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Inherited a large pond, no idea. Advice welcome!
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Jack
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Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Location: Newcastle, England

PostPosted: 2015.05.04(Mon)10:05    Post subject: Inherited a large pond, no idea. Advice welcome! Reply with quote

Hey guys,

I work for an environmental charity that does a variety of things, including teaching skills to the long-term unemployed. One of the sites we own is a flower nursery and garden centre. The show-piece to the garden centre is a large glasshouse that contains a pond.

We're still setting up, planting and getting things running but we need to be open by summer, and as I'm the only one with any fish keeping experience I've been given the pond. I'm well versed with tanks, I grew up in a fishkeeping household and I've had communities plus some quite specific and 'advanced' tanks but other than my parent's 100G pond with no fish, I've never had a pond before so please be careful.

The whole system is two ponds connected by a stream. It's on a slight incline so the water goes from the waterfall to the top pond, the stream and then the lower pond, there it's pulled up to the waterfall again by the pump. The pump is in the waterfall at the top, is this the wrong way round? I was under the impression a pump should 'push' water from the bottom up rather than 'pull' it up?

The top pond is 1080cm in circumference and an average of 32cm deep, the stream is about 10m long but is too shallow to have any fish, the bottom pond is 1640cm circumference and ave. 41cm deep. My calculations give the top pond as being somewhere near 9,000l and the bottom as being around 27,000l? The stream as I have said is too shallow for fish, it's total volume is likely around 200l.

Photos can be found here, to help visualise.

The total volume of the system is somewhere in the 40,000l mark by the time the filter and stream and everything is accounted for, but the pump that's in there has a pretty disastrous flow rate of 5,000l/hour. It's also not a filter, just a pump. It pulls from the bottom up to the top and then it exists into a 100l sump area that sits under the top bridge and exits into the top pond via a small waterfall.

I know this setup is not sufficient but we have a budget of zero. Seriously, this is a charity and we're really stuck. DIY is not a problem, the whole point of the site is teaching people skills and so the site is populated by around 5 staff (all of whom are incredibly practical at woodwork etc) and around 40 placements who are keen to learn and are free labour. We have skills, tools, materials, everything. Just no money. So please share your creative, diy ideas for a filter. I don't really think that replacing the pump is an option, but we could maybe get another and double the flow rate?

Secondly, as you've noticed the pond is currently full of algae. The tadpoles are loving it (but they'll be moving outside into the japanese garden) but the fish won't. I know that the algae is linked to the hopeless pump and no filter, any ideas on how to combat the green water specifically though?

Thirdly, and lastly. Fish? No idea other than goldfish but I'd love something more special. Nothing too small in the top pond though, as it'll end up in the bottom half. Water is soft, slightly acidic and the greenhouse goes from 5C to 30C air temp. Any lower and the heating kicks in, any higher and the automatic windows open. Other than seasonally, I don't see the water fluctuation too much on a short term basis.
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2015.05.17(Sun)9:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry haven't been around to reply & you've probably got things sorted already.

The temperature efluctuations will be less in the pond than in the air but it will not be warm enough for true tropical fish and not large enough for Koi. I would suggest fantail goldfish as these are selected to be viewed from above but get them from a goldfish specialist & not from a pet shop/importer.There is a big difference.

A pump pumps - usually up but if it is effective as is that is fine. Is there a filter?
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Jack
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Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Location: Newcastle, England

PostPosted: 2015.05.19(Tue)10:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

No worries, thanks anyway diademhill. I hadn't realised this place was so empty now, 15 years ago there were hundreds of posts a day. Sad

I know the pond won't be warm enough for tropicals, I've actually stocked what I now realise is a fairly large yet really shallow pond with 8 goldfish and 5 golden orfes. It was hoped that they'd provide the necessary colour and action without over stocking. We have a lot of 'biological' room due to the water volume, but obviously technically only the 27000l section has fish, so I'm trying to keep to it to a minimum of fish.

The pump now has a sponge over the intake in the bottom pond, so that's that.

Apparently orfe need lots of aeration, should I be setting something up?
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2015.05.19(Tue)10:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

With a flow & decent area the orfe will be fine but beware medications as they often react badly to them.
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