300 gal above ground pond with bog filtration

This is a project started in early March 2021 I believe. Photos from arrival of stock pond to 3.5 months after filling pond with water, then plants, then fish


It may be tiny but I’m happy with how it’s progressing. It won’t be long before the plants hide the remainder of the visible cinder blocks, pond forms and rim of pond. Two bogs, one deep and one relatively shallow, filter the pond, had a successful silent cycling, all water chemistry numbers at 0 since then, Ph around 8 and no issues with algae blooms to date, though recently a bit of string algae in the floating hornwort. Last photo is a semi-clearish shot showing at least one of each type of fish and how nicely the eelgrass, hornwort and lily are growing in. Looking forward to reaching the stage where I can actually manicure and manage it instead of just waiting for it all to come in!

Planning and Construction

300 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank
20 gallon macourt waterfall spillway planter bog
Half oak barrel for aesthetics
8 gallon maccourt pond form
2.5 gallon maccourt waterfall spillway which with the above pond form forms the second bog
550 gph tetra pond pump with a splitter that allows independent flow control to each line
combo of flex tubing and PVC, with a low flow check filter (see my post about this for more info)
A million pounds of pea pebble gravel that left the water cloudy for many days despite rinsing
Always one less cinderblock than I actually needed no matter how many time I went to the hardware store

Was able to use cinderblocks to raise bog pond forms to right height to waterfall back into pond but low enough to reduce load on pump. The legs of the plastic table were cut short to make a combo fish cave and pump platform. A fish tunnel not pictured was made by cutting the bottom off of 2 5 gallon plastic plant pots and inserting one end into other after sanding to ensure no rough edges. The marginal plants ringing the pond are standing on PVC pipe stands painted black with krylon so all of the space underneath the marginal pots is open to the fish. The curved marginal pots came from Amazon.

Fish / Plant Stock


marginals- creeping jenny, Lindernia grandiflora, pickerel rush (doing poorly, though), water willow, Siberian Iris (not really growing or dying at this point, just kind of sitting there), goatsbeard, assorted moss glued to the side of the barrel and rim of pond behind the waterfall to reduce splash out and leakage.

aquatic - hornwort, eel grass, red tiger lily, water celery is just kind of floating in the water while I try to figure out where to put it, so temporarily an aquatic plant. Plants that failed included dwarf hair grass which I believe died off due to high Ph, and the first lotus seedling kicked the bucket also as well as two others I had in their own 20 gal tub, so may try again or skip lotus for now since the tiger lily is doing well.

bog - canna lilies, watercress, romaine lettuce, ginger, some creeping jenny and lindernia tucked in there on the edges to camoflauge side of pond form. Also tried cilantro but it wasn’t able to compete with the others before they took over. Attempts to start water forget me not, marsh marigold, and blue lobellia from seed outside of the bog so far haven't succeeded but will try again in the fall.

The photo with the weird white stuff on gravel is a mat of raw cotton I used to keep the watercress seeds from washing away before they could take root. It worked very well.


10 golden White Cloud Mountain minnows
8 zebra/leopard danlos
4 goldfish a mix of common and shubunkin, two small adult and two juvenile. Now also several fry in an indoor tank of which I may keep 2.

I had a beautiful large comet but he disappeared a couple weeks after being moved to the pond, so net is now on almost 100% of the time. The fish cave and fish tunnel, numerous overhanging plants along with constrained space/flight path and patio umbrella partially obstructing overhead view weren’t enough to protect them, apparently.
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