Planning on making a pond in a pot!

Discussion in 'Water Gardening' started by betzy, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. betzy

    betzy New Seed

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    Hello everyone, I live with my family in an apartment building that overlooks a lovely lake that my mom absolutely loves but we are moving to another complex soon which has no lakes or nearby which really disillusioned my mom, so I decided that I should maybe try having a small bucket pond in our patio/balcony, I've read a lot about it and have tried doing as much research and planning as I can, which is why I'm asking for extra advice, and sharing what I'm planning on getting here so if I'm missing something please definitely tell me, unlike my mom I have no gardening experience but I am very dedicated and invested in making this little ecosystem(I did extra research to make sure none of the things I'm getting are toxic to pets, I wouldn't want my cat getting sick)
    so as of now I'm planning on getting:


    a 35 gallon, 35" bucket
    3 oxygenating plants (some hornwort and rotala)
    2 marginal plants (zephyrante and canna lilly)
    1 water lilly (I haven't chosen exactly which)
    some floaters (water lettuce and maybe some aquatic jenny/snowflake/floating hearts, looking if dangerous for pets or not)
    fertilizer tablets for both the lillies and the rest of the plants and heavy clay soil and river pebbles for the pots, I wanted to invest in a pump to make some movement in the water but I read that lillies don't really like that much

    I'm hoping that if all is well after a week or two, to introduce some fishes to the habitat, I'm planning on getting an array of guppies (yellow, fancy females, blue neon, fancy males, red blond, sunrise, and lyretail) along with a few minnows maybe or rice fish since I read that they can live well together
    I don't know if I should get a garden pond snail or not, but as of yet thats what I have planned

    I'll probably wait until the start of spring since I read that would be the best time to start for the sake of the plans(which I am buying online or from the greenhouses around), but I'm really eager to at least learn more about it

    for instance, when the fishes 'bloom' how would I go about controlling their population or is that a thing I should let nature take care of, and do I need to feed the fishes fish food once in a while or are they independently living from the plants
    I live in florida so its a fairly warm weather btw!! Thank you for taking the time to read through all this!! ;;

    please tell me about everything I should know or am missing!!
     
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  3. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    Hi Betzy and welcome.
    There are other's here with natural ponds and man-made ponds... and some like me with container ponds. I have a 103 gallon galvanized stock tank and a plastic 55 gallon barrel "sideways".
    I'm sure other's will be along soon to give you their thoughts and expertise.
    My first thought as reading through your post is the size of container. Is it 35" long? How wide and tall is it? Do you have a photo of it?
    I'm concerned that it might not be large enough. Water lilies can really spread.
    How do you plan on creating your marginal space? Pots hung over/into the pot just enough to keep them wet?
    zephyrante.... Do you mean "Rain Lilies"? If so, I just did a quick online search and it says they like "well drained soil"?
    Canna's do like it moist... but they can multiply and grow rapidly. Not sure how they will do in a small container. I see them for sale with other water plants, so I guess they will do okay.
    As far as your oxygenators... I have no experience with either one. But but from a quick online search, they both appear to be better suited for an aquarium... especially the rotala.
    And for your floaters... again... I'm concerned about the size of container. It'll probably be big enough to add the "snowflake", but that water lettuce looks like it could take over. (I haven't tried either, so don't take my word for it).
    But... if that's the plants you like, then you might as well give it a try. Live and learn.
    You're right about the water lily not liking alot of splashing on it's leaves. I added a small pump to the bottom of my big tank to help circulate the water. It didn't seem to mind the gentle movement.
    When I first started my container ponds, I had visions of crystal clear water where I could see all the fishies swimming around the plants (like in an aquarium). In reality, I can only see down several inches and only see the fish when they come up for feeding. I have Comet and Shubunkin Goldfish. They do pretty good here in my SE Texas climate. They're mostly for mosquito control but are fun to watch swim around. I gave them fish food for the first couple of weeks but only give them food maybe once a month as a treat. Again my thoughts returned to the size of your container. Not sure how many fish it could support.
    I'm excited for you and excited to see how your pond comes together. They are so much fun to create and admire! :stew2:
     
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  4. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Hi, and welcome to the forum! You will really like it here--lots of good people with great ideas and help.
    I went out and looked at our 55 gal. rain barrel and measured the top, which is 33". Then I looked at the list of plants you are thinking of. I agree with Cheryl in that the greenery may be overwhelming. How about trying two or three of your favorite picks, and adding more later if there is room?
    Definitely have a pump of some kind. When we lived in town we had a small half whiskey barrel with a plastic liner, and a recirculating pump. If anything went wrong with the pump, we got algae very quickly!
    It's very good of you to give your mom a water feature to watch :smt038 .
     
