Fish Ponds Let You Take Your Hobby Outside

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Fish keeping doesn’t just have to be an indoor hobby. As the warmer weather approaches, consider taking your hobby to your yard! Just like container gardening, the addition of a small pond to an outdoor living space is becoming a popular landscaping feature.

Small ponds are popular for those who have space for them. It offers the ability to grow aquatic plants, and keep fish outdoors in order to enjoy them in the warmer months. For some lucky people, this may be year round water feature. For others, spring and summer allow them to enjoy their hobby outdoors.  Ponds can vary in size just as much as aquariums do – depending on the amount of time, money, and space you have at your disposal, you’ll be able to determine exactly what you can do with these outdoor exhibits.

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Just as with aquariums, it is important to keep in the basics in mind. If you’re building a new pond, it will go through the nitrogen cycle just as any aquarium does. Be mindful of this when stocking your pond, so that your fish are healthy and happy. The other consideration is the size of the pond. While it may not be as easy to know exactly what the capacity of your pond is, it is an important aspect when choosing what fish to pick, and how many to put into your pond. Most people prefer to keep coldwater fish such as koi and goldfish in their outdoor ponds, which is a great idea. However, they are dirty fish that can grow to large sizes if kept accordingly. It is tempting to fill your pond with a large amount of fish, but this will only lead to tragedy in most cases. A good rule of thumb is at least 10 gallons of water per koi or goldfish. If you are unsure of the capacity of your pond, you can get a rough idea by looking at the dimensions of your pond and the depth.

The depth of the pond is also important, especially if you live in an area that has frigid winters. When your pond freezes over, it should be deep enough so that the bottom stays liquid. The fish will become dormant in this water for the winter, but if it is not deep enough and freezes solid, they will not survive the season. To avoid this issue, there are a few things to consider. Bringing the fish inside for the winter is probably the most practical choice. Others choose to heat their ponds for the winter, but this can become expensive with the cost of electricity. As well, there is a chance that the heater will malfunction, which will end in a pond of frozen fish.

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Container ponds are also a trendy and compact idea, and it is ideal for smaller areas, such as a porch, balcony or front yard. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a container of water, plants, and fish. Many choose to keep guppies or other live bearers in their container pond for the summer months, because they will feed on small insects, and most likely will spawn. The above considerations of stocking, temperature, and size of these containers are important, but you must be sure to filter the water, as it can become stagnant easily.

The fun part of doing a container pond is that you can get creative in what container you decide to use as your pond. Everything from decorative buckets to old fashioned tin cans can be turned into a pond, and with some ingenuity and creativity, a beautiful water feature is easily and cost-effectively part of your landscape to enjoy all summer long.

summerSummer Davis is the mom of three kids, four dogs, and several tanks of fish. She boasts a passion for all animals, whether they are in the water or on land. This fish aficionado has kept many different species in her time, but holds a special place in her heart for wild and domestic bettas. When she’s not talking about fish, Summer “spins” her extra time as the director of a baton twirling organization.