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hannah

Where to start on a pond...

32 posts in this topic

I'm very interested in having an outdoor pond to hold my 5 fantails. I have little idea where to start, though.

 

Firstly, are Laguna goldfish tubs suitable for being used freestanding? I found the larger one (410L) on sale on a website!

 

Secondly, is it deep enough to overwinter them (46cm)? I'd rather not have to move them back indoors.

 

How do I go about filtration?

 

All help appreciated. :)

Edited by hannah

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Sorry I forgot to add temps. Say 14F would be lowest. Not that common but it happens. Thank you for the links.

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What temperature is typical?

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November through to March would be about 30-35F ish in winter. It fluctuates so much that it's hard to give what's typical.

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I don't think it safe to try to keep goldfish outdoors through the winter in a fully exposed small tank.  If you build or buy a "greenhouse" cover for the pond you can keep them outside through the winter with no problem.  Here's an example of a mini greenhouse that could protect a container pond.  If you search "winter fish pond protection" you will find lots of DIY ideas.

 

You mainly need to protect the fish from icy precipitation -- snow, sleet, freezing rain.  Falling into the water, these can drop the water temperature to 0oC,  which can be fatal within a few hours.  A pond covered with ice actually stays warmer.  You can also get heaters that should keep the pond above freezing.  These will work best (and most economically) if you also have a cover. 

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I bring in my two pond fish in the winter time.

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I don't think it safe to try to keep goldfish outdoors through the winter in a fully exposed small tank.  If you build or buy a "greenhouse" cover for the pond you can keep them outside through the winter with no problem.  Here's an example of a mini greenhouse that could protect a container pond.  If you search "winter fish pond protection" you will find lots of DIY ideas.

 

You mainly need to protect the fish from icy precipitation -- snow, sleet, freezing rain.  Falling into the water, these can drop the water temperature to 0oC,  which can be fatal within a few hours.  A pond covered with ice actually stays warmer.  You can also get heaters that should keep the pond above freezing.  These will work best (and most economically) if you also have a cover. 

 

I'll definitely try and get one of those covers by the winter. Do I need to cover when it's raining the rest of the year b/c of the possible pH problems? It rains A LOT here.

Edited by hannah

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You do need a mesh cover to protect the fish from predators.  If you have very heavy rain, you can toss a tarp  over that.  If you have a low KH, rain can cause a pH drop, so you should measure your KH.

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I can make a cover no problem.

 

I have to buy my supplies online b/c I live in such a remote area. I can't find side outlet elbows anywhere. Could you recommend an alternative way of making the legs on the stool thing in the filter?

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Yes.  I had a picture of one, but I can't find it.  I got out the pieces to take a new picture, and the camera battery needs charging.  I'll try explaining, and if you can't follow, I'll add a picture later.

 

You need 4 elbows, 4 tees, some pipe.  Lay out the fittings to make a square with the elbows making the corners and the tees making the sides.  For now, turn the side outlets of the tees toward the center of the square.

 

elbow  tee  elbow

 

tee              tee

 

elbow tee elbow

 

Now space the fittings evenly to give you a square the size you want for the top of the stool. 

 

Determine the length of pipe pieces you need to connect the fittings, cut 8 pieces and use them to complete your square.  .

 

Rotate the tees so the side outlets point down, making short legs.

 

Cut pieces of pipe to make the legs the length you want.

 

This makes a funny-looking stool with the legs on the sides rather than at the corners, but it works just fine.

 

I found some fittings and scraps of pipe (of various sizes)  and put one together to illustrate the instructions.

 

IMG_1947.jpg

 

IMG_1946.jpg

Edited by shakaho

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That's a good alternative. Thank you so much for your help. 

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OK I just ordered the Laguna tub which I should get Wednesday. I have few questions just to be even more of a PITA.

 

I need to move these fish as someone's buying their tank.

 

1) Am I OK to run sponge filters until I get the filter sorted (a week maybe)? It'll be for 5 fantails/ryukins that are still fairly small. I have time to do extra w/cs.

2) Will it be OK to just move them outside since it's now summer, or should I go about it differently?

3) How well would soil seed the filter?

 

If I can't, I'll run the tub indoors, but I'd rather not.

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OK I just ordered the Laguna tub which I should get Wednesday. I have few questions just to be even more of a PITA.

 

Not a PITA!  

 

I need to move these fish as someone's buying their tank.

 

1) Am I OK to run sponge filters until I get the filter sorted (a week maybe)? It'll be for 5 fantails/ryukins that are still fairly small. I have time to do extra w/cs.

 

Sounds good to me.  Are the sponge filters cycled?  Start with changing 10% of the water a day, and test ammonia and nitrite every day to see if you have to do more.    Feed very lightly for the first few weeks.

 

2) Will it be OK to just move them outside since it's now summer?

 

Yes.

 

3) How well would soil seed the filter?

 

Good organic soil has lots of nitrifiers.  If you set potted (land) plants on some kind of stand in the pond so that most of the soil is above water level, the plant should grow and the nitrifiers should migrate.  A water lily plant should also have lots of nitrifiers.  Ponds cycle pretty fast, probably because they get native nitrifiers already  adapted to the climate.

 

If I can't, I'll run the tub indoors, but I'd rather not.

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Get whose order didn't come.  :mad: Medium Laguna tubs appear once in a blue moon on a "reputable" website in the UK, then don't turn up. Paid a lot for delivery on that, too.

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Oh no!

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You have alternatives to the Laguna tub.  Do a search on aquaculture.  You can find tanks intended for growing fish.  Example.

 

Also try "aquaponics fish tanks".  Example

 

Kiddie pools like these can make a goldfish pond.  

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Sorry. I got quite ill.

 

It was 48hr despite the fact they said next day. Oh well. I missed the delivery yesterday but they redelivered today! 

 

sg51xd.jpg

 

I will however keep those suggestions in mind. I'll probably end up filling my garden with ponds. Ha.

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I know all about that, LOL.

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It sounds like heaven, though! 

 

I'm going to sink half of the tub in the lawn because my patio is so uneven. That should help with insulation. My poor fish are living in storage tubs at the moment because of it. That also means I won't have to raise the filter.

 

I ordered the best "muck tub" I could find. 22" diameter x 16.5" height. 18 gallons. I hope that's OK for a bog filter.

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The muck tub sounds great.  I recommend using clay pebbles rather than gravel in the filter.  Even drained, a filter with gravel is so heavy that I tended to avoid maintaining it.  Also the plants grow better in in the clay pebbles than in gravel.

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It was clay pebbles I ordered. :) They were one of the cheapest options, actually.

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Good!  I wouldn't want to put anyone else through taking apart a gravel-filled bog filter to move it.

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I just remembered this thread. The pond's waiting 'til 2017 as I've had a lot of fish deaths. I think I'll stock with single tails, or something.

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So sorry about the fish deaths.

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