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shakaho

Instant Pond

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So many people here have said, "I wish I had a pond," that I wanted to show just how easy it is to have one. In fact, I can think of only three reasons why one couldn't have a pond: 1) you live in an apartment or dorm room with no outside space whatsoever; 2) your landlord forbids it; or 3) a family member that you have to get along with says "No!" Anything else can be handled.

First, we have the 50 gallon pond. This can fit on a patio or balcony. It has a lot of surface area for it's volume, and is shallow. It needs shade to keep from getting too warm. Mine sits on a covered patio, right at the edge of the cover so the plants get some sun. Even though the daily highs are in the 90s, the water temperature doesn't get much over 80 F. Mainly, it stays cool because of evaporation from the fountain. I like the "umbrella" fountain head, which I think is particularly good for cooling.

Shopping list:

50 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank Possible source

Fountain pump with fountain heads Possible source

Filter box with filter media Possible source

Instructions for assembly: Put the tank in the desired location. Put the pump in the filter box with a tube sticking out the top. Surround the pump with bioballs. Toss in some media from an established tank. Put the filter pads on top of the pump and media, snap on the cover of the box, and put a fountain head on the tube from the pump. Put the box in the tank. Add dechlorinated water. Plug in the pump. Add fishies.

Maintenance: I recommend cleaning the filter once a week -- I don't do it, but I think you should. Rinse the biomedia in pond water and hose the filter pads, which will be full of crud.

Initially, of course, test your water daily and change accordingly. If you start with a couple of small fish, you may never see ammonia or nitrite. Ponds cycle faster than tanks. I think it's because they pick up a variety of nitrifying bacteria which are perfectly adapted to your climate.

Standard recommendation for water changes for a cycled, optimally-stocked pond is 10% per week. This is a very small pond, so you might want to go with 20%.

Every few months, you might want to clean the mulm from the bottom of the pond. With a bigger pond, a wet-dry shop vac is the right tool for the job. With this little pond, the easiest thing to do is to dump it. Just remove the water until your fish are barely covered (saving some water), scoop out the fishies into a bucket (for just a few minutes) dump the tank into your garden (plants say "Yum!"), replace saved water, add fresh water, replace fishies.

Edited by shakaho

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Very nice! That is what my plans are as soon as the rest of the family is convinced AND if I can get a certain family member to resolve "the lawnmower issues" :doh11:

I had my eyes on the next size up stock pond at tractor supply. I think it was about 100 gallons?

My question now, since I remember a conversation with another pond owner on here a while ago: Stocking of a pond. Is it still the same as with tanks? Because considered the amount of kois and single tails he had, he was "overstocked" in terms of indoor tank stocking levels.

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I saw a 300 gallon rubbermaid trough on craigslist for 50 bucks back when I was looking for something for my two comets that have since died. Ahhh, that would have been awesome have. :D But it doesn't matter now since I don't live at home anymore. :)

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The 100 gallon tank is great, but the 150 gallon is even better (same depth, bigger surface area). Get a Rubbermaid stock tank, not something else that looks similar. I bought a used 100 gallon tank of another brand for a temporary pond. The fact that I could carry it easily should have been a warning. Even though I leveled it initially, the ground settled on one end, and the side buckled a bit. When I figured out why, I emptied the tank until there was just enough water to cover the fish (who huddled in the corner waiting for the world to end). I re-leveled the ground, pushed in the bulge in the side of the tank, put it back in place, and gave the fishies back their lives. It's still holding up, but I would not want to use this thing long term.

I have 9 fish in this 100 gallon tank (more than I would recommend) so I'm changing 10% of the water every 2-3 days, rather than once a week. I think 20 gallons per goldfish is a good goal for a 100 gallon tank. I have 4 ~ 4 inch fish in the 50 gallon, and I don't think that is overstocked at all. Surface area is very important for goldfish, and the surface areas of the 50 and the 100 are about the same. The other major factor is filtration. It's funny to read some of the posts on pond forums from guys who bring their koi into the basement for the winter. One guy had 24 big koi and 40 2" fry in his 800 gallon basement pond. He also brought in his 100 gallon filter from his outdoor pond. But these guys are real pros. They don't suggest that anyone without their experience stock at those levels.

