A Hybrid Indoor Pond???
Hmm... i dont really know how to go about explaining this but anyways, here goes:
I think the best way to describe what i've got would be as a small indoor swimming pool in the middle of my living room. Its got a valve controlled inlet on the side and a drain at the bottom leading to another valve for drainage purposes. All the surfaces are tiled with beautiful mosaic blue tiles(Cost me quite a bit to get hold of them)... And the only viewing area is the top.
As for the dimensions, the cross section is a rectangle 196cm X 215cm with a triangular portion( base 140cm, altitude 200cm) removed and a depth of about 46cm(Should hold around 1300 litres by my calculations). Bit of an irregular pentagon. I hope you can visualize what i mean.... I'll post pictures as soon as i can....
Another thing i think i should mention is that i've got an opening in the roof directly above this of the same dimensions as that of the pool - A 'skylight' i can call it i guess... It is covered by some metallic mesh and transparent polymer sheets which gives me more than 4-5 hours of sunlight.
Now what i want to do is to convert the whole thing into a sort of hybrid indoor pond with some great fish, a few water lilies and a whole lot of other plants.... I've got a big time vision for this space and have just about started planning out what i'm gonna do... (The removed triangular portion i mentioned is now filled with sand and i've got some bamboo growing there.... When fully grown, it should reach as high as the skylight and maybe overhang my pool...So if executed properly, this could indeed be very special.... A bit of nature right in the middle of my living room...:D)
The biggest one is that i'm a novice fish keeper who really doesn't have too many ideas as to how one should go about doing this.... Also, my knowledge of the other equipments like filters and aerators that i might need to get my indoor pond up and running are almost nil.. :(
So i'd really appreciate it if you guys could help me out here.... Like i mentioned, i'm still in the planning phase and am trying to gather as much information i can before i actually go about doing this.... I look upon this as a sort of long term project.... So,
Some of the info i want would be on :
1. The Setup
I have almost zero knowledge of the equipment i'll need to keep my pond and fish healthy and happy.... So really hope you guys can help me out.....
Do i need to have an aerator? Its got lots of surface area, so shouldn't enough oxygen diffuse in without any additional help?
Do i need a filter? I am willing to change whole of the water once a week - will that be enough? If i do need a filter, i'd like some sort of details on the thing i should buy. Like i've mentioned, the whole thing is in my living room - i wouldnt want the ambience to be disturbed by a noisy filter - So the sound that it might make is also a concern.
My 'pond' naturally has no covering on top, so lots of dust, stray hairs and stuff seem to be getting into the water. I do clean up as much as I can with my net but still it seems to be getting dirty..... how much does this affect water quality in my tank?
3. The Aesthetics
I've already mentioned that the whole thing is covered by mosaic blue tiles.... So i dont really know what to do as far as the substrate is concerned. I'm not sure i can put in sand or other fine gravel because i run the risk of getting my drain all clogged up and also i might have a problem removing it from the bottom of my pool if ever i want to get rid of the whole thing....What about lining the whole or part of it with rocks of some sort and let the rest of it remain simply as tiles...? Maybe the rocks could be like the ones we can find on a river bed...? I want plants in there but potted plants wont look too good on a tiled surface... so i was thinking that i could cover up the pots with these rocks and make them look as if they are growing out of the rocks.... I could also construct cave like and other structures for my fish to interact with....I'm not sure and would really like your thoughts on this. Suggestions on water plants would also be welcome..
4. And Finally........ The Fish!!
I'm living in india now and the avg temperatures here are around 75-85 F. I'd like suggestions on fish that are suited to my climate and temp range.... I also want my fish to be really active, my pond is after all a pretty large thing... so i want them to be swimming about the whole thing and enjoying themselves - not just sulking around in a corner. I don't know about this - but wouldnt schooling fish look good here? All of them swimming about together? I don't really know, so i'm open any sort of suggestions as far as fish are concerned...
Another thing i should mention here is that i don't really have a large budget to work on... So please keep that also in mind when you make suggestions...
Sorry about the huge post.... I know its a pain to read all of this.... But i still hope you've got the patience to read the whole thing and i will really appreciate all the help i can get........ Thanks in advance guys...
That's a fine project you got there!
1. The Setup
An aerator would be good. Actually, you can make it look beautiful by getting one of those long air stones. Not only will you get the water aerated, you'll also have a beautiful rising curtain of bubbles.
Yes you need a filter. Though I can't recommend any specific model. I hope someone knowledgeable on this contributes to this topic. Also, do not do a complete water change. It does more harm than good by shocking the fish and the beneficial bacteria in the filter. You only need to change around 20% of the water every week and you'll be fine.
