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#54764 May 30th, 2007 at 12:31 PM
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I've done some reading about this in the old forum and think I need to ask a few questions. I am totally clueless, so please bear with me.

I intend on using a flexible rubber-type pond liner and not a pre-form. How quickly will this liner wear out?
My soil is mostly sand, do I need to put a "soft" layer between the liner and the dirt?

Is an 18 inch deep pond deep enough for a couple shubunkins?
Should there be a deeper center for fish in the winter?
Is 4x4-ish even big enough for a fish or two?

Is this deep enough for plants?

The area will be in part shade, away from trees. It is going between my driveway and house. Should I be concerned about stuff (can't remember what it was now) leaching into the pond from the concrete?

Is a pump and filter necessary for a small pond?
I know "buy the best" is the motto here, but what brand would you recommend?

Okay, I think that is it, for now. lol

Thanks!!


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
LandOfOz #54768 May 30th, 2007 at 01:00 PM
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I'm not an expert but this is my 2nd pond now.

You need to look at the mils of the liner......you can get different thickness I believe.....we've always used roofing rubber(got it free) and it's super thick so I don't worry about it wearing away...see if it has a warranty on it for x amount of years.

Underlay is always a good idea just to be safe....we used old carpet in my old pond.

If your winters are really cold then there should be a spot in the middle at least 3 feet deep for the fish to overwinter outside. My old one was only about 20 inches deep and I brought my fish inside in the winter and put them in an aquarium, but shubunkins are DIRTY and cleaning it got old fast. But that's an option if you are willing to do that.

Shubunkins can grow pretty big----if you could make it a little bigger that'd probably be best...my old one was about 4 by 6 and they couldn't really swim good in there and after we put it in we regretted not making it bigger. But they would survive in there......2 fish.

Not sure about the concrete thing.

My small pond didn't have a filter....I bought a solar pump online, but it only works when it's sunny.....you need to have some water circulation though. Water dripping and spraying into the water puts oxygen in the water for the fish. Without circulation the water becomes really stagnant and gross.

I think that's it! lol And that's just stuff I've found out from making a small pond--I really regretted it being so tiny.....we just put that new big pond in and it's fantastic!


#54774 May 30th, 2007 at 01:40 PM
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thumbup loz got it all! the only other thing i'd add is check out the adam's filters on the old forum. a pump is a must and a filter (even if it is just a prefilter) is helpful.

#54782 May 30th, 2007 at 01:57 PM
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Can you recommend a fish that grows smaller than the shubunkin? From what I've seen mainly just mosquito fish and bitterlings, any other ideas? The pond really can't get any bigger, there just isn't room.

I should probably have a 3 ft deep hole in the center. Most winters don't get real cold but we do get below zero a few times and spend a month or so in the single digits and teens.

I had read the Adam's pump info earlier, it looked like a good idea, but I heard (somewhere) that the fibers in the batting clog the gills on fish. Has anyone tried this kind of filter and had happy, healthy fish? I just so happen to have just about everything for the filter in the house already, except the extra rubbermaid container.

Thanks for the answers, Loz and Jiffy, I'd be lost without you guys and this forum!


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
LandOfOz #54784 May 30th, 2007 at 02:04 PM
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My fan tailed goldfish from Walmart really don't get too awful big....but they aren't teeny tiny either.....but they'd be much better than Shubunkins I'd think. thumbup

Glad to be able to help out some, be looking forward to your new pond pics down the road.

BTW, your weather sounds like mine in the winter.....try and get as deep as you can in the very center of the pond!

#54825 May 30th, 2007 at 04:44 PM
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I'll have to look and see what our walmart carries by the way of fish. I will keep an eye out for fan fan-tail goldfish.

I'm beginning to wonder exactly how expensive this liner is going to be. It was something like $10 a foot or yard at stinky ol' home depot. Probably a foot. But I'll make sure to get heavy-duty stuff.

Our dirt is pure sand. In fact, we recently dug down about 4 feet and the sand gets cleaner the deeper we dug. Crazy. At least digging deep won't be that big of an issue.

