Jump to content

Depth of Pond?


Shukura

Recommended Posts

  • Regular Member

Hi guys~ Now, I already wrote this post out once and managed to lose it, so I apologise if I forget anything important.

Recently I've been very keen on building/buying a pond, mainly for my 4 larger oranda, but I would like extra space for my other fish as they get bigger, and new fish too. I was originally looking at a 200 gallon stock tub, but have since moved onto an inground lined pond.

Una and the other lovely ladies on Chat have been helping me with the basics, but as our climates are completely different they've advised me to ask for other opinions. Mainly on how deep my pond needs to be. I intend to leave them out all year if I can.

So first up, some information on the climate in Canterbury.

In winter we have an overnight temperature of between -3 - +5 C (26.6 - 41 F). It's often frosty but will thaw by 10 or 11 am. Any ice that appears on the duck pond will also melt by then and will never be more that 1/2 inch thick on the stationary water. The slow moving water in the stream doesn't freeze. During the day the temperature is around 7 - 14 C (44.6 - 57.2 F) and does tend do be sunny, unless it's raining of course. If we're lucky we will get one or two small snows a year, and they will melt in two days.

Summer is a bit different. During the day there's an average temp of 23 C (73.4), but gets to 33 C (91.4 F). However our sun is very intense and tends to heat the duck pond and other closed water systems to the point the water is hot to touch (I will try get some measurements of this on Thursday. It's decided to be overcast today)

It is of course much cooler in the shade, but the only trees in the area I can build the pond are upright and provide NO shade from the high summer sun which is directly overhead. They would, however, block the lower hanging winter sun and increase the thaw time of any ice significantly X__X I intend to plant a more suitable tree (and some pond edging plants) for shade once the pond is in, but it of course will take a while to grow. In the meantime I can rig up some temporary shade, I would still be happier knowing my fish were safe every time the wind decided to blow everything over.

So my question here is, how deep does my pond need to be to stop it freezing the fish in winter, and cooking them in summer? I was looking at 3 feet in the deepest part, but if I can get away with a shallower one that would be great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

How long does the winter weather last? Are the temperatures you mentioned extremes in the coldest month or something that lasts for 3 months? It's rather like northern Florida. If you keep a filter running, your pond won't

How big a pond do you plan to build?

Your summer temperatures are milder than Florida, but I know what you mean by intense sun. Shade is very effective. If you construct a cover for your pond to protect against predators, you can put shade cloth on part of it in the summer. You can also cover it with plastic to keep it warmer in the winter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I would do three feet at the deepest, just to be safe. I have similar weather to you and I have a stock tank pond that is two feet deep, and I often see my fish huddled at the bottom when it is really hot or cold. The deeper, the warmer/cooler that deep water will be and I think the fish would appreciate the additional insulation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

How long does the winter weather last? Are the temperatures you mentioned extremes in the coldest month or something that lasts for 3 months? It's rather like northern Florida. If you keep a filter running, your pond won't

It's usually about three or four months of those temps and it tends to be fairly consistent.

How big a pond do you plan to build?

I'm not sure just yet. When I was calculating the size based on an outline I marked outside, it kept coming back way too big, volume-wise. I'd like maybe 1000-2000 litres (250-500 ish gallons)

Your summer temperatures are milder than Florida, but I know what you mean by intense sun. Shade is very effective. If you construct a cover for your pond to protect against predators, you can put shade cloth on part of it in the summer. You can also cover it with plastic to keep it warmer in the winter.

I planned to have a net cover anyway as we have ducks and herons but didn't think of using it for shade! Thanks. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I would do three feet at the deepest, just to be safe. I have similar weather to you and I have a stock tank pond that is two feet deep, and I often see my fish huddled at the bottom when it is really hot or cold. The deeper, the warmer/cooler that deep water will be and I think the fish would appreciate the additional insulation.

Thanks! I shall definitely keep that in mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

How do you plan to dig a pond that is 3' at the deepest? Bowl shaped? Like a swimming pool that has a shallow end and a deep end?

Why do you consider the ponds you are laying out "too big?" The fish won't complain about more volume. Pond builders always find the finished pond too small.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

How do you plan to dig a pond that is 3' at the deepest? Bowl shaped? Like a swimming pool that has a shallow end and a deep end?

Why do you consider the ponds you are laying out "too big?" The fish won't complain about more volume. Pond builders always find the finished pond too small.

Here's a scribble I just did for you,

ponding_zpsdb7f4cc2.jpg

It may not work out that way when I actually dig it. It'll be a bit experimental.

