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Natural mini ponds (no mechanics)
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Maura
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Joined: 12 Jan 2005
Location: Tampa, FL

PostPosted: 2006.02.25(Sat)18:59    Post subject: Natural mini ponds (no mechanics) Reply with quote

Anybody have links or reference info for natural small ponds? I am looking to find out good ratios of plants to fish that will allow me to have a small freestanding water garden with minimal intervention by me (except for water changes if/as necessary during our dry season). I do not want pumps or filters, I want it to be a small self-sufficient ecosystem. I will be seeding the container with daphnia and will of course check to make sure the daphnia and the fish always have food available.

This is for a whiskey-barrel sized water garden so I know I am extremely limited in the size and number of fish to add. I am in florida so it will be operational year-round.
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"You did then what you knew how to do and when you knew better... you did better!" -Maya Angelou
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ultra
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Joined: 11 Apr 2003
Location: Essex, England

PostPosted: 2006.02.26(Sun)8:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

I keep a big plastic tub (one of those fake terracotta jobs) in my garden. I'd say its about 12gallons I think. Inhabitants were originally the 3 remaining white clouds minnows that survived the goldfish tank. A few zebra snails that I bunged in there last summer hoping they'd breed and a few hundred common aquatic snails. Plant wise theres a lilly plant/plants that my mum added so I'm not sure how many are in there and elodea snippets that have turned the bottom half into a right jungle! I have never waterchanged it once and its been going about 2 years now I think. I only top it up in the summer if the water level drops by 5cm or so.
IMO the tank/pot is doing really well. Even though there is now loads of WCMM in there, the stocking still seems quite light. Combine that with tonnes of plants and its very low maintenance for you. I used to feed it every so often but I now only feed during summer maybe weekly as they become really lethargic in winter(I live in the UK next to the sea- it gets cold!). In summer you can see all the mosquito larvae swimming about so theres plenty of food for them. As for the WCMM I'd say they are getting on really well in there. They breed a lot(in the summer) and their colours are extremely vibrant possibley due to the live food/algae/plant diet.
In the summer algae can be a problem as the pot recieves light all day(southfacing garden) so hair algae can be a problem. I tend to use a stick to pull some out until it looks decent. I would thoroughly reccomend keeping lillys in your barrel. Not only does it make the pot nice to look at in summer when your sitting next to it with a nice cold drink(it has these huge pink flowers with yellow stamens). But the pads help to cover the surface of the water which stops light entering and in turn helps to control the algae.
So, good luck with your barrel!
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Oscer
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Joined: 03 Nov 2005
Location: South Africa

PostPosted: 2006.03.01(Wed)7:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

What type of fish do you want to keep in the pond?

One of my friends has a +-1000L pond, +-200L of it being plants (some of the outside plants roots have grown in to the pond). It house +-20 gold fish, all maintenance she does is the once a week top up and once a year removes all/most of the floating plants. The fish don't grow much but enjoy the plants.
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Maura
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Joined: 12 Jan 2005
Location: Tampa, FL

PostPosted: 2006.03.01(Wed)13:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm open as to what type, but it won't be anything big and orange. Or even small and orange. These tubs (I now have two) will be largely filled with plants and only hold like 20 gallons of water.

I'd like to get some of my aquarium fish out there once it's warm enough. They range anywhere from native fish like mollies, florida flag fish, mosquitofish (OK, they are not native but are locally collected). Or maybe extra guppy fry, kribensis fry, zebra danios... who knows.
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"You did then what you knew how to do and when you knew better... you did better!" -Maya Angelou
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Oscer
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Joined: 03 Nov 2005
Location: South Africa

PostPosted: 2006.03.02(Thu)8:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd think you could add about 3 mollies per large lilly.

Yester day I realised I have something very close to a natural pond.

I only put the pump on for show.
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