On last question, the hole will be an irregular circle, are wrinkles in the liner okay?

Finally, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for all your help. We'll be putting it in soooon so I'll be sure to post pics for ya. kissie


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
#54882 May 30th, 2007 at 05:42 PM
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i can't wait to see your pictures clap

#55164 May 31st, 2007 at 05:29 AM
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I have a pumpless pond currently.Its on its 2nd year.My plants release oxygen back into the water.

Its preformed
curley pond weed& milfoil are underwater in milkjug with some gravel added to help retain the soil.I have waterlilly& lotus that shade the top of water.I have lizzards tail submerged in pot& will eventually return my arrowroot to pond with a canna.My algea problem went away when all the tadpoles showed up.they're cute.I listen to music outdoors.looks like they dance sometimes.

If you end up with folds in your liner...try to adjust the folds so you have less of them.They can get dirt trapped in them.
Don't forget to get photos!We like to see what everyone does.


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njoynit #55186 May 31st, 2007 at 05:46 AM
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Anacharis.Thats that other stuff I have submerged for an oxygenator.I've had it bloom...Once.in 2003


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njoynit #55272 May 31st, 2007 at 07:50 AM
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I told DH about the depth of the hole, the liner, the filter, this and that, plant shelf. He gave one of his classic "you want me to what?" looks much like this: shock He wants to line the hole with bricks to hold up the dirt, and I think his poor brain is smoking from the overload. We're really hoping to get it done this week. If we lose momentum on a project, it will never get done. So, hopefully, we'll get you all some pics real soon.

We're going out tonight to his boss's house to look at his pond. His boss was bragging about his "clever filter." I'm going to laugh real hard if it winds up being an Adam filter or a skippy filter (which, much to my surprise, doesn't take peanut butter to make).

I wonder where I can get aquatic plants. I know I've seen some at Lowes, so I guess that will be my first stop, after picking up the liner, that is. Thanks for the plant tips, Njoynit!

And, just for the record, my forearms are killing me from pulling out around 200 bricks last night and about a million roots the size of my arm.


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
LandOfOz #55707 Jun 1st, 2007 at 05:36 AM
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We went out to the bosses house and my hubby was so impressed. The boss lives a half hour out of town and DH spent the entire half hour back babbling on about this and that on the pond. He's extremely excited about the pond now. I have Saturday off, and I wouldn't be surprised if we get it done then.


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
LandOfOz #56977 Jun 2nd, 2007 at 04:18 PM
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Taaaa-daaaaa

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Here is the hole for my pond, 3 feet deep on the far right. About 6 feet across, I think. Hubby dug it out this afternoon and we're hoping (or at least I am) to get a liner and stuff tomorrow. Although we still don't have any rocks for the sides of it, yet. We haven't leveled it yet either.


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
LandOfOz #57041 Jun 2nd, 2007 at 05:10 PM
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Woohooo, it's move along quick now huh? All of my rocks I got free---just ones I saw laying around....

How deep is the shallow part? About 10-12 inches? Looks perfect for putting potted plants on.

#57089 Jun 2nd, 2007 at 06:06 PM
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Right now it is probably close to 18 inches, but the upper part will be scraped down to around 12-14 inches, to make it level with the lower part. To clarify, anything on the top half of the pic I'm gonna call higher and anything on the lower half I'm gonna call lower.

One more question: If I want to plant so-called surface plants (waterlilies, four-leaf clovers, etc) do I need to have dirt in the liner for them or would rocks and fish poop do it?


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
#57111 Jun 2nd, 2007 at 06:39 PM
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true surface plants float, like water hyacinth and water lettuce. the others need some kind of planting meduim. after a while, you will have enough sediment in the bottom, but i'd put them in a pot anyway...

#57129 Jun 2nd, 2007 at 06:59 PM
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Maybe you should be a stock supplier for good old wal-mart, Cindy. It seems your fish are very... frisky.

Thanks, Jiffy and Cindy, that makes sense. I'll put them in pots. That probably helps anchor them down anyway.

