|Here is an email that Lecorps wrote to us after reading this page about the pond shown above.
"I just love your feng shui design. Is it possible to send me the design plan for your wooden barrel with the
fish i.e. size and how you keep it so clean? ..."
Reply. Hello Lecorps, thank you for your email.
I bought the barrel, which was already cut in half, at Home Depot. The barrel measures approximately 26" in diameter across the top and stands 18" high. I also bought
the matching black plastic liner at Home Depot at the same time, and I made sure the liner fit the barrel. These barrels and liners are not available all year at Home Depot, but
I see them for sale every spring.
I picked a place for my pond, near my front door, under the eave of my house on the northwest side of my house, where the pond wouldn't get too much direct
sunlight that would cause lots of green algae to grow.
that was labeled for use in aquariums. Click
for more information about gravel for ponds.
Actually, I bought three colors of gravel: white, dark blue, and light blue. I like this mixture. I didn't use all the gravel in all three bags. I used less
than one full bag. If you prefer one color of gravel, just get one bag of that color.
It's important to have some gravel in the bottom of a plastic pond, but the layer of gravel should not be more than 1/4" thick, or the gravel will get
dirty and cause problems. Click
here for more about gravel.
I added some water conditioner to the water, stirred the water, and let the pond sit for a week before I added an fish. Click
for more information about Water Conditioner.
After waiting a week I added one Comet Goldfish. This fish was just a nice common Comet Goldfish. I had planned to replace it with a Fancy Goldfish like a Red
Cap Oranda or a Fancy Fantail. Click
here for more information about Fancy Goldfish.
But the Comet Goldfish turned out to have a wonderful personality and grew to become a very beautiful fish, as you can see in the above pictures. I was very
lucky to take another wonderful picture of this fish. Click
here to see that picture.
Twice each week I remove 20% of the water and replace it with tap water from the faucet. I measured my water is 13" deep. The sides of my barrel are almost vertical, so 20%
of the water is about 20% of the depth, and 20% of 13" is 0.20 x 13" = 2.6" or about 2.5".
Twice a week I use my gravel washer to clean my gravel while removing 2.5" of water. Click
for more information about gravel washers.
Then I replace the water with tap water from the faucet. Cleaning my gravel takes about 5 or 10 minutes and keeps the water fresh and clear. Click
to see my eight year old nephew, Nicholas, helping me clean the gravel and change some water.
I put the water from my pond on plants in my garden, and this water is even better than water straight from the faucet, because water that has been in my pond
contains some dissolved fish waste, which is a plant nutrient.
I feed my fish
here to read more about
feeding fish. I also keep a few Live Black Worms and feed my Goldfish two or three of the live worms three times a week. Click
for more about Live Black Worms.
Once I saw a small pale-green flying insect land on the water's surface in my pond, and my Goldfish immediately ate that insect. This diet of TetraFin, Freeze
Dried Blood Worms, a few Black Worms, and an occasional insect seems to be very good for this fish.
One problem I should mention that I had with this pond. The water got cloudy about a week after I started feeding the fish. I realized this
was because the gravel was new and not cultured gravel, so I got a handful of gravel from an established aquarium with healthy fish and sprinkled that gravel on top of the gravel
in my pond. Click
here to read more about cultured gravel.
About 36 hours later the water in the pond had completely cleared and has remained crystal clear. Click
to read more about Cloudy Water.