Using cattle trough for a pond

Dandelion-Dream

1. Is this a reliable article?

2. If so, how many gallons would a cattle trough have to be to be deep enough so that the water doesn't freeze solid in the winter, but still provide enough surface area? I'm looking for a way to make a super inexpensive pond for my fish.

3. Would the fish freeze to death in the winter if they're Comets?

4. Can you give a basic overview on everything I need to know about keeping a pond?
 

Paulsz

How big of a pond were you thinking? Ponds aren't cheap unfortunately. Being that you're in Connecticut, I would say no less than 2.5 feet deep so that it doesn't freeze entirely. That being said, if you can go deeper, you're better off doing so. Comets can last the winter as long as the whole pond doesn't freeze. They just stop eating (their metabolism slows down a lot) when the water dips below a certain temp (I believe like 50F). But if the pond freezes completely, they'll freeze/die too.

I can't tell you everything you'll need for a pond, but you might want to look up prices for these just to start:
- Pond liner big enough for your needs (EPDM liner is said to be better than PVC liner)
- Filter box, pump, pond skimmer (if the pond is fairly small, you may be able to go without a skimmer, but you'll have a bit more maintenance to do).
- waterfall spillway (or whatever you have planned for design)
- getting electricity to your pond (you can't simply have an extension cord running outside to the pond pump). Especially somewhere with harsh winters, you have to have conduit or burried wire going underground (at least a foot or 18" deep), all the way to your pond. Check your by laws for the requirements. Also note that you might need a certified electrician to do it. I know here in Toronto, Canada, I had to get one.
- UV sterilizer/plenty of pond plants (given what your algae situation will be like). My pond is exposed to a bunch of sun everyday and barely any shade so my algae is unreal. I got green water and couldn't see further than 6" within a couple of days.
- Air pump and a De-icer. For smaller ponds, you can put a heavy duty air pump alone. But for larger ponds (and maybe a safer choice in general), a de-icer is used. This is setup in the winter only. An air pump ensures oxygen gets into your water (for your fish). A de-icer prevents a small piece of your pond from freezing. The size of the pump/de-icer depend on your pond size.

That's kind of the basics of what you'll need. There's for sure more (decor, rocks, lights, etc.), but I kind of gave you a basic overview

Hope this helps
 

Dandelion-Dream

How big of a pond were you thinking? Ponds aren't cheap unfortunately. Being that you're in Connecticut, I would say no less than 2.5 feet deep so that it doesn't freeze entirely. That being said, if you can go deeper, you're better off doing so. Comets can last the winter as long as the whole pond doesn't freeze. They just stop eating (their metabolism slows down a lot) when the water dips below a certain temp (I believe like 50F). But if the pond freezes completely, they'll freeze/die too.

I can't tell you everything you'll need for a pond, but you might want to look up prices for these just to start:
- Pond liner big enough for your needs (EPDM liner is said to be better than PVC liner)
- Filter box, pump, pond skimmer (if the pond is fairly small, you may be able to go without a skimmer, but you'll have a bit more maintenance to do).
- waterfall spillway (or whatever you have planned for design)
- getting electricity to your pond (you can't simply have an extension cord running outside to the pond pump). Especially somewhere with harsh winters, you have to have conduit or burried wire going underground (at least a foot or 18" deep), all the way to your pond. Check your by laws for the requirements. Also note that you might need a certified electrician to do it. I know here in Toronto, Canada, I had to get one.
- UV sterilizer/plenty of pond plants (given what your algae situation will be like). My pond is exposed to a bunch of sun everyday and barely any shade so my algae is unreal. I got green water and couldn't see further than 6" within a couple of days.
- Air pump and a De-icer. For smaller ponds, you can put a heavy duty air pump alone. But for larger ponds (and maybe a safer choice in general), a de-icer is used. This is setup in the winter only. An air pump ensures oxygen gets into your water (for your fish). A de-icer prevents a small piece of your pond from freezing. The size of the pump/de-icer depend on your pond size.

That's kind of the basics of what you'll need. There's for sure more (decor, rocks, lights, etc.), but I kind of gave you a basic overview

Hope this helps
Maybe an indoor porch container pond would be a bit of a better idea. I'm going to make sure the floors are strong enough to hold it up.
The size pond I was thinking was no less than 200 gallons. Are there any design ideas that might be cheap? I haven't thought about water spillaway yet. I'll try to work things out.
 

Dandelion-Dream

Bump
Would be safe for fish?
 

BottomDweller

Bump
Would be safe for fish?
If you do use that then make sure to dig a hole to put it in. I don't think it would work as an above ground pond.
 

Dandelion-Dream

If you do use that then make sure to dig a hole to put it in. I don't think it would work as an above ground pond.
Why? I might be able to dig a hole, but my cat would have an easier time fetching fish dinner.
Do I need a liner? Or is the metal safe?

EDIT: I'd probably have to have this outside, in my front yard probably. I was worried somebody might throw something in or poison the fish, but we're getting this new pond when we move to a much better neighborhood. How deep is this tub in feet?
I'll try and get a de-icer for the pond. They go around for about 40 bucks online. Would work?
 

Dandelion-Dream

Bump #2
I've found some good setup options online. I'd like some of my other questions answered. I'll need all the help I can get!
 

maggie thecat

That article is superficial, but accurate. For that stock tank, you would need a liner. You could have it above ground, but you should consider insulating it by building up a planter around it.

UV filters are useful to an extent, but green water still happens, especially with new ponds and during seasonal weather changes when algae out competes the plantings. We found a whole house filter attached to a submersible pump will clear the water in a little over two days, with a couple of filter changes.
 

Dandelion-Dream

That article is superficial, but accurate. For that stock tank, you would need a liner. You could have it above ground, but you should consider insulating it by building up a planter around it.

UV filters are useful to an extent, but green water still happens, especially with new ponds and during seasonal weather changes when algae out competes the plantings. We found a whole house filter attached to a submersible pump will clear the water in a little over two days, with a couple of filter changes.
What could I use as a liner?
 

maggie thecat

Pond liner. They sell it everyplace from Drs Foster and Smith to hardware stores, to Amazon.
As mentioned above, the EPDM type is what you want. Get enough to go generously over the side of your stock tank so you can anchor it into place.
 

Dandelion-Dream

Pond liner. They sell it everyplace from Drs Foster and Smith to hardware stores, to Amazon.
As mentioned above, the EPDM type is what you want. Get enough to go generously over the side of your stock tank so you can anchor it into place.
Found some good deals.


Hopefully when I get the pond, I can be able to find similar prices.
 

FishRFriendz

If you don't want it to freeze you need to dig a hole deep enough to be below the frost line for your region. If your pond is deep enough, your cat shouldn't be able to catch dinner too easily.

If it's not buried, please post an update next spring so we know how it goes.
 

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