Pond Stocking Ideas and Questions

Danny002

I’ll be building a garden in my backyard soon, and I want to put a pond in it, but I don’t know what I’d put in the pond.

First off, pond dimensions. It would be about 350 gallons total with two “mini ponds” each with a diameter of 3 feet and a depth of 3 feet. Each one would be about 160 gallons. Then, there would be a sort of water bridge/ hallway between the two that would be about 5 feet long, 1 foot tall and 1 foot wide.

So usually for a pond this size, I’d go with common goldfish, but since the pond is broken up, I feel like that wouldn’t be the best decision. Now I’m torn between having a few larger fish or having a ton of small fish like mosquito fish.

I couldn’t tell you what the water temp would end up being, but our summer highs are usually high 90s and our winter lows are generally in the 40s, occasionally a bit lower, it never snows but we do have a few mild freezes, but I wouldn’t be against heating the pond.

Another question I have is about filtration. I’m finding it quite difficult to find an affordable but reliable pond pump on the market (I’m under the impression I need about 2,600 gph). Does anyone have suggestions on how to ease the burden of filtering a pond? I wasn’t planning on stocking it very heavily, which is of course a contributing factor.

I’m also concerned about deer spray getting in the pond. We have a chronic deer problem over here (thousands have been spent trying to find deer proof plants) and we’ve finally found a spray that seems to keep them away. In my endeavor to avenge my dad’s long lost rose bushes (a story that still makes him furious to this day) I’ll be using a pretty heavy dose of it quite often. However I don’t want it to get in the pond. Could I just place a tarp over the pond while I spray, leave it for a minute to let the spray settle, and then remove the tarp and be done with it?

My last question for the moment is about a possible stocking choice. I’m interested in a getting a couple Oranda Goldfish (about 5?) but I’m concerned about them in the summer. Would they get too warm? I could always put out our beach umbrellas as a sunshade, but that only goes so far. We have a couple predators, the most noteworthy being our bear. However I feel like I could make a secure enough lid to deter her from making the goldfish dinner. Also I was planning on fencing the garden in, mostly to keep the deer out, so hopefully that will help deter the bear as well.

This post ended up much longer than I expected, but any advice would be much appreciated!
 

qldmick

Orandas aren't really pond fish, and its the cold they cant handle. Fantails are a little better but any single tailed will be hardier.
 
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Lakefish

2600gph is a lot of flow. Did you arrive at that number because you are going for a river effect or because that's what you would want if it was an indoor tank? If the latter, you can scale down the flow because the algae you'll have on all the pond surfaces (and any aquatic plants) will do most of the water cleaning for you. Water clarity isn't much of an issue as long as you have enough plants growing to out-compete the "pea soup" organisms. Solid particles just settle to the bottom if you have not too much flow.
Hope to see some pictures when you get it going!
 
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Danny002

2600gph is a lot of flow. Did you arrive at that number because you are going for a river effect or because that's what you would want if it was an indoor tank? If the latter, you can scale down the flow because the algae you'll have on all the pond surfaces (and any aquatic plants) will do most of the water cleaning for you. Water clarity isn't much of an issue as long as you have enough plants growing to out-compete the "pea soup" organisms. Solid particles just settle to the bottom if you have not too much flow.
Hope to see some pictures when you get it going!
Yeah I think that I was sort of going off of guidelines for an indoor tank, if I don't need as high of a gph, what would be a better number to shoot for? Also, I'm probably going to start digging tomorrow (it's been unbelievably hot and rainy here so I've spent a few weeks waiting but fingers crossed tomorrow will be good) and I'll probably make a different thread for the actual build but I can definitely link to it here! I'm going to have to cut through a lot of roots since my mom wants it right by our tree, so the actual digging will probably take a few days.
 
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Lakefish

I think 1-2x turnover per hour is generally recommended for fish ponds. It's really for mechanical filtration and effect more than anything else--as long as you don't cram a lot of fish in there.
Don't make the mistake I did, break out the mattock before your hole gets 3/4 dug. Lol. And if you sharpen your shovel it will go through the fibrous roots a lot easier.
 
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Danny002

I think 1-2x turnover per hour is generally recommended for fish ponds. It's really for mechanical filtration and effect more than anything else--as long as you don't cram a lot of fish in there.
Don't make the mistake I did, break out the mattock before your hole gets 3/4 dug. Lol. And if you sharpen your shovel it will go through the fibrous roots a lot easier.
Ok that sounds much more manageable, thank you! I think we have a shovel that should be plenty sharp (also this small axe that I'm maybe a tad too reckless with). I'm planning on stocking quite lightly, so that shouldn't be an issue.
 
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tomerino

I dont know how hard they would be to find in the US but look into Orfe they would appreciate a heavy flow from the filter/pump and should do well with temp and i believe would make use of the water bridge type thing you describe. No matter what fish you choose just be very careful with the spray maybe build the pond far from where you want to spray or make sure you have a way to be certain you wont get any of it into the pond dont risk it! good luck tho!
 
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Danny002

I dont know how hard they would be to find in the US but look into Orfe they would appreciate a heavy flow from the filter/pump and should do well with temp and i believe would make use of the water bridge type thing you describe. No matter what fish you choose just be very careful with the spray maybe build the pond far from where you want to spray or make sure you have a way to be certain you wont get any of it into the pond dont risk it! good luck tho!
I'm not sure what you're talking about in the beginning here
 
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Danny002

An orfe is a fish.
Oh okay, I'm used to them being called ides! Those might work well.
 
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