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New Pond


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So, in our backyard, the length of our deck, nothing will grow, so my father, boyfriend and I decided to do a fish pond the length of the deck. The dimensions of the pond will be as follows...

18m (length) x 1.2m (width) x 0.9m (depth), so a total of nearly 19,500lt capacity.

All year 'round it will have a few Goldfish, Rainbow's, Blue Eyes, and Gudgeons. But in the summer we are wanting to add some tropical fish (most likely cichlid's), which will be removed as the weather starts to cool and placed in display tanks in the house, or in the case of any excess; sold.

There is no chance of the cichlids getting into the native waterways via birds etc, as it is a relatively small yard with two dogs (& three cats) who absolutely love to chase any birds who so much as sit on the fence, let alone actually get in the yard.

The pond we built in the last home we lived in was built into the slope of the block and held 8000-9000 litres, and we discovered after my father released 20 Silver Dollars, 2 Oscars, and 4 Aequidens rivulatus, that they grew rather rapidly, and their colours were incredibley intense, but they went down hill when the pond's water reached approx. 13 degrees Celsius, at which point they slowed, and were easily caught and placed into a display tank indoors, where their colours could be truly appreciated. In the six months these fish were in the pond (from late September to mid May), they reached full size (they were purchased as juveniles, the 20 Silver Dollars somewhere between the size of a 5 and 10 cent piece), matured, and were all producing fry which were unable to be caught before winter and all except 1 rivulatus juvenile male perished through the winter.

We discovered that even though we continued to source food for them from the pond, that they would have been eating whilst in there, and using the water from the pond for water-changes during the winter whilst they were in the tanks, by the time it came to putting them back in the following summer, their colours were reduced to that of fish always kept indoors in a tank, their health degraded, even though they were eating live foods, and had excellent water conditions leading us to believe that natural sunlight has a lot to do with the health of our fish.

These fish were beautiful to watch in the pond, the silver flash of the school of dollars darting about, the Oscars swimming up to you when you sat on the edge of the pond and swimming up to your hand in the water and nuzzingly it for food, and the Aequidens who would bite your toes whenever you climbed into the pond to get the fountain out of the centre to clean it, and would also take food from your hand.

They lived side by side with Goldfish of varying sizes, gudgeons, & guppies who's population they never even made a dint on, and never even bothered the Goldies. They had a constant supply of a huge population of Fresh water shrimp of unknown species.

So this time, after the rewards of the last effort, we wish to do the same again, this time with different species, to see if their growth rate, and colouring is also greatly improved by being in the great outdoors, and also just for the reward of watching the lovely fish, and having stunning display fish in our fish tanks during winter.

I'm stearing clear of Rift Lake Cichlids at the moment, as the water will be soft and of a considerably lower pH than is ideal for them, though I may experiment with them in the summer of 12/13. Also stearing clear of Oscars and Convicts, partly because we've already worked with Oscars, and because I don't want Convicts breeding and taking over, we all know they'll thrive in any conditions, no point bothering.

So, if there are any fish (even if their not cichlids)you wish to see us try this with, I will take pictures and post them for the progress of the build, and then the fish when they're added. Also, any ideas you might have for filtration would be welcome as we're still brain storming for that one. 19000 Litres is a lot of water to filter.

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A couple of red devils maybe. Have seen them used as a schooling fish in a huge aquarium at Underwater World. Amazing. Please keep us posted as this experiment is very fascinating. Would love progressive picks.

Good luck. Will be watching and waiting. :-)

Ps. Any chance you can make a separate pond and try spawning some betta outside. Leave parents in and see what happens.

Maybe a raised pond that overflow into main pond with friar water pumped up???

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Any chance you can make a separate pond and try spawning some betta outside. Leave parents in and see what happens

Might look into that, I've never tried to breed Bettas, so maybe we could try that, have a chat to the dad and the other half and see what they think about that idea. Possibly use the far end of the pond and section it off so they are separate from the other fish, and maybe do it that way... hmm, got me thinking about that now. :P

I'm thinking I might try Thorichthys meeki, Heros severus, Laetacara curviceps (if I can get hold of some), and maybe a few Discus, of a cheaper colour variety to start with, just in case. Possibly some Apisto's, agassizi, borelli, or cacatuoides. Maybe some Cherry Barbs... none of these fish are ridiculously aggressive and I should be able to keep them together, without too many issues, given the size of the pond. Also, they may breed, and if I do a control pair of at least one of the species (I'm thinking one of the dwarfs, or possibly the Firemouths [but the Firemouths would require my 3 foot tank, and the removal of my Rift Lake Cichlids]) indoors, and then compare the young and see how the tank raised compare with those from the outdoor pond... could be interesting to see how much difference if any that makes. Possibly removing half the pond fry and raising them in a tank indoors to see if the live food and sunlight affect them, or if it has something to do with the condition of the parents when they produced the young as well.

So that would be; a control pair indoors in a tank, their young raised indoors. A pair in the pond, half their fry left to grow in the pond, the other half raised indoors in a tank.

Of course, none of the fish will receive colour enhancing food etc.

Hmm... my head is going with all sorts of ideas now... my Dad, and my partner will jump on the bandwagon for sure, and Mum will try and talk us down, make us be sensible... but how sensible can you be when you're building a 19000lt + pond in your small backyard? Might as well go all out, convince her that she'll have beautiful Discus in her tank for the winter season, she'll suddenly change her mind for sure. :P

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