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GalaxyGirl 05-13-2009 04:06 PM

Thinking about building a pond
My mom and I want a pond w/ attached waterfall in our backyard (her reason, flowing water for her chickens; my reason, I like fish!!)

My boyfriend took over the side yard with his "toys" (jet skis, campers, etc) so now I am thinking about the space under the second story deck (pictures below.) It is ~12' by ~10' on the house side, I was thinking of a 8'X9' pond w/ 3' depth, which would be 1,350 gallons. I was thinking rock waterfall running on either side, pooling out into the pond at either side of the house.

I have cats, only one "hunter", just lost my dog but we are getting another one (I do competition obedience so it wont be hard to train a dog not to swim in the pond!) and chickens. We have the occasional hawk that eat our pigeons, and occasionally opposums that live under the adjoining shed when they birth (again, refer to below pictures.)

For sun light/temperature, I have no idea how much sun it gets, I live in Southern California where its *always* sunny, the left side of the picture is North for reference. It rarely gets below 50's here. Unfourtunately I live in a high fire area, we just got through with a major fire so there is a lot of ash here. Im sure half of your heard about it on the TV ;)

-What fish would be good? I don't want koi (can only have one anyways!) What would go well with Bettas if I decided on that? Are catfish ok?

-What plants are good? How much should I have? What about plants along the pond/waterfall? I would love a plant to cover up my ugly yellow house!!

-Can I have turtles? What snails would be good?

Anything I am leaving out? My boyfriend and I are going to look at premade pond liners and some landscaping magazines. I will move the bird feeder and plants away from the area, can move the shed over if needed. Its not a high traffic area, just the chickens. There is an orange, plum and peach tree behind where I am standing taking the picture.

aquakid 05-13-2009 09:40 PM

Good for you. I don't think bettas are a good pond subject. On the other hand you can do bluegill, fathead minnows, and maybe some carp or goldfish. Frogs if they get there when they'rew tadpoles will be ok. just don't buy them or catch them as adults as they will just run away. I don't reccomend turtles though. maybe small catfish. Good Luck

adiumroot 05-14-2009 06:15 AM

I agree with aquakid. Minnows or goldfish would be a good idea.

Some climbing or hanging plants for the waterfall would be nice. I don't know if you have it there but Pathos vine is quite good since it can be a hanging, climbing, or even aquatic plant. It does good cleaning up the nitrates in the water, too.

GalaxyGirl 05-14-2009 07:11 PM

Thank you! What kind of catfish could I get? Do minnows grow big? I want something I can really see and admire.

IonBaller07 05-14-2009 07:29 PM

Also I wouldnt get turtles they like to bite at stuff, unless you can get one of those small turtles but they still might bite.

adiumroot 05-15-2009 03:50 PM

For catfish, I would recommend bristlenose plecos. They're good algae eaters, quite peaceful and don't get so big ( maximum size is at 5-6 inches). Males can be territorial and fight but if your pond is large enough (which it probably is) and has enough hiding spaces, then it will be ok. It's better if you get a male and a female so they can form a breeding pair. They're actually quite easy to breed. Mine are still small so I can't determine their sexes yet.

Another catfish which doesn't get so large is the red lizard catfish (aka red whiptail catfish). I haven't owned these yet but from what I've heard and read, temperament and breeding is quite similar to bristlenose.

You can check out to search for more catfish species.

I think minnows max out at 4 or 5 inches. I'm sure they don't get very big.

You can try livebearers such as platies and swordtails too. Just make sure to have a 1:2 or 1:3 male-female ratio to prevent females from getting stressed out by males wanting to mate.

amushroomtree 06-01-2009 03:12 PM

Have you built a pond before? I'm interested but would have NO idea where to start. Or maybe you found some tips and guidelines on a website? Any links would be greatly appreciated lol

Bottomfeeder 06-03-2009 09:12 PM

Mosquitofish are good pond fish, and the large amount of water will encourage mosquitoes to lay eggs in the pond rather than in garbage cans, and the eggs and larvae will be eaten :)

Big Fish 08-24-2009 05:44 PM

If you decide on the pond, make sure you make it deep enough so animals such as racoons can't reach the fish. 4' deep is the minimum I have heard is the right depth with some places for the fish to hide that can't be reached.

Otherwise, once the local animals find the pond, it is a free meal!

FishFreak95 09-01-2009 09:02 PM

If I were you I would do the waterfall(aeration) connecting to a 9' by 8'(or larger;-)) pond that gets 3 or 4 feet down, and I would get several madtoms or bullhead catfish, 4 mosquitofish(they reproduce fast), 1 or 2 RES turtles, 7 bitterlings, 4 freshwater clams(for the bitterlings to spawn in), several bullfrog tadpoles, 1 or 2 other species of tadpole, 3 salamanders, and 4 suckerfish (not a pleco or Chinese algea eater). For plants I would plant some spider plants around the pond, a couple of dwarf water lilies in the pond, and some water lettuce floating on the surface. This is just what I would do;-)

Note- Be careful about the mosquito fish, they reproduce quickly and can overpopulate the pond, they do help reduce the number of mosquitos though. Mosquito fish can tear up the fins of other fish(personal experience).

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