Converting A Porch Flower Bed Into A Porch Pond

jerryrard

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June 20, 2019
I wanted to transform the porch flower bed into something else. The porch deck has rectangle hole where the flower bed once was. Being a newbie and moron, I decided to build a pond from a 55 gallon bin, and I did not yet know about the Nitrogen Cycle then.
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I dug the soil out so I could set the bin in and back-filled the sides with some of the soil that used to be there. Put in a 300 gph pump/filter/fountain set plus a waterfall spillway to have a zen and spa-like feature. Bioballs for the biofilter, barley straw to help keep the water clean, a couple water hyacinths and water letucce, gravel, and submersible LED lights. Not fully understanding the nitrogen cycle yet, I decided to cycle the pond with fish in it. I used the API stress coat and Fluval Bio Enhancer. Added the goldfish - oranda, lionhead, calico, black moor.

Got a pond test kit.
2019/06/28 - ph 7; ammonia 0.5; nitrite 0.5; phosphate 0.5

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Wanting to improve on the waterfalls, I added a streamlet waterfall pond liner. And slowly laid out some flagstones around. Got to more plants to add to the pond - parrots feather (coming out of the waterfalls stones), and creeping jenny (did not know where to put them yet).

2019/07/03 - ph 7; ammonia 2.0; nitrite 0.5; phosphate 2.0

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Added more plants - horsetail rush (submerged pot), a couple perennials for the soil.
2019/07/11 - ph 7; ammonia 8.0; nitrite 5.0 ; phosphate 5.0 :nailbiting::nailbiting::nailbiting:
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With the ammonia and nitrites testing very high, I was worried since I also had to go on a week's vacation on the 13th to 20th. Having a little more familiarity with the nitrogen cycle... I was hoping that this was just a new tank syndrome.

Back from vacation:
2019/07/22 - ph 7.0; ammonia 0.0; nitritte 0.0; phosphate 0.0 :joyful::joyful::joyful:

Plants (hyacinth and water lettuce) had nearly covered 3/4 of the surface.
So happy!!! Fish are happy too, I bet!
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Found a glass jar in the basement to use as an above-water observatory for the fish.
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coralbandit

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Sometimes I think fish are more comfortable in solid color containers where they don't see out the sides like in ponds ,lakes ,and streams ...
But then I see a picture like this one and just want to believe they like watching us as much as we like watching them !?
 
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jerryrard

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Sometimes I think fish are more comfortable in solid color containers where they don't see out the sides like in ponds ,lakes ,and streams ...
But then I see a picture like this one and just want to believe they like watching us as much as we like watching them !?
Right. I wonder about that too. Perhaps it depends on their mood.
 

RHONDA PIMENTEL

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Absolutely beautiful. It's my dream to do the same. But I have a ton of wild life around me, raccoons and such...etc. So it would be really difficult. Anyway CONGRATS on a stunningly perfect little pond exhibit!
 

Wydowmayker

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Wow!! I wish I had the weather for this.

What amazing ideas. I love the sphere idea.

Good job.
 

mattgirl

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Oh my goodness, this just keeps getting more gorgeous each time you show it to us.

I was showing it to my hubby. He and I were looking trying to decide where the best place would be to put one. We both zoomed in on the perfect place. Our deck has 2 levels. The lower level is offset from the upper level. I have a flower bed in the corner we made by offsetting the levels. The area is plenty big enough to make the pond at least 8 feet across and we could easily dig it out to several feet deep. If we could get it 4 or 5 feet deep I might not have to bring the fish in during the fairly mild winters we have here now.

I am not sure how well it will work with all the wildlife we have around us though. I am afraid the raccoons will think we made a spa/diner for them.

He had me add it to his honeydo list. Hopefully I will have it by next spring if we can figure out how to raccoon proof it. You have definitely planted the want one bug.
 
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jerryrard

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Oh my goodness, this just keeps getting more gorgeous each time you show it to us.

I was showing it to my hubby. He and I were looking trying to decide where the best place would be to put one. We both zoomed in on the perfect place. Our deck has 2 levels. The lower level is offset from the upper level. I have a flower bed in the corner we made by offsetting the levels. The area is plenty big enough to make the pond at least 8 feet across and we could easily dig it out to several feet deep. If we could get it 4 or 5 feet deep I might not have to bring the fish in during the fairly mild winters we have here now.

I am not sure how well it will work with all the wildlife we have around us though. I am afraid the raccoons will think we made a spa/diner for them.

He had me add it to his honeydo list. Hopefully I will have it by next spring if we can figure out how to raccoon proof it. You have definitely planted the want one bug.
I wish I had even half the space you have going for your next project. My cousin's pond was only 14" and his fish survived the Maryland winters. I am planning for an indoor tank for the winter though. I would love to see your project and how it evolves.
 

mattgirl

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I wish I had even half the space you have going for your next project. My cousin's pond was only 14" and his fish survived the Maryland winters. I am planning for an indoor tank for the winter though. I would love to see your project and how it evolves.
That is the beauty and wildlife is the downfall of living out in the country. Our home is situated just about in the middle of 6 acres and closed in with trees all around it.

We live about 300 yards from the main north to south highway running along the western side of Arkansas.but there are enough trees and some undergrowth to where it can't be seen except during the winter months. We do have neighbors but their homes can't be seen from ours. It is our own little piece of heaven on earth. We love it but then so do the raccoons, deer, opossums, armadillos, ground hogs.....well you get the picture. Fortunately no wild hogs but we do get the occasional black bear pass through.

We have to go to extremes to keep the squirrels and raccoons out of the bird feeders. I used to be able to hang my hummingbird feeders around the edges of the pergola but the raccoons found them and now destroy them if I hang them there. Hubby made me a bird feeder tree out of pipes coming off a 4X4 cemented in the ground. It has 6 curved arms with hooks on the ends for hanging the feeders. He managed to install a barrier on the 4X4 that neither squirrels nor raccoons can get past.

If we build the pond I don't know yet what extremes we will have to go to to keep the wildlife out and the fish safe but if we build it we will find a way. That task has been why I've not seriously considered a pond until I saw the beauty of yours.
 

treadingwater

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If we build the pond I don't know yet what extremes we will have to go to to keep the wildlife out and the fish safe but if we build it we will find a way. That task has been why I've not seriously considered a pond until I saw the beauty of yours.
I have a friend in England that has a similar issue with a Grey Heron in their backyard pond. They use a black monofilament net over the top to keep the bird out. Because the color blends into the water and bottom you cant see it unless you're right on top of it and it is a deterrent to the bird. I assume it would work with the coons as well but they don't have those native in England so aren't very common.

As for the winter, you could put a pond de-icer in there and it will keep your fish comfortable.
 

Basil

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Wow! Gorgeous!
Same here with the wildlife. But we can live vicariously through posts like this.
 

PatrickShrimp

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To raccoon and wildlife proof ponds you can get chicken wire fence and build a frame to cover it whenever you aren’t about. I’m sure some of you could even automate it.
 
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jerryrard

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A frog just found it's way to the pond and is now stuck in the sphere. Are frogs good or bad for a 55 gallon pond with 5 goldfish?
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RHONDA PIMENTEL

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Its fine for the pond. However depending on the size of your fish? He could become a snack, as he looks small in pic? I certainly don't think he's a threat to your pond. That's just my opinion.
 

RHONDA PIMENTEL

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I just meant to add that a lot of frogs are dwindling in population. And they are so important to out ecosystem.
 
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