this winter was especially brutal here in the north east.. at one point I had 5' of snow on my winter cover on my ornamental pond... part of it collapsed and tripped the GFI shutting down the heater and circulation pump...I never knew it until the snow melted.. it froze deep enough to kill all (30) goldfish... some as old as 10 years.. some as news as last years spawn)... all were descendants of an original stocking of 12 fish... I used the opportunity to improve upon my original design... the filtration was always an issue... a 12" X 12" filter basket in the bottom of the pond was miserable to clean.. and when the pine needles were shedding it was a daily event to skim the pond manually and drag the filter up from the bottom to clean it... I procured a 30 gallon plastic drum and dug a hole deep enough to submerge it next to the pond... I added 10lbs of coarse crushed rock to the bottom and hard piped the 650GPH Danner mag drive pump to the water fall and piped in bypass and drain valves to be used for winterization .. a 12" square basket was fitted in the sump and the liner pulled in to create a skimmer( a small grate guards the entrance from curious fish)... I reworked the water fall to make if 2 stage and made a bench for my statuary.. I also fitted a 300 GPH pump for my cherub water feature.. it sits on a 24" square block that serves as the cover for the sump.. I've included a picture from what it looked like last year and what it looks like now...the pond is currently cycling using unscented ammonia and "seed" from my 65 gallon fresh water tank filter. Unfortunately.. the water is under 50 degrees and for now ..the nitrifying bacteria I want to build are dormant... so stocking is a month or so away..
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