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Diy Pond


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On the weekend I started the project of constructing a raised pond to use as a grow out pond for my fry. If it is 1800mm x 600mm x 600mm it would hold about 648 Litres (i think) Several sales people have told me conflicting stories and now i am confused. The pond will be in direct sunlight but does have partial shade from 3 surrounding trees. I plan to errect something (like a cover/lid) to allow the light and bugs to enter the pond but keep the birds/toads/leaves at bay. Plus I would like to have lots of plants for the fish to play/hide in. Ideally I would like the kind of pond that gets 100% water change only once or twice a year, especially with water restrictions getting tighter all the time. Is that possible with bettas? What kind of filtration & what size pump do i need?

Edited by Berryfriendly
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I think you could get away with not using a pump providing you have lots of plants in there. You will need to top up the water as it evapourates, this is where you'll need to take some water out (to stop build of heavy metals) Because it is so big you won't have to worry about temp fluctuations as much :dontknow:

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I've got a small submersible fountain pump which pumps water up thru the centre of a plant pot and lets it trickle back down thru filter media and out thru the bottom of the pot. It does a good job of keeping the water moving and clean cheaply. The only problem is, small fountain pumps have short cords so you need to have an outdoor plug nearby.

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If you decide a pump is the way to go, the HBH 3500 I have has an exceptionally long cord. ;) I would personally make my own filter, because that's the way I am... I had my pump draw water through a bucket stuffed with biomedia, with a foam over the top to prevent fish getting sucked in. I suggest adding as many pond plants as you can, and monitor your nitrate levels (at least initally) - in order to determine a waterchange schedule. Somehow, my nitrate levels are a bit harder to maintain in my pond, despite having tonnes of plants in there. ^_^ Not sure what is going on, but a bit of a bummer for me! ^_^

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I think you could get away with not using a pump providing you have lots of plants in there. You will need to top up the water as it evapourates, this is where you'll need to take some water out (to stop build of heavy metals)

Because it is so big you won't have to worry about temp fluctuations as much ;)

So I don't need a pump or a filter but i could use a small pond pump just to circulate the water. Is that right? One of the guys at LFS told me i would need to spend $150 on a pond pump and an additional $360 on a suitable filter. I can't find his card to quote the model numbers ...

How often does everyone else do a pond waterchange and at what percentage ?

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I do very small water changes intermitently. Dunno what the percentage works out at but the frequency is the same as when it rains ;). If you've got plenty of plants, particularly those with air exposed leaves, and you don't overdo the fish density/feeding, the plants will keep nutrient levels under control.

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Sounds like a good idea. I would reccomend having a small pump just for water circulation. This one would probably be good, a small fountain, cheap and has a long power cord on it. If you were to make a filter, you could just take the fountain attachment off and connect the hose to it:

http://www.aquariumproducts.com.au/prod2.htm

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A pump at 1000l/h would be enough? Cool ;) Another "salesperson" tried to tell me that i would need to multiply the volume of water x 4 just to be able to have sufficient water circulation if i was going to keep it reasonably stocked with fish. With a pump at 1000l/h, how many fish could i keep in my pond?

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A 1000L per hr pump is better than no pump! ;) but you can go higher if you like. Since it is for bettas i think that would be fine, goldfish and koi would need more oxygen in the water which is probably why the sales guy was trying to get you to go larger etc. Just give it a try, if it looks like you need another, just get one. You could always have one running for the fountain and another running for the filter. ;)

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I do very small water changes intermitently. Dunno what the percentage works out at but the frequency is the same as when it rains ^_^.

Do you have a pump/filter running in your pond peter?

I tried using google to look up HBH 3500 but was unsuccesful. I did however find one of the cards with names of some pumps. Has anyone used an Eden 126G or a Blagdon Multi HTM800?

Also what are the best plants to stock in a pond?

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I have a pump but generally don't run it (used to put in on when we had visitors). Because bettas can breathe air you don't need the pump for their benefit directly - though aeration can help with some water quality issues. I've got lillies, val, watercress, duckweed and water primrose at the moment. Any plants that get their leaves to the air will help water quality a lot. Most of them shunt oxygen to their root zone and their growth isn't CO2 limited like most fully submersed plants. Lemme know if you want to try any.

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I do not run pumps at the moment in those pots. I agree with peter plants are so far doing a fine job. Those plants i got from you peter are doing great . i should of however potted the valensia up straight away as it got sun burnt a bit just on the water surface i hope i can salvage it .. It was so healthy when you gave it to me. Love those banana lillies one in each pot ..I am trying to achieve 80% coverage of mixed plant material on the water surface to reduce light and thus algae .. the vietnamese mint is a fantastic plant for this.. Its a guts for nitrogen so it must take up alot fish waste... My water is still green and i do not worry about this at present ... I do take out a bucket every couple of days and replace it with fresh aged water though .... I am part way trough making a filter unit to assist in clearing the water of algae . I will cycle this through each pot every couple of days in summer to improve water clarity .i might think about activated carbon in the filter as well .. What i think i need to do is find some scavengers like catfish for the pond to remove overfed Blood worms on the the pond floor even some apple snails ??? what do you think.....???? the trick they say is achieving a balance .. i think by not overstocking your pond the job of maintaining it will be easier I aim for no more than 40 fish per pot of 180 liters ..

