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Friday, July 5, 2013

How Not to Put in a Fish Pond


Remember the water trough pond that I posted about? With the old fashioned pump? We put it in my mom's garden for Mother's Day. Yeah...as it turns out, a brand new, galvanized steel water trough emits zinc into the water. And zinc no es bueno for fish. We saw that our fish weren't doing well, realized the problem, and yanked them out of there. You try to do something cute...

I'm pretty sure this only applies to new tanks, because fish farms raise their fish in water troughs. I've watched many a brood of tadpoles hatch and grow in water troughs. And we found other decorative ponds that were similar. So it must be a case of needing an old trough. Or lining it with something. We talked about lining ours, but didn't. So the fish lived in big plastic tubs for a little while and it was decided to dig in a goldfish pond.

I feel sure we did it the least efficient, most troublesome way possible. But it's in!

We started with a 135 gallon plastic pond liner.


We traced the shape into the grass, and then started digging.


And digging. Eventually, we had a pond-shaped hole. It took several hours to get it level on the bottom and ensure that the pond form fit down into it the right away. It would have been much faster to dig a large, shapeless hole and then backfill. We don't do things the fast, easy way around here. That would be too...fast and easy.


Then we dug up the grass around it so it wouldn't grow up through the landscaping.






The grass went to the compost heap to feed new plants.




The bottom of the hole was lined with sand.




We put pennies in the bottom, sort of a spur of the moment time capsule. One for our birth years, and for the year we bought the farm, and one 1976 penny to mark the bicentennial.


Landscape fabric was folded over the edges of the hole to cover the ring of grass we left - the grass roots will keep the wall of the hole secure and keep it from crumbling. After, sand was used to fill in the gaps between the sides of the hole and the form. This was tedious and messy, but the sand will mold to the form and not leave any air pockets. Those forms are really flimsy, and would buckle under the weight of the water if not supported.




Then the edge of the new bed was lined with landscaping bricks and bordered with sod.

Mulch was spread and the pond was lined with rocks.




Fill, plant, and add fish.

It's not the world's most professional pond. You can see the edges of the liner and we're still adding plants. There is a little fountain piece coming, and until then, there's just an ugly section of hose keeping the water circulated through a pond pump. But the fish seem to like it.

 
 
 
 
 
So in case you ever wondered how to put in a goldfish pond the hard way, now you know.

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