I have no objection to massive ponds and I would certainly love to have one. However my wallet would not. Liner is expensive and I only have NZ$200-300 to spend on the pond itself, not including plants, filter etc. For that I can get maybe 15-20 square metres of liner.

It's also my parents house and the bigger it gets, the harder it is to remove or fill in later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

As deep as possible. Keep in mind that with that shallow part, you are giving predators a nice place to stand while they access the deep part. Id do the entire thing 3' and then set blocks or something on the bottom to put plants on. More water volume is always better and it will use the same amount of tarp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

As deep as possible. Keep in mind that with that shallow part, you are giving predators a nice place to stand while they access the deep part. Id do the entire thing 3' and then set blocks or something on the bottom to put plants on. More water volume is always better and it will use the same amount of tarp.

We don't have predators beside the heron, and the netting will take care of that. But I'll keep it in mind, ta!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Natural vegetation in the water can also provide good shade in summer months! I'm sure you've thought of that but it wasn't mentioned so this is me contributing :rofl

I did think of that! :D Tis why I'd like the shelf all the way around.

Thank you for your contribution!!! <3

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I would like to share some experiences with selecting a pond. Building a pond is really exciting. Yes, don't jump straight into it too quickly, do more research first, especially into what's your purpose of this pond. Is it just for your landscape or just keeping your favorite orandas or both.

In view of your climate, which is not much colder than Perth in Winter, I'm more in favor of a preformed stock pond (any shape according to your preference) with a depth around <0.5m. (~1000L) You can sink about 1/3 to 1/2 in-ground to give better insulation. this way It's water will always be a few degree warmer than the atmosphere. The disadvantage with a liner is rather expensive and messy to relocate, requires a wider area and makes covering it very troublesome and also you can't sell it that freely later on. It's better to have a covering over it during the cold winter nights and remove it during the day. Advantage of a stock pond is, it better for your fish and besides you can get back at least 50% of your purchase price if you decided to sell it later on. Of course if you can build it out of bricks that would be the best choice. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I would like to share some experiences with selecting a pond. Building a pond is really exciting. Yes, don't jump straight into it too quickly, do more research first, especially into what's your purpose of this pond. Is it just for your landscape or just keeping your favorite orandas or both.

In view of your climate, which is not much colder than Perth in Winter, I'm more in favor of a preformed stock pond (any shape according to your preference) with a depth around <0.5m. (~1000L) You can sink about 1/3 to 1/2 in-ground to give better insulation. this way It's water will always be a few degree warmer than the atmosphere. The disadvantage with a liner is rather expensive and messy to relocate, requires a wider area and makes covering it very troublesome and also you can't sell it that freely later on. It's better to have a covering over it during the cold winter nights and remove it during the day. Advantage of a stock pond is, it better for your fish and besides you can get back at least 50% of your purchase price if you decided to sell it later on. Of course if you can build it out of bricks that would be the best choice. :)

Thanks for your thoughts on this! :D

The pond is for my orandas who are in my opinion getting way too big for my tanks inside, and buying a bigger tank isn't an option.

Should also mention I've wanted a pond for a long time, it's not just a spirit of the moment thing, but only just realised it was actually doable for me.

If it's in-ground I will landscape it nicely, because that's one of my hobbies. If it's a stock tub it wouldn't be so much, it would more be just for the orandas to live outside rather than as a feature.

I have looked at stock tubs but they are significantly more expensive than I can afford 90% of the time. The other 10% are sold by people that are too hard to deal with. ):

No problem with area. I have plenty of space to mess with. :)

Edited by Shukura
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

As deep as possible. Keep in mind that with that shallow part, you are giving predators a nice place to stand while they access the deep part. Id do the entire thing 3' and then set blocks or something on the bottom to put plants on. More water volume is always better and it will use the same amount of tarp.

We don't have predators beside the heron, and the netting will take care of that. But I'll keep it in mind, ta!

well if I come and natch them you will :rofl

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I prefer a shallow pond, provided that you have shade and protection from predators. You really need a uniform depth of at least three feet if you are using depth to protect your uncovered pond from herons. If you keep your pond covered from the start, predators will be more likely to visit another, unprotected body of water. However, once it has tasted your fish, a predator will return and work hard to overcome whatever barriers your put in its way.

