Converting a Boat to Fish Pond

Discussion in 'Newbies to Garden Ponds' started by unfiltered, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. unfiltered

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    Wow what a difference the rubberized paint makes! Coming together quite nicely :)
     
    j.w, Sep 25, 2017
    #21
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  2. unfiltered

    unfiltered

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    OK... I need some filter help! I have two ideas below. They both involve using a small pool filter to serve as a pump and a DIY bio box filter with spillway back into the pond.

    Option 1) 1.5" bulkhead fitting through the back of the boat nearest the bottom of the boat.

    Option 2) 1.5" bulkhead fitting through the back of the boat about midway between the bottom and the waterline.

    Option 3) 1.5" bulkhead fitting through the back of the boat near the waterline

    Option 4) (MY FAVORITE) The boat will have a "shelf" on the back where the bio box will sit. This "shelf is almost even with the waterline. Mount a pool skimmer under the "shelf" at the back, cutting an access hole through the shelf to get to the skimmer basket. The skimmer box would then be connected to the filter pump via 1.5" bulkhead fitting.

    Thoughts?
     
    unfiltered, Sep 27, 2017
    #22
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  3. unfiltered

    IPA

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    It's kind of hard to imagine all of this in my head but I'd go with the one that is your favorite. Did you mention that the bio box will be inside a shell of crab pots? re you using a pool skimmer or pond skimmer? I think pool skimmer can work just as well in your case, and another option is a Oasis AquaSkim, the same type of weir design as the Helix pond skimmer, just in pond instead of in a box.

    [​IMG]
     
    IPA, Sep 27, 2017
    #23
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  4. unfiltered

    Jhn

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    If i understand right, the skimmer is at the stern and the filterbox/return is also at the stern. Better to have the skimmer at the bow of the boat, otherwise the pond isn't going to have much in the way of circulation. You could probably mount it under the bow and cut a hole in the top deck of the bow to access it.
     
    Jhn, Sep 27, 2017
    #24
  5. unfiltered

    unfiltered

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    More progress and a slight change of plans. I went out to the local Home Depot and pool supply store to look for bulkhead fittings, pool skimmer box and other supplies I needed to plumb and make the filter box. I was striking out so, I broke down and went to a pond supply store. While talking to the guy working there I had a change of mind and just broke down and bought a new filter, pump and skimmer and needed hoses and fittings. I wound up buying:

    - Biosmart 10000 bio filter (50% off!)
    - AquaMax Eco Premium 3000 cage pump (20% off!)
    - AquaSkim 40 adjustable surface skimmer

    Although I spent way more than I ever wanted to I think I made the right decision. As far as I can tell and from the help at the store these units are much more than I need for my application and will allow expansion if I wanted to in the future.

    All of the rubberized paint has been applied with the exception of a small part that I needed to seal with foam/caulk. I have reinstalled the "shelf" at the back of the boat where the filter will sit. I have mocked-up everything and I think it should all work out well. The only thing is I may have to trim the height of the skimmer but, won't know until the boat is in the ground, leveled and filled. The goal is to hide the filter inside a lobster or crab trap. If not we will make our own out of pallet wood and netting for the same feel.

    I am very excited to get the hole dug and the boat in the ground.
     

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    unfiltered, Oct 4, 2017
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    bettasngoldfish, j.w and IPA like this.
  6. unfiltered

    unfiltered

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    IPA, this is exactly the same setup I went with. Just seemed to make more sense in the long run.
     
    unfiltered, Oct 4, 2017
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  7. unfiltered

    IPA

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    Wow, it's really coming together and looks so professionally done. (y)
     
    IPA, Oct 4, 2017
    #27
  8. unfiltered

    unfiltered

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    Ha! I don't know about that but, thank you. Time will tell. If it is like any other project I start there is plenty of room for it to go to hell quickly. LOL
     
    unfiltered, Oct 4, 2017
    #28
  9. unfiltered

    IPA

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    I know exactly what you mean. I am going to invest in an aquaskim, for the money they seem like a great option for smaller ponds under several hundred gallons.
     
    IPA, Oct 4, 2017
    #29
  10. unfiltered

    bettasngoldfish Maria

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    Very neat idea! It's looking great, can't wait to see it when your done.

    By the way, I have an above ground stock tank/pond (live in northeast ohio) and I use a pond de-ice or stock tank heater and I haven't had any ice form during the winter at all. I do cover the top of the tank as well and I think that helps a lot.
     
    bettasngoldfish, Oct 7, 2017
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  11. unfiltered

    unfiltered

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    She is starting to breathe! I completed the electric connections and started filling the boat a little bit ago. I think it is really going to work out nicely. One thing that I noticed and did not take into consideration is the stern (back) of the boat is not as tall as other parts. I leveled the boat when I sunk it in the ground and because of this the water will not be quite as high in the front as the back. Based on some measurements that I have taken from the waterline to various sections of the boat it will be pretty close though. I will likely have to cut down the skimmer a bit but, won't know until it is completely full. Also will need to check closely for leaks. Overall I am very happy with it so far.

    I was planning on adding only goldfish this season since cold weather is rapidly approaching. I have read they are good to help with the good bacteria. I am guessing this pond will be about 700 gallons when filled. I was thinking of adding 10 goldfish. Is that a good number?

    How long should I wait before adding the goldfish?
     

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    unfiltered, Oct 10, 2017
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  12. unfiltered

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    Wow this is really cool and you have done it and turning out great! Let's see you are in zone 9 so you don't get too cold at all. If it was me I'd start out w/only a couple fish and go from there. You could add those now and let them be the ones who get your water started w/the good bacteria it needs to continue. Then after a few weeks maybe add a few more.
     
    j.w, Oct 10, 2017
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  13. unfiltered

    cas

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    cas, Oct 10, 2017
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  14. unfiltered

    IPA

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    I did a fishless cycle using Dr. Tim's ammonium chloride. It took just under 1 month. As of this post chewy.com has the older concentrated formula in the 2 oz. at $2 which is enough for 200 gallons. As @j.w mentioned, you could start with just a few fish, maybe 3 to 5 of the hardy types like single tail comets and shubunkin and then add a few more once the cycle completes. The cycle will be slower in cooler weather. Invest in a test kit. Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, high range pH, and KH are most useful. If you buy the API pond master you'll also get phosphate which is helpful to test the source water also.
    Get some crushed oyster shells, rinse good and put in a filter bag; your KH, alkalinity, will probably stabilize at 8. Use baking soda initially to raise the KH which is needed for the cycling of the pond.
     
    IPA, Oct 11, 2017
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  15. unfiltered

    unfiltered

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    I am extremely happy with the way this turned out! Usually my projects around the house are disastrous but, so far this one seems to be going great. We got a good deal on aquatic plants because it is the end of the season and got fish BOGO free. Currently we have a mix of 16 calico goldfish, regular larger goldfish and a couple feeder goldfish. They seem to be taking to their new home just fine. I cannot wait to get accent lighting (the boat's navigation lights, underwater and ground lighting) and the filter box camouflaged as a lobster trap. Thanks for the all the advice!
     

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    unfiltered, Oct 12, 2017
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  16. unfiltered

    Angel

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    Rock on came out great. And now my censored first impression.
    " f. That came out m-f awesome."
     
    Angel, Oct 12, 2017
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