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gardengirl

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Posts posted by gardengirl

  1. Water lilies won't work if there is no sun. They just turn to mush. The hyacinth does indeed grow vigorously, but I thin it out and throw the excess on the compost pile.

    Actually, any submerged aquarium plant will work. Hornwort is another good one. The fish like to spawn in the soft submerged plants. :)

  2. Shamu, What's the winter weather like in Manitoba? If it gets really cold there in the winter, you'd have to come up with a plan for winterizing the pond. I use a stock tank de-icer here in Virginia. It keeps a hole open in the ice and the fish get plenty of oxygen.

    What's your soil like there? Is it sandy and shifty? Or hard and clay-like? I ask because if it shifts easily, you'll want to go with a rigid liner like fiberglass. If it's clay-like and holds it's shape well, you can get away with digging a hold and using a rubber liner. The rubber liner will be cheaper. Look around the internet to see how to install it properly. Check out this site for pond construction questions and answers:

    www.springdalewatergardens.com/articles/pcfaqs.html

    A 300-600 gallon pond wouldn't be too hard for a teenager to keep up. You'd have to filter it somehow, and keep the filter material clean. That means rinsing filter media during the summer. And you'd vacuum the bottom every so often. I do a big spring clean-up on the pond, then do regular water changes, clean my filter throughout the summer, check to make sure air stones are running properly, groom the plants and vacuum the bottom as well. I spend two to four hours out there on the weekends doing maintenance, but I have a 2000 gallon pond. If yours was smaller, it wouldn't take that long -- probably an hour or so. It's really not that bad -- the fish keep me company and I know that I'm doing stuff to improve their quality of life. It's like doing water changes on your aquariums, but on a larger scale. :-)

    You'd want a few plants -- probably a water lily or two, some submerged anacharis, and a couple of marginals like water iris and a couple of water hyacinth. The fish love to hide out in the plants. Water plants grow vigorously, so you'd want to divide them every couple of years. That's not hard either. You just slice through them with a sharp shovel and replant. If you're lucky, the fish will spawn in the spring and you'll get babies in the plants. That's the best part! :-)

    It's not a HUGE expensive proposition if you start out small.

    This is my pond:

    Pond53007.jpg

    My Filter in a 100 gallon Horse Trough. This is called a Skippy Filter

    Skippy8-06.jpg

    This was my first pond in a 36 inch diameter fiberglass pot. I had no filter, just a water lily, a couple of bunches of submerged anacharis and two comets. I used a de-icer in the winter and they did great. I think the pot held about 70 gallons of water.

    FirstPond.jpg

  3. You could start small. How about digging a hole and putting in a stock tank. You could start with a oval shaped horse trough. The 100 gallon ones start at about $100 -- add a pond filter and it would be nice.

    I started out with three big fiberglass pots sunk in the ground and went on to install a 2000 gallon pond later. The big pond was a man's job to put in though. I had a bulldozer and several strong men to dig that hole. It took my husband several months to build it, and it wasn't "relaxing" for about a year, LOL. Think on the smaller side for now, then maybe your mom will get into it.....

    What are you planning on putting in a pond?

  4. Wow, that lattice is a terrific idea! It really dresses up the tank, and probably helps to keep out unwanted critters. Your fish look terrific.

    Can you try something like Anacharis in the water? It likes sun, but it might work in your tank, or how about floating water hyacinth? That will take the shade better.

    I'd love to have something like that here in addition to my big pond. I'd use it for fancy tailed goldies. :-)

  5. There's a lot of people in play to rescue dogs and cats and other mammals. I haven't seen a lot of people take up the cause of helping fish. I figured I needed to fill in the blank for my area.

    You bring up an interesting point. Even on a site like www.petfinder.com you see catagories for dog, cat, farm animal, bird, horse, pig, rabbit reptile, and "cute and furry", but absolutely NOTHING for fish.... Maybe we ought to try to change that?