I've been doing some research and most places say that I need 4 types of plants, floaters (to block sunlight) like frog-bit, Surface plants (again, to block sunlight and to use up nitro) like waterlilies, oxygenating (do I have to explain this one?) like anacharis and jungle vall, and marginal (I don't remember, maybe just to suck up nitro) like dwarf cattails. Do I need one of each kind of plant? I know I can't have too many plants in such a small garden. I can get exact measurements, if you'd like them. My fav plants thus far are the frog-bit, variegated four leaf clover, waterlilies, jungle vall or anacharis, and dwarf cattail. I also have some golden creeping jenny that DH's boss's wife gave to me, and I read that they can go in the water too. That sounds like too much to me, what do you all think?

It's not a real big garden, but it will be getting a fair amount of sunlight, probably 6 hours a day, at least. I think I read that I need to keep around 80% of the pond covered from the sun. Is that excessive or correct?

Sorry to keep coming up with new questions, once this is all said and done, I promise I'll stop prodding all your minds for answers.


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
LandOfOz #57159 Jun 2nd, 2007 at 07:29 PM
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my pond is full of plants (thank you cindy kissie ) and if you have more plants, your fish will be happier. the plant/fish ratio is very important, if you have more plants, then you can slightly fudge on the fish ratio.

mine is full sun, about 10 hours a day, and i have floaters and all such things, but i'd say 40-60% is is not blocked. the fish and other plants keep the algae at bay though, cause the other plants use up the nutrients from the fish, and the fish will eat a certain amount of the algae (as do the snails i have...)

#57252 Jun 2nd, 2007 at 09:04 PM
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your pond is going to be great! i am really impressed by how much you have learned so quick!


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faerywatcher #57618 Jun 3rd, 2007 at 08:27 PM
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Thanks, Faery.

Jiffy, I picked up a couple snails while we were in Wichita today. Two black mystery snails. Only problem is that we stuck them in a tank that I keep slightly salted. Did I just kill the little guys? I hope not. If so, escargo for dinner tomorrow! lol


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
LandOfOz #58054 Jun 4th, 2007 at 01:48 PM
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I don't think I killed them. They are running around the aquarium, eating all the algae growing in the corners that I can't scrape out. They are useful already.


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
LandOfOz #58132 Jun 4th, 2007 at 05:04 PM
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most snails will tolerate brachish (barely salty) water. just not true salt water, unless they are saltwater snails. there are such things, you know.

#58297 Jun 5th, 2007 at 04:54 AM
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You know, you're right, Triss, it does!

We went out to Lowes last night and got the liner and I looked at plants. Of course every waterlily is labeled 4.97, except the one that I like, it's 12.97. Typical. And then I saw this awesome Black Taro Elephant ear and thought that would looke great in the pond, and it was one clearance, regular $25.00 now 10.61. No, we didn't get it. DH said we were just there for a liner and a liner only. BUT we have to get a pump tonight....

I'll post a pic once I get the batteries charged!


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
#59738 Jun 6th, 2007 at 07:03 PM
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I know that I promised these yesterday, but I was busy and I'm a little lazy snooz and forgetful... blush My apologies, for keeping you waiting.

Full Pond Pic

Waterfall Hubby Made...

I hope you enjoy them!


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
LandOfOz #59741 Jun 6th, 2007 at 07:05 PM
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Great job Sarah, it looks really nice! Will you plant things around it too???? Didn't you say it was in mostly full sun? Mine is and the liner will turn green and algae up really fast in the sun.

I love it though, did you get fish yet? Do you love it? Can you put a little bench near it? lol I know I'm full of questions.

#59768 Jun 6th, 2007 at 07:40 PM
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Yes, there will be a few plants around it, don't know what though. I've got a couple snails for the pond, anyone have experience with apple snails? And I will be getting 2 maybe 3 fish--probably tomorrow. Also will be adding a few more plants, got canna lily and golden creeping jenny in there now. Those are marginal, so I'll need an oxygenating, surface, and floater plants. The only place that carries decent looking waterlilies, charges $38 each. :shck:

I do love it and DH (who was against the bench) is suddenly all for seating of some variety near the pond. Go figure.

After all the questions I've harassed you all for, I don't mind answering a few. lol


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
#59834 Jun 7th, 2007 at 02:50 AM
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I love the terra cotta colour of those rocks. Great job.


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LandOfOz #59836 Jun 7th, 2007 at 02:55 AM
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The less fish in your small pond the better the water quality.....especially if you get little fish that grow up to be big fish. lol

Ornamental grasses look really nice around a pond. I've added 4 different kinds around mine--2 of each! thumbup

I'm glad your hubby is loving it as much as you are! When we put my small 6 by 5 pond in(that's now gone and replaced by my big new pond), he complained while diggiing it....then a few weeks later he said---we should've made it at least 3 times bigger! lol

Not sure I'm had apple snails, I've had black mystery snails from walmart.....last year they crawled up my one plant and laid a big egg sac on it and I had tons of baby snails last year. lol

#59905 Jun 7th, 2007 at 05:12 AM
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Loz, black mystery snail are apple snails. Apparently the world of retail just hasn't caught up to proper naming. Did your snails overwinter there, or were you able to catch a couple to bring inside? I've read that they will die in water under 50 degrees.

There is this wonderful purple ornamental grass, rubrum, that I adore. I bet it would look good. I don't want anything too tall though, it's a small area and there is a space to the right of the waterfall that I don't want blocked...

Thanks for the compliments, everyone, we're not done with arranging the rocks, but the first layer is down and done. We're (I think) going plant and fish shopping tonight. Poor DH has been having some extra stress at work and he still comes home and spends a few hours on the pond. So I may give him some slack and let him take the night off. I doubt he'd do it though.


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
LandOfOz #59945 Jun 7th, 2007 at 05:43 AM
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Yep, I still had a few of them in there this spring! thumbup Didn't know they were apple snails. lol

I don't bother much with the snails, they gross me out to be honest. lol

Oooo, I love purple fountain grass---I have 2 of them near the pond, but they are only annual here--down to 10 degrees....each year I just buy more.

I bet your hubby loves the pond...it probably is helping him destress! thumbup

#60453 Jun 7th, 2007 at 12:23 PM
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I think both are right. It's already one of his favorite spots. In his work clothes (slacks, dress shirt, tie, etc) he went and checked on the pond when he came home. He hates being outside in the heat in his dress clothes. So, yeah, he must really like it!

Glad to hear that some of your snails returned, Loz. Mine can't breed. We got one home, only to realize that the back tip of it's shell was broken. Apparently that is where the gonads are stored, so that one is officially sterile.



Sarah - Zone 5b/6
LandOfOz #60519 Jun 7th, 2007 at 01:24 PM
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Hmmm, maybe my snails are different afterall......I got them from Walmart and they were sort of gold colored...last year they were black ones that I bought.

Well the guy that sold them to me said they reproduce by themselves....that you could buy one and have a pond full of them by the end of the season. why

I'm glad he likes it, are you going to get your fish then tonight??? Don't forget fishy food! But remember the more you feed them, the more they poop, the more they poop the more nitrates are put into the water, and the water gets gross.

You can buy pond water test kits to keep an eye on the levels of things in your pond.

#60524 Jun 7th, 2007 at 01:42 PM
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Mystery snails come in all sorts of colors though.

The store I bought them from said that they would do "just fine" over winter, as long as the water didn't freeze and that they were hermaphrodites. Well. I really like to research stuff and the mystery snails are actually apple snails and they are not hermaphrodites and they will freeze and they come from Brazil so they are not used to our winters. So that store is 0 for 5. Oh and she said that they'd do great with our aggressive cichlids. Um, no, our small cichlid (fred) saw them and said to himself, DINNER! Thankfully we pulled his butt out and put him in a quarantine tank, before he did any real damage. (As a side-note, I read that no water-snail is truly hermaphroditic. Only land-snails are hermaphrodites.)

I think I will buy a tester for nitrates, I'd been needing one for Jack's tank anyway. Gives me a good excuse to buy one, right?

I'm going out to pick up a couple fish and some plants, probably a waterlily and either the water hyacinth or lettuce it's all that's available, and some sort of basket. My canna just won't stay upright in the little pot it's in now.

Thanks for all the kind words and great advice, ladies. kissie


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#60680 Jun 7th, 2007 at 07:34 PM
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My husband's, boss's, son's friend owns a piece of land that is next to this other piece of land that he knows the owner of and through that chain we got permission, and the boss took us out and helped us load, all those rocks.

I picked up 2 waterlilies (attraction and james bryon or something like that) and 2 little small fantail goldfish at walmart. One is a gold with calico and the other is silver/white with calico. I also put out the snails at about a quarter after ten this this evening. I will get an oxygenator but that will probably be on Tuesday.

Does anyone have an experience with Walmart waterlilies? Sold in the little round boxes with a clear dome lid? If so, did they grow well? How deep did you put them, and did you stick them into that mesh it came with?

Thanks ladies!


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
LandOfOz #60811 Jun 8th, 2007 at 04:37 AM
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Sarah - I've been growing those WalMart lilies for months now in a rubbermaid container in my son's room. I have 4 of them, with nice long stems and leaves just waiting to get out into my pond when my husband is finished putting it together.

I am planning on planting them, each in a small cat litter pan - I had read that they like to have a shallow, wide pot for the roots, but that the roots can also become quite invasive and even tear up liners, so I'm hoping to contain them this way. I will also put rocks on top of them, as I've read that the koi fish, that I am hoping to get, like to forage in the pots and ruin the plants.

Hope that helps a bit - can't wait to see pictures of your progress!


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plants 'n pots #60841 Jun 8th, 2007 at 04:57 AM
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Thanks, Lynne. I was worried that they wouldn't grow. I had that problem with some of WM bleeding heart tubers. They didn't grow at all. I was rather annoyed with that. I put the waterlilies in last night, I hope they are happy.

We did run into one problem. We turned on the pump (which cycles all our water at least once an hour) and left it on all night. No biggie, right? Wrong. Apparently the water from the waterfall splashed onto the back of the liner and leaked off onto the dirt behind the pond. We woke up to a half-filled pond. I am happy to report that the entire thing did not drain, just most of the shallow stuff. We were able to locate one snail, happily running around, and one fish, also happily swimming about. So I am sure the other fish and snail are just MIA and not dead.


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#65045 Jun 13th, 2007 at 05:39 AM
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Here is the final pond! I have hornwort and anacharis in there, but the fish find the anacharis delicious, so I'll just have hornwort before too long. I also have 2 waterlilies, golden creeping jenny, and a canna lily in there.

My canna keeps blowing over, so I thought I'd put some extra soil in a few layers of cheesecloth with a lot of rocks, set in the rootball, then tie it all round the base of the canna. Do you think that will stop it from blowing over?

Thanks for all of your help. I've already had several compliments on the garden and it wouldn't look this great without help from all of you. I really appreciate everything you ladies did! kissie


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
#65276 Jun 13th, 2007 at 08:57 AM
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Love it! Another ponder is born! lol clap

BTW, my fish stripped my Anacharis totally bare! Until nothing at all was left! Their poop was green for a while. lol

#65591 Jun 13th, 2007 at 03:51 PM
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The pond looks great, lots of work, but I'm sure you think it was worth it! Enjoy your little oasis.


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mrw #66421 Jun 14th, 2007 at 12:35 PM
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And you thought you were rid of me. lol

DH didn't think that we needed a filter. So we don't have one. 2 problems, our water stinks (smells like algae) AND we can barely see down 1 foot. Is this an issue a filter would correct? I'm guessing this is algae bloom, am I right? It's weird that it would've happened over the course of 2 rainy days, not much sunlight.

Thanks!


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
LandOfOz #66931 Jun 15th, 2007 at 07:53 AM
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I, too, LOVE the colors in the rocks - what a great find!!!

Your pond looks terrific! Please keep updating as it matures!


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