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Questions for an outdoor stocktank pond


Bmitchell486

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Edit: here it is

 

IMG_1933.jpg

 

WOW, and I thought the pothos on my 55g was huge.  Yours is ginormous!! How many years have you had it?

My biggest leaves last time I measured (several months ago) were 6" from tip to base of leaf.

I notice your vine does not look woody, my thickest vine (thicker than a thumb) has a woody look to it and is pretty rigid, but all yours look green and still very flexible.

Edited by AquaAurora
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I cut it down to about 12" six months ago.  That's why the stems aren't thick.  I bought the original in one of those little pots from Lowes in 2012.  You can see it in the last picture in Post #1 here.  It had been growing in a HOB for a few months before that picture.  I have clones in some other filters, and have sent hundreds of feet of vine to the compost pile.  As a tropical plant, it loves FL summer.

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I haven't posted for a little while, but the pond is doing well!  The water is staying GREEN.  Can't see the bottom.  But the water parameters are great, as I am doing 50% wc twice a week, and 10% wc every few days as well to suck out poo.  I can't see it, bc I can't see the bottom, but I know it's there!  So I just siphon out around the edges and zigzag in the middle a little bit.  I do so many water changes because I like to thin out the algae.

 

I don't know if the green is from too much sun, or too much nutrients in the water (probably both).  I am going to keep doing what I'm doing until it's been set up for 4-5 weeks.  I'm hoping a seasoned filter will help with the nutrients in the water.  I've also still got the pothos plant in the filter, an elephant ear plant that's growing like crazy, a few water hyacinth, and I've added a bundle of hornwort, and 2 ferns this weekend.  Hoping the extra plants will provide more shade and suck up nutrients.

 

If the water is still super green in a few weeks, I'll have to come up with a shade sail.  

 

All 8 fish are happy and growing quickly.  In my opinion, they're growing long, but not getting fatter.  The breeders on fb say clear water results in longer fish and smaller wens bc the fish are more active, and green water helps the fish swim slower so their food energy goes to wen size and girth. I guess we'll see what happens with them, since they're in pretty green water right now.  I was looking at them up close this weekend and their red color has really deepened.  I hope they turn out very red.

 

I'm not feeding as much as the breeders on fb recommend, but I'm feeding as often as I can and am willing to. I am gone from 6AM - 5PM.  They get fbw in AM, and then when I get home they get Saki Hikari twice (about an hour in between feedings), and then more fbw at dusk.  I'm careful to only feed them as much as they can readily consume so that there is no extra food.  I've never fed my other fish so much food before, but the folks online feed their juveniles every 1.5-2hr!!!

 

Anyways, I thought an update was due. :)  I got them at the end of June.  I still plan on taking pics of them at the end of every month so I can track their progress.  This is all super fun for me. :)

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You might want to try 100% water changes weekly.  The algae grows so fast that they find a 50% water change stimulating.   I have an unfiltered tub with fry, as my green water experience.  50% daily won't keep up with the algae, but a full change and a rinse lasts a few days.  I probably should just filter it,  LOL.  

 

The breeders feed so much to "grow out" fish for show.  They get big fast, mature early, and age early as well.  Show fish sort of gross me out.  The heavy feeding explains the green water.

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I was fb chatting with Gary last night.  He said he fasted his fry every other day last week and they got really good head growth from that.  He said it's a common practice in asia to fast for a day or two a week with juveniles, forcing them to "digest the fat."  I'm not trying to turn these guys into show fish (doubt I could if I tried, haha).  I just would like them to have nice cheeks and nice color is all, and I know they get those early.  I've noticed the same as well that the bigger the goldfish get, the more problems they seem to have.  That's why I'm feeding them as often as I am willing to.  Once they're a solid 3 inches and have little wens, I'll cut back to 2x a day (fbw once, and saki hikari once).  That's similar to what I'm feeding my adults.

