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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, first post here so sorry if this has been asked before or is in the wrong place.
I've kept lots of betta tanks & currently have a 5.5 gallon one set up & was thinking of getting another betta but was thinking about doing something different & setting up a 'mini pond' tank. I was wondering if anyone has done anything similar? I've been looking a large clay/ceramic plant pots/long flower boxes, (5-7 gallons) it would be set up on a coffee table so it would be easy to view from above & would be heated & hopefully with lots of plants so it looked more 'natural'. The water level wouldn't be filled completely up to prevent him jumping out & I'm not sure about running a filter on it or not.
Would this sort of set up be safe for the fish? I keep a clay pot in my goldfish tank so am I right in assuming its ok for fish? I currently have lots of tanks set up betta, goldfish, shrimp ect so am interested in something different plus in my country even small simple tanks 2/3 gallons cost around €40/50 so a cheaper alternative would be great thanks! :-D
 

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One thing to keep in mind - you would need a filter in order to cycle the tank. This would be a more stable environment for your fish.

Otherwise, the biggest things I can think of you need to be aware of are evaporation and air temperature. Your betta breathes surface air, so you don't want the temperature of the surface air to be *too* drastically different from the water or it could cause him stress. In a tank, this is easily controlled by the tank lid holding humidity in and keeping the air above the water warm and moist. In your setup, this wouldn't be there.

As for evaporation, this will completely depend on how dry your area is. Be aware that if you live in a dry area, a significant amount of water may evaporate out daily and would need to be replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies, I was considering one of those small clip on filters & it would be really cool to give it a waterfall effect :D
I hadn't realised breathing colder/drier air could stress them but actually that makes sense! Actually my current betta tank only has a 'half' lid near the back of the tank & my betta doesn't seem bothered by it luckily. I do get evaporation of about 15% of the tank volume weekly! I'm not sure if that's an ok amount? But it is usually pretty humid here so I think it could be worse?
 

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Yes! An indoor "pond" is awesome, I can tell you first hand. I made one last year and I have my female betta in it along with rosy red minnows and 5 platies.

I have it cycled, using a sponge filter, river rocks on bottom, and a couple of decorations/a cave, and pothos and arrowhead plants growing in it (roots submerged). The tank, itself, is a big 18-20 gallon "fake ceramic" planter (aka, made of some type of plastic or.. some lightweight material). lol

It's funny because I was just now testing the pond water for nitrates and I keep getting a reading of zero. This is about the 3rd time I test it within 2-3 weeks, and it always reads zero. This pond has been up and running since about last... July or August?

Wondering if it was faulty or not, I tested again but put a few drops of worm casting "extract" (I have a worm compost bin) into the vial filled with pond water, b/c I know worm castings are full of nitrogen. Sure enough, the vial turned deep red, meaning the test is working perfectly...

The point of mentioning this is that my plants must be doing a terrific job of keeping nitrates down! Ammonia reads zero also. I rarely even do a water change. Usually I just top it up from evaporation. All the fish are thriving and I'd definitely recommend an indoor fish pond. ^_^

 

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Yes! An indoor "pond" is awesome, I can tell you first hand. I made one last year and I have my female betta in it along with rosy red minnows and 5 platies.

I have it cycled, using a sponge filter, river rocks on bottom, and a couple of decorations/a cave, and pothos and arrowhead plants growing in it (roots submerged). The tank, itself, is a big 18-20 gallon "fake ceramic" planter (aka, made of some type of plastic or.. some lightweight material). lol

It's funny because I was just now testing the pond water for nitrates and I keep getting a reading of zero. This is about the 3rd time I test it within 2-3 weeks, and it always reads zero. This pond has been up and running since about last... July or August?

Wondering if it was faulty or not, I tested again but put a few drops of worm casting "extract" (I have a worm compost bin) into the vial filled with pond water, b/c I know worm castings are full of nitrogen. Sure enough, the vial turned deep red, meaning the test is working perfectly...

The point of mentioning this is that my plants must be doing a terrific job of keeping nitrates down! Ammonia reads zero also. I rarely even do a water change. Usually I just top it up from evaporation. All the fish are thriving and I'd definitely recommend an indoor fish pond. ^_^



This is an awesome idea!! It's very beautiful! What plants are those? And what are you using to contain everything? A clay pot? How much lighting do you use for those plants and where do you have the actual pot!? Sorry for all these questions. Your pot is just really beautiful and starting my own would be stunning!!
 

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I used to think it was necessary to cover a tank to keep in warmth and moisture. I was advised -- and thinking about it, probably correctly -- that the thin layer of surface air that Betta breath from is really close to tank temperature, also very humid.

Water changes are still necessary. Topping off still allows minerals and dissolved wastes to build up in the tank.

Those emergent plants really look great. And they eat ammonia and nitrate better than anything. Lots of top-cover discourages jumping.
 

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Thanks Hallyx. ^_^ (I did wonder if other things might build up in the water with so little water changes, but wasn't sure what those things might be.) Everyone's been great though. When I do have a water change, I change about half or a bit more than half and siphon the bottom, so it's a good amount of water.

LitelBoyBlu- I had mentioned in my first post, the plants are pothos (on the left) and arrowhead (on the right). =) The pothos is golden pothos, and I'm not sure the variety of arrowhead. It's one of those "angel plants" that they sell at stores like Walmart, Lowes, etc.

Be careful if you do buy a full plant from a store. Try to get one that isn't too compact in the roots, or you'll never get them apart when you rinse the dirt off. lol Also, the plant you buy might have pests on it (had a terrible experience once when I bought an ivy from Walmart and it turned out to be infested with spider mites. Lost the whole plant. Thankfully wasn't a part of my pond.) And more importantly, if you buy plants, make sure to rinse and sanitize them reaaaally well before putting them into a tank/pond. I would use an alcohol/water mix to rinse them (and hopefully kill any pests), and rinse with plain water super well to make sure there's no lingering pesticides on it.

I use natural lighting, so it sits in front of a big window. Pothos and arrowhead are low light plants, and they get more than enough from the window light. They grow very fast... I mean, very fast. lol At one point, I measured that each pothos vine was putting out a full new leaf, every single week.

This is an older photo of the pond. Since then, the pothos grew so much, it covered the entire surface, so I've had to cut them back (and started new plants with the cuttings).

I was trying to figure out how to hold the plants up when I first set this up, and my friend gave me an excellent idea... I use those plastic cup holders for cars. They have a high sitting hook, so you can hang it on the side of the pot and it sits in the water. I just put my plants into those and it works like a charm! I cleaned and soaked the cup holders before I put them in there, and they've caused no issues. In a smaller pond, cup holders might be too big, but I'm sure there are other things out there that would work just as well. Just have to use your imagination. =)
 

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Thank you!!! It's very beautiful, you've tempted me to start my own mini pond!!! The plants are just gorgeous!
 

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Darn it, always want to edit and add stuff and it's too late now. lol

Anyway, here's a photo of when it got wild and overgrown. xD




Ah, thank you, Blu! I hope your new pond gets started up smoothly. ^_^
 

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Wow those plays must be REALLY easy to keep.

The water and its movement is beautiful! You've used a sponge filter correct?
 

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Yea, it's near impossible to kill arrowhead and pothos, that's why I love em! xD

Yup yup, just a sponge filter. I have a little adjuster on the pipeline to lessen the flow of air/water movement.
 

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No problem! I'd suggest Walmart for a pot, but I kinda hate Walmart (cruelty to bettas and all). xP But Lowes would be great, I think. They have tons of different kinds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes! An indoor "pond" is awesome, I can tell you first hand. I made one last year and I have my female betta in it along with rosy red minnows and 5 platies.

I have it cycled, using a sponge filter, river rocks on bottom, and a couple of decorations/a cave, and pothos and arrowhead plants growing in it (roots submerged). The tank, itself, is a big 18-20 gallon "fake ceramic" planter (aka, made of some type of plastic or.. some lightweight material). lol

It's funny because I was just now testing the pond water for nitrates and I keep getting a reading of zero. This is about the 3rd time I test it within 2-3 weeks, and it always reads zero. This pond has been up and running since about last... July or August?

Wondering if it was faulty or not, I tested again but put a few drops of worm casting "extract" (I have a worm compost bin) into the vial filled with pond water, b/c I know worm castings are full of nitrogen. Sure enough, the vial turned deep red, meaning the test is working perfectly...

The point of mentioning this is that my plants must be doing a terrific job of keeping nitrates down! Ammonia reads zero also. I rarely even do a water change. Usually I just top it up from evaporation. All the fish are thriving and I'd definitely recommend an indoor fish pond. ^_^

This looks amazing! It's exactly the sort of set up I was thinking about, thanks for all the great information. May I ask how many gallons roughly is your pot? It looks pretty big. Also do you actually see much of the fish inside or just at feeding time? Maybe instead of a smaller pot with a male I should get a giant pot and a sorority :p
 

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Thank you! I'll also check Ace hardware. It's walking distance from where I live and their items in stock are always cheap!
 

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Sounds good, Blu!

Midorisu- Glad I could be helpful! My pond is about 18-20 gallons, give or take. My betta girl stays at the top all the time, so when I pass by, I usually see her, unless she's hiding among the roots, as she occasionally does.

One of my platies in particular is fearless and has been friendly since the day I got him, so he's usually at the top with Bree (the betta) where I can see him. With the other platies, I'd say I see them about 50% of the time when I'm passing by. They usually stay mid-depth, and if I stop to admire them, they'll come to the surface.

The rosy minnows stay at the bottom, under their cave all the time, and only come zooming around when it's feeding time. lol They're much more active if they can see you (like in a clear sided tank), but I still love em b/c they're always scavenging around. They eat up every piece of dropped food and even some types of algae (btw, I haven't had an algae problem at all in the pond. But they ate the algae that would sometimes grow in my older, small tank, before I switched to the pond). =)

It's worth noting, though, that my pond is in my bedroom, so I might walk by a few times a day when I go to use the restroom. lol If it were in the living room where they could see me more often, I'd bet they would be at the surface for a majority of the time.

Edited to add- Btw Blu (and Midorisu or anyone else lol), when looking for a pot, look for one that is smooth/glazed inside. A previous poster mentioned it, but I'll mention it again since I'm writing down everything else. lol There are ones that have a rough, unpolished inside, like a chalky surface, as I saw when I was buying mine. Those seem like a bad idea for a pond. So definitely go with smooth and glazed. Just thought I should mention that. :3
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That's great to hear :) I was thinking of my pot being in the living area so I'm hoping to see more betta action ;) thanks again for all the great information
 
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