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  5. betzy

    betzy New Seed

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    hello everyone thank you for responding!!
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Beckett-35-g ... 202206168# this is the one I was planning on getting since our patio will only be around 4'11 by 10'3(but I don't mind getting one bigger than that if I can find one), I was planning on using bricks to give them their proper height if I need to(or by any other means that could be better!!)
    I actually noticed I had prairie lily and fairie lily mixed up, prairie lily are the ones that aren't toxic for pets while fairie lilies are really bad for them so zephyrante is out of the picture(and the hunt for a nontoxic nice marginal raves on), I'll do more research on canna and see how to maintain it and control it then! What would be a good oxygenator to have on it instead? I thought water lettuce would be good since I read that fishes love it, but I wouldn't mind changing to snowflakes instead, after all this is all planning before I get hands on with everything
    I'll definitely look into getting a small pump then
    I'll probably just get 4 or 5 guppies depending on how much space I end up with, although I am concern about how I'll keep their population under control
    I actually opted for that many plants because I read it would be the best amount to have the pond well balanced, but I don't mind starting with just a few until I get the hang of it
    again, thank you all for responding!!
     



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  6. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    I've looked at that "pond" too. Actually would like to get a larger one some day.
    I was thinking of when you said "pot" it would be something more tall than wide. I think you've made a good choice in your container.
    I think it will be enough room for a water lily and a couple of other plants... as long as they all don't like to spread.
    If you like the canna... go with it. It's your pond afterall.

    And since it's not too deep, you'll be able to see your fish better. I'd start off with just a couple to make sure they'll like it.

    As far as oxygenators... I didn't like Anacharis... it just seemed to multiply too quick and became a big blob that was hard to see through and hard to get rid of.
    I like Parrot Feather much better. Either way, I'd recommend just starting with just one because they will multiply.

    There's a online place (Texas Water Lilies .com) where I've ordered plants from. They have a wide variety - marginals included... a good place to check out plants. And they are very helpful. I asked tons of questions.

    Looking forward to seeing your pond take shape.
     
  7. betzy

    betzy New Seed

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    Thank you! So that would be an ok container, or should I opt for something a little bigger?
    And the thing with marginals or any plant I decide to get is that I need to make sure they are pet friendly because although my cat is an indoor cat, he does sneak out to the balcony once in a while. But is there something wrong with canna lilys?
    Also should I add something else to it? Like stones or snails or anything?
     
  8. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    I think it's a good sized container to start with. But if you have the room why not go larger? There's nothing wrong with Cannas. I just know that here in the ground, they can take over. But since they will be limited to spreading because they are in their own container... then give it a try.
    Glad you're thinking of the pets too!
    I had snails just "appear" in one of my containers. Don't know where they came from, maybe hitched a ride on a plant? I was worried at first, because once in an aquarium, snails just took over. But these didn't over-populate.
    I'd start off by getting the plants situated and happy. Then add the fish. And then decorate as you please.
     
  9. Beeker

    Beeker In Flower

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    Hi Betzy and welcome!
    Your container pond sounds like a lovely idea. I hope it works well for you.

    I agree that the Anachris can be a pain. Mine just about took over the whole tank. Not only did it grow, but it put down roots and became a leggy rooted mess. I took it out of my tropical tank, threw it in with my goldfish and let them destroy it. They destroy any and every plant I put in with them. That is just the way goldies are.

    Since you hope to add fish in the future, might I suggest checking the Planted Tank Forums found here: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/index.php?s=587090cf0f289223c46020304e4b78e7
    and perhaps Fishlore Forums found here: http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/
    You will find me on both of these forums too, especially on the Fishlore one.

    If you decide to add fish, please keep in mind that you will need more than just the pond. In order to keep the fish alive and healthy, you will need a filter and, most likely, an air pump. You will also need to have a water testing kit. The API Master test kit contains the tests required for making sure the water is healthy for keeping fish. Before you add the fish, please make sure your water and filter are completely cycled. Information about the Nitrogen Cycle is very important.
    It is very rewarding to have a beautiful pond with fish swimming around. One tool that helps to pick the ideal fish is the Fishlore Freshwater Fish Profiles. It will help you choose fish that will be compatible with the home you are creating for them. For example, your idea for guppies will be fine in that size pond, but goldfish or koi require much larger swimming space. No matter how small the goldfish are, one single goldfish requires 20 gallons of water. That wouldn't work.

    Please keep us informed of the status of your pond project and, if possible, include pictures! I can't be the only one here that loves pictures!
     
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