Patio Pond For Usda Zone 6 (missouri)

IHaveADogToo

We get pretty hot summers and cold winters here. It gets up in the 90's (F) pretty frequently in the summertime here, but the winters get pretty cold, too, with low temps reaching the single digits, and even occasionally below 0. Average temps are in the 80's during the summer and in the teens during the winter.

I live in a second floor condominium, and I have a decent sized private deck. I can't have anything really large, but a 15-30 gallon patio pond would fit nicely. I'm thinking about one of those bowl style ones.

I'm not really a goldfish guy, so as far as livestock goes I'm thinking about mollies or platys. Particularly, balloon mollies, as they look good from above. But I'm open to something better suited for my climate. But considering my size limitation, I do want something smaller. I'm not about to attempt koi in a patio pond.

My questions:

My deck is not level. It has a slight downward slant. What can I do to make sure the pond is level?

How will mollies fare with my climate? How about platies? Would bringing the fish indoors for the winter be advised? Is there a species that could comfortably live in a pond in my climate all year? The surface of the water will freeze over during the winter.

My deck gets indirect sunlight most of the day, and only gets direct sunlight for maybe 4 hours in the winter, 6 hours in the summer. Plants that need a ton of light tend to limp along on my deck, but medium light plants tend to thrive. What are some good plant recommendations?

I have been keeping aquariums for some time, but I've never kept a pond. Are there any major differences regarding the upkeep or maintenance? For example, should I be breaking the pond down for the winter? Should the water be treated the same way as aquarium water (with a dechlorinator), or are there different products intended to treat pond water?

Thanks in advance for any and all help!
 

maggie thecat

In your climate, it would be inadvisable to keep a pond that small running all year round, especially with a fish like molly or platy.

But, having said that, you could run it during the summer with a bit of planning. Just plan on moving the fish indoors when the weather cools down. (You could move the entire pond indoors , if you had the floor space.)

You would need to level the pond with shims - wood or brick or slates to bring the low end even with the other. Use a level and keep adjusting until it sits true. Or don't, and have a pond that is a bit cockeyed. You can use trailing plants to hide the difference in fill height.

(Keep in mind, if it's cockeyed, it may hold less water. Adjust stocking accordingly. )

Ponds have to be cycled, just like tanks. When you do fills or water changes, the water must be conditioned if it is coming from a treated source. Advised, even if it isn't, unless you are sure of your water source.

For plants, you should use oxygenators like hornwort and anacharis. Then use a potted plant to pull nitrates from the water. A dwarf canna looks smashing. Dwarf papyrus, is another option. There are many options . A fast search for patio ponds and still ponds will overload you with options.

If you truly wanted to leave it out, you should look into mosquito fish or rosy red minnows. You would likely need to run a deicer and / or heater during the winter. However, I think you may be handicapped by the size you are contemplating.
 

IHaveADogToo

Hey thanks for replying!

I posted this same question on another aquarium forum, too, and I think I've decided that the pond will only house fish during the summer. I'll take the fish (or maybe the entire pond) inside over the winter. I have several tanks in my condo, so indoor winter housing for the fish won't be a problem. I've realized it's a bad idea for me to go with a year-round pond in my climate unless I can do it in the ground, which I can't.

Yes, I know the pond will need to be cycled. If I do go through with this, I will indeed cycle the pond before adding fish. I am very familiar with dechlorinating tap water for my fish tanks. I was just wondering, since it's and outdoor pond, if I should be using different products than I use for my indoor aquariums. I generally only use Prime, but I have some quick start, stress zyme, and plain dechlorinator as well.

For plants, I was kind of concerned about the lighting, as my deck only gets indirect sunlight in the morning, and gets direct sunlight for only 6 hours maximum in the summer. So I just want to make sure to stay away from plants that require a ton of direct sunlight.

As for fish - right now I'm leaning towards balloon mollies, just because they look great when viewed from above. That's the selling point I'm looking for - fish that look great from above. Obviously I don't have room for koi, but something the size of mollies would work just fine. Do you know of any other smaller fish that look great from the top view? I'd like to stay away from goldfish.
 

maggie thecat

They make pond water conditioner, which is the same as tank conditioner, but the concentration is adjusted for the larger volume of water. (Add 1 capful per 100 gallons).

Rosy red minnows look good from above. You may have to purchase twice the number you want to actually have because of their high initial mortality rate. (Once they get past the 30 day mark, they're hardy fish. It's just the whole feeder tank syndrome. )

Six hours of light a day is actually not bad for most pond plants. You should be fine in that respect.
 

IHaveADogToo

I was wondering about minnows.... *googles rosy reds*
 

luckdown

I've found with my outdoor pot is that after it rains I need to dump out water and that it seems to rain often enough to not need to change the water as often. Algea also ends up being a big issue xP and trees like to shed in it even though the trees are a good distance away.

But yeah you treat the water the same way though rain will help you keep the water fresh which is very nice.

I would recommend putting something floating in there for them to hide under when the sun is too much. I have fake Lilly pads and my fish love it. My recent batch of fry have also learned it's the perfect place to hide where the adults can't reach them. (They're a week old now and all have survived hiding in there) only issue is it got stained and looks a bit dirty but that's probably my fault.
 

IHaveADogToo

Yeah I do really want some floating plants for sure. I've always wanted some water lettuce. Here's my excuse to get it.

Unfortunately, I don't think I can rely on rain water like that. It gets so dry here in the summer I'm going to be topping off the pond multiple times a week. My potted plants, the soil is bone dry just hours after watering.
 

luckdown

Yeah I do really want some floating plants for sure. I've always wanted some water lettuce. Here's my excuse to get it.

Unfortunately, I don't think I can rely on rain water like that. It gets so dry here in the summer I'm going to be topping off the pond multiple times a week. My potted plants, the soil is bone dry just hours after watering.

I love having an excuse to get things lol.

Oh man that's not fun xP but I understand cuz of how hot my room gets, I have to top off my tanks often xP

for the plants have you tried using coconut husk? It should help with that. /Sorry the florist in me wants to help lolol
 

Smalltownfishfriend

Yeah I do really want some floating plants for sure. I've always wanted some water lettuce. Here's my excuse to get it.

Unfortunately, I don't think I can rely on rain water like that. It gets so dry here in the summer I'm going to be topping off the pond multiple times a week. My potted plants, the soil is bone dry just hours after watering.
I have water lettuce in my pond! I love it! I bought 4 plants and I now have like 25 or so! They multiple super fast!!!
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • BlackOsprey
  • Ponds
Replies
3
Views
327
qldmick
Replies
3
Views
499
Kesh88
  • Question
  • MoshJosh
  • Ponds
Replies
9
Views
557
AJE
  • Drewbacca
  • Ponds
Replies
16
Views
1K
Drewbacca
  • Question
  • The_fishy
  • Ponds
Replies
8
Views
554
Danny002

New Pond Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom