Building A 200 Gallon Pond

April_ht

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Today, I spent the day digging a pond after finding an old pool liner and having the great idea of adding a water feature to my greenhouse...I figured, what's the worst that could happen? At least I'm not wasting my money if things don't go to plan.

Anyways, after a long couple hours, I finally dug out what I would estimate to be around 200 gallons or 800 litres. I placed the pool liner down and put some rocks around the edge to hold it in place, I plan to fill it up tomorrow. My question is, what plants would you recommend? I want to do an unheated, unfiltered pond with plants and maybe a few White Clouds, Gold/Rosy Barbs or Medeka Rice Fish to keep the mosquito population down (and who knows, maybe attract some birds). I don't plan to do water changes as the fish population will stay low, and we get rain pretty often in our area of Australia. I may also get a solar-powered pump if I can find one. However, I'm stuck as for the plants. Are there any aquatic plants that would do well in cold water? The pond is part-shade I'd say, gets a decent amount of light but rarely direct sunlight. Temperatures range from 10-30 degrees Celsius year-round.

Also, how do I cover the liner? I don't want to use dirt in case the rain washes it into the pond, but would you recommend decorative rocks (natural, no chemicals) or sand? Or just leave as is and cover it all with plants? Will maybe use some driftwood or rocks lying around if any are suitable, I've found natural driftwood to be just as good as store-bought driftwood after some boiling and scrubbing.

Anyways, what are your recommendations? Attached is a photo of the pond currently.
 

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wasmewasntit

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Stupid question probably but did you put sand underneath the liner?

Or maybe garden floss?

Reason being is that once filled and when there is movement in the water from wind or maintenance, its very easy for whatever is under the liner or things falling in the pond itself...stones, plant/tree roots etc...to rub and eventually puncture the liner....believe me there is nothing worse than waking one morning to find that beautiful pond missing its vital ingredient...the water. (As happened to my dad one time, til he realised that a layer of sand and/or floss - he used floss to wrap his fragile plants in winter - would protect the liner for unexpected holes.)
 

Colin_T

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Well your not in Western Australia because we don't get regular rainfall and our temperatures range from 0-46C :)

Normally you raise the soil up around the outside of the pond and put rocks or pavers over the liner. Raising the soil up stops water running into the pond if it rains heavily (lol, that does happen here :( ).

Depending on where you are located, most aquarium plants are fine in ponds. Stuff like Vallis, Ludwigia and even swordplants do well in most parts of Australia. We have red ruffled sword plants and other species of Echinodorus growing outdoors all year round. You can also add a water lily but they won't flower unless they get about 8 hours of full sunlight each day.

I would not mix rosy barbs with white clouds or medakas. The rosy barbs will cause problems to the smaller slower moving fish. Just keep one species of fish in the pond and they should develop a stable population and keep the mozzy population down a bit.
 
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April_ht

April_ht

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I would not mix rosy barbs with white clouds or medakas. The rosy barbs will cause problems to the smaller slower moving fish. Just keep one species of fish in the pond and they should develop a stable population and keep the mozzy population down a bit.
Sorry for the miscommunication, I only plan to keep one of those species. Leaning towards the White Clouds atm as Medeka are not too common around here and Gold and Rosy barbs may be too much for a small unfiltered pond.

I'm in NSW, we've had weeks or rainfall and flooding that has finally let up, thankfully. We've got lilies and swords in our other pond and dam, would it be fine to move a couple into the pond? Also have some aquatic umbrella plants (Cyperus alternifolius) that have taken over our dam, so might even try some of these. Going to Bunnings today to see what others they have in stock.

In the process of finding more rocks and maybe some sand to put around the outside to build up the banks, planning to make the shallow side more heavily planted and put some other plants around the edges to catch debris. Underneath the liner is mostly clay and very compacted soil with a couple of rocks here and there, will be doing a test run with water to make sure there are no leaks and the pond actually holds.

Stupid question probably but did you put sand underneath the liner?
...Should've done more research, whoops. No, I did not put sand underneath, let's hope luck is on my side. Test run first thing today, and hoping all goes to plan. Knowing my luck, I will probably be back soon with a few more questions and problems.
 

Colin_T

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If you have plants in a dam or another pond, just move them across into the new pond.

You can get floats for pond plants. They are usually made from polystyrene foam and have a hole in the centre for pots to sit in. The foam lets the plant float around and keeps it from submerging. So you can have riparian plants in a pond and not need a shallow area for them.
 

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