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  1. Nice pond and some good looking fish! My pond back in Houston iced over for a few days one winter, and it didn't seem to bother my fish at all. Single-tails are amazingly robust.
  2. One thing to worry about with concrete is whether it will raise your pH. Newer concrete can leach chemicals that will do this. You could test it by putting water in it and testing the pH immediately, then test again after a day or so to see if the pH goes up.
  3. I'll have to see if I can catch him with the camera. Our Ichigo is super fast and only an inch or so long. I blame my teenage daughter for hooking me on Bleach. Now I'm reading the scans from Japan every week just to see what is happening in the story!
  4. Very good looking fish! Kisuke has a particularly fine hat...I mean wen. Their names caught my eye because one of our pond fry has turned all orange, and we just named him Ichigo. I see you've got an Ichigo too.
  5. I agree with everything shakaho said, although I do turn off my pump if it is going to be below freezing here for more than a couple of hours. Two winters ago we stayed below freezing for 2-3 days and my pond got a thin layer of ice on the top, but the fish were fine. The lowest temperature I saw in my pond was 39. I tend to turn my pump off because I don't want my pipes to freeze where they come out of the pond and up to my fountain. Keeping the water still also helps it retain some warmth on the bottom, as my pond is dug into the ground, and the pump pulls water from the very bottom of the pond. It looks like your temperatures are not as extreme as they are here, so you may be okay keeping it on through the winter. In my experience, single tails are amazingly hardy, and can cope with wide ranges of temperatures.
  6. I'll just give my personal experience here. I have a 300 gallon pond with only 3 fish in it for the last two years. I have a 950gph pump feeding a filter box/fountain. The filter probably has a volume of 25 to 30 gallons so I definitely have more media space than I would in a tank with HOB filters. I also have a lot of plants, maybe a third to a half of the pond and these also help keep the water clear. So I have both under stocking and lots of media, but only 3 times the volume for turnover with my pump. My pond is also a much less sterile environment than a tank. I have toads and their tadpoles, bugs including dragonfly larvae, snails, algae plants, etc. All of them contribute to the ecosystem. I think ponds are so fun because you can set them up anywhere from a completely closed system like an indoor tank to one like mine that is more of a wildlife pond. I forgot to mention that my fountain also serves as a drinking spot for birds. Getting back to what others have said, I think it's really down to stocking levels and filter media space. If you under stock your pond like me, you can easily get away with 2 or 3 times gph, but if you want to have 20 gallons per fish, you will need more gph and media.
  7. Zeolite absorbs ammonia, so you can use it or have a biological cycle, but you can't have both at the same time. I've used zeolite in emergency situations, but I think a biological cycle is much more stable long term. Like Chrissy said for carbon, zeolite also fills up and stops absorbing ammonia at some point, and unless you test daily, or even more often, you would never know. Zeolite also releases its ammonia in the presence of salt, so you cannot use salt treatments on your fish while using it. Salt is a very useful treatment for several common problems, and isn't as harsh on your fish as some other chemicals. So no, I wouldn't recommend a zeolite filter for long term use.
  8. It's definitely pond season again! I've used barley in the past, but didn't see any noticeable difference with it. I had some pads last year that I put in the outflow from my filter, but I still had a huge green water problem. This year I've been keeping the intake for my pump clear and it has greatly increased my flow rate. That and having lots of fitter media seems to be keeping the green water and algae at bay. Oh, I also increased the amount of plants in the pond. Last year all I had were two lilies. This year I added lots of hornwort, which is keeping the water clear, but also adding lots of sediment the bottom because it drops "leaves" like crazy. I also added a large cabomba. I would guess that almost half of my pond volume is taken up with plants now.
  9. Oh, that's good. I grew up down on the Peninsula and we always had raccoons wandering through our back yard. I've heard they are here in my neighborhood in Houston, but I've also never seen one, just possums. Anyway, I love seeing your pond. Thanks for sharing pictures.
  10. Ooo, I really like your pond! The lilies look so healthy. I just found out we are moving to the Bay Area short term, and something like this may be just the thing for my pond fish. Do you have any trouble with raccoons?
  11. Most of my fish were named by my daughters. The three I have left were all named by my youngest after friends from school; Ross, Andrew and Rachael. We've also named the biggest fry this year Flash. (And then I always sing the Queen song, "Flash - ah - Saviour of the universe") I used to have two telescopes named after Bill and Ben, the flowerpot men.
  12. The tank is looking great, and so are your fish! They are just lovely. I know what you mean about the fish making you smile. No matter how stressed out I am, if I go out and watch my fish for a while, I feel so much calmer and happier. Especially when they come up with their big mouths to see if I've brought something to eat.
  13. Hmm, number one has nice fins and shape, but number three has such nice color. But then again, number 3 has an odd body shape with that downward cast to the tail. If it was me, I'd take number 3 just for the color, but I don't mind oddly shaped fish.
  14. What a beautiful tribute to your fish. I've had feeders too, and loved them just as much as my more expensive fish. My oldest one is now over 3 years and is the king of my pond with his gorgeous flowing fins and tail. I hope I can keep him and my others healthy for many more years. Thanks for writing this. It is wonderful to hear about fish that lived so long, and were so loved.
  15. It is possible, but it really depends on your climate. Fancies are much more restricted in the temperature range they can tolerate than commons. I have had my fancies out in the pond in summer here, where the pond is about 90. (and the outside temperature averages 95). But I always brought them in in winter because the pond can freeze over, and will get down to the 30s. They do seem to really enjoy the space and sunlight. Their colors always get much stronger outside.
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