 

Also, my sweet sweet husband knows how much I love watching the fish, and was asking if the green water was bothering me.  I said nah, it could clear up with a seasoned filter, but that it was fine for the fish. Well, he's so sweet that he researched on his own and as a surprise, he ordered a UV Sterilizer for me and it arrived yesterday :) :) :)  He's heard me talk enough about the fish to know I wouldn't want to use chemicals for algae reduction.   It's the SunSun Super UP-23, 13 watt.  It adds some more surface agitation, and I'm excited to see if it helps.  If it does clear it up, I'll experiment with dialing it back (you can adjust the flow) to see how low I can set it and still have relatively clear water.  If it doesn't clear it up, I'll do a 100% wc and see if it can maintain the clarity.

 

Sharon, if you have pictures of your fry tub, I would LOVE to see pictures.  Or any of your ponds, for that matter!  How are your fry doing?

Edited by Bmitchell486
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Took some pics of the babies yesterday during a water change.

 

I like to siphon out poo from the bottom, and in a pond you can't see as well to know if you've got a baby in the vacuum head.  So I always grab them out and put them in a bowl to avoid an accident.

 

IMG_1071.jpg

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My fry are all just found pond mutts.  I find them in waste water and toss them in the duckweed tub.  In this case, the duckweed tub developed a case of green water, which kills duckweed.  I set up a flow through system to keep the green water under control.  I drip in 5-10 gallons a day and have an overflow to remove the excess.  The tub holds 20 gallons and has a huge surface area.

 

IMG_1961.jpg

 

I did a 75% water change a day before this when you could barely see the fish at all.  The FL sun also makes it almost impossible to get a picture of the fish.  I use the lid of a hospital tub to give the fish some sun relief.

 

IMG_1962.jpg

 

Here's the best I could do to show the fish.

 

IMG_1963.jpg

 

I'm going on a trip, and I can't ask my husband to fill that bucket twice a day, so I will put a filter on the tub for them soon.

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The best thing to take the water from the pump to the filter is pvc pipe rather than hose, and I have switched over completely.  With the same size pipe and hose, the water flows at least twice as fast  through the pipe.  

 

It can be challenging to attach the pipe to the pump, but you can always work it out.   If you take the things you want to connect to the plumbing person at the hardware/home improvement store, they will find a way.

 

I have the pipe run horizontally under the water from the pump end to the filter end, then come up to go into the filter.  Paint the pipe black and it disappears completely in the pond. - this is all very interesting.  Sounds like a good project for me on an upcoming weekend!

 

You can have the pipe go through the hardware cloth on the pond cover.  Have a connector or union just above the cover to allow you to take the pipe apart so you can remove the cover and/or the pump.  You can do the same thing with a hose, but the plumbing is a little harder. - I will probably not attempt to replace the hose with PVC pipes for a few weeks, so there is no rush at all, but could you post a picture sometime of this from one of your ponds?  I'm having  trouble picturing it in my mind :) 

 

I just replumbed the big green tub from pump to filter, so I can show you how I did it.  

 

I started by putting the pump in a box.  Just one of those plastic "shoe boxes."   Since the water enters the box from the top, the pond can never empty accidentally.  

 

I cut a notch in the box for the cord and a hole in the box lid for the pipe and lots of little holes for the water to get in. 

 

IMG_1950.jpg

 

I forgot to get a close-up of the lid.  Here you see the box assembled with 1" pipe attached.  I set it up to determine where to cut off the pipe.

 

IMG_1951.jpg

 

I used this  conduit elbow to take the pipe up to the filter.  The wide curve makes for a better water flow.  You find this in the electrical department, not in plumbing.

 

IMG_1952.jpg

 

I attached another piece of 1" pipe to go up to the filter input.  I will confess here that I didn't measure this piece.  It was what it cut off the full pipe.  It looked about the right size so I used it here.  It proved too long, so the pipe going horizontally is highest at the pump.  This will eventually result in debris accumulating in the low end, so I will shorten the vertical pipe sometime.

