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Old 04-21-2013, 03:27 PM   #11 
thekoimaiden
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:D Congrats on getting the go-ahead for a pond! They can be lots and lots of fun. First I'll address the temp issues... It is too cold right now to just stick her outside. A temp shock like that has a good chance of killing her. Goldfish can take temps down to freezing, but they need to be slowly acclimated over weeks. Because we've had this cold snap (I'm north of you in southern Virginia) it's not going to be a good idea to put her outside right now. I was planning to do a small tub pond this year and have had to put those plans on hold, too. You should wait until nighttime temps don't go below 60F before putting her outside. In small containers the water temp will drop much faster than in large ones.

I'll answer your questions here to let others see them and add their input.

Is there a certain brand/type of plastic I should avoid?
You want plastic that is safe to hold food for human consumption. Pretty sure Sterilite bins are safe. For the actual pond, you should look at prefabricated liners. Shoot for something between 150 and 300 gallons. The larger you go, the larger your goldfish will get!

Will the temperature change kill her? Nights are supposed to be in the high forties and low fifties here in GA for the next week or more.
Right now, she could die from that temp change. Tanks inside typically don't go below 60F inside and a rapid drop in temp like she would experience in a small tub outside would be detrimental to her health. This cold snap is going to put a dent in your plans unfortunately, but that's just part of the game with ponds and tubs outside. We aren't in charge... mother nature is.

What kind of filter should I put in there?
In her little tub, something as simple as a sponge filter would work. Or even just a bubbler for water movement if you can score some floating pond plants like water lettuce, duckweed, or water hyacinth. For the pond, most people have waterfall filters. The water is pumped from the bottom of the pond up through a hose into a container above the pond and flows back over rocks.

How often should I clean the water, and how much water should I change at a time?

I'd say change the water once a week doing about 50% water changes. So as not to send her into shock, pour all of the water from her little tank into the tub and then fill the rest up with dechlorinated water. With your pond, you won't need to do regular water changes. Again mother nature takes over. When it rains, the pond will overflow (some have overflow spouts built into them so it doesn't go everywhere) and drive out the old water. The rain coming into the pond is the fresh water.

Should I put in plants and decorations?
Put all of the gravel and stuff from her old tank into the tub. These have beneficial bacteria that will aid in cycling the tub super quick. I'm a live plant fiend. Always live plants!!! Floating plants will be best both in the tub and pond. Marginal plants like iris and cattails are great in a pond. Iris add lovely color and cattails grow rather fast and help suck up nutrients. You'll have to see what's available in your area. The neat thing about ponds is that you become both gardener and fishkeeper!

The last bit of info I can give you is to look for local pond clubs. These people have ponds in your area and will know the little ins and outs such as just how deep your pond needs to be to escape freezing over in the winter. And a lot of times they will give you extra plants. Pond plants need to be trimmed just like aquarium plants and some people don't like just throwing those plants away. Most the the plants in my pond were gifts from other pondkeepers in the area!

Last edited by thekoimaiden; 04-21-2013 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:29 PM   #12 
Laki
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Not sure how to filter and maintain an outdoor goldfish pond but I know they need super crazy filtration. Live plants should be present, duckweed, water sprite and dwarf lettuce are good floaters which will help hide the fish from predators and give them something to snack on (so you should have a separate water plant tank for extras to grow out). As for decorations, drop some weighted silk plants in or a ping pong ball - there's not much point trying to keep a nice planted tank with decorations because they'll dig it all up :)

I also don't know goldfish temp hardniess, I know they're okay in colder waters ... Maybe a weather safe heater could keep the water from dropping below a certain temp, I don't know.
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:46 PM   #13 
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Thanks for all of the advice! So when I go home, I'll buy a sterilite tub (as large as I can find) and a filter for a 20 gallan tank.

Any recommendations on which filter I should get? The cheaper, the better..

Also, can I use betta water conditioner to condition the new water that I put in the tub?

Lastly, I'll add all of her current gravel, water, and little silk plant in the tub. But should I wait before adding any other decorations? Do they sell those water plants at petsmart/petco?

Ok really lastly, would it be ok to keep her in front of a window for now until it warms up outside? With having to keep this big tub inside, the only place I can think to put it is on the kitchen floor, and the kitchen is full of has northwest facing floor to ceiling windows. So is the living room. I'd hate to have to keep her in the study on the other side of the house, since no one really ever goes in there.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:14 PM   #14 
thekoimaiden
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You're welcome! Ponds are fun!

