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Everything posted by lantern567

  1. Welcome to Koko's! You certainly will find a lot of information here! One thing, if you want to start in one place, is the information on cycling the tank. That was the biggest problem I had when I first started. Good luck with your fish. You have come to the right place! There are real goldfish lovers here!
  2. Great news! Finding one in the classifieds is an excellent idea. I agree with Daryl on needing a quarantine tank - but here's a thought - do you need a 29-gallon QT tank, or would something smaller be ok? You would sort of have to play musical fish tanks and try to find the smaller one in the classifieds as well, but it's a thought. Your fish will surely appreciate your efforts!
  3. I see that they sell Black Japanese Trapdoor Snails for ponds, and say they are great for algae cleanup. I have also read on this site about snails being a nuisance, and taking over one's aquarium. So I am a little concerned about getting snails. Does anyone have any experience with them? If they are good, I would like to get some and quarantine them for now. And I would have to start from scratch in learning how to care for them. But I do have a few empty tanks, and they look so ... empty!
  4. I did get some Buff It Up, and I'll be checking to see how it's working. I'd love to see my KH register more than 1 or 2. Really, it's that low. Thanks Koko!
  5. Maybe if you've seen one rock, you've seen them all. But here it is, one more picture of my pre-pond work - I got the rock walls around our patio area built. Finally! Thanks to everyone who offered encouragement! This weekend we're on to the next set of problems. My husband is going to be planning for the electrical and plumbing work this weekend. And once we've finalized where the pump is going to go - I get to tear down part of a wall and dig a trench! Two steps forward, one step back... Anyway, I'm sure we're going to be posting lots of questions and doing a lot of research on the electrical and plumbing aspects. Also, I find that I have many fewer large rocks that I can line the edge of the pond with. I never thought I would run out of them! So I will be looking for creative ways to edge the pond - any suggestions are welcome!
  6. Looks Great! Nice big school of fish - and friendly frogs! I love it!
  7. Little Peanut! The encouragement sure helps! I can see you are making great progress on your pond, too! It's fun to see the pictures as the work goes on.
  8. How's the digging going? I have to use a pick-axe to break up the "soil" before I use the shovel. Just a thought, as you get deeper into the clay. That looks a lot denser than my soil. Also, one thing I picked up at the pond seminar is that a high water table under the pond isn't good, and could raise the pond liner. I'm not too sure about this, but your clay does seem to hold water. I don't know if this is a serious problem, or what solution could be, so I'll just pass that along. Unfortunately, I'm completely new at this, too, so I can't be much help. You are making steady progress, and I love to see the pictures as you go - I'm sure the finish pond will be beautiful!
  9. Thanks Fishmerized! However, I must say that I can't take credit for moving all of the soil. It's been an ongoing project to reshape the yard. We hired a guy with a big Bobcat 2 years ago, and the past year, and we rented a backhoe-loader that my husband used for roughing out the general terrace shape. (He never did that before, so it was quite an adventure!) Anyway, I am just in charge of the final shape refinements and building the walls. The seminar was put on by a local landscaper that sells "Aquascape" products. There are a lot of landscapers who do ponds using their ecosystem-style techniques. It was useful, but I am glad I've been reading about ponds on my own as well. I don't know much about the liners yet, but they do put under-liners (kind of like a liner under a rug) beneath them to cushion against punctures. There are some that are more flexible than other liners, and you want one that is flexible so that it has some "give", again to prevent punctures from happening. Also, I hear that sunlight is bad for liners, so one reason they like rocks on the liners is to prevent sunlight from getting through. Still learning, so I don't have a lot of details yet.
  10. Thanks for the comments and ideas, Andrea. Actually, it's not at the lowest spot in the yard, it's kind of on a terrace of its own - there are lower levels on the hillside. Also the soil is very porous and water does not pool. I will be careful to have the "patio area" slope away from the pond a bit - and also down toward the next lower level. Water washing into the pond is definitely something to watch out for, anyway, but fortunately we rarely get rain that qualifies as a downpour. We like your gravity-fed bottom drain idea. Since we are on the side of a hill, we could easily run a pipe down to the next level into the woodland garden - and open it up when we wanted to do cleaning. Hmmmm.... What keeps the water from flowing out normally - you must have some kind of valve that you open and close. I wonder if we could do something like that. Suggestions are most welcome. What makes me very nervous is having the valve somehow opened by accident while I am away, and return to find that I have lost all my fish!
  11. Then I would have to change her name to "Spot" !
  12. Now I am learning about Koi Clay. That sounds like it adds good minerals, too, and it's widely used. They say it enhances the color of the goldfish - I wonder, will it will make my white goldfish turn pink?
  13. jlroar - I love your salad buffet for goldfish! I can see how far I have to go to understand the plant-keeping! I will have to look up the plants. You are adding nitrites, actually? Nitrates do not offer enough nutrition? I am also seeing that you are adding other nutrients. So much to learn. What are they planted in - gravel alone, or something else? I may have the world's softest water, and I have started using the crushed coral in the filter. It seems to be working on the pH, but I am still experimenting to see exactly how much is needed. I will be interested to see if it brings up the hardness any. Do you use a special grow-light, or do the regular fluorescent lights work? I am really out of my element here, and I know I have a long way to go with water plants. Thanks for the info.
  14. I spent about a month near Toronto last year, but I didn't make the trip to Canada's Wonderland to go on a roller-coaster . But I would definitely have gone to see the goldfish!
  15. Here's a picture of the area from above: ...and after some more wall-building. You can see that I've outlined the currently proposed pond area. The large rocks on the side are the proposed spot for the waterfall. I think we will need to put a liner behind them, yes? There are several other, larger rocks that my husband has to help me move - so that will be rebuilt anyway. My cache of rocks to use on the walls is diminishing bit by bit - the walls take more than I would have expected! We are thinking of making the pond round, because we have so many other twisty-turny shapes with the terraces. Are round ponds particularly harder to take care of? We both went to a "Build a Pond" seminar this past weekend. We are leaning toward putting in something like that, with waterfall and skimmer, rather than with bottom drain. The concept seems like it's within our ability - at least for starters, for a garden pond with a few goldfish. I hope we're not shooting ourselves in the foot with that decision, but the bottom drains and associated plumbing seem so complicated. Maybe if there was a kit... One concern was the large number of rocks they used (and, looking at my pictures, you can see that I'm in the running for "Queen of Rocks", so it's pretty hard to alarm me in that regard.) I can see a few rocks along the bottom, much as I have a scattering of pebbles in my aquarium - but I cannot imagine putting in the number of rocks they did, especially the large ones stacked up the sides. I've read too much on this site about the rock issue to be comfortable with so many. Another thing they kept saying was how easy it was to keep a pond, almost no work. This reminded me of the lfs saying how easy it was to keep goldfish, how little care and space they needed. I know for me it will be absolutely no work at all, but that's because I define anything gardening-related as recreation, and enjoy it very much. I hope the folks at the seminar are going because they are like me, and will be able to put in the time to have a successful pond - but I fear not all will. Anyway, still more rocks to go -- as soon as it stops raining!
  16. Rocks! Rocks! We have rocks! Here's the latest: I think that this area was part of a huge river bed after glacial times, and in fact we have a lake across the street - my thought it is the remnant of that river. The big tree was buried with fill by previous owners to make some of the yard flat, for about 30 feet, then it fell off into a cliff. Several trees died as the result, but this hardy oak tree survived. Also, we didn't have access to the rest of the yard with that cliff. So we've been re-working the landscaping for a few years, and with the semi-natural looking terraces, and LOTS of plants to soften the look, we will have a usable yard that goes back about 100 feet ending in a natural wooded area. I am going to be planting lots of native woodland plants back there, along with the bird feeders. No, I am not burying any bodies - in fact I have to rescue the salamanders that I find under the rocks. I have a place in the garden with wet leaves and compost and things to hide under, where I re-home them for now. Pouring today, so I'm inside, looking at everyone else's pond, gathering inspiration. We needed the rain, so I can't complain.
  17. Wow, actual digging! I am envious. (Well, actually I'm not envious of the work, just that you're under way already!) I wanted to pass something along that I picked up this weekend at a "Build a Pond" seminar. I don't know the type of pond filtration you are planning, but these folks sell the waterfall+skimmer method (vs. the bottom drain method.) But they did mention that their skimmer had an overflow pipe that comes out the back, just so the water does not overflow the pond during extreme weather. Presumably the fish wouldn't get into the skimmer, and wouldn't then go out the back pipe - better than have them float over the top. Anyway, that may or may not be useful information, but I thought I'd pass it along. I know you did have design plans already in mind. I also have recipes for various chocolate goodies, if that should become necessary. Digging is hard work! I think it's grand that your daughter is involved, and I suspect you will both enjoy it so much when you can enjoy relaxing days by the pond, playing with the fish! Good luck!
  18. I'll bet your fish is lonely, and will love it when he (or she) has playmates to romp with in a large new home! I have a fish that was given to me, that lived for a bowl for years, and I had her here in quarantine for a while. She would sit on the bottom and look so sad. When I set up a 40-gallon for my fish (this one plus 4 other smaller ones), it was amazing to see - she now swims and pokes about with the others and doesn't seem sad at all. They are so much fun to watch as a school. I do worry very much about night critters, when they go outside. Especially since the fish are so tame. What kind of predators do you have to worry about in Houston? I'll bet you have fish-eating water birds. I hope you don't have alligators.
  19. Yes, you certainly have a lovely shady spot for your pond. I just looked at the weather forecast for Houston tomorrow, and it looks like you have four degrees to go before you get the pond dug! Yikes! It is such a bonus that you already have electricity out there. The flooding rain does seem to be quite a problem, though. I will be interested to hear how your solutions to that problem work out. How many comets do you have to put in the pond? And how big are they? I have my 5 wee ones, and I hope they're ready for the big wild world in a few months. (BTW, at this house, cake counts double.)
  20. I haven't started digging the pond yet... but here's the latest on the pre-pond work -- building the rock walls for the patio area: I took this picture from the second-story window, to give an idea of the overall shape. The walls on the left and center are done, with 2 tiers, but the wall on the right is being rebuilt - I've torn most of it down, and I'm going to rebuild it starting at a lower level. Part of this project, as you can see, is un-burying a poor tree that had been buried by previous owners years ago. The shape and slope of the yard has been a challenge, for sure. My neighbor calls me "Rocky", and when his wife saw me sorting rocks by size, I did make sure she wasn't going to send the men in the little white coats to come and take me away... Break over - I'd best get back to work!
  21. Thanks everybody! It really does help to hear a little pep-talk from those in the know! I have also found that my fish cheer me on when I come in at lunchtime - or maybe they're just looking for . I am looking forward to seeing them in their new habitat - though that is MONTHS away at this rate! I also find myself coming in and looking at other pond posts on Koko's - that's pretty inspirational, too. jsrtist, hose fancy goldfish will have it made - I hear that usually people don't put them outside, because they are not as fast as the single-tailed ones - but I see you came prepared with a net! It is lovely on the patio, having your fishes there with plants all about. Cometgirl, I have found that chocolate refreshment is not dependent on the size of the project. Chocolate is my substitute for coffee, actually - it also contains caffeine - and has been shown to have health benefits - ok, I'll go with that. A 6-foot pond sounds like plenty of pond - unless, maybe, if you want a herd (?) of koi. I'll have to check for your pond project, too! Ranchugirl - The part with the rocks is really not fun. But today, I had to take down a part of a prior rock wall that had hens and chicks growing in it, which I put into the new wall parts - and that was fun. I really don't mind planting things, but stacking rocks really doesn't cut it. Fishmerized - I may not be in a hurry to do the work, but I think the fish wish I'd get on with it! The pond itself is going to be below-ground (for over-wintering fish) and will be as natural-looking as I can make it. We really don't know how big it will be, until I get the rock walls built and we know how large this "patio area" is. Then we will figure shape and size, though it will definitely have some kind of stream or waterfall coming off a hill. The rock walls are sort of informal, but not really natural, but I hope to blend them in with plants. We actually live in the city, but are VERY lucky to have neighbors who have kept their land somewhat natural, and so it looks like it's more rural than it is. You know what - I'm going to go and take a new picture, and post it in the "pictures" section. You folks have really helped keep me moving on this. Cheers!
  22. Hi A_Penguin, There you are again, answering my questions! It's so good you're here! I think I'll get some RO right. I want my fishes to grow large and happy! I have drop test kits that I use, but my current chlorine test is a a powder. I'm actually wondering if a better/cheaper place to get chlorine tests is a pool supply store. The lfs doesn't carry chlorine tests, except in a kit. Even the chlorine/chloramine test kit I ordered is a test strip - the only one I could find anywhere, even on-line. Also, I have been experimenting with crushed coral in a separate tank that I use for water changes. Here's my little DIY project: Take mesh from fabric store, make long tube by sewing a strip of it with fishing line (which won't disintegrate) and add crushed coral to tube. Tie ends of tube together making a ring, and sling it over the filter. That way the filter 's waterfall drops water onto and through the bag. Previously, when I just added a bag of crushed coral to the bottom of the tank, it didn't do much. But with the water passing through it from the filter/waterfall, it works kind of fast! I am trying to determine the right amount of crushed coral in the bag, to get the pH to a reasonable level, and not get too high. Thanks again for your interest and help. Any other suggestions are most welcome!
  23. A_Penguin, That is interesting about the water in wooden pipes in Boston. How did you know that little fact!?? No, I'm not in Boston, but in another large, old city, Worcester - so they may have wooden pipes, too. The water department posts the water information on their web site, and it will be updated again in June. It says, interestingly, that they do not add chloramine. I have ordered a test kit which tests both chlorine and chloramine - though one would worry if they would change that policy at some point. I'm just that kind of curious person - I like to know what's what. I also ordered test kits for lead, copper and phosphate. It seems as though people with ponds test for phosphate, as it could be in water runoff - and a pond is in the works for this year. I am also trying to figure out exactly what the carbon filter takes out - and having contacted the maker of AquaClear filters (Hagen), they tell me it removes dissolved toxins but not undissolved toxins such as heavy metals. But they gave no further details. I see from your posts that you are a big "science geek." How wonderful! I think having someone who can add to our information on chemistry on will be grand! Any other thoughts you might have on water quality and tests, I am very interested in hearing. Thanks!
  24. I realized I probably should have posted this on the photo section, but then I realized the "help" I needed was a little encouragement. Thanks, Debbie and Little Peanut! You got me inspired again. I made some brownies for breakfast tomorrow - then back to the rock mine! Just for the record, I am always terribly out of shape at the beginning of gardening season. My idea of winter sports involves sitting by the window and watching birds at the bird feeders, and sitting by the fire and drinking hot cocoa. But by the end of the gardening season -- well, anybody who messes with my goldfish had better watch out!
  25. What a beauty! I hope she pulls through, too. Keeping the water as excellent as you can is sure to help. Do keep us posted!
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