 

IMG_1954.jpg

 

This shows the inlet to the filter.  I have to use some adapters here. 

 

IMG_1955.jpg

 

On the left of this picture you see the black "pipe" (a venturi) coming toward you in the picture above.  I have used 1" pipe in the filter and between the pump and the venturi, but the venturi has 3/4" inlet and outlets.  I had to put a 1'' to 3/4" bushing on each end of the venturi.   The white piece you see at the end (the bushing) allows me to attach the 1" pipe to the venturi.

 

Here you see it hooked up.

 

IMG_1957.jpg

 

While pipes in the pond become invisible with some black paint, I left this white so you could see it in the pond.

 

eb5a95d1-3883-419d-b64d-51b751cb0e8d.jpg

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I really like your fry tub.  They are adorable, and I love that you have the heart to save your "pond mutts."  It's the fish that mean the most to you that are the most valuable anyways, right? :)

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And the pictures that show how you connect your pump to your filter with PVC is exactly what I was looking for.  Genius.

 

I will hook mine up the same way and paint it black.  Any advice on how to paint it black, and what to use?  I think I remember a time in the past where you said you had a post somewhere explaining how to paint it and with what, so that the paint wouldn't peel.

 

Putting the pump in a box is great for peace of mind in knowing that even if somehow your filter return was disconnected/leaking, that the pond would never be 100% emptied.  But, I also see how it would no longer suck up any poo.  How often do you vacuum the bottom of your ponds (to suck up poo)?  I'm trying to do it a few times a week, but it's more of a chore than I anticipated.  My guys are so small, and the surface is agitated enough that I can't see very well so I have to catch all of the fish and put them in a bowl before I'm comfortable with siphoning.  (All other water changes are done simply by siphoning from the filter, so I don't have to worry about sucking up a fish).

 

But again, thank you SO MUCH for posting the pictures and the instructions!  It helps so much!  You are the BEST resource on ponds.  I've watched lots of youtube videos, bc I like nerding out, but all of those folks have large ponds, with very large filtration systems that are much too expensive/large/complex for me.  Your pond instructions are "just my size" and SO helpful! :)  Thank you for taking the time to help and teach so many people!

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The smallest ranchu died today :( I'm pretty devastated.  

 

He was rushing to eat and gobbling up food yesterday evening.  This morning when I fed them, he ate but wasn't rushing towards the food like the others.  This isn't uncommon for some of them to not have an appetite in the morning because I have to feed them between 5:45AM - 6:15AM and it's barely light outside.

 

My husband just found him (I'm at work) and he said his body looks perfectly healthy still.

 

I really loved that little fish.  He was always the smallest one and had not done much growing in the last month, BUT his color was developing nicely (red fins).  I hope his death had to do with a physical issue (maybe he was just a runt or something), and not an illness.  I'll catch the ranchu's tonight and look at them from a side view glass tank to check them all out.  The water tested 100% great 2 days ago, but I'll test again today too when I get home.  

 

I've never had a fish die suddenly without showing a symptom before.  I follow lots of goldfish instagram accounts, and I've watched people say their fish start dying one by one, symptom free, and they never figure out the cause.  Let's hope that's not the case here.  I'd already thought about the fact that I can't exactly evaluate the pond fish, other than their activity level, because I am only seeing them from top view, and the surface of the water is agitated so it's not a clear view.  I had worried that maybe I would miss the early onset of an illness with them.  Not sure what to do about that either, since catching them all the time would stress them out.  I guess the longer I keep goldfish, the more I will experience their deaths.  I've only lost 3 in the 6 years that I've been keeping goldfish, and it never gets any easier.

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And the pictures that show how you connect your pump to your filter with PVC is exactly what I was looking for.  Genius.

 

I will hook mine up the same way and paint it black.  Any advice on how to paint it black, and what to use?  I think I remember a time in the past where you said you had a post somewhere explaining how to paint it and with what, so that the paint wouldn't peel.

