Pond makeover

We used to have 2 Sebastopol Geese. We bought them one of those preformed ponds to swim in, I believe it holds around 150 gallons. They absolutely loved it! Unfortunately we decided to sell the geese, since they loved playing in the yard and we couldn't let them out as much as we would like.

backyard fish pond project

So the goose house and the goose pond became the duck house and the duck pond. Then the ducks learned how to fly out and decided their favorite pastime was sitting by the patio door waiting for us to come out and pooping. YUCK! 

Between that and the fox problem we decided they would be better off (and safer) elsewhere and they were sold too.

So now the duck house becomes a chicken coop for the Mille Fluer D'uccles and the pond sits empty. Well, empty except for the frogs and hundreds of tiny little tadpoles. 

The husband wanted to just pull it out, but I figured since we went through all the effort of digging it in (twice) we should at least give it a try as a fish pond first. After all, we already paid for the pond and fountain...why not add a few fish and plants? 

So....long story short: here's the transformation. 

Plastic pond rehab project

Step 1 was remove the 13 frogs that have taken up residence and all 756 of their baby tadpoles. We took them down to the swampy pond in the woods. Ok, so there's a slight chance I might have miscounted and I certainly missed a few of the smaller tadpoles at the end...but you get the idea. 

I scrubbed the whole thing out with Oxine (which is the only cleaner I'll use around animals) and rinsed it twice before allowing it to dry out completely. 

When doing research on algae I found that some algae will die off and not come back when dried up. Unfortunately certain types will come back unless you remove the spores, but I figured between the Oxine, the rinsing and the drying it gave me a pretty good chance of getting all of the algae!

Backyard, fish pond, project

After it was as clean as I could get it, I filled it up with clean water. I cut a piece of deer netting and covered the pond with it, anchoring it with rocks on the edges. I didn't want anymore frogs or tadpoles! 

Next I just let it sit for a few days. In the meantime I moved the run fencing for the mini chickens so the didn't accidentally fall in the pond. Chickens can't swim ya know.

Choosing fish for a small pond

After a few days I stopped at the local Agway to see if they had water plants yet, they only had Hornwort but they did have fish. Since Hornwort is pretty good at keeping the water clean I went with 2 bunches of that. 

I also bought 4 comets and 2 small Shubunkins (although I've probably called them shamokins a gazillion times!) The original plan called for Koi which I changed after doing my research and finding out my pond was too small. 

Adding flowers and fish to a pond

Always make sure you have enough space for the fish you want as some stay outside year round and not only can certain fish (like Koi) grow huge, but they need a very deep pond so that it doesn't freeze at the bottom where they'll hang out under the ice till spring.

After giving the new fish a chance to acclimate the whole crew went into the pond. A few days later I stopped at the store again and got 2 Water Iris, 2 floating water Poppy and a corkscrew rush. I anchored them on the pond steps with some pretty rocks I had in the garden. 

I should mention that even though the fish are hiding most of the time, they are still alive and well....I check for 'floaters' every morning! LOL It's a good thing too....the youngest son has already named all of the fish and he can tell them apart! *sigh*

So, here's where we stand so far....Not quite finished....not quite the hot mess it used to be. It was a waterfowl pond for 2 years, so the grass is completely burned out around it from all the poop. 

I've been working on digging out the rock garden this week, so I put all that 'local dirt' ...ie: crappy, won't grow anything...on top of the super high nitrogen content duck poop dirt and voila It's starting to grow. It's weeds, but something is growing!

DIY fish pond with flowers

Next step is tilling and seeding it with grass. Then I want to find a small park style bench for the grassy area. It should be done then unless I want to add more plants. 

It happens to be right beside the white weeping cherry tree that I love so much so it's a very serene lovely area. Except when that mini rooster is crowing. Then it sounds like the dog is playing with a chew toy right behind me. I guess you can't win them all?


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  1. It looks beautiful! I bet it smells much nicer too. I had ducks many, many years ago and boy would they muck up a kiddy pool. We once had a pond like this with some Koi in it (didn't know it was too small for them). But a mother bear came up each night one spring and took a koi for dinner. When they were all gone we had problems with wasps. The pond was apparently their water source. We finally drained it and gave it to a friend who didn't have bee's or bears nearby.

    So glad your pond is getting its...uh, 3rd life, and bringing you such peace in the process.

    1. Ha ha....it smells MUCH nicer now! Unfortunately we do have bears, but hopefully these fish will be too small for the bears! I don't know if i could handle wasps *shudder*

      Thanks for stopping by!