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I Don't Know What My Parent's Were Thinking


seheap

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Ok so my mom and I went to get a preformed pond yesterday. We ended up at Home Depot with a 160 gallon pond. And retaining wall bricks. I thought that was the best idea ever. I would build a wall around the preformed pond and make it look less like a giant piece of plastic.

Then my mom said "why not get a pond liner instead and that way you can make it bigger" I said "OK!!" and now I have a bunch of bricks and a pond liner and am building a brick pond today!!! I am really excited.

But I have a few questions....

1) How should I make it raccoon proof? I was going to make a chicken wire screen to latch down over the preformed pond, but I don't think that will look good anymore.

2) How can I get my fishies pond ready? I had a horrible dream last night that I was moving Dragon into the pond and he wasn't doing well, so I moved him back. He was too long out of water and stopped breathing. Thankfully I "walked" him through the water in my tank and he came back alive. But it was scary! I don't want to loose my fish because I tried to build them a pond.

3) How can I include a drain in the pond? Or should I not worry about that and just use a pump to empty it of water in the fall?

I have a few weeks until the fish are going to go in there because I am afraid that it is still too cold at night. But I am building it today (hopefully it's done today, otherwise I have to continue it on Wednesday when I don't have work).

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I can answer one question get a net. there are special pond nets you can get that well protect you fish.

To get it ready make sure you have proper filters and let the water stand long enough to cycle.

Dont know about the drain have to talk to pond people. lol

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I wouldn't bother with a drain, they're really hard to dig in from what I hear. When we need to drain our pond (which is around 1000 gallons I think) we use my dad's shop vac. It takes a while but it works really well and the hose is large enough so it doesn't get clogged...it also works well for vacuuming gunk off the bottom.

I wouldn't know how to racoon proof, I don't have racoons in my area that venture into my yard...I would imagine some sort of netting or wire fencing would be best.

As far as getting the fish pond ready....the main focus should be making the pond fish ready. I've never had a problem with my fish adjusting to pond life, they all seem to take to it very very well. Just last weekend I put my last indoor common out in the pond, he was born in my tank indoors and had been there his whole life (about 2 years). Within 5 minutes of being put in the pond he was swimming around amongst my other fish like he owned the place. So far so good.

Good luck with the pond building! Its really hard work :)

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I have pictures! and I really want to post them, but I have to go to work and there is no internet there :(

As soon as I get home I will post them in the pictures section.

Also, Steve and I just spent the last two hours figuring out the filter. The whole thing should be done by this weekend. :D

Fish will be going in next week sometime when the nighttime temperature is above 50*

I can't wait!

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I would STRONGLY suggest going to the trouble of installing a bottom drain & large biofilter for your pond.

Without a bottom drain, a pond that does not have an inflow/outflow of fresh water.

Is like a toilet, that you cannot flush. :doh11:

Without an effective biofilter system, you end up with a stagnant pool, rather than a nice pond. :doh11:

Google "skippy filter" :rolleyes:

They are simple to build, easy to clean & don't cost all that much.

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I have a 40 gallon rubbermade that will become my filter. I have the whole thing worked out like a sump on a saltwater tank. My bf is BIG into saltwater so he designed the whole thing.

The water will be FAR from stagnant.

Thanks for the tip though. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
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A net is the best solution - but the raccoons in our area know to chew through the netting. Far more problematic are the herons - everything from the tiny little white ones to great blues - and they stab the fish right through the net - never mind the fact that they cannot get them OUT to eat them!

Most people that I know get a fish pond net - I can look to see the places on line to get them...... Otherwise, at the show in July you should be able to pick one up fairly cheaply. They keep them down with stakes around the pond. A black net, lying close to the pond does not show very much. More obvious, yet working better is one that is suspended about 1 foot above the pond.

As far as raccoons, but BEST thing you can do is build your pond with a "lip". Extending the pond underneath the edges of the pond a bit will give the fish a place to go under when something comes to the edge to fish. NEVER EVER EVER hand feed the fish at the edge of the pond, though. You will be training them to come to a presence on the edge of the pond. It may be you. It may be a coon or a heron.

Another suggestion was to build a "step" - a shallow portion along the edge, where there is water, but the fish do not go. This works for detering cats more than anything. Dirty raccoons will wade right in and foul your water. Heron do not care, either.

Good luck. I would love to have a pond but the wildlife here is just too aggressive. The fish would not last an hour.

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Good luck. I would love to have a pond but the wildlife here is just too aggressive. The fish would not last an hour.

You can build a pond that is near raccoon & heron proof.

I say "near" as not everything can be made perfectly.

If a pond is 4 or more feet deep, (deeper yet is far better) with straight side walls, the faster fish like comets & koi can escape racoons by fleeing deep.

Raccons can swim, but are not good at diving.

If herons are an issue, consider how they feed.

They must to stand on a pond edge or in shallow water inside the pond to spear fish.

If a pond is straight walled 3 or 4 ft deep at it's shallow point, herons will not get in that deep of water.

So, the only place they can stand, is on the ponds edge.

If a part of the pond is above ground (mortor & cinder block for example) that is a 6 inch perch for a heron to stand on.

But, you can space a few 24 to 36 inch tall metal rods in the center top of those cinder block, every 8 or 10 feet apart.

Which can be made to take down, or put back up as needed, by inserting metel pipe flush with the cinder block top, that the rods will slide in/out of.

Then string 4 (+/-) strands 50 lb mono fishing line tightly rod to rod around the pond.

That narrows the perch area to 3 inchs on either side & creates a nearly invisible fence that will obstruct herons from perching there.

It's not perfect, but it's inexpensive, practical & very effective.

However, 4 ft deep (+) deep concrete, cinder block / mortor ponds are not cheap to build (if done right, anyway).

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