 

Get some Gripper primer, and paint the pipe (after assembled).  For ease in removing and cleaning, I don't glue the joints.  I give it a full day to cure before topping.  Then use a flat black outdoor spray paint.  Let this cure for at least a day.

 

Putting the pump in a box is great for peace of mind in knowing that even if somehow your filter return was disconnected/leaking, that the pond would never be 100% emptied.  But, I also see how it would no longer suck up any poo.

 

Most small pond pumps have a prefilter sponge to collect solids.  They fill up rapidly. "Solids handling pumps" which don't clog easily, may require some kind of prefilter before the biofilter to remove solids.

 

How often do you vacuum the bottom of your ponds (to suck up poo)?  

 

Maybe monthly on the  smaller tanks.  Not even yearly on the larger semi-raised inground ponds.   My overflow pipes (see post #10 here) remove some solids. Since the pump and the overflow intake sit right next to one another, the debris collects in that one area for very easy siphoning.  Mainly I don't have that much poop to remove because I don't feed as much as people here commonly feed, let alone what groomers feed.  

 

I'm trying to do it a few times a week, but it's more of a chore than I anticipated.  My guys are so small, and the surface is agitated enough that I can't see very well so I have to catch all of the fish and put them in a bowl before I'm comfortable with siphoning.  (All other water changes are done simply by siphoning from the filter, so I don't have to worry about sucking up a fish).

 

You can get a strainer to fit your siphon hose,

 

 

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Sorry you lost the little one. I recently lost my littlest one Raiden, as well. Sudden death. Healthy and eating one night. C shaped by morning, dead in the next 24 hours. Raiden was a tiny, runted fish, but despite that I had hoped she'd live a full life. It wasn't meant to be I guess. Your little ones look so cute. I can't wait to try and build a nice, bigger pond next year. Good work here!

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How about lighting over the winter?

 

I am bringing them into the basement.  I want to keep the fish's colors nice and vibrant.  I also want to keep the pothos plant alive (I doubt any sort of indoor lighting would keep the elephant ear plant and ferns alive, so I'm sure I'll just have to toss them unfortunately).  So, I believe I need a UVA/UVB light.

 

Do I just need this and this? This would be about $50.... is one lamp enough?  And does anyone have other lighting options that work well but are cheaper?

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https://www.amazon.com/Hydrofarm-FLV42-Fluorescent-Fixture-4-Feet/dp/B003U4UQ3O

 

Read this.  The person is talking about gardening indoors, which needs much better light than an indoor pond.

 

"I use $10 shop fixtures from Lowe's with two $3 40-watt cool spectrum 48-inch T-12 fluorescent tubes plugged into each one.  They are hung from chains that I raise and lower on an S-hook, and they are plugged into a cheap timer.  For the ten weeks that the peppers and eggplants take, works fine."

 

http://www.lowes.com/pd/GE-2-Pack-40-Watt-4-100K-Cool-White-Fluorescent-Tube-Light-Bulbs-Common-48-in-Actual-48-in/4634601

 

http://www.lowes.com/pd/Utilitech-Linear-Shop-Light-Common-4-ft-Actual-4-55-in-x-47-92-in/4013481

 

I have found no evidence whatsoever for sunlight directly affecting the color intensity of goldfish, although the white can turn pink from sunburn, which the UVA/UVB lights should produce.  

 

Yes, outdoor goldfish have brighter colors. They eat algae -- the active ingredients in color-enhancing food.  With just the shop light, you can grow lots of algae in the pond and even set up an aquaponic grow bed to improve filtration and grow some lettuce and other greens.  The pothos will grow like crazy.  The ferns and elephant ear should at least live.

Edited by shakaho
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Sharon, thank you SO MUCH for this information!  I wish you lived nearby so I could take you out for ice-cream or something, for all of the time you've spent on helping me.  I always spend time scouring, trying to find articles on kokos and other forums.  Sometimes I don't find the answer to my exact question, but most often I find many different ways to do things, which leaves me wondering which is best.  

