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Thread: Pond Newbie

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

    Default Pond Newbie

    Hi All
    After seeing a thread on here I decided I wanted a pond also

    Looking for recommendations for a reliable solar fountain pump (I'm assuming fountain is best kind to allow for surface movement?)
    I purchased one from eBay and it works, but only when the sun isn't behind a cloud, so I think I need a battery type. I've got no access to power unless I run a extension lead, so not really an option

    Also interested to hear suggestions on plants that will thrive (that I could also potentially sell $$) in an outdoor pond. I've got a Pond get mostly morning sun, and filtered sunlight afternoon (tree). I've been putting my water changes from the tank in there, and the banana Lilly seems pretty happy. Recently switched over to LCA All in one

    Substrate - as I have already filled the pond, whats the best thing to use for a substrate?

    I'm had guppies in there for a few weeks, already babies - the pond used to be for the dogs but I have claimed it, there were a heap of mozzie larvae which the guppies have taken care of, Cherry Shrimp been in there a while and I spotted a few babies today - those things were thriving in my tank filter when I cleaned it the other day so I think they will do just fine here.

    How often and how much water should I be changing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Perth WA


    Hi Caleb

    Good to see you are getting into ponds. My first question to you would be what is wrong with your fountain pump stopping when a cloud is above? Personally i like the fact that i can hear my solar waterfall going during the day but when the sun goes down and there is calm in the evening the the constant water fall sound has gone. Might just be me.
    You are right to go for something that has some kind of spray or fountain so that when it starts to get hotter the spray can help to keep the water cool and add's O2 which is more important in warm water. If you are set on going for a battery backup solar pump there are some on the market but expect to pay big $$. You could also DIY a 12v pump to a car/truck/deep cycle battery and camping solar array. Going through Gumtree can be a lot more cost effective for something like that.
    One thing i really recommend is get the biggest bit of coarse filter foam you can to put the intake for your pump in. This will stop your pump sucking up any debris, and you tend to get a lot in a pond, and will prolong the pumps life. The bigger the foam the less frequent cleaning will be necessary.

    Almost any plant that can be grown in a tank can be grown in a pond because, hey the sun is the best aquarium light on the market, although temp fluctuations and changing light conditions with the seasons can and does have a big effect. The bigger the pond and more different levels in it you have the better to mitigate this. Check out the LCA FB page and you will see some, if not all, of their plants for sale are in big ponds. I have put most of the trimmings from my tanks in my pond to see what grows best and have found, unsurprisingly, that the low light plants are thriving with the carpet plants not doing so well. (my pond gets no sun in winter and is cold,8C). The biggest surprise for me was the shrimp section of my pond has grown flame moss really well where they have kept the algae off it while in the lower section it just became an algae ball.

    Substrates are totally up to you. Just like an aquarium you can use anything from rocks/gravel/sand or go for a commercial sub. Or for ease of cleaning go bare bottom and put the plants in submerged pots.

    For water changes you should really think of your pond as just another aquarium. I would never put the water i'm changing out of one aquarium into a different aquarium because i'm changing that water out to get rid of the buildup of things that might be toxic to my fish. You will get a lot more evaporation in the pond so the water will be concentrating salts etc and might actually need more of a WC than an aquarium. With a good load of plants in a pond the Nitrates can be kept in check, depending on stocking, but a lot of the other salts will build up.

    One thing that you did not mention is filtration. Without a dedicated filter you are relying on the entire ponds surface area's to be your natural beneficial bacteria's living quarters. Unfortunately this surface area will not allow for heavy stocking. A big sponge on your pump intake will be a big benefit, like an air sponge without the air, but with solar will only be running 12 hours a day.

    Good luck with it all and post a pic or two.

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