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I see! And I think it actually was the 150 gallon pond. I remember thinking about 6 - 7 single tail fish. Thanks a lot! :)

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Curiosity is getting the best of me. What are "the lawnmower issues?"

The 150 gallon is great, but the 300 gallon is wonderful. You do need room for those babies. ;)

Edited by shakaho

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To make the pond truly "instant," I included a purchased filter. You can make a better filter for this pond with about an hour's work. This filter will work fine for any pond of similar depth (12"). For a deeper pond, the filter will need a cover to keep the media in place.

You need:

Tools -- a drill, a bit (3/8" is a good size), and a pair of shears

Materials -- a 2-3 gallon bucket,

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some biomedia,

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and a cut-to-fit air/furnace filter.

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Drill holes in the sides of the bucket from 2-3 inches above the bottom to water level. I don't take the holes down lower than this because crud tends to accumulate in the bottom and I don't want it to drain out when I remove the bucket filter for cleaning.

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This bucket does not have enough holes. The pump removed water faster than it entered, and the bucket would float. I doubled the number of holes and it worked fine.

Then cut pieces of filter to cover the sides and bottom of the bucket.

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I put the bucket in the pond. The pump and fountain are runnning next to it.

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Put the pump in the filter (turn it off to move it) and place biomedia around it.

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Top it off with a piece of filter for a nice neat look.

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I put some watercress on the top of the filter. It will grow well there.

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I made this filter to replace a rectangular one I had made earlier. The problem with the old one was that the shape did not match the shape of the circular fountain spray and a lot of water was splashing out. This one works perfectly.

This filter is specifically designed for the 12 inch deep stock tank. The top of the bucket needs to be out of the water or the media will spill out. You can make a filter the same way for a deeper pond, but if it is submerged, you will need a lid to keep everything in place.

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This is a great how-to! I wonder if this would be a potential sticky-able post? Can't have a pond now, but this post could come in handy at some point :) thanks for the info!

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That is absolutely awesome! So I assume it also would work to get any kind of small storage container. Like I got this almost cube shaped 27qt sterilite with snap-on lid.

One question I have about all this is the power supply for the pond filter. That might be a really dumb question, but how do you do that? Do you simply run an outdoor extension cord from inside the house to the pond filter?

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I have some outdoor outlets. Most houses do. But they are not often where you want them. My front pond is next to the garage and the previous owners put a hole in the garage wall for outdoor wiring. I'm using that right now. The lizards use it too, LOL, particularly a blue-tailed skink. The "instant pond" is in the pool enclosure, and that has an outleton the house wall, but the cord for the pump is still taped to the screen frame going up over the door to get to the outlet. I will have new outlets put in after both new ponds are running so that I know exactly where to put them. As electrician's fees go, putting in an outlet is not too expensive.

Creative people can figure out a way to run an extension cord from an indoor outlet to an outdoor pond, but the solution is different for different houses.

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I need to stop reading your posts shakaho, it only ends up with me making more stuff for my pond, definitely gonna make that filter for our fountain pump! (it blows over in the wind this will help steady it better than squishing it between two rocks)

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The in-pond bucket filter is good for stabilizing the fountain, but it's not a very good filter. It will handle ammonia, of course, but it's not good at mechanical filtration since there's poor separation between filtered and unfiltered water. That's why I upgraded to the out-of-pond bucket filter. http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/98620-upgrading-the-instant-pond/

Bodoba, I don't even have to read DIY posts to keep making more stuff for the pond. All I have to do is hear about some clever idea. Pond building and "improving" is addictive.

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Puf I don´t like the "looking" of this filter, the colour is terrible and you loose a lot os space inside the pond so your fshes will have less space to move around and to grow...

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