Hi all, sorry for my absence! Life got in the way. Hopefully I'll be more active here post exams.
Finally, the goldfish pond is up and running! (Pictures to come soon). It's been a super long process (spanning years), so I'm pretty chuffed. :)
I built the filter myself. I've used an 11 litre bucket with an outflow at the bottom, and siliconed a piece of hose into the outflow hole. The carries the water back to the pond. For my filter media, I have used:
- 1 large round piece of 3 inch foam, cut from a discarded chair
- 1-2 litres of gravel
- 1 litre of crushed coral (to raise the water hardness - will add more as time goes by)
- 1.5 litres of Seachem Matrix
- A bunch of filter wool and noodles from my tank, adding more soon
The inflow is another piece of hose, running from the pump up to the top of the bucket. One end is bunged by a cork, so that the water flows out of holes drilled in the hose inside the bucket. Again, I will post photos. :) It's much cheaper than buying a pond filter, which cost an obscene amount.
Unfortunately, the pump gave up yesterday after only three days. We are pouring pond water through the pump about four times a day to do what we can, but we need to pump fixed pronto. I find it funny that my home-made, ugly filter works perfectly, but the smart-looking, shiny new pump that cost me $70 doesn't.
Things aren't too desperate at the moment in terms of cleanliness, though. We have two little shubunkins in at the moment (Fred and George), who aren't pooing or eating much since the weather is pretty cold at the moment. They are still extremely shy and spend all of their time hiding, so feeding them is extremely difficult. I have a bunch of ornaments in there, with three silk plants. As time goes by, I want to replace or revamp the ugly ornaments a bit. The silk plants look great, though, so I'm going to get some more. (They are FinSafe from Acumen Aquatics, which are fantastic).
In the spring, the goldfish we intended the pond for, a 10-inch comet, will be leaving his cramped 23 gallon and going into the pond to join the shubunkins. It will be the first time he will have had friends in years, and it's going to be wonderful to see him really stretch his fins in all the new space.
I'm also planning on keeping a BN pleco in the pond during the warmer months (where the water temp could get as high as 90) to do some algae cleaning, and winter him indoors with my other fish.
The pond itself is a pre-formed poly-something, totalling 540 litres, or 122.6 gallons. By my calculations, that gives me room for 3-4 goldfish total. I'm not sure whether to get a second comet, or to leave it at 2 shubunkins and one comet. Opinions? :)
Also, can anyone give me an estimate of how long it might be before Fred and George stop hiding all the time? I really want them to feel comfortable in the pond. :(
Photos soon! :)