does it not matter? Does rainwater affect pH much?

 

Do you have a water softener?  I do, so the house water is soft, but hard water comes from the outdoor tap.  If you have only soft water, when you go to a farm store to get your stock tank, pick up a bag of crushed oyster shells.  Lots of people use these in ponds.  You can put  them in your filter.  With very soft water, prolonged heavy rain can lower the pH, but the oyster shells should harden it up.

 

5. Do debris build up very quickly in a pond? Can I use a gravel vacuum to suck it out?

 

If you mean fish waste, it builds up the same in any container.  If you don't cover your pond, leaves and other debris can collect there.   You can use a gravel vacuum, but I prefer plain clear vinyl tubing for siphoning.  If you go to Home Depot, you can buy as much as you need by the foot.  I like to get 3/4" or even 1" diameter that makes for a quick cleanup.

 

6. I really like the look of Laguna tubs, however I can't find much if any, and which ever ones I have found are really expensive. Do you guys have any links to any ponds that are not...err.. that ugly?

 

7. Okay, so the concept of filtration for a pond had been bothering me for a while because I cannot for the life of me DIY one. :rofl BUT-! I finally found one that is actually quite doable and did not hurt my brain reading the assembly in this thread.  How often would you have to clean a filter like this?

 

Weekly works.

 

8. What is a protein skimmer? Do I need one?

 

No way!  People with large, technically advanced koi ponds use this device.  It removes dissolved organic material.  Once you get up the courage to build a basic upflow biofilter, you can move on to making a protein skimmer.   :)

 

I'm sorry for so many questions. I'm sure I'll come up with more later. :rofl Thanks for helping! :D

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