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How do I start an outdoor fish pond?

We recently bought a house with a small outdoor concrete pond. We were told by the previous owners at closing that they used to keep fish in the pond.
It looks like it holds around 60 – 80 gallons of water. There is a drain hole right in the center, but there is no pump or filter. It hasn’t held fish for a some time since the sellers had rented the house for a few years before selling.
What do we need to do to turn this into a fish pond? I’m willing to tackle almost any DIY project, but I would prefer not to have to dig up my yard if it can be avoided.

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5 Responses to “How do I start an outdoor fish pond?”

  1. ZolTar said :

    Best thing to do is clean it up. Use a mildew killer on the concrete. Purchase a pump and filter at Walmart for like $60, buy some fish acessories, maybe some pond stones to place in the bottom, purchase some fish, fill the pond with water and put everything in. You might also need to get an extension cord depending on how far away the outlet is. To hide the cord just dig a 3 inch hole however long you need it and put it in there and then cover it back up. Best thing to use is a trowel. This why when you mow you don’t cut into the cord.

  2. kball572000 said :

    If I was in your situation I would drain it,let it dry completely then plug up the drain hole.At the same time I would use a concrete sealer that is non-toxic if you can and go that way.Or you could use a thick mil or ply for plastic.I have built many fountains in landscaping using the same method.I would also put in a pump for circulation and a algae eater for the fish.

  3. kim t said :

    Go to Lowes and ask them BUT…. do some reading on this first there’s a lot of work to do and maintain this pond.

  4. jt said :

    How fortunate you are! Digging the hole for a fishpond is one of the most obnoxious tasks in building a pond. It is interesting that there is a drain hole; I wonder where it goes?

    You do not have to dig up your yard. I put in an 800 gallon pond with fish, plants, and a waterfall last year, and here are my “I wish I’d known that!” tips.

    1. If you put a liner in your pond, the more expensive and thicker, the better. Cheap liners are easily punctured and become brittle in the sun.
    2. A pond needs an ecosystem. Fish, plants, aeration, sun/shade, filtration, bacteria.
    – Fish eat algae. Algae is bad. You do not want algae.
    – Plants provide shade and oxygen for the fish. Algae hates shade. Both submerged plants (water lilies) and floating plants (water lettuce, water hyacinth) are good.
    – Aeration (waterfall, bubbler, sprayer) oxygenates the water and discourages algae. Algae hates moving water.
    – Every pond needs both sun and shade. You don’t want it directly under a tree, but you do want some type of shade for it during the day.
    – Filtration: A biofilter is a externaltub with filtering medium such as foam. This tub can be buried outside your pond. My biofilter is at the top of my waterfall.
    – Bacteria. Beneficial bacteria, available in liquid, powder, and tablet form, is added to your pond to keep its ecosystem balanced. It helps destroy algae. It should be added as soon as your pond is filled.
    3. Regarding your pump: It should circulate the total pond every hour. 100 gallon pond = 100 GPH pump. You must also calculate “head” or “lift” if you use a fountain, bubbler, or sprayer; rather than drive yourself crazy doing this, find a reputable pond store and ask them. Or research it yourself if you prefer!
    4. Very, very crucial: Rainwater runoff should not get into your pond. Fertilizer, pesticides, motor oil–whatever your neighbors dump into their yard, will get into your pond.
    5. Fish and predators: Predators will find your fish. Hawks, owls, egrets, cats, raccoons. I put an upside down milk crate with a stepping stone on it in my pond. The fish have learned to hide in the milk crate.

    All this sounds complicated. At first it may be. But most of these are one-time purchases. Building a pond is like building a home: do it right, don’t skimp on materials, and ask others for advice. And be patient. I researched for 9 months before I built my pond.

    Happy ponding!

  5. Reuben Weddell said :

    good friend, sweet web page for this subject matter. There are lots of opinions- great job.


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