A sponge filter and air pump will be cheaper than most power filters. If you do get a power filter, just get the generic petsmart/petco store brand ones. You won't be using it for long.

Betta water conditioner is just water dechlorinator with a fancy name. It's fine to use on all fish. Since you will be doing larger water changes you might want to pick up a bottle of Prime or API water conditioner. They are more concentrated, and you'll use less of them when doing water changes.

You can add new decor with her old if you want. I have this hallow log thing that I like to put in with my goldfish when they go in tubs. It's very large and they like to hide in it. Silk plants would work well, too.

It's just fine to keep her in front of a window provided there are no major drafts or anything.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:53 PM   #15 
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Ok it's all coming together! I'll probably try to get a power filter, since she's such a dirty little thing, and I want to make sure it stays at clean as possible.

I'll pick up a larger bottle of conditioner when I get the filter. And I looked at the petsmart website, and they don't have any floating plants. Are any of these plants okay for the tub?

http://www.petsmart.com/family/index...e+Plants&fbx=0

And I'll definitely get her some kind of shelter decoration for her to hide in.

For the water changes, I think someone mentioned 50% changes once a week? Do I need to get a vacuum? For my betta, I do 1-100% and 1-50% each week for his 2.5 gallon tank, and when I do the 100%, I swirl the pebbles around in some fresh water to get the gunk out. But I don't wipe anything down.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:03 PM   #16 
WolfHhowling
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Originally Posted by fishnewbie1419 View Post
Ok it's all coming together! I'll probably try to get a power filter, since she's such a dirty little thing, and I want to make sure it stays at clean as possible.

I'll pick up a larger bottle of conditioner when I get the filter. And I looked at the petsmart website, and they don't have any floating plants. Are any of these plants okay for the tub?

http://www.petsmart.com/family/index...e+Plants&fbx=0

And I'll definitely get her some kind of shelter decoration for her to hide in.

For the water changes, I think someone mentioned 50% changes once a week? Do I need to get a vacuum? For my betta, I do 1-100% and 1-50% each week for his 2.5 gallon tank, and when I do the 100%, I swirl the pebbles around in some fresh water to get the gunk out. But I don't wipe anything down.
Sweet heart I know for a fact they sell banana lillies, ( those will grow leaves that will eventually float on the top)

And I know they sell water sprite. They float too... so does hornwort, but petsmart doesn't sell that nore does petco. Any way, you can use all kinds of plants in the tub. As long as there is a fish in it lol
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:15 PM   #17 
fishnewbie1419
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Originally Posted by WolfHhowling View Post
Sweet heart I know for a fact they sell banana lillies, ( those will grow leaves that will eventually float on the top)

And I know they sell water sprite. They float too... so does hornwort, but petsmart doesn't sell that nore does petco. Any way, you can use all kinds of plants in the tub. As long as there is a fish in it lol
I completely believe you - I just didn't see any on the website. I don't have a petsmart near me right now and won't be able to go until Wednesday at the earliest, so I was just going off of what they have on their website.

And it looks like they do carry hornwort, but I didn't know that was a floating plant from the picture. Reviewers said that it's very messy and sheds a lot, so I think I'll try to find something that doesn't grow quite so fast and is a bit tidier.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:39 PM   #18 
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Honwort isn't that messy imo. but I'm a disorganized person. the mess doesn't bug me and adds to the look ;)
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:58 PM   #19 
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Well I love Hornwort but yes it can be messy if it starts to shed and sometimes it does good for awhile and then starts shedding and yes you can leave it floating. What is really great as a floating plant is Anacharis , I have it floating in my tank. If they do have Banana Lillies I would get a couple of those mine grows so fast and has the floating leaves on top of the surface of the water. If you cant find them and want some let me know I know a great place to get them if you can order on line or your mom could order them for you.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:49 PM   #20 
thekoimaiden
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Petsmart and Petco don't have the selection of pond plants that you'll eventually need for the pond but things like anarcharis, hornwort, and java fern will do for now. They will all grow floating. But be ware; not all stores carry the same stock. What I have at my Petsmart and Petco you might not have at yours.

You will have to make an extra trip to a pond store of LFS to look for true pond plants like iris and water hyacinth. You might also be able to order them online, too. Or again, someone from a local pond club might be able to give/sell you some.

As for water changes, if you don't have a siphon it would be a good idea to pick up a small one. That is the easiest way to do water changes. A tank of this size is going to be different from your smaller betta tanks. You'll need to cycle this tank; this is why we recommend plants so strongly. You can read up on cycling here: A Beginner's Guide to the Freshwater Aquarium Cycle
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