Mini ponds allow you to add a tranquil water feature to your backyard or patio. You can set one up without filters or aerators. A water change once a month is the main maintenance required. Your garden can benefit from the fish water's fertilizer.
Things You'll Need
- Gravel or glass rocks
- Water conditioner
- Live aquarium plants
- Fish hiding places
- Plastic floating water lilies
Select a vessel to serve as the mini pond, ranging from a bucket as small as 5 gallons to a bathtub. A rope tub containing 18 gallons can work well. Pick an item durable enough for outdoor use.
Select a spot that is not too sunny to avoid algae growth. An area that only gets a few hours of sun each day or a shady area is best.
Put aquarium gravel or more decorative glass rocks in the bottom of the tub or bucket.
Fill the tub with water from a garden hose leaving at least 6 inches of room at the top. This helps keep neighborhood animals from getting at your fish.
Allow water designated for the mini pond to sit for 48 hours so that its chlorine evaporates or apply a water conditioner to neutralize the chlorine and other chemicals in tap water. Follow the directions on the bottle to add the right amount of conditioner to the tub.
Bury the roots of live aquarium plants in the gravel or rocks. Live plants help keep the water clean and breathable for your fish.
Add other decorations such as a hiding place for the fish. Regular aquarium hideouts such as castles and fake logs are fine. If you have larger live plants, they also serve as good hiding places.
Add guppies, platys, mollies or gambezi -- which eat mosquitoes -- after waiting for four weeks for the plants to become established. Don't put koi or comets in a mini pond, as they get large and outgrow your tub. Guppies are small but they eat mosquito larvae and the larvae of other insects. Add snails to balance the mini-ecosystem. Add artificial water lilies if you like.
Tips & Warnings
- Send me a message if you want to hear all my fish keeping tips.
- Don't just discard old fish tank water-your garden plants will love it!
- Please be safe handling large amounts of water. If you must carry buckets full of water use a small one and make several trips. It's not worth hurting your back.
- Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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