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A Hybrid Indoor Pond???
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cesare
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Joined: 10 May 2009
Location: Trivandrum, India

PostPosted: 2009.05.11(Mon)0:31    Post subject: A Hybrid Indoor Pond??? Reply with quote

Hmm... I don't really know how to go about explaining this but anyways, here goes:

The structure

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 asap but my camera seems to be acting up and I might need to borrow one from my neighbour - so could take time....

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.

The Plan

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...Very Happy)

The problem

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.. Sad

Help!

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.

2. Externals

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 don't 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 won't 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...

Cesare

PS. I'll post pics as soon as I can.


Last edited by cesare on 2009.05.11(Mon)23:24; edited 4 times in total
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Jisty Morelove
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Joined: 11 Jan 2009
Location: Cornwall,UK

PostPosted: 2009.05.11(Mon)6:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Cesare..

Thanks for trying to explain that best you could, I can agree its not easy.

Still a few things I'm a bit confused about though, as you might expect.

So its a large hole in the floor of your house?
I assume the only viewing area then is the surface?
What are the exact dimentions please. Width/Height/Length.
Are you wanting to fill this hole with water to use as an aquarium?
Or buy pot plants and a fish tank to put in this area?

Also you stated you have brought some new fish.
Are they in this concrete hole now?
Or have you brought a fish tank and put that into this concrete hole?

Either concrete hole or a new fish tank will need to be cycled before fish are added, or they don't like it and can suffer.

So I'm just trying to get some basic info to start here, so we get a better picture of what you have. Infact do you have a picture of this hole?, so we have a better idea of it. And out of interest, which room is this hole in?

Apart from all that . My 1st advice to new people(like me even), is to read the Nitrogen cycle thread(which I think you have), and buy a master liquid test kit which tests for:-

High pH
Low pH
Ammonium
Nitrite
Nitrate

This will help you a lot to know whats going on in your tanks and a must have imo.

Cheers for now and sorry for all the extra questions.
Jisty Morelove
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cesare
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Joined: 10 May 2009
Location: Trivandrum, India

PostPosted: 2009.05.11(Mon)7:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jisty Morelove wrote:
Hi Cesare..

Thanks for trying to explain that best you could, I can agree its not easy.

Still a few things I'm a bit confused about though, as you might expect.

So its a large hole in the floor of your house?
I assume the only viewing area then is the surface?
What are the exact dimentions please. Width/Height/Length.
Are you wanting to fill this hole with water to use as an aquarium?
Or buy pot plants and a fish tank to put in this area?

Also you stated you have brought some new fish.
Are they in this concrete hole now?
Or have you brought a fish tank and put that into this concrete hole?

Either concrete hole or a new fish tank will need to be cycled before fish are added, or they don't like it and can suffer.

So I'm just trying to get some basic info to start here, so we get a better picture of what you have. Infact do you have a picture of this hole?, so we have a better idea of it. And out of interest, which room is this hole in?

Apart from all that . My 1st advice to new people(like me even), is to read the Nitrogen cycle thread(which I think you have), and buy a master liquid test kit which tests for:-

High pH
Low pH
Ammonium
Nitrite
Nitrate

This will help you a lot to know whats going on in your tanks and a must have imo.

Cheers for now and sorry for all the extra questions.
Jisty Morelove


Laughing Well, like I said I didn't really know how to go about explaining this....

Anyways, I've been doing a lot more digging up on the internet and come to the conclusion that an indoor pond is what I want.

As far as the structure is concerned, I think the best way to describe it would be as a small indoor swimming pool which I want to convert into an indoor pond. It has 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 swimming pool like tiles too... And yes the only veiwing area is the top.

As for the dimensions, it is almost a cuboid 196cm X 215cm X 46cm with a triangular portion( base 140cm, altitude 200cm) removed.

The new fish are indeed now swimming about in my pool but they can be transferred elsewhere if need be....

And the whole thing is in my living room...

So hope that will give you a better idea about what I have and what I want.. Anyways, sorry for the confusing post and I will try and post a picture as soon as I can.... And thanks for the advice on the master liquid test kit... I'll see what I can do...
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dougroch
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Joined: 01 May 2009

PostPosted: 2009.05.11(Mon)8:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

If my math is right this "tank" is approximately 510 gallons.

I am not trying to preach to you but before you add anymore fish, you need to decide what you want to keep in this tank. The fish you have already are incompatible in the same tank. the goldfish are cold water fish needing temps in the mid 60's, the barbs need much warmer water in the upper 70's. If you plan on keeping tropicals like the barbs you already have you will definitely need to heat the water. With the size tank you have purchasing the heaters could get pricey, I could see the cost of heaters approaching $200. Something else you may want to keep in mind is whether or not 4-5 heaters and their power cords running out of the tank will detract from the outside appearance of the tank.
As far as filters are concerned, again it is going to depend on the type and quantity of fish you plan on keeping. If you do decide to get a filter IMO you would probably want to research pond filters as opposed to aquarium filters for this set up. Such a filter could run anywhere from $150 to $400. Pond filters are meant for outdoor use so if you go that route the noise the filter makes would be a big concern (a filter that is barely audible outdoors may be annoyingly loud in your living room when you are trying to relax).
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Jisty Morelove
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Joined: 11 Jan 2009
Location: Cornwall,UK

PostPosted: 2009.05.11(Mon)9:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Cesare..

Just to say, I'm only a novice myself, about 5months into the hobby.