  6. You have a Fish Room! Sweet!! :yeah:

    I'm sorry to say that I no longer have my fish room. I went back to work and broke the room down. I hope to have another someday when I'm old and retired though, LOL. I imagine myself breeding bettas and guppies, and keeping great, large tanks of unusual goldfish, and a tank for the puffers my husband has always wanted. :-)

  7. Because of the potential size of all these fish, it is essential that keepers realize what they are getting when they purchase that red flash of scales that catches the eye in the store tank. That fish can be with you for several decades - and grow to need at least 20 gallons of water - for some 20 is way too little. :)

    I agree. I think with commons, comets, and shubbies, that they should be given more room even. Their streamlined bodies LOVE to swim distances. I have a 27 foot long pond and they can zip from one end to the other in just a few seconds. They love the room to zoom around and thinking of them in tight quarters, like a 30 or even 55 gallon tank is depressing. You just can't see their full potential in such a small space.

  8. I went back to work and couldn't keep up with the fish room anymore, so I broke it down. It really is a full-time job to rescue and rehabilitate as many fish as you're doing, but I applaud your efforts.

    I often wonder why people treat fish the way they do. If it were cuddly puppies, they might think twice, you know?

  9. Cool Olivia,

    They used to call me the "Crazy Betta Lady" at the local fish stores around here, LOL. The poor manager always got that "deer in the headlights look" when I'd show up to inspect the betta cups.

    I also used to have quite a pharmacy for my rescues. It's completely satisfying to take a fish that is near death, medicate it and watch it recover and realize its full potential. Often that doesn't happen and the fish is too far gone, but the success stories are rewarding.

    How big is your rehab pond? Do you have all types of goldfish in there? In my pond the comets will not tolerate fancy tailed fish.

    Great effort, btw. Keep up the good work! :-)

  10. The very best Betta tank I ever had was a Marineland Eclipse three gallon tank. It had a flourescent light so I could grow live plants for my betta and a great filtration system.

    Another great set-up I had in my fish room were divided five gallon tanks. I would divide the middle of a five gallon tank, using craft mesh and the plastic spines that come on report covers. I'd glue the divider in place in the tank, then fill with gravel to hold it even better. Then I'd put in a corner, box filter on each side, so the tank had two little filters. I'd hook those up to an air pump, add plants and I've have room for two bettas in each tank. At one point I had ten of these tanks up and running in my fish room, on shelves and it looked great. I cleaned everything with a python aquarium vac.

    Five gallon tanks are very inexpensive to set up, so that would be a cheaper route than $45 for the Eclipse Tank. I only had one Eclipse tank and I kept that upstairs, out of the fish room for a special betta.

    Here's a pic of one rack in my fish room:

    fishroomrack1.jpg

  11. I used to rescue Bettas from the LFS. I'd go in and see these poor suffering fish in filthy, stinky water. Nobody wanted them -- they were half dead and I just knew they'd die if I didn't do something. I used to hassle the manager to give me the sick and leftover bettas, then I'd take them home, put them in my betta hospital and medicate them if necessary then keep them in my fish room in divided five gallon tanks. A lot died, but some pulled through and when that happened it was great. I got beautiful fish that way. You wouldn't believe how a half-dead, ugly fish could improve with a little TLC and care.

    Ryukin, tell me about your rescues. What do you look for in goldfish for a rescue? Do you buy them or get the LFS to give them to you? I often see fancy goldfish at the chain brand stores and some of them are swimming funny or have bad eyes.... Once you get them, what do you do?

  12. I LOVE my python vac! When I had a tank room, I used that thing all the time -- hooked it up to the utility sink in the furnace room.

    I even got the Python Pond Vac for my pond and it's great. It has a long clear tube and I can see all the gunk as it gets sucked up off the bottom of my pond. The only thing I don't like is that it wastes a lot of water, as it's water driven.

    This year we bought a wet/dry shop vac with a pump out feature. The tank holds 16 gallons and it's been pretty good for vacuuming the bottom of the pond. I wonder if you could retrofit one for cleaning aquariums???? You might be able to use the clear tube from the python on the hose for the wet/dry vac and get good results. It would make the job so much easier.

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