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Lillee

Lillee's Babies

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Hi guys,

Hello, been lurking for years on this forum, but now I feel it's time to contribute.

As asked I started my own new thread do that I wouldn't hijack someone else's (how rude of me), Here is the info from the other thread so I don't double up:

I find my babies are thriving in my pond. I can see that they are grazing all day long on the algae growing in the pond and have become quite fat, large and healthy. If you have the room I would make it as big as you possibly can as well as borrowing some ideas from the Koi keepers such as heavy duty filtration.

Goldfish eat a lot and poop a lot, I can attest to this when I empty out the settlement chamber every day. It's filthy! Currently I have about 25 in approx 500 gallons and 3 x 55gal filters all DIY. If I could start all over again, I'd make it bigger, deeper and have even more filtration... Let that be food for thought for you.

Here are a few pics of my babies at about 1 year old and still growing

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Redpeppered.jpg

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The pond not too different from the designs that the koi guys employ for their ponds. The theory is simple enough, remove as much of the solid waste as possible before it gets to the filters. Then you can dedicate more of the filtration volume to bio filtration. All while making it as easy as possible to clean! Sounds simple hey? Well it's taken me about 8 months of fiddling to get it just right and even now there's room for vast improvement but that would require a completely new redesign.

Hence if I had the option to start again I wouldn't cut corners and go whole hog so to speak. Here's how my system works:

  • I have a half above ground Firestone liner pond with a perspex window. It's rectangular in shape. Bare (no plants etc to clog up poop)
  • The filter return is at one end of the pond right at the bottom of the pond. This pushes all the poop to the other end of the pond
  • I have a retro fit bottom drain (if I were to start again I'd dig a proper bottom drain)
  • This is fed into a buried 55Gal settlement chamber which has nothing but a tap with piping to drain poop from the bottom. Again if I could do it all over again I'd redesign this to be much more effective and have a cone shape a the bottom.
  • A pump pushed water into the 2nd and 3rd barrels which are then gravity fed back to the pond. Again if I could start again I'd dig a filter pit and have the pump at the end of the chain pushing only clean water back into the pond rather than pushing dirty water into the filters.
  • Second and third 55gal are sand and gravel filters which have a DIY air manifold built into them. To clean them I pump air from a shop vac into the air manifold and the whole barrel bubbles up and dirty water is flushed out of the system. Basically the idea is I don't ever get wet cleaning the filters! But isn't always the case!!
  • I also have a UV filter plumbed in there for summer time

The whole system has a series of valves (about a dozen) that I can turn and bypass the filters etc for cleaning. I change 20% water weekly and clean the filters once a month or every second month depending on season. Takes about 1 hour to clean the filters, most of that time is sitting waiting for water to drain or fill back up. As I said the system has taken 8 months to perfect but now cleaning and changing water is quite simple, a few turns of a valve or two pretty much.

Pond.jpg

Let me know if you have any questions! more than happy to talk ponds all day, I spend so much of my time enjoying my babies (real reason I decided to jump onto this forum in the first place).

Here's a picture of the perspex window

Pondwindow.jpg

Sorry to hijack the original poster Shannon1's question but indirectly I am saying YES, they really love ponds. They love the space, they love clean, clear water and they eat and poop a lot more than what many people assume that they do.

I call mine Pig Fish because that's what they are, little piggies that will gobble up in an earthworm longer than themselves in a single slurp. I feed mine twice a day and more often in summer time. The old myth that goldfish eat until they die is a big fat myth. They will eat until they are full. I have seen them stop eating many times, at which time I net out the remaining food. After some time you will figure out the balance and feed them enough and not too much. They spend the rest of their time eating algae anyway.

If you don't provide enough filtration and water volume then yes, they can "kill themselves" by ammonia poisoning, but that is completely different from the actual fish killing themselves from over eating. It isn't possible in nature that an animal will over eat.

Good food is also key. I feed them 7 kinds of high quality pellets that I mix altogether. Best to avoid some lower quality foods in general.

Very nice! Would you please start a new thread for your pond, and give us lots of pictures, some dimensions, and maybe a diagram of your water path? As far as I know, no one else here has a system like yours. I can see why you need so much filtration, those fish are huge. My "big" pond is about the same size, and is also partially above ground. I considered having a bottom drain, but I put the pond in a very restricted space and really didn't have space for a settling chamber, so I just have a pump in the bottom feeding a bog filter.

Believe me, I know exactly what you mean by how long it takes to make it work! My bog filter (which I finished this past spring) needs a rebuild this winter. I planned it very carefully, but in practice the sides aren't high enough (or the outlet isn't low enough). Water creeps out of the bog by capillary action between the corner folds of the liner (if that makes sense).

Are your S&G filters parallel or in line? Are the pipes at the back of the picture the filter return? I've never heard of returning the water to the bottom of the pond, but I really like the idea. I might do exactly that when I rebuild the bog filter. Everyone wants a waterfall because they look good, but they also splash water out of the pond. Goldfish like quiet water and they are a lot easier to see if water isn't splashing around.

