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Small Pond Stocking


Guest will

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I was curious about filtration and stocking issues with small ponds/water gardens. I had a small half barrel pond over the summer with 4 goldfish in it and have gotted the bug for something a little better come spring. I've started to assemble some parts over the winter with the clearance sales to have a small water garden come spring. So far I've purchased a 45 gallon water garden basin, a 400gph pump as well as a pressurized canister filter with UV. My intentions is to sumbmerge the 45 gallon basin into the ground and have my barrel spill water into it. I will probably have around 75-80 gallons total. How many fish will this support? I've seen places say that you need 100gallon per fish for a pond environment but have also seen sites with half barrels loaded with fish. I would like to have a total of 7-8 fish. Mostly the ones that were in the half barrel from last summer. When I moved the fish into an aquarium for the winter I had issues with the comon fish beating up on the telescopes, something not expierenced in the barrel. I would like to put my 3 telescopes and on fantail into the barrel and have my two comons in the 45 gallon basin. I would also like to pick up one shubinkin for the basin as well. Do I have enough water and filtration for my plans or am I best to get more filtration or leave a couple fish in the aquarium and not purchase the shubunkin?

A funny thing about my half barrel water garden was I wound up with a lepord frog living in it. Seems kinda odd as I have no clue how he determined the barrel would be a good place to live, espeacialy considering the leap of faith he had to take to make it over the rim in the first place.

Edited by will
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You see more gallons per fish recommended for ponds because the turnover rate is usually much lower - meaning it takes longer to move the pond water through the filter than it does in an aquarium. The extra water to dilute waste keeps it safer, and when you're talking about a really big pond, means you don't have to change out an unreasonable amount of water weekly.

10 gallons a piece, with a fairly low turnover rate in the pond isn't great (you're looking at about 5x an hour with your pump - maybe less depending on the height - versus 10x an hour in a good goldfish aquarium), especially with 2 commons in there already. You might want to keep fewer fish outside until you see how your water readings look as they get out there and start growing.

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Guest Philly Bill

Cheeky Lemur is right - there are no hard and fast rules. It depends on the size (not to be confused with length) of the fish and the filtration. I have assembled quite a bit of information about this topic on my blog.

Edited by Philly Bill
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