But I'd agree with Dougroch.
In that you need to decide what fish stock you would like to keep first.
Also the fish you now have are as stated above not compatible, and the tanks not even cycled, and you have no equipment .
Armed with that information I'd personally say take all the fish back, I suggest they will thank you for it. I mostly say this as a big tank like this will need a lot more planning to get right. Not to mention the greater cost.
Also I'd agree you would need more pond equipment rather than aquarium equipment for this size "bath tub" Very Happy .

Are you sure you can take on such a big tank to start off into the hobby?
Perhaps I'd suggest for around $300-400 you could have a nice glass tank set-up as an option. Learn more about the hobby before you take on such a big tank. I've learned huge amounts in my 1st few months of this hobby. About fish/plants/ water chemistry and fish habitats etc.

Basically its a big commitment and could get rather costly, I'm sure more experiance people will be willing to help if you are serious about doing it the right way.

Cheers again
Jisty Morelove
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nikelodeon79
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2009.05.11(Mon)9:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not overly familiar with ponds but I wanted to respond and say I see no reason why you can't have a small, successful indoor pond. If I had such a setup in my house, I would definitely have a pond!!

I would return the barbs ASAP and stick to just goldfish. They are great pond fish and you won't have to mess with a heater. Actually, I would return all the fish and wait until your "tank" is cycled and then pick up fish. If you like barbs, do a little research on them and you can set up a separate tank for them, complete with a heater. Wink

You will need a filter in your pond. Goldfish are messy fish. They make specific filters for ponds (and also pond specific heaters, btw, so you wouldn't have to have a bunch of regular aquarium heaters with their individual cords, if you did choose to have tropical fish in your pond rather than goldfish, LOL). You can check out pond products at http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/shop.cfm?c=5163

Make sure what you have are actually goldfish and NOT Koi. Koi get WAY too big for an indoor pond.

Finally, you might want to post some pictures so people have a better idea about what your talking about. It sounds like a really nice setup with the drain for water change purposes. I'm jealous!

Oh, and you might want to PM a moderator and ask them to move this to the "Goldfish, Koi and Ponds" section.
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cesare
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Joined: 10 May 2009
Location: Trivandrum, India

PostPosted: 2009.05.11(Mon)11:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, thanks for all the replies guys....

As far as what I want is concerned, since I've already got this set up, I think I'm gonna go with the indoor pond idea.... The only problem I can see is that I don't really have that big a budget outlay to get heaters or large filters.. Noise would also be a concern as dougroch said..Like I've mentioned, I've got a drainage setup here... so would it be enough if I just changed the water once every week or so? Anyways, thanks for that link nikelodeon79, I'll do my research on pond filters and see what I get....

And as for stocking, I really have no preset preferences since I have no previous experience with any sort of fish... I live in india and average temperatures here are around 75-85 F... So I'd be willing to go with any sort of fish that would naturally fit the climate here and also wouldn't cost me too much money.... So all of you are welcome to give me suggestions on the fish I should get..

And I also read up a bit on koi ponds on the web but nikelodeon79 said they would get too big for indoor ponds... But couldn't my "tank" house atleast 3 or 4 of them?

And I think I will return the fish I've already got.... Newbie error I guess... Thanks for the advice Jisty...

Lookin forward to your replies...
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Jisty Morelove
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Joined: 11 Jan 2009
Location: Cornwall,UK

PostPosted: 2009.05.11(Mon)12:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

H again..

Quote:
And I think I will return the fish I've already got

Nice 1.

So it sounds like your are serious about this pond then. Now the fish are going back you have a chance to really get this right. I'd have to agree that this could be something pretty special if done right.

I'm sure someone with pond experiance will post soon enough, but its certainly out of my range now.
My thoughts also were a gold fish pond, but I best leave it to those that know more. Be patient though, it really could be something very enjoyable.

Also the test kit, it might be best now the fish are going back to not get it just yet. Wait till you get some better advice. I'm just thinking there is also a pond test kit, but I'm unsure of the difference.

Watching with interest and best of luck

Jisty Morelove
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2009.05.11(Mon)12:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't quite grasp the shape of this pond Confused

Is it pentagonal?

You can do water changes instead of having a filter but you would need to do them twice weekly and would be at risk if one was ever missed plus in a house you could have smells as a water change became due. If you are charged for water it becomes very expensive.

A filter doesn't have to be expensive if you keep the stocking low.

Can you run a pair of hoses to the tank from outside or does the existing pool plumbing allow for this?
An outdoor tank filter is cheap to make and easy to service and is quiet.

You can't grow water lilies undoors without rather expensive lighting but there are some plants you can grow. You may need to set up some spotlights.

Any chance of a photo?
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cesare
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Joined: 10 May 2009
Location: Trivandrum, India

PostPosted: 2009.05.11(Mon)13:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

The shape is sort of pentagonal.... I'll get some pics first thing tomorrow morning... so then you should have a better idea of it. (The triangular portion cut off I mentioned is filled with sand and I've got some bamboo growing there...)

And about two water changes a week, I'm not really sure... it is after all a lot of water... maybe I will have to look up something more about filters... And I think I do have the facilities in my current setup to have an outdoor tank filter but I need to check with my plumber... Thanks a lot for the info diademhill... (And btw, I'm not charged for my water, I get it from our own borewell... I'm also looking at ways to redirect the waste water from my pond into something similar to a rain water harvesting system)

Concerning the light, I guess I forgot to mention something Embarassed

I've got an opening in the roof directly above this so called pond covered by a metallic mesh and some sort of transparent polymer sheet... with the result that I get more than 4 hours of direct sunlight! Should be enough for the lilies..huh?

@Jisty, thanks for wishing me luck... I think I'm going to need a lot of it if I'm to get this thing up and running soon... Wink
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