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Putting In A Pond


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Don't really need any advice (yet), but just wanted to share my excitement for the pond I'm putting in this spring...

I've been planning and planning. It's going to be partly above ground (to discourage my dogs from playing in it) and below ground (to insulate it from the heat and cold). Liner with brick. Dimensions will be roughly 8' wide x 8' long x 4' deep (2 feet above ground and 2 feet in ground). The filter system is going to be homemade: I'm using a sump pump up to a skippy-style filter that feeds a short waterfall back into the pond. Rather than the typical filling the skippy with scrubbies, I'm going to make a custom round filter pad (for mechanical filtration), then a bag of ceramic beads (for bio filtration), with a potted plant in the top (chemical filtration). There will be a tap coming out of the bottom of the filter to drain out sludge, but I will also be able to clean it from above. The filter is going to be in a bricked in bog garden, which will be filled with the soil I pulled when digging the pond.

The pond site is south-facing, against the house, where the house reflects sunlight for warmth. It gets partial shade from a nearby tree. I plan to also hook up a shade cloth to the house that can be drawn over the pond if it's getting too hot. I'm going to construct a cover for the winter to hold in heat. We're zone 7b here, so it's pretty mild, but I'd like to keep the pond from dropping below 50F.

There will be lots of plants in the pond of course.

The inhabitants will be fancies: orandas, moors, and pearlscales. I'm hoping to get them breeding and start selling them.

Here's a sketchup pic of the pond (although I since decided it will come out a bit further than in this drawing):


I'm been into fish my whole life, and into goldfish since I joined this forum a couple of years ago. I currently have a large chocolate oranda, "Gilbert", a red cap oranda "Nemo", and a pearlscale "Baloo" (my kid, who is autistic - hence the username - named Nemo and Baloo). I also have a 90G planted community tank, a 20G high-light planted community tank, a 2.5 gallon CPD/shrimp tank (planted), and a 1g planted tank that's home to a single ramshorn snail.

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  • Regular Member
That pond is going to be amazing! I wish I lived in a different temperature region so I could attempt something similar. I bet your child loves the goldies :):Congrats:

Yeah, gotta love the west coast. :)

My son does like the fish, he watches the tanks all the time. No helping in them though - petting (squeezing!) the fish is too much temptation for him lol.

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  • 5 weeks later...
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So....providing the weather holds out, I'll be starting to work on the pond next week - yay! Hopefully it will be done enough to move the fish in by the end of the month - woot!

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Yay, what a fun spring project!! I really love the design of that, too. I hope you can show pictures of the process.

I wish I was putting in a pond this spring, too! :)

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Love the design! I love the raised, off-side, bog garden.

And, the 2 feet above and 2 feet below is going to be a brilliant design for keeping away racoons. But.... I might just be prepared with the old net just in case! lol! Those cute little buggers are relentless! And a deep hidey cave would be a good idea too.

Most definitely! You MUST give us step-by-step build process pictures!

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Yeah, I'll be taking pics.

I *think* I'll be okay with raccoons. Not only because of the depth, but also because our yard is fully fenced and we have three very high prey drive dogs. Nothing ventures into our yard, or at least not making it out again (they've caught and killed a handful of possums, rats, and robins).

The dogs are inside dogs, they're only out in the yard to pee and when I'm out there, but their presence seems to deter raccoons. There was a raccoon coming up on the porch the first week we moved in - it met our dog, and has never been back.

I think herons are a bigger risk, but hopefully, with the pond being tucked up against the house and partially shaded by the dogwood tree, they won't see it. Plus it'll be deep, so that will help.

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That's the worst thing about ponds- predators. Its such ashame to have to net them all up and even then...but it sounds like you are well covered with the dogs..interesting how word gets round the animal community. They really have that survival instinct still so strong.

I love your design, is it your own unique design? Can't wait to follow the picture story set up too :)

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Yeah, my own design. Been gradually evolving over the past few months as I've been planning.

It's going to look much like the picture I posted, but will come out further (level with the pavement, with the rounded front sticking out further). Also, the bog garden on the right that leads into the waterfall is also going to have a smaller (160g) pond in it (preformed). The rounded part at the front of the big pond is going to be shallower - a shelf about 1 foot deep. The rest of the pond will be 4 feet deep.