Edited by marc
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I've got lillies, val, watercress, duckweed and water primrose at the moment. Any plants that get their leaves to the air will help water quality a lot. Most of them shunt oxygen to their root zone and their growth isn't CO2 limited like most fully submersed plants. Lemme know if you want to try any.

Thanks Peter. I have to do a run to the landscape yard later today, but if i don't find some suitable plants I may just take you up on the offer. Are your plants potted and sitting on the bottom of the pond?

Marc - Why don't you get some bristlenose? They do a great job in my tanks so I am going to try some in the pond and see how they go. I have a lovely large piece of driftwood that i was thinking about putting in anyway but if i have bristlenose in there too at least i know they will be happy.

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I was thinking about using a product like laserlite roofing to allow sunlight/air/bugs to enter the pond but keep the birds/toads/leaves at bay. The only problem is that the sticker says that it is 99.9% UV Resistant.

Do plants need UV to grow/survive?

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My water is still green and i do not worry about this at present ... I do take out a bucket every couple of days and replace it with fresh aged water though .... I am part way trough making a filter unit to assist in clearing the water of algae . I will cycle this through each pot every couple of days in summer to improve water clarity .i might think about activated carbon in the filter as well ..

Perhaps a UV lamp if your after nice clear water? I've also read that councils etc. use duckweed to get rid of algae blooms as it covers the waters' surface completely in a short space of time cutting off sunlight thus getting rid of the algae. Just a thought, I have no idea when it comes to ponds :lol:

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I don't think lack of UV will be that much of a problem - most fresh water plants convert blue to violet and red wavelengths. When I was working at uni some of the botanists were investigating seagrass pigments and excluding UV actually increased growth rates because the plants weren't producing the non-photosynthetic pigments which are thought to block UV (bear in mind this was over a decade ago so I don't know if they're still thinking the same way).

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My pump is a 650. Granted it takes water from one side of the pond to the centre and up maybe 30cm and it doesn't have a fountain head, just a spill over, so it doesn't have to work hard. But it's enough to keep the pond happy. The power cord could be longer tho. Oh and all the pump exits, etc, are fully compatible with watering hose systems etc, so if like me, you want to make your own filter, then the tubing and elbows to run the thing can be bought from any hardware store.

Edited by Bren MacFish
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Irrigation fittings are great to work with .... Peters bag of plants had two or three little sprigs of duck weed and only a week later they have trippled there numbers .. Absolutly marvelouse stuff for ponds .. I can give you some cuttings of my Vietnamese mint too as its gone bezerka ..Some one should declare this one as a noxiouse weed ,so beaware ..... dispose of all green waste responably from your water plants . berri friendly the laser light may be a bit hot in summer and cost $$ too much . Make a structure from bamboo and tie wire ,or more perminant 1 inch gal water pipe clamping it together with downy fittings.. use 30 % shade cloth cover over it just like a bush house. allow for some shade cloth flaps to hang over to protect from the late arvo sun too. Brissy pond lovers Don,t forget to visit Mappins water gardens Gap creek road ......

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The other good thing about duckweed is it's so easy to harvest. If you keep scooping some off your water so that it's always growing you'll gradually soften the water and remove excess nutrients.

Would you believe I actually bought some azolla yesterday before i posted my last question :lol: I was able to get about 5 handfulls for $3 and it has done a nice job of covering about 40% of the pond surface. Will the reduction of UV light affect the fish in any way?

berri friendly the laser light may be a bit hot in summer and cost $$ too much . Make a structure from bamboo and tie wire ,or more perminant 1 inch gal water pipe clamping it together with downy fittings.. use 30 % shade cloth cover over it just like a bush house. allow for some shade cloth flaps to hang over to protect from the late arvo sun too.

It's not cheap at $20 a sheets but it is almost the exact size of my pond (sheet = 1800 x 850, pond is 1800 x 750). I like your shadecloth option but two of the trees near my pond drop stupid little nuts and sprigs that may fit through the gap and I am trying to reduce the amount that will be able to enter the pond.

My pump is a 650. Granted it takes water from one side of the pond to the centre and up maybe 30cm and it doesn't have a fountain head, just a spill over, so it doesn't have to work hard. But it's enough to keep the pond happy. The power cord could be longer tho.

How many litres does your pond hold Bren?

Edited by Berryfriendly
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