drawing up plans for water garden with fish

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Hi all, I've talked to my garden landscaper about a pond. I don't think he's got much experience in ponds but is willing to do it. I like to keep my business local when I can and I know my landscaper will do a great job so long as he knows what to do. I was hoping I could get some opinions since I know very little about ponds (but happy to learn).

I heard to avoid limestone and concrete because they leach into the water. What kind of rock do you use in your pond?

I've read a little about bottom drains and how they make cleaning easier. Do any of you have them?

I was thinking of maybe 16' x 10' dimensions. 2' deep, dropping to 3' towards the center, I'd like to keep some variety of goldfish. Would 3 levels be better for growing plants, 1 ft down to 2 ft and then down to 3 ft?

I have a 55 gallon tank (small tetras), was considering using some of the bio media to help start the pond. I have ramshorn snails and duckweed in my tank. I like them on a small scale - but anyone have experience with them in a pond? (I'm jumping way ahead of myself here.)
 

sissy

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start with you will need deeper than 2 feet in your temps . in the winter .We don't put rocks in our ponds and for a filter look at you tube .What is your budget Also keep in mind predators .
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
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I have no bottom drain, goldfish and shubunkins. Mine is 5 feet at the deepest, the fish hang out there in the winter.

If you have herons, we do, you want a deep pond, give the fish a chance against the bird.

And

Welcome to our group
 

Ruben Miranda

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Hello
As a Depth I would stay at 3 feet all the way around and avoid (As much as posiable) a slope in to the pond.
This is great for many reason but main reason is predators (As Sissy pointed out)
such as raccoons who hunt from the shore line/edge and if they can walk in to the pond and reach the fish Same with Herons and others.

As for plants at that depth can always be put on a shelf of some sort to bring them up that is what a lot of us do.

I don't have a bottom drain but many do
I don't have one because the way the house and yard is laid out I would have to dig or break a wall and cut cement patio in order for it to have somewhere to go.
unless you want to set it up to a filter then that is a different story.

I have very little rock in my ponds just makes it harder to deal with cleaning and such.

At 10 x 15 x 3 it will be at 2900 gallons or so great size for plants and fish.

Ruben
 
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Thanks! Never thought of predators. I imagine the size of the deepest part of the pond will depend on how many fish I plan to keep.
 
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Maggie71 said:
I heard to avoid limestone and concrete because they leach into the water.
It's a myth. More info here. But not knowing much about ponds I realize it's basically impossible to tell myth from reasonable. Kind of a Catch-22.
Maggie71 said:
I've read a little about bottom drains and how they make cleaning easier. Do any of you have them?
I've used them. When used as part of a well designed system they're great. Otherwise they're just a hole and pretty worthless. Since you and your builder don't know much about ponds I would not bother with a BD unless you learn a lot. By the time you learn what a TPR is, correct flow for pipe size and what a sieve filter is you'll understand BD systems well enough to make an informed decision. If you just wing it you'd be wasting your time and money.

It's a complex subject, not for everyone.
Maggie71 said:
I was thinking of maybe 16' x 10' dimensions. 2' deep, dropping to 3' towards the center, I'd like to keep some variety of goldfish. Would 3 levels be better for growing plants, 1 ft down to 2 ft and then down to 3 ft?
Maybe OK depth. Lots of ponds in the north are 2' deep. But you increase the chance of fish over wintering by going deeper. Deeper = safer. I hear SD gets a bit nippy.
Maggie71 said:
I have a 55 gallon tank (small tetras), was considering using some of the bio media to help start the pond. I have ramshorn snails and duckweed in my tank. I like them on a small scale - but anyone have experience with them in a pond? (I'm jumping way ahead of myself here.)
I did some experiments with snails. They didn't seem to affect algae growth in my case.

Duckweed is fine, but no big benefit. Maybe in a huge application.

For bio a Trickle Tower is easier, cheaper, better looking than any 55 gal drum deal. And a TT has been shown to be about 30 times better at bio waste conversion. In the pond world there are two basic types of filters. Those for ponds that require filters to keep fish alive and ponds that don't actually need a filter in which case anything can be used. You will see much more of the later on the web. Your pond probably won't need a filter so the 55 gal thing will probably be fine.

Consider these two options...

1. Spend the next few months reading about ponds. Serious pond keeping. Then design your pond.

OR

2. Just build and learn that way. This is by far the most common method. Then plan to rebuild in a couple more years which is also very common with people saying "I wish I knew then what I know now".

It's just a question of learning the easy way or the hard way. Which way you consider easy and which hard is each person's choice. But learning about pond is not easy - by a long shot. Personally, I think it may be an impossible. There are many different kinds of ponds but everyone thinks their pond is the only kind. So a Koi Pond owner will say plants are the worst thing you can add to a pond...and they're right...for a Koi Pond. Water Garden Pond owners will say plants are the best thing you can add to a pond...and they're right...for a Water Garden. Trouble is they all (99.9999%) call whatever they have simply as a "pond". Then you have the endless myths. It's almost impossible. Certainly very time consuming wading thru the crap.

I think the worst case is building like you think you know what you're doing. Spending money on stuff you think will last forever. If you know ahead of time that you'll be rebuilding in 2-3 years you can save a lot of time, money and stress on this first build.
 

sissy

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Give your self a budget and stay with it ,you can always change little things later or get better equipment .Plus I learned that no matter what you will change things .It always happens ,ALWAYS :cheerful:
 

sissy

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Crates from walmart are great cut a hole in one side and it gives fish a great hiding place .
 

HTH

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Kudos on not start too small.

Just wanted to add to what waterbug said. I would not over design the pond especially the filtration system. Better to make it easy to modify and swap bits about then shooting for some ultra clean solution that may end up not working. Don't skimp on the space for the filters.

Invest some time in thinking about how you intend to clean your pond and what you expect for water clarity.
 

sissy

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plus a lot of the more expensive stuff may not be the best stuff ,They are just out to make money .I had a guy from a pond store try to sell me a pump filter box uv and all that stuff and it came out to almost 18 hundred dollars ,not in my budget sorry .He went out of business a year later .His said he would back everything he sold ,yeh sure he moved out of state .Sorry people around here don't have that kind of money .To build a pond from scratch he wanted almost 15 thousand dollars ,not in my budget either . :cheerful: They will sell you any thing as long as you buy it .
 

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