What’s not to love about a small water feature on your porch! I have had mine for several years and it keeps getting larger and larger!
The items you will need to make your own:
- Water pump
- Quilt Batting
- Zip tie
- Gravel/small rocks
- Decorative Items
So start with a clean planter. I have a fairly large plastic one. Make sure it does not have a drain hole!
A water pump is to make sure the water is circulating for the fish and to keep it from becoming a mosquito breeding area, and to have a cool fountain! I use the quilt batting to cover the pump to keep it from clogging up.
I purchase my water plants at The Aquatic Critter on Nolensville Road.; they are available late spring to fall out front of the store. I also bought my fish from them. I bought a dozen feeder fish for $1 a couple years ago. I only have four left, the others didn’t like me sanding the deck last year, whoops. I never knew feeder fish would get so big and pretty! Don’t purchase the fish until the pond is ready. It is best to let the pond sit a few days before adding fish.
The large rocks are all from my yard. I use them to prop up plants and cover the pump.
The pump I bought at Harbor Freight. You can get them at Home Depot or Lowe’s as well, in the garden center. The wire baskets are from the dollar store. When purchasing them just make sure your pump fits inside of them. They are to keep the batting from going into the pump which catches the gunk!
So lets put it together… after making sure the pot is clean fill it with water ¾ of the way up. Put the pump in the water to adjust the pressure to what you want. Submerge the pump and plug it in. If your pump has an adjustment try it out under the water and place it at the pressure level you like. Once you have it set unplug it and pull it out. Place it inside the wire baskets and use the twist ties to keep it closed. Cover it with the batting and use a zip tie to keep it covered. Then you can place it back in the pot. I used large rocks from around the yard in the pot for height. I like to keep the pump off the bottom of the pond but covered so I can’t see it from the top. So I place it on a rock and then cover it with rocks. Once you have all the large rocks and plants placed, place the gravel on the bottom of the container.
There are lots of plants to choose from. I have one in a pot, one in a mesh bag and some floaters. You can use whatever you like and place it however you like using the rocks to help with height. (If you want some floating water hyacinth please let me know, they multiply like crazy and I am always thinning them out.) Then fill the pond up to the desired water level.
Ok, so if you are going to add fish you need to make sure the water is ready for them. You can purchase chemicals to treat the water or you can just let the pond sit in the sun for the day. I usually just let the sun do the job!
Now you are ready for fish. They will give them to you in a bag when you purchase them. When you get home let the bag sit in the water for 20 minutes (maybe less if in direct sunlight) so the water temperatures are the same and then pour the fish and their water into the pond.
Now enjoy your pond!!! :]
Some things you will need to know to maintain it…..
- In the summer during hot dry spells you will need to add water. Remember that you cannot add water directly from the hose. You have to let it sit in the sun for several hours before pouring it in your pond. I fill a 5 gallon bucket and let it sit out all day in the sun before I add it to the pond.
- Cleaning the pond is fairly easy. Just pull out the pump and spray off the batting. If it doesn’t come clean then replace the batting with a new piece. You may need to spray out the pump if stuff got into it. I only do a deep cleaning in the spring. I fill up my 5 gallon container of water and let it sit a day before I clean. I take out the pump, plants, rocks and most of the water but leave the fish in there. I spray everything down and let it sit in the sun so the chemicals from the water evaporate. Then start to rebuild the pond. You shouldn’t add to much new water all at once so take a few days to completely fill up your pond. Then it’s ready for another growing season.
- Feeding the fish; I use gold fish food and have noticed this brand doesn’t cloud the water like other brands. I also use a chemical to control algae if needed.
- During the winter(when it freezes) I turn off the pump but leave the fish and the pond outside. They have lasted for 2 winters so far! They don’t eat much in the cold so they can go days/weeks without needing food. I usually only feed them when it is sunny and theyare coming to the top. Last winter was very cold the pond froze 4-6 inches down and they still made it through!