I'm thinking I'm going to build a little pergola over it too. It'll provide for shade, and make it easier to cover the pond in the winter to keep it warmer.

I'm pretty stoked about the whole thing - I plan to break ground this week! I'll definitely take lots of pics :)

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It's good you have those killer dogs cuz racoons love those shallow shelves. It just gives 'em that much more access to the pond and gets them that much closer to the fish. If it weren't for your dogs, I'd say seriously reconsider the shelf. I'm really excited to see this pond when it's done!

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Well, things are underway.

There's been some changes to the plan. First change, was ditching the bow-front for a plain square when I found out there'd be a lot of stone cutting involved. The idea of cutting stone totally freaks me out - all that noise and rock chips flying - eeek! I'm comfortable with power tools, but not with cutting rock or metal - I prefer working with wood.

Next change - since I'm now doing a square, the whole reason behind using stone (being able to build a curve) is moot. So, I'm going to use wood. Waaaaay cheaper, and easier to work with.

The hole is offically dug out - woot!


two of the dogs checking out the bottom of the hole


It's 6' x 6' (the upper part of the pond will be 8' x 8'). It slopes down to the bottom which is about 3' x 3', and is divided in half by depth: one half of the bottom is 3feet deep, the other half is 2 feet deep (about 500g). The above-ground part will raise the water level another 2 1/2 feet or so, adding 800-1000 gallons. So the main pond should total 1200-1500 gallons.

The upper pond is going to be bigger than I'd initially planned, now that I'm using wood. It's also going to house a couple of turtles I'm adopting :)

I'm pretty stoked about the whole thing. Today I go and buy the wood, hardware, and pond liner :)

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  • 2 months later...
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It's been awhile, but I'm happy to report that the main pond is up and running! It's 8' x 8', and just shy of six feet deep at it's deepest point. Shallowest parts are just under 2 feet, which, while great for protecting the fish from predators, is a bit of a problem for planting. I think I've done okay though :)

I'll be building the upper pond, bog garden, and waterfall over the course of this month, as I'm on holidays. I plan for the upper pond to be about 200gallons (the lower pond is around 1400 gallons I figure).

The pond is doing good - I'm struggling with some green water, but that's not unexpected given as it's a new pond and it gets full sun from about 10am until around 8pm. I've got some barley straw pellets in there, I've been using the stuff that clumps stuff up, and I added some stuff that tints the water to shade it. It helped quite a bit for a few days, but then it got REALLY hot the last couple of days, and it's looking a bit murky again. I think I'm just going to leave it, and see if it clears on its own.

One nice thing about it being so deep - it stays a nice steady temperature. The pond is in the mid seventies I'd guess (I've got to get a thermometer) - I just know the water is cool, but not cold.

One not-so-nice thing about it being so deep - for any mainenance of the filter or pump, or plants in the deeper section, I have to go swimming! My fish seem to think this is a treat, and like to nibble on my toes, lol. The other day, my dog decided to join me, not realizing how deep it was - it was quite funny, and I don't think he'll make that mistake again.

Anyway, here are some pics:


(I'll be trimming off the last of the visible liner)



(my small lily just hit the surface)

The canna are doing well


The fish in around the taro


Oscar the oranda says hello


Elvis my funny-looking telescope (I think he's crossed with a common)


Looking for food in the water violet


Some fishy pics








Pond inhabitants are:

2 moores/telescopes (1 male 1 female)

1 white telescope (male)

1 orange and black telescope/oranda cross (male)

1 telescope/common cross (male)

1 red oranda (male)

1 red and white oranda (female)

1 fantail

4 shebunkins

2 sarassas

The single-tails (shebunkin, sarassas) will be moved to the upper pond when it's done, so they don't out-compete the fancies for food. However, they're small enough now that the fancies are able to hold their own.

Thanks for looking!

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  • Regular Member

Your pond looks great! I really like the planting at the corners, and the fish look like they are enjoying it.

I think you will be very happy to have gone so deep with the pond. I gave up digging after the first foot and half of heavy clay, and I'm regretting not going deeper now that summer is fully here.

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It is just lovely. I am saving your pictures so when i get ready one of these years i can do it too. :D

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