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Solar Powered Pond?


musicalmouse

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Ugh I had a huge thing written but then everything decided to stop working so this will be a lot shorter and sweeter.

I want to set up a pond for the two comets for when they get bigger. I'll outline the plan and then you can tell me what's wrong with it :P. I have no electricity outside. I've read a few of the very informative posts by shakaho so hopefully I'm not too far off here (this one was especially useful).

A 200L preformed pond/stock feeder/etc. One solar pump that run water into the bottom of a 20L buckets filled with pea gravel/other media and plants. The water empties out the top and runs back into the pond. The bucket is higher than the pond. The pond is filled with plants, both submerged and emerged. There is a mesh lid on top of the pond to stop predators (I know there are cats around the area). I would do weekly water changes of 20% and keep an eye on params too.

Some questions:

  • minimum depth?
  • would it be bad if rainwater got in it?
  • how much water should the pump be pumping?
  • is solar too unreliable? should I instead try to rehome them or buy a larger tank when they grow larger?

Thanks :).

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Are you limited to size? If not, might be a lot better to look at going for a larger size. If you're looking for a preformed pond to sit above ground, go for water troughs. They are much more cost effective than a pond from bunnings. Any produce store will be able to order you one in. Shakaho found my trough for me, and here's the link for them http://rapidplas.com.au/products/round-troughs-36.cfm

It takes about 4 weeks for them to arrive in store. They're a really nice shape and depth (shallow is good for goldfish, but keep in mind the water heating- these troughs have excellent depths), and there's even one that is close to the size you want.

Rain water is fine, and they're essentially free water changes anyway.

For the pump, 2x capacity of the tank per hour is a suitable filtration rate. Bunnings will sell fountain pumps that will meet this need for a very cheap price, but they are not solar powered and do require external power. I've never seen a solar powered one so I can't help you there

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Size-wise, I measured and I can fit something max. 75cm x 150cm. The balcony is tiny. I could put it in the yard but I'm worried that some drunken idiots would do terrible things; a chair out there has been stolen previously.

There's a nearby big pet/garden warehouse that I'll check out and I'll do a bit of shopping around online and along the bus routes to see if I can find a really good one :). I've bookmarked this thread so I can find all the links again :P.

2x would be easy. I've seen so many solar pumps, but none that are able to run all night - that's the main problem; they only run for 2 hours on battery :(.

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There are no solar pumps that do an adequate job on even a small pond, and they cost much more than buying (and running) a regular pump AND paying an electrician to put in a GFIC outlet for you. From Wikipedia: "In Australia, they (GFICs) are sometimes known as Safety Switches or a RCD."

Some people have set up a solar generator with a battery (to store electricity for night or dull days) and plugged a pump into that. This does work, but costs a lot of money.

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