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By Sarahm

United Kingdom Gb

Above ground Pond - yes or no?

Hi all - I am thinking about buying an above ground pond from Blagdon. It is to go on our patio, against