Fishy Furniture


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Just built a new pond and am looking for things to place in it to make life interesting for the fish, and give them protection from the beastly raccoons that live nearby.

Does anyone have any ideas of DIY shelters and enrichment that I can add to the pond? I would love to see photos of anything that others have built!
 
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JRS

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When I had shallow pre-formed ponds, I used to build fish bunkers for raccoon shelter basically some rocks supporting a large flat rock the coon could not reach under. I have also used milk type storage crates with a flat rock on top, mostly to hold up plant pots for shallow water species but the fish will swim in and out and will shelter there also.
 
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Maybe this is a dumb question, but where do people get milk crates? Everybody always talks about them!
 
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Maybe this is a dumb question, but where do people get milk crates? Everybody always talks about them!
Ha! Good question! I don't know if they even use such a thing anymore. I wonder... I'll have to take notice at the grocery stores to see how the milk containers are shipped.
I have collected some that I've had for many years.
I'm sure you can buy something comparable in the box stores like Home Depot, Lowe's or maybe office supply stores.
 

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Can go by construction sites and check out their junk pile, (ask first) stuff they are throwing away. Like small pieces of hdpe pipe, usually is black And look for some at least 18” in diameter. If you cut it in half length wise you just made a fish cave, or if your pond is deep enough just put the whole pipe in there. I have one under the waterfall in my Pond in about 4.5’ of water and can’t tell it is there.
 
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Thank you everybody! I appreciate the ideas and information!

An 18" diameter pipe cave sounds really cool! Unfortunately, that's greater than the depth of my pond!

Due to water regulations here, I had to keep my pond under 15" to avoid having to install a 5 foot fence around the property. So it's a shallow pond.

But that also means I don't have to make furniture for koi, so that's less work there!
 
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Thank you everybody! I appreciate the ideas and information!

An 18" diameter pipe cave sounds really cool! Unfortunately, that's greater than the depth of my pond!

Due to water regulations here, I had to keep my pond under 15" to avoid having to install a 5 foot fence around the property. So it's a shallow pond.

But that also means I don't have to make furniture for koi, so that's less work there!
Whoops. Bad spacial reasoning on my part! I would be able to fit that. It would be a 9" radius. Derpderp.

Cool idea.
 
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You could even cut it smaller than halfway if you needed to - you just end up with a bigger opening. As long as it's tall enough for them to get in, they'll use it. You can also use a clay pot turned on it's side. My fish cave is a clay flue liner for a chimney - works great and it grows a nice layer of algae so you can't even tell it's there.
 

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You can use ABS pipes from lowes also even clay pots will work as long as the pond does not freeze and crack them .I used clay chimney pipe but found it hard to check to see if fish were OK in the bottom of the pond I have now .But with a shallow pond it would be easy
 
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I had no idea this solution was so popular! I wish there were more ideas like this presented when you research pond building in the first place.
 
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If you watch pros building ponds (like on YouTube I mean) you'll see they always make a plan for fish caves. They will set a pipe into the side of the pond with a flat stone, or build a three sided cave with flat rocks - one on each side and one on the top with the pond side forming the back of the cave. But when you don't build one in, there are lots of ways to add one later!
 
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If you watch pros building ponds (like on YouTube I mean) you'll see they always make a plan for fish caves. They will set a pipe into the side of the pond with a flat stone, or build a three sided cave with flat rocks - one on each side and one on the top with the pond side forming the back of the cave. But when you don't build one in, there are lots of ways to add one later!
Do you think you could share a link with me to some of those videos? I haven't seen any that included caves in the construction, and I really enjoy seeing new videos when I have the chance (I'm kinda a dork).
 
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Maybe this is a dumb question, but where do people get milk crates? Everybody always talks about them!
I got mine from an abandoned property down the road.

If you have smaller fish, you can use PVC pipe to make hidey holes. I've used a gallon sized pickle jar in the past (it's like a giant mason jar). It's clear, so you can still see the fish, but they are protected from groping paws.
 
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Thank you guys! These are such exciting ideas!
 
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I have a half barrel planter in the center of my pond, supported on two cement blocks. Makes a nice hidey hole for the goldfish.
 
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I have a half barrel planter in the center of my pond, supported on two cement blocks. Makes a nice hidey hole for the goldfish.
Is it a real barrel, or just a look-alike? I have a real barrel planter that would be really cool to use, but it seems like it would be risky to stick a bunch of wood in the pond that wasn't specifically meant for that purpose.
 
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I went ahead and made me a fish-cave! This a s a 35 gallon pre-formed pond shell from Home Depot. I used a drill to poke holes into it, for water flow (especially in the top, so that air would be able to escape when I placed it in the water) and then cut out openings for the fish to swim through.

After that, I used waterfall foam to attach rock to the top, the shelf areas, and in the lip at the bottom to weigh the whole thing down and make it look more natural. And plants and a layer of pond sediment, and voila. It's very rewarding to watch my fish swim through it.

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We used large, heavy plastic plant pots and cut them in half from top to bottom and cut out the bottom piece. That left 2 good sized arched pieces that sit flat on the bottom of the pond. The fish use them all the time and seem to like just hanging out in them.
 
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