Converting a 1500gal fountain to a water garden - looking for advice on equipment

May 29, 2022
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United States
Hello there!
We purchased our home a year ago in Southeastern Pennsylvania. It came with a 10ft diameter, 3ft deep (~1500gal) concrete fountain off of the terrace, and we never filled it up since a chlorinated fountain wasn't that interesting to us. After some thinking, we thought it would be perfect to convert into a water garden! We cleaned it out and coated it with liquid rubber -- insurance against any potential hairline cracks in the concrete basin, although none were obvious. Also for cosmetic reasons, since the original surface was patchy and discolored from tiling that had been removed at some point. Here is the basin during the process of being coated:

So, I need advice on what type of pump/filter to install as this will be our first water garden. Here's some general parameters that may help explain what we're after and the conditions of the site:

- Planning for a mix of plants and a few fish. Not decided on the type of fish yet and flexible on that.
- Planning to add a ring of stones around the inside edge to create a plant shelf closer to the surface, and staying full-depth in the middle
- Wouldn't mind a central water feature like a stone waterfall or similar
- We live in a lightly woodsy area as you can tell from the photo, so the pond will see quite a bit of leaves each season, so I gather from what I've read that I will need a skimmer.
- In this climate, the surface of the pond will likely freeze over a couple inches.
- unsure how i would mount the skimmer as most seem to be buried in soil, which is not the case here. Would love some ideas or examples of how to install a skimmer in a concrete pond!
- preference is for a low maintenance system

Please let me know what skimmer and pump/filter/aeration/UV systems you would recommend here. There seem to be so many choices and I just don't have the experience to make an educated decision yet. Not looking for the Cadillac of systems but also not looking for something that is going to crap out in a couple years and require constant fiddling. Looking for a "toyota" type system - reliable and reasonably priced for the quality.

Thanks in advance for your advice, excited to become part of the watergarden and pond community!
Dec 16, 2017
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United States
preference is for a low maintenance system
Then the answer to the statement is to add a bog to the picture and with the bog you can create your waterfall.

a wide or multiple angles of the area would help to see if a bog is a possibility, Going to be an interesting project
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