Need help with a weird outdoor/pond setup

  • #1
Hi all

Sorry for the vagueness of the title, I'm usually a tropical freshwater fish keeper. My father-in-law has asked for my help setting up an outdoor "tank"/smallest ever pond. I'm not sure what to think or what to suggest but here's the 'brief'.

He has a concrete 'tank' roughly 110 litres outside and is thinking of making it into a mini pond of sorts. He wants fish and probably plants in there. We live in the U.K so have cold winters and not especially warm summers.

My initial thoughts are maybe a couple goldfish and some hardy plants. Not sure about filtration or heating requirements though.

I'm not sure if it's doable or what to suggest

Any advice would be hugely helpful!

  • #2
You could do white cloud mountain minnows, they are really easy to see in ponds and breed too. For plants just look around in ponds in parks and see what plants they have and it will work for yours too, duckweed and lilly pads. Im sure you would need a filter. For that size pond you could probably just use an internal filter
  • #3
What are the dimensions? If it's good and wide you could probably do 2 fancy goldfish. If not, then I agree with the above, white clouds would be good. Just make sure you check local laws, I'm pretty sure they're illegal in some places because of the low temperatures they can withstand.
  • #4
I'm not too sure what the average temperature in the UK is. I know the UK is more similar in latitude with parts of Canada than the U.S. So I'm guessing average summer temperature in the low 60's (around 16C)?

Being that water will be cooler than ambient air temperature, I'm thinking water would be somewhere in the mid upper 50's (12-14C).

The only fish I would trust to go in those cool of water is goldfish or weather loaches.

I won't put fish outside until I know the water temperature will stay above 65 (18C).

Here are some things to consider:
Does the concrete container sit above ground, or is it buried in the ground? If buried how far below the frost line is it set? If you do decide to put fish outside, are you willing to bring them in during the winter? If you stay with smaller fish you guys could keep them in an unheated tank in the house.

It is possible to heat, though that could get costly. If you can heat it and keep the water 16-20 that should allow you to keep more species of fish like various danios, rasboras, barbs, minnows, loaches, etc.

For filtration, you could go all natural if it is in a place that gets good full sun and is well planted. Plenty of plant life will help aerate the water and beneficial bacteria and algae will keep it clean. If you prefer a filter of some type you could use an internal filter with a sponge intake, make a filter box/bin, or use air driven sponge filter.
  • #5
Goldfish and koi are popular options. For some coverage look into floating plants and water lilies. I've heard the key for it not to freeze over in winter is water movement. I'd expect you need some sort of heater too though I've ever kept a pond. I've also seen some DIY filters you can make out of a big tub with bioballs and sponges. Some people like to have a waterfall and for that you will need a pump. And keep in mind that this requires electricity so might need to run an extension cord below ground or something, I don't know. I believe you need polyethylene sheet to keep the water from leaking out and people use large rocks to coat the inside. And be sure that the pond is far from the foundation.
Hahah I was probably inaccurate on quite a few things and I didn't read al the posts lol. This is just what I gathered from research when I was looking into a pond.

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