Welcome to iPond

Welcome to iPond
iPond, you pond, we all love our ponds!!
Welcome to iPond, a place for pond and fish lovers alike to share their trials and tribulations, experience each others joy and delight, and hopefully learn some great tips and tricks along the way.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sexing Goldfish

Well, from what I'm reading lately the way to sex your goldfish is....look for the nib!

No, not the yummy red licorice treats that my husband maintains are NOT licorice. I'm referring to the anal area. Apparently female goldies' anal area extrudes out (nib), and male goldies are concave in (no nib).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Start Up March 20 2010

Well, started up the pump/filter/waterfall today. Usually it's still covered over in ice and snow til at least the beginning of April. Earliest start-up yet!

The algae was already starting to take hold, so to give a little boost and help to the uv light in the filtration system we put 3/4 cup of liquid barley into the water. Last year we used this and it worked like a charm, algae pretty much gone in a few days.

Also last year first thing in the spring we lost quite a few fish to what appeared to be fast acting bacterial infection. We learned that as the water temperature rises, the metabolism of bacteria get going at a quicker rate than the fish's. This means that the bacteria is strong and ready to attack, but the fish immune system is still in its slow, cold winter phase leaving them vulnerable. To prevent another fish loss like last spring, when the water temp reaches 53 degrees F we are going to use Tetra Pond "Pond Fish Treatment". It is supposed to kill all baddies including Ich, Costia Cilodonella and Trichodina (reading from label here, I don't actually use these names in ordinary conversation LOL ) I'm usually not so keen on chemicals, but after last spring's large loss we vowed to deal with this critical transition time in an aggressive way.

Here are a few pics taken this aft. This is hands down the ugliest state for the pond, but I can' wait to see the water start to clear, the cattails start to grow and the lillies start to make their way up to the surface.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ice Out!

Well, the ice left the pond almost 3 weeks early this year. I'm so not ready! I can see the algae starting to grow, most certainly loving the intense sun we've been having. We'll have to get the filter out there and running soon!

One of our variegated, bagged, cattails had dropped to the bottom of the pond in the violence of snow drifts and ice forces during the winter. Strangely enough, it is doing better, more green shoots than the one we left on the shelf! Perhaps sink them both to the deeper part next year. It's always the inadvertent that gives us the best inspiration.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ice Melting, Watching for runoff

Well, the snow is melting rapidly and the pond ice cover is starting to thaw. We noticed today with all the spring thaw, the pond water level is rising slowly over the pond liner. Looks like the ice had bent our outflow pipe too high to catch the overflow quickly enough.

We've got it remedied, and it goes to show to keep a close watch on your pond even when the pump and filter aren't operational.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Building Your Very Own Garden Pond


It's a big endeavour, but an oh so VERY satisfying and rewarding. There are lots of great articles out there on this topic, the below of which is one of them and I found useful:

Call a couple of friends, provide the cold drinks, and it's a project which can be done. In order to prepare in advance, you'll need shovels, a pond underlayment and liner, coping stones, decorative items, plants, a pump, a filter system, a dechlorinator, and a package of bacteria. Yes, you heard me right - bacteria!

Where Should You Locate Your Pond?

The first step in your goldfish pond project will be to find the best location for it. In order to do so, here is a list of things to keep in mind:

* You will need a power supply, so pick a site which is near one.
* Don't put it at the bottom of a slope where chemicals from the yard and garden can be washed down into it.
* Keep away from shaded areas. Your garden needs at least 4 hours of sunlight each day.
* It might seem nice to build your pond nestled near a lovely tree, but don't do it. Leaves and debris falling from the tree will be messy and cause you a lot more maintenance work.

Grab a Shovel and Dig In

Once you've found the site where you want to build your goldfish pond, it's time to think about its size and shape. Make sure you plan a large enough pond so that your goldfish have plenty of room to swim. You'll also want different depths in your pool making some parts deeper and others shallower, just as a pond would be in the wild.

The minimum depth for your pond should be at least two feet, and then only if you live in a mild to moderate climate zone. Otherwise, your pond will need to be deeper. In cold climates, you have to allow at least 12-16" of water that lies below the depth of the surface water that will freeze during winter

The hardest part of the job is going to be the digging, but that's why you invited friends. After laying out the shape you want, and telling your helpers exactly what it is you want, you can all start digging. Keep in mind that your goldfish pond needs to have a ledge running around all sides. This ledge should be 1' wide and 1' deep. In addition, you need to dig a sloping area towards one end so that you'll have a place to install your waterfall.

Before you finish your digging, you need to position your external pond filter and pond skimmers. First they need to be placed and leveled. Then you need to dig two ditches: one from the external pond pump to the skimmer, and one from the pump to the waterfall.

Get in Line!

After preparing the hole, the first thing you're going to put into it is the pond underlayment. This is a lining material that keeps the pond liner from moving. The underlayment can be cut to size and pieced together with tape if need be. Once it's in place, you can add the rubber pond liner. Place it in the hole, position it, and smooth out as many folds as you can. If a few folds remain, you can correct that later. Be careful when placing large boulders onto the liner - sliding and pushing them can rip the liner and be a source of water leak.

Now on to the Good Stuff

Once the liner is all in to your satisfaction and up against the pond filter, it's time to get creative. You get to add waterfalls and streams. Design them so that they will flow directly into the pond. Wherever you want a waterfall, use mortar or expandable foam to secure a rock there. When the water comes on, it will flow over the rock, and you'll have an instant waterfall. Make sure the pond liner is underneath all of the waterfall structures though, otherwise you will slowly lose water through leakage in tiny cracks in the rocks, etc.

The final steps in the basic installation will be to hook the liner to the skimmer and install all of the pipes. Use the instructions provided, and you will be finished before you know it.

A Pond that is a Reflection of You

Now we come to the decoration. You will want to create an environment around your pond to make it look natural. For an edging, you can lay coping stones. They should be slightly higher than the edge of the water when you lay out an outline. While you're laying the rock, make sure to tuck in all ends of the liner so that it won't show. Use your own judgment on whether you think the rocks will stay in place on their own or if you need to add a little mortar for more stability.

In your decorating, try to make everything as much like nature as possible. Add a little shrubbery around the edges, but make sure you don't get carried away. You don't want your shrubbery to grow up to overwhelm your pond or block the view. You can even create a small beach for your pond with using cobblestone and gravel.

The End of the Road

Now's the time to fill your pond with water. Make any adjustments that need to be made, and continue filling until the water is within a few inches of the top. You can add or remove wrinkles in order to make things fit well. A dechlorinator should also be installed which will eliminate unwanted chlorine from the tap water.

Line the bottom of the pond with gravel, and immediately add water plants. Anacharis, a plant that fights algae and filters the water, is a good one to add in abundance. You'll also find that water lilies provide shade for fish on hot, sunny days. And, lastly, you're going to add a package of bacteria to the pond and filter in order to start the bacteria cultures your ecosystem is going to need.

After you've added everything but the fish, you need to wait a few weeks for everything to balance out, for bacteria to grow, and for nutrients the fish will need to develop. In other words, you want your pool to be just like a woodland environment before putting fish in their new home. After the waiting period, bring on the fish. You'll be able to spend hours enjoying your new goldfish pond.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Christopher_W_Smith

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Breeding Fish

This fall we brought indoors a few of our baby pond goldfish. It's tricky to see the little guys in all of their glory in the pond, so we indulged and now enjoy seeing their colour metamorphoses close up.

You can see a pic of our indoor pond babies here

iPond Press Release!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Winter Waterfall

In winter we bring in the large filter so as not to damage the delicate uv filtration system, and (in theory) not kill the good bacteria that live within it. We like to keep the pump and filter going for as long as safely possible each November so we can watch the creation of the winter waterfall. A beautiful water garden feature, even in the cold months! You have to be careful and watch it though: if the ice builds up too much, the water will start to back up and go UNDER the liner rather than back into the pond. We learned that the hard way one year. But if you keep a daily eye on it, you can create your own beautiful, and natural, ice sculpture right in your own back yard.