As long as it's "dry" stuff such as hairs, then it won't affect your water quality much since it would just float or sink to the bottom. The daily netting is enough. How much dust is entering? There's no need to worry if it isn't too many.
3. The Aesthetics
The rocks sound like a good idea. They will provide good cover for your pots. One reminder about rocks: they need to be cleaned. Scrub them under running water with a brush (don't use detergents!) to remove any dust or soil. And then soak them for a few minutes in very hot water. Allow them to cool before placing in the pond. Do not boil the rocks directly. They might explode. If you will use plastic-coated rocks, do not soak them in hot water.
I'd recommend anubias plants, especially the larger varieties. Water lilies, especially the blooming ones would be excellent. Just make sure they don't multiply too much and block out the whole surface.
4. And Finally........ The Fish!!
Hmm... I don't know which fish are usually found in India. But you can look around in your community. Are there ponds in other houses/establishments? What fish do they have? You can get ideas from there. Most non-bottom dwelling fish, when healthy, will swim around actively. Looking at your temperature range, I think some locally-bred goldfish will handle it. The reason why I specified locally-bred is beacuse fish that were bred and raised in your area are sure to handle the climate better than some fish you have shipped in from abroad. My pond usually reaches 82-86 F and the goldfish do just fine. It's the sudden temperature swings that hurt all fish.
Sorry, I wasn't able to contribute much. I'm quite the newbie too. And it's 4:30 AM as I'm typing this. :lol: The lack of sleep is getting to me. Hehe. Don't worry, the other experts here will help you.
Anyways, I hope you succeed with your project. It sounds really exciting! I'm looking forward to the pictures!
My only suggestion is to not get fish that stay small. I would suggest that the fish you get can grow to at least 4"(10cm+). Schooling fish will look good, but once again, they have to get to a decent size to be easily visible.
Firstly, thanks for all the replies guys.......
@adiumroot, i liked the idea of having a long airstone - would as you said, really add to the beauty of the whole thing.... Thanks for the suggestion! This is exactly the kind of inputs that i want!
I'd have to do a bit more digging about the filtration system though, its something i'm still not clear with yet... Is there some way i can avoid a filter? I'm not too sure of the local availability of these things and also they could possibly be prohibittingly expensive for my budget....
Also thanks for advicing me on the water changes, like i've mentioned, i'm a novice fish keeper, so dont have too many ideas about all these things...
As for the water getting dirty, yeah it is only dry stuff that is entering and not too much dust.... so iguess i wont have to worry about that then... And i'll probably have to do more research on the fish available here... but wouldnt all sorts of tropicals do nicely?
And hey, get some sleep man! ;-)
@MBilyeu, i was also thinking along the same lines.... Something like the tin foil barb maybe?
I really stress that you need a filter. It need not be expensive. In fact, you can make one yourself! Here is a design that I use myself. You can browse the DIY setion of this forum for more ideas. Also, you can go creative with the filter media. If you don't have access to filter mats, then plastic pot scrubbies or scouring pads work very nicely. You might need to buy a lot of them, but they're still quite cheap. Just make sure they don't contain any additives such as antibacterial chemicals or detergents and stuff.
If you think that the bucket is unsightly, then you can hide it behind plants or decorate it accordingly, so it becomes part of the scenery. You can improvise with materials, too. I, for example, couldn't find any any egg crate tiles to use in the filter, so I substituted a small plastic basket and plastic window screen instead.
Actually, the only thing you have to really buy is the pump and pipings.
I guess tropicals would do nicely. Just make sure to research on their compatibility, since not all tropical fish can coexist. Harassment and aggression might happen and this might lead to you losing some fish.
Good luck with your project again. :-)
Thanx for that link adiumroot... think this is going to be the solution to my filtration troubles!!
But if yours are fine then that's what matters!
Well, I'm glad that the ones you have now are doing well! Very interesting , thank you! :-D
That sounds like a beautiful idea. I'm also a newbie fish keeper and my husband really wanted a whiskey barrel pond. We got six goldfish and four of them died within two days because we didn't buy a filter or anything. Just food and fish basically. We also put in a dozen mosquito fish that were okay (one died).
So they need oxygen and filtration. I made my own filter that I also used for oxygen byt making it sort of a fountain (ie. pointing it upward). A few days ago, after a few months of the pond running fine and no other fish losses, I turned off the filter so that it wouldn't freeze (it's gotten a little cold here lately). Well, both of my goldfish died three days later. I just found them today. I'm devastated.
Anyway, so air and filtration. They barely even need food.
For the vegetation, we submerged baby bamboo (potted) and one potted horseshoe plant. They look good and will withstand the cold winter temperatures. But then again, your pond is indoor.
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