A shallow pond maximizes surface area, and for whatever reason, my fish in the shallower (10-16 inches) ponds are friendlier and more active than those in the deeper (24-30 inches) ponds. Then there is the safety consideration. Unless your pond is securely fenced and always locked, you have to think about the possibility of a curious child falling in. Initially, I had my back pond 36" deep, and I wasn't comfortable with it (for me, not kids , it's enclosed), so I filled it in to be 30 inches deep. With a large pond, you can have a deep area in the center, but with a small pond, that little deep area can use up most of your liner.

If I were doing my back pond over again, I would revert to my original plan of using a 300 gallon stock tank (sunk 18 inches into the ground) for the pond and a 50 gallon stock tank for the bog filter. I decided to use cement blocks and a liner, since it appeared to be cheaper, and I could lift a cement block by myself, while I would need help moving a 90 pound stock tank. The disadvantage was that while I could set the stock tanks in a couple of days and complete the landscaping in a couple of weeks, the in-ground liner pond would probably take me 2-3 months. Two years later, the pond has fish in it, but isn't close to finished. I had to buy a second liner when the first one leaked, and now I am rebuilding the bog filter since that liner settled far enough that water went over the top. This time I'm going to seal the concrete rather than line it. The money I've put into it is now about 4 times what I needed for the stock tanks and the blocks needed to surround it to make it look pretty.

There is a reason why I always recommend a stock tank for a first pond.

Edited by shakaho
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Very good advice from Shakaho. A stock tank may sounds expensive but it will give you practically no dramas as compare to other forms.

My second 2 year old cement pond has cracked on it's sides facing my neighbor fence. I think the ground has shifted because my property is on the higher ground. I've renovated it since then and found that it's extremely difficult to removed the old pond seal, so I took short cut and repainted over it. Bad mistake, now found that newly painted surface has boils all over after 3 months. Looks like have to drain water again later to recement (rendering) whole pond again and have to spend another A$60 on pond seal paint again. Once you have fish in there it'll be very troublesome to do that, I think I do that next year Summer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Well, you've all convinced me. I already have a hole and two layers of bricks (for a semi-raised pond with a liner), but now I think I'll move the pond to another location and use a stock tank. This way the pond can be bigger too. : )

Shukura, I look forward to seeing your pond. : )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Well, you've all convinced me. I already have a hole and two layers of bricks (for a semi-raised pond with a liner), but now I think I'll move the pond to another location and use a stock tank. This way the pond can be bigger too. : )

Shukura, I look forward to seeing your pond. : )

If I ever decide! Pretty conflicted right now. If I can actually find a 300 gallon stock tub that is not outrageously priced, I will go for that, but at the moment there are only 200 gallons, and I've decided I want more than that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

The first "pond" I had was a preformed water garden that was here when we moved in. My husband suggested putting fish in, but my experience with goldfish as a child led me to believe they were much to delicate to survive in such a simple pond. The problem with these preformed ponds is that they can be almost impossible to level. I reset it twice, carefully leveling it, only to find it had settled unevenly within a couple of weeks. When it sprung a leak, we got a cheap liner from HD and lined it. When I decided to redo the area, making a patio and a lined pond, I reused that piece of liner. That was the reason the first pond I built was only 100 gallons -- the size of the liner.

The first thing I learned building this little pond was that you can't just dig a hole with vertical sides and line it if you have soil that is pure sand. I had the liner in place, weighted down and water in it when a rain started. When it finished, I came out to find my liner wadded up in the middle of a mud puddle. The vertical sides were all gone. So I dug it out enough farther to line the sides with scavenged cement blocks that I had recovered when digging up the area and a couple of new ones. Then I put in the liner, topped it off with pavers and it held water and its shape.

The second thing I learned from this pond was that an in-ground pond needs raised edges. I made the pond edge level with the patio. The first time it rained, water poured off the roof onto the patio and flooded the pond. I went out in the rain and put another row of pavers around the pond to keep the fishies in the pond, while my husband stood by with a fish net to catch any that were washed out. None were, and we sure looked funny.

There were a lot of other lessons from that first build, but my point is simply that every pond build is a learning experience, no matter how careful your planning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I thought tractor supply had a nice 300 gallon tub?

Like this... http://www.tractorsupply.com/rubbermaid-reg-structural-foam-stock-tanks-300-gal-capacity-2229935

Looks like it even has a bottom drain, which is sweet!

Edited by DieselPlower
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I thought tractor supply had a nice 300 gallon tub?

Like this... http://www.tractorsu...apacity-2229935

Looks like it even has a bottom drain, which is sweet!

One problem with that! I don't live in America and I very much doubt they ship to New Zealand. :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...