 

I read the article -- great info.  The first couple of comments on the article have good information too.  My lowes has 5 of the light fixtures in stock, and plenty of bulbs.  I'll stop by this week on my way home from work to pick them up.  I've got a nice carpet of algae covering every surface in the pond that I want to keep alive -- they munch on it all day.

 

Thank you for the advice, and for saving me $$$!  This will be less than $20, and will provide a 4 foot long light.  My other option (which I arrived to after internet research) would have bee $50 for one round light, and I was thinking it would be best if I had 2 of them.

 

I will not toss the ferns/elephant ear plants.  I'll bring them in and give them a chance.  My mom is a fern-o-holic (she's southern) and says that living up north, she has to toss her ferns at the end of every summer.  When she brings them in and puts them right in front of a window, she says they shed all winter and eventually die (I think house windows block most UV rays, not sure if that has something to do with it).  I'll let her know there's a cheap solution for her ferns indoors.  She's got a super green thumb, and all of her ferns get to be at least 3 feet high and 4 feet across, and it's a shame when she has to toss them.

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There are many kinds of ferns, and most of them thrive indoors without any special lighting.  At one time I had about a dozen different types of ferns as houseplants up north.  Maybe hers got too big to grow indoors.

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Yeah, I don't know.  She keeps african violets, succulents, peace lillies, christmas cactus, pothos, and some kinds of small leaf ivy alive really well indoors. They all just sit near windows. But her passion is her outdoor gardens.  Most of what she grows is in the ground, but she keeps some potted plants on the porch and deck.  The ferns are kept on the shaded porch and only get morning sun, so you'd think they could transition into the house just fine.... idk why they don't.  But yeah, hers get so large that they don't fit through doorways very well, it's insane! haha  

 

I sent her an email with the links to the article, and the light/bulbs at lowes.

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I haven't posted here in a while!  Figured I'd make an update, but it'll be boring since I don't have any pictures to post :)

 

The ranchu's made their transition into the basement just fine.  My sump pump does a stellar job during water changes.  I've been doing 10% daily or 20% every other day. 

 

I got the 4 foot florescent light that Sharon recommended -- the ferns and elephant ear plant are doing just fine.  The pothos has some kind of fungus I think... he trailing vines are all growing fine, but the leaves towards the base of the plant all turned yellow and died, and they have this white sticky powder on them... kind of gross.  I'm thinking of cutting the vines, pitching the base, and allowing them to root underwater to start a new one.

 

3 of the ranchu's are quite large, at least 4 inches long, maybe longer.  I'm proud of their size, for being 6 months old (all my other goldfish stay small-medium).  But 2 of the ranchu's are smaller, about 3 inches, and their colors are more muted.  None of them have fantastic wens, but I only feed them a normal amount of food 2x a day, so they haven't been pumped with protein.   I'm considering an experiment -- getting 2 of the 20 gallon cement mixing tubs, and putting the 2 smaller ranchus into each of them.  I want to get them caught up, and may feed them more bloodworms.  We'll see.

 

I tried getting pictures recently, but the florescent strip lights make it impossible to get a picture.  And my basement is too dark to turn it off, even in the middle of the day... I might put them in a bowl, bring them upstairs, and take a picture.

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Edit: here it is

 

IMG_1933.jpg

 

WOW, and I thought the pothos on my 55g was huge.  Yours is ginormous!! How many years have you had it?

My biggest leaves last time I measured (several months ago) were 6" from tip to base of leaf.

I notice your vine does not look woody, my thickest vine (thicker than a thumb) has a woody look to it and is pretty rigid, but all yours look green and still very flexible.

 

 

http://image.shutterstock.com/z/stock-vector-cartoon-carnivorous-plant-devours-human-vector-illustration-92345290.jpg

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