Yes, I have a problem with waterfalls in that they make too much noise! my setup is very very quiet, with only a very gentle hum of the Laguna pump. Also waterfalls just don't allow the volume turn over that you need to keep everything sparkling. My turn over rate is 4-5 times an hour which is HUGE. The bigger the better. The fish don't seem to mind at all, they love swimming against the current, I see them doing that often rather than going to a corner where they can rest.

The S&G filters are inline. I can see why one would want to do parallel but only if you have a huge pond (30,000 galons) and need massive turn over rates. My system is just right for this sized pond, any more turn over rate and yes, I might have to look into parallel. My problem is also space, I don't have a lot of it in my backyard so it's difficult to implement anything bigger.

I have many diagrams. I will start a new thread when I get home tonight and have access to the photos.

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Wow, they look incredible! I love that window into the pond for nice side views!

I demand more photos of the fish :D

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OK well this brings us up to date!

Here is a plan of the pond versus what eventuated. Not bad even if I say so myself!

PondandCubbyPlan1.jpg

DSC00418.jpg

Here's what my babies looked like a year ago. Their growth has been staggering even if I say so myself...

CLH_20110703_0007684.jpg

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PS. The photos above are quite old, much has changed since then such as a huge upgrade to the filtration, and fertilized grass which is now green not yellow! :P

That's pretty much it, unless there's more that you guys want to know about... you'll have to ask me what you want to know :)santa I don't know what you want to know... lol

OK I am uploading a video. I love modern technology!!

Edited by Lillee

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Here's the video (click on picture to view)

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Edited by Lillee

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Oh My gosh I love your Pond!!!and all of your babies are so darn Beautiful!!!!! Thanks for sharing :)

And Welcome to koko's :)

Hope to see lots more pics of your babies :)

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Lillee, I didn't ask you to start a new thread because you were hijacking an old one. That thread was pretty much done, and I wanted to make sure everyone saw your fantastic pond.

That's a beautiful layout. What are the dimensions of your pond?

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Loved the video! I am jealous of your lovely pond with a viewing window! lol

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I wanted to add that I'm particularly fond of the fish in the second picture! He just makes me happy lol

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that is an awesome set up I really like it :) Great Job :thumb:

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What beautiful and healthy fish, great job.

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Beautiful!!! What a cool pond!

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Your pond is amazing! That is exactly what I will want to do if I ever get to do a pond. That window is genius.

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Oh my gosh, I'm in love with that pond, and the growth of your fish has been wow! :)

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simply beautiful ~!!!!!.......................both pond and fish................. :clapping:

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Hi guys,

Gee wow! Many thanks for the kind comments. Yes I did everything myself (well with the help of my dad, some things need more than one person to do) but I always wanted to build a cubbyhouse for the kids, and I always wanted a pond, so I did both!

The dimensions are roughly 13ft by 3.5ft by 5ft deep something like that. The issue I have is lack of space so this is as big as I could make it without it taking over the yard. If I had more space I'd make it 20ft by 20ft by 20ft! :P

I wanted to add that I'm particularly fond of the fish in the second picture! He just makes me happy lol

She's my favourite fish! My wife thinks she's ugly but I think she's stunning! Look at all the spotty colouration! metallic in some parts. She's fast through the water too and quite shy. It took me months to win her trust and now she's no longer as shy as she used to be.

Loved the video! I am jealous of your lovely pond with a viewing window! lol

Haha thanks! The fish actually really love it. They hang out there and when they see me approach the pond from quite far away, they all get excited! I always admired those viewing windows. I thought, what's the use of only being able to see my babies from the top? My two girls love it too. Great way to monitor their growth and health. Recommended for anyone wanting to build a pond.

Edited by Lillee

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what a gorgeous pond! And great growth in just a year :D

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This is such a great example also for the size difference in fish that grow up in ponds, eating a ton of bugs, or live in tanks and get pellets and veggies. My own comets/shubunkins that hatched about a year and a half ago aren't even a third the size of your fish.

I can not even describe the degree of my jealousy.

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Your dimensions and volume don't match. Is it perhaps 1500 gallons instead of 500?

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Your dimensions and volume don't match. Is it perhaps 1500 gallons instead of 500?

If so. I am even more jealous.

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I have a request. Please come to my house and build a pond (your 20 X 20 sounds good to me!). Once you are finished I will also take all of your fish, each and every one of those gorgeous, gorgeous fish! I realize you are on the other side of the world but we'll figure that out later. :rofl

Wow, I am sooo impressed with your fish! Thanks for the pics! :)

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Well might be over or under estimating somewhere! What's a few gallons between friends lol

Regarding growth rate, if you look after the water quality by having large filtration, this allows you to feed them as much and as often as they want to eat. Hence the growth rate. In nature it is a natural defence strategy to grow as big as you can as fast as you can, or risk getting eaten. As domesticated as goldfish are, they are still carp at the end if the day, and carp can grow to huge sizes...

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Thanks fantailfan! It's a date! Start digging and ill be right over with my tools :P

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