First Time Pond Owner Looking For Suggestions

callmebeeplease

Member
Hello Fishlorians, hope you're all well

I have been given a 1mx1mx70cm free-standing pond. Currently it has water in it and a solar-powered pump and filter combo... and that's it!

As a complete novice to pond-keeping, I'd really appreciate any advice/suggestions around:
- cycling the water (does it differ from an indoor aquarium?)
- Suitable size plants that are low maintenance/good for beginners
- How on earth to add/plant said plants?
- Suitable fish for this size outdoor pond

It's a blank slate at the moment and I have no pre-conceived ideas of what I want it to look like or contain, so all suggestions welcome and appreciated! We can call it the Fishlorian Community Pond as the whole community here will have helped me create it!

Thanks in advance!

Bee
 

Donovan Jones

Member
I see you're in the UK, so I'm not sure what plants are legal, but for submerged plants I recommend hornwort, cabomba, and elodea. These should survive winter. I would just plant them like you would in a tank or just throw the bundle in with weights. For floating plants, Lily pads are great, but you'll want them in a pot with organic soul and lots of root tabs capped with gravel. You could also add some water lettuce and hyacinth, but they don't come back every year. Another plant you could use is jungle Val and dwarf sag. I heard both survive winter. For marginal plants, I recommend Arrowhead and parroots feather. You can pot them in dirt with gravel, and the Arrowheads come back every year. However, you'll have to put the pot on something to have it at the right depth, which the plant tag should tell you.
Filtration IMO, depends on what you put in fish wise. With goldfish, you can't have too much, and they will breed.
Since it's a solar powered pump, if it doesn't charge a battery, it's off at night, so I'd steer clear of dirtier fish for lack of better wording, unless you understock by a lot, as in less than 5 goldfish.
Cycling will take place if you add anything decaying, much like a tank.
I'm not sure what fish options you have over there, but I would look into natives to see of you like any. They may not be as colorful, but they're just as cool. You could also use some temperate aquarium fish over the summer, like paradise fish.
 
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callmebeeplease

Member
HI Donovan,

Thanks for your help - so many great plant suggestions! I'm not planning on having any substrate on the pond floor, so anything that can go in inside a pot or container would be ideal For reference, this is the exact filter that I have:

Bee
 

Donovan Jones

Member
The submerged stem plants should work still then. Just weigh them down
 

Skavatar

Member
i'm guessing that's about a 80 gallon pond. cycle it the same as an aquarium.

the filter is rated 87 gph, I don't think it'll be enough flow at barely 1x turnover rate, but change out the gravel or zeolite for some ceramics beads or rings, or biohome, or matrix. you might need to get a 2nd filter.
 
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callmebeeplease

Member
An online converter says that 500 litres is approx 132 US gallons... I probably will need that 2nd filter then! When I brought the filter thought the read-up said it was suitable for ponds up to 750 litres
 

Donovan Jones

Member
Maybe get a pond planter or plastic basket and add media then place in front of the outflow?
Unfortunately packages can lie at times, case in point tazers on Amazon that advertise millions of volts, sometimes more voltage than lightning lol.
 
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callmebeeplease

Member
HI all,

A quick update on the pond situation!

I've added a substrate to the pond - a mix of pebbles and cobbles. I've also got a couple of grass-looking plants which I've placed in the corners (apologies, I'm not good with remembering the names of plants just yet!) and a fringed water lily. I'd like a couple of water soldiers to float long the top, but will wait for another week or so before adding those.

The cycle is progressing along nicely and is currently at stage 2 - ammonia levels have dropped drastically but there's a bit of nitrite build up. Waiting patiently to be able to add some fish babies! <3

 
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callmebeeplease

Member
HI all,

Another update on this:

We have four little goldfish who have been living in their for 2 weeks and seem to be happy and thriving so far
HOWEVER...
We've got a big problem with green water We added an algae treatment on Saturday which seems to have made no visible difference as of yet; there's also some barley straw in there (I know that can take longer to have an effect) and some sinking pond weed but the water still looks vile and I can't see the fish

We're running a mains-free system, i.e. the pump and filter are solar powered. Does anyone know if you can buy solar-powered UV lights for ponds? I've had a quick search online but no joy so far. Can anyone recommend alternatives to a UV light if we're not able to have one? Realistically we can't move the pond now that it's positioned and filled.

Many TIA for your help!

Bee
 

MomeWrath

Member
Hey - I'm no expert, I'm just starting out my first pond as well, but remember it's not an aquarium and won't be as controlled. I had water so murky you couldn't see whether I even had plants under the water, and within the last week (I'm in the middle of the third month being set up) it just...suddenly....got clear. I have six little comet goldfish, some water hyacinth, carolina fanwort, a banan plant, lemon bacopa, hornwort, mermaid weed, and a small hardy water lily. For filtration, I have really not much: a 100 GPH pump with a foam filter block on it. You just have to be paitent...it'll get there. If you'd like to see the progression, here is my thread: https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/magicpennys-porch-pond.394518/page-3#post-4163200
It seems like you're off to the right start.
There is a good book called "The Tub Pond Handbook" by Dr. Ted ColettI that you should check out. It's a good guide for aquarists-turned-pondkeepers. Good luck!
 

Donovan Jones

Member
Before my mom had a pump she got terrible green water. I recently made her a biofilter that pumped water under gravel over larger rocks in a barrel with plants and then out the top. It cleared green water in an overstocked pond in a week
 

Skavatar

Member
one option is to get some floating plants to block out some of the sun light.

another options is to just run an extension cord and run a UV sterilizer for a couple of days, and repeat as necessary.
 

Jack B Nimble

Member
callmebeeplease said:
HI all,

Another update on this:

We have four little goldfish who have been living in their for 2 weeks and seem to be happy and thriving so far
HOWEVER...
We've got a big problem with green water We added an algae treatment on Saturday which seems to have made no visible difference as of yet; there's also some barley straw in there (I know that can take longer to have an effect) and some sinking pond weed but the water still looks vile and I can't see the fish

We're running a mains-free system, i.e. the pump and filter are solar powered. Does anyone know if you can buy solar-powered UV lights for ponds? I've had a quick search online but no joy so far. Can anyone recommend alternatives to a UV light if we're not able to have one? Realistically we can't move the pond now that it's positioned and filled.

Many TIA for your help!

Bee
Just wait it will clear don't add chemicals, ever spring an algae bloom usually occurs until plants catch up.
 

bentaz

Member
Yeah as above, just be patient!
Don't feed the goldys, don't worry they will be fine and will not go hungry.
If the weather is nice enough there still throw in as much floating plants like duck weed in there and it will come good in time, also a couple of big handfuls of pool salt (not table salt it has chemical additives) will help.
 
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callmebeeplease

Member
HI all,

Thanks for your help and encouragement - I will be patient and hope that a balance establishes itself A few more plants won't hurt either!

bentaz Can you tell me more about the pook salt and what it will do?

Thanks!

Bee
 

bentaz

Member
Upping the salt levels to 1 or 2 parts per thousend will help fish deal with stress, improve their slime coat, reduce the effects of nitrite, nitrate and inhibit algae growth to a certain extent, although you won't get the full effect of that without raising the salt to an amount that will harm your other plants (algae is really just a simple plant), your fish will love salt a lot more than your plants will, though some tolerate it better than others but I'm on the opposite side of the world to you so I won't pretend to know anything about your plants.
Salt is also a great treatment for many common fish ailments like ikk, white spot and others, however in that case you mix it up strong in another container and give a fish a quick bath in there.
Pool salt, at least here in australia is the same as aquarium salt except you can get 20kg of pool salt for 5 or 10 bucks. Adding aquarium to a product is just like adding baby or wedding, only difference is they add a zero to the price!
Hope all that helps.
Cheers
 

Jack B Nimble

Member
Good advice is don't do anything to your pond it will clear. And if you add duckweed as suggested above you will never see you water or the fish so it won't matter.
 

bentaz

Member
I've found goldfish quite adept at controlling duckweed, but if they can't keep up it's not hard to pull a hand full out every so often and Chuck it in the compost / worm farm etc.
Every time you remove some duckweed you're stripping nutrients out of the water, and better yet duckweed feeds straight off of ammonia, which is pretty helpful in a new pond.
Just my 2c
 

Jack B Nimble

Member
bentaz said:
I've found goldfish quite adept at controlling duckweed, but if they can't keep up it's not hard to pull a hand full out every so often and Chuck it in the compost / worm farm etc.
Every time you remove some duckweed you're stripping nutrients out of the water, and better yet duckweed feeds straight off of ammonia, which is pretty helpful in a new pond.
Just my 2c
A proper set up pond would have a skimmer and the duck weed would clog the system. So many other options could not be a worse one then duckweed. I have seen so many ponds at garden centers full of duck weed and looks like a swamp.
 

bentaz

Member

20190721_130356.jpg

20190721_130339.jpg
it's not hard to keep duckweed or any other floating plants. Above is a simple weir I use to keep duckweed and other floaters from getting sucked into my sump, but the op doesn't have a skimmer so it's not an issue.
As for ponds looking like swamps due to too much duckweed it is very easy to remove by hand, if there's to much just grab some out by hand and throw it away.
Excessive or uncontrolable growth would be due to an excess of nutrients which would suggest that there are bigger problems than the green ones.
Cheers
Ben.
 

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