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Does a pond need a filter? How do you cycle ponds?

Discussion in 'Indoor/Outdoor Ponds' started by Sawyer, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Sawyer

    Sawyer AC Members

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    I'm really confused about this. Sometimes I hear all you need for a pond is a pump/fountain. Some people don't even use that and just have plants for oxygen. But then some use filters... is this just needed for small ponds? Do larger ponds NEED filters? I'm getting a 257 gallon stock tank and in March/April when its warmer I'll be putting my goldfish in it. I'm going to add plants too and get a pump.. will I need a filter or not? If I have rocks/bricks in the bottom can good bacteria grow under it like it would in gravel in a tank?
     
  2. prober

    prober AC Members

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    I would at least use a sponge filter. There are plenty of filtration threads and most don't cost too much but with no filtration it will be problematic.
     
  3. rainbowcharmer

    rainbowcharmer AC Members

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    I think all "small" ponds need filtration (small is probably 10,000 gallons or less). Until you get into huge volumes of water, and the natural processes (fish, plants, bugs, bacteria, etc) that go with them, you're probably going to need filtration. I know for the pond I'm building, I'm definitely putting in a filter (which we assembled today!) because I'd much prefer filtered water with goldfish in there. They create a lot of waste, and the build-up of ammonia really has nowhere to go in such a small amount of water. Larger bodies of water are different, though many of those are fed by springs or rivers, so there's a constant water change going on there.

    I'm sure others with more experience will be along, but I'd vote for filtration on that size setup.
     
  4. cichlidcichlid

    cichlidcichlid AC Members

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    Usually even in big ponds they put in at least an aerator.
     
  5. Sawyer

    Sawyer AC Members

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    Anyone know of any here that don't use filters? I could've sworn there's some that have stock tanks and they use a lot of plants for filtration.

    I probably could set up a DIY filter pretty easily, and I've already got some of the supplies.. I just would rather not if thats possible. I guess I could have fish if I used a filter too...
     
  6. prober

    prober AC Members

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    Even with no fish and plants for a filter you would want to keep the water moving or it will be a mosquito factory.
     
  7. WeedCali

    WeedCali Certified Dubhead

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    You want a filter especially since your gonna have goldies ;)
     
  8. XanAvaloni

    XanAvaloni AC Members

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    Maybe this is quibbling but I would not describe your setup as a pond. To my mind a pond is a hole in the ground with water in it. Even if it has a liner on the bottom to prevent all the water soaking out, it has interaction with the surrounding ground at the edges. Plants grow up and out; dirt blows in with the wind or erodes in from the rain. Etc.

    You are essentially setting up a big metal fishtank that just happens to be outside. I would do everything as you would in any other tank, scaled up to suitable proportions for the volume.

    (I have hopes of doing the same, although with concrete block rather than a stock tank. Was inspired by the one from the ACer in KY last year....was that ponderingKy? my brain is a steel...sieve these days. Haven't seen him around lately anyway.)
     
  9. rainbowcharmer

    rainbowcharmer AC Members

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    Yes I think even the very large volume ponds have a big fountain in the middle to keep the surface moving. I can't think of anyone who has a completely unfiltered pond though I seem to remember an enclosed system tank that is unfiltered somewhere on here. But that was a really special setup.

    I agree on the mosquito problem. Stagnant water leads to all sorts of unpleasantness. And a pond with fish (or a tank with fish) needs some surface agitation for gas exchange. Without it, the fish will probably suffocate. And I'll second the "not quite a pond" thought. Many people here have regular tanks larger than the stock tank you're talking about, which is only going to be able to hold 5 or 6 common goldies comfortably anyhow.

    It will still be a neat setup, but I'd definitely consider filtration.
     
  10. Sawyer

    Sawyer AC Members

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    Ok, will the filter media need to be in a container (like you see with DIY pond filters) or can I have the filter media in the pond, weighted down with a rock or something? Kinda like how a sponge filter is in a tank, I guess...

    I'm going to have a pump, even if I didn't have a filter. And I'm using this netting http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=5163+9413+15872&pcatid=15872 so I don't think mosquitoes will be able to get in, or if they do any larvae they lay will get eaten by the fish.

    Yeah, I know its not a 'pond' exactly.. I have a huge pond, many thousands of gallons, in my yard so in comparison it seems really tiny.
     

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