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The Big Green Tub


shakaho

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I found an 8'x2'x1' fiberrglass tub on craigslist. http://www.kokosgold...__fromsearch__1 It needed some upgrading to be a new pond to go in a space in my pool enclosure.

Here is the tub:

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The place where it is sitting is sand. The concrete is the original pool deck. We had the screen enclosure built around the pond when we came. If I knew then what I know now, I would have had the pool deck extended to the screen, but I thought this would be a good place for plants. I was wrong.

I decided to paint the tub and supporting material green -- as close as I could come to grass color.

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I set up a level base of cement blocks painted the same green. Leveling cement blocks on a sand base is quite a job -- pretty much two full days.

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The tub came attached to a table of 2x4s with a plywood top. The tub was held to the tabletop with two bulkheads which the seller couldn't get off. The tub would definitely fit in my Prius, and the tub and tabletop probably would. So the poor fellow spent about an hour and a half getting the legs off the tabletop. The tub and tabletop almost fit, but the hatch wouldn't quite close. He did a great job of tying the hatch almost shut. Once I told him I would take his beautiful big London shubunkin, he was willing to do almost anything for me. He was moving away and hadn't been able to find a home for her.

I got the bulkheads off once I got home where I had some tools. So here is the painted table top on the blocks.

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The holes you see are where overflow stand pipes go through. The bulkheads seal the pipes to the tub.

Here's the tub on the stand. There were some scary moments involving the tight fit of the blocks, tabletop, tub, and screen enclosure, but it worked.

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Getting the plumbing reassembled was quite the challenge. It involved putting it together, adding water, discovering the leak, emptying, tightening, repeating the above. I didn't get any pictures of this, but they probably would have a blue cast from the language.

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You see one of the stand pipes here. When the water reaches the 120 gallon mark, it will overflow into the pipe and go down the pipe which has an elbow just under the tub taking the overflow water to the end of the tub. I wanted the overflow water to come from the bottom of the tub rather than the top, so I put a larger, taller pipe over it. This has holes at the bottom for water to come in which you can see here:

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The gray bucket is a clean water reservoir. See the airline hose with a black thing (an adjustable dripper) on the end? The hose goes to the bottom of the bucket and siphons water into the tub. I can adjust the dripper to regulate the flow. When the inflow trickle and/or rain raises the water level to the top of the overflow pipes, water from the bottom of the tub trickles out the pipes. This is a "trickle in - trickle out" automatic water change system.

I made a mini bog filter for this tub which is described here: http://www.kokosgold...container-pond/

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So I put in my Raingarden fish. They had been in tanks in the house for two months. Before they came to me they lived in ponds, so they should be happy, right? This was their reaction:

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Adam, Dapple, and Trillium all dashing to hide under the shelter/sunshade with Eve. This went on for most of a week. Then I had an idea. I went to the tank where I had youngsters, and called Tiny Dancer. She comes swimming to get her food and I scoop her up in a cup and deposit her in the tub. Tiny Dancer is smart and bold. She just started exploring. Soon she was leading four much bigger fish.

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Tiny Dancer is at the right, followed by Adam, Trillium (partially hidden), and Eve. I think Dapple is under the leaf between Adam and Dapple.

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Tiny Dancer followed by Dapple and Eve, with Adam going the wrong way. The shyness problem was solved for good. Everyone started enjoying the new pond.

After a few weeks there's a nice coating of green algae forming

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Here's a recent shot of the pond. You can see the vigorous growth of plants in the mini bog filter at the left.


 

Edited by shakaho
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Actually, my "instant pond" is even better since the flow is almost undetectable throughout the pond. This one has a splashy spot under the filter. But I can't get interested in such needy fishies. :)

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Wow I love it!!! The fish are adorable too of course :D This is such a great idea for a nice small pond thank you for sharing ;)

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The fish do love the shallowness. I have been pleasantly surprised that the water does not get hot. Perhaps that's because of all the plants providing shade.

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  • 1 month later...
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I want!

Acutally, I hope to build an indoor pond soon, or one in the back yard. It was nice to see your lil set up.

Thanks for posting!

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The fish in these pictures are now in my larger "back pond." now it is housing my spring crop of about 20 fancy babies. They are getting huge. The pretty color isn't so pretty any more. After assorted colors of algae grow on the bottom it is a dirty mottled color. Black liners don't really show this. The fish love this tub. The bog filter I built for this tub strips the nutrients from the water so well that the plants in the pond need fertilizing. Algae will always find a way to grow.

What surprises my about this tub is that it doesn't get too warm. I don't know why.

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Wau - beautiful pond/tub! I love the shallowness (and the length), and I also would be concerned about the water getting hot - but you say that, strangely, it doesnt? Thats cool (on both senses)

And these beauties you have in there? These are wakins? They look gorgeous! .... And now your own batch of fancies get to enjoy that tub? I wouldn't mind some pictures :)

Absolutely lovely!

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It's a really lovely set up. Super bonus points because it's within a screened in area so you don't need to worry about predators!!

I am so impressed. Such lucky fish!!

mj

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  • 9 months later...
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The canna lilies and the lizard's tail are particularly vigorous this spring.

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The lizard's tail is showing off the white flowers that inspired its name. This is a native plant that grows so fast that I am continuously pulling out plants. There is a small body of water across the street from me. I can't even call it a retention pond. It's just a low spot that collects water (and also debris) I've been tossing some of those excess plants in there, hoping they might establish and improve the ecosystem a bit.

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Beautiful! :) Do those plants require direct light, or do you think I could get away with growing those indoors?

I see your sterilite container is still hanging in there! I was out looking at plant pots last week, actually. :)

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I think those are strictly outdoor plants unless you have a really good grow light.

That flimsy, cheap tote just keeps going. I have had to move it, take it all apart, tip it to get all the water drained, and each time I expect a leak, but none yet.

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