I'm Finally Doing It!!!


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It has been almost 3 years since I installed my backyard goldfish pond. It has been a joy maintaining it, experimenting with it, and most importantly relaxing next to it. However, ever since installing it I have wanted more. I guess that's the curse of all pond enthusiasts.

I have been wanting to, for some time now, make a much smaller summer tropical fish pond to stock with live bearing fish. Such as mollies, platies, danios and guppies. I have experimented with mollies and danios in my larger pond with great success. In fact it was far to successful. Both summers resulted in well over 500 danios and mollies from excessive breeding. The first year I started with only 4 danios and the the next year 4 mollies which bread out of control. This created an issue when winter rolled around. I moved the best of the best to my inside fish tank and the rest were posted on my neighborhood forum and or craigslist to give away to free homes.

Now with my goldfish being 2-3 years old and a good amount of annual fry of their own I no longer want to house tropical fish in the pond over the summer due to fish load. So, I am looking into making a new pond!!!

I officially broke ground yesterday by removing the azaleas that were incorrectly planted in a partial sun area in my front yard by the home builders. They have been replanted in a much better spot now. But this is now the excuse for me to take to my wife of "Ohh no, look how ugly this area is right next to the front door, it looks awful. You know what would make this look better. A POND". Hopefully that works. ;)

But while I have done some research I wanted to get some Ideas for the level of filtration I should have on this pond. It is going to be small. As much as I would like it to be big, it has to be small and no deeper than 12" as it is in my front yard. So picture a 4 foot x 4 foot area at 12" deep in partial morning shade, full afternoon sun for 2-3 hours and full evening shade. I do want the sound of running water as this will sit adjacent to my front door and have a bench for sitting next to it. So I am currently looking at installing a small waterfall with some leftover rocks from my other pond build. I'm open to a fountain as well, but would enjoy building another waterfall.

I wish I had a picture of the area but I neglected to take one. I will see if I can get one up tomorrow. I also plan on creating a thread to document the full pond build.
 

j.w

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You must live where it stays warm. Lucky you! That will look really nice right near your front door. Mine is out in front also and I enjoy sitting on our front porch deck all the time hearing the water fall and watching the fish and the plants. Yep create a thread for your pond build.
Start digging
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j.w

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I live in Houston, TX in the past two years the tropicals were introduced in April and removed throughout October.
Ah so now you will have it easier, not having to catch all those quick little tropical's and drag them indoors every year! I'm all for as easy as it can be!
 
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So here is a simplified sketch of the initial design that I have in mind. I still have two plants currently in the ground that will need to be removed. I think I have decided that there is not enough real estate to do a legit waterfall. So after looking into some options I have decided to make a bubbling rock, potentially with an LED installed as well.

I've already had to convince myself out of extending the current flower bed and moving additional plants to get more real estate for the pond to make it bigger. I think the only thing holding me back is that I have convinced myself that I will stress out the crepe myrtle tree too much by tearing up its roots. Which I definitely don't want to do as it is a beautiful and mature tree providing all of the shade for that area. I do think that I will make an area of the pond deeper than 12" though just to get some additional water volume and maintain temperature fluctuation.

Let me know what you think of the design and if anyone has suggestions or lessons learned for me.

pond drawing.PNG
 

j.w

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Looks like it will work but hope you have enough room to walk around in there after it is done. You'll need room to maintain it, leaves and such need scooping out. I think it will be just fine. Fish will like the deeper area to go to when temps get too warm for them. Floating lily pads will help w/that also. Plants around the edge and some creeping into the pond would be nice for them also. They love hiding spots, helps them feel safe. It will attract little birds and frogs and you will love it!
 
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If I stick to my guns and keep it small i should have enough access to maintain from the left side in front of the proposed bench. Additionally, the lower line boundary is the sidewalk to my front door. So I will have access there as well. I do see an issue with leaf load with the crepe myrtle in the mix. The surrounding shrubs are "evergreen" so they will have limited foliage loss with the exception of when they are being trimed up.

I've also realized that I probably need to raise the pond at least 4-5 inches above the surrounding area to avoid runoff so I will have to take that into consideration as well.
 

j.w

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Good idea on raising it up to avoid runoff! I did that w/mine also and it works great. I just mounded up dirt under the liner and put rocks around and over it all. Added creeping plants. You could do it on a smaller scale of course.

IMG_6048.JPG


IMG_6048.JPG
 

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j.w

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Oh and you cannot see the liner in my pond up there in those photos as I made a shallow shelf around the edge of the pond so I could put rocks down on that shelf to hide the liner and then brought liner up to top over mounded dirt w/rocks on top and down the sides to ground. Fish like nibbling around in the rocks in the water on that shelf.
 
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I love the creeping plants mixed in with the rounded rock. I do plan on having a rock shelve with spaces provided in between and behind the rock for additional hiding spaces for the critters. I will be using leftover Texas moss rock from my first pond build though. So it wont have the rounded shape to it. I would love to incorporate the creeping plants in some areas though. What do you have pictured on your pond.

Also, here is an image of my current pond in my backyard for reference to types of rocks to be used and plants available to be transferred over.

pond picture.jpg
 

j.w

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Oh yes that mix of plants that you have in your bigger pond will look very nice in your small pond also. The yellow flowered plant that creeps is called Creeping Jenny and some also call it Creeping Charlie. The green w/red tinge are Sedums that spread. The rocks that you have will work just fine too.

IMG_7438.JPG
 
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Oh yes that mix of plants that you have in your bigger pond will look very nice in your small pond also. The yellow flowered plant that creeps is called Creeping Jenny and some also call it Creeping Charlie. The green w/red tinge are Sedums that spread. The rocks that you have will work just fine too.

View attachment 109444
I didn't know Creeping Jenny would flower! THat's neat!
 
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I didn't know Creeping Jenny would flower! THat's neat!
I'm wondering if it will flower in the spot I will be placing it as it does not get a great amount of sun. I have been told by a coworker that creeping jenny likes morning sun and afternoon/evening shade. This spot gets virtually no morning sun and just a few hours of afternoon sun depending on time of year. So like everything else it will be trial and error experimentation.

I've already got some sitting in my shopping cart on tricker.com as well as some water poppy to try out. Just waiting on my wife to pick out a new water lily to try out this year.
 
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Landscape fabric down and liner is in. Had an old blow up swimming pool that I cut up for extra protection for the liner as well. Tomorrow ill work on getting it rocked in. Supposed to have a rain storm come in tonight so we shall see how much rain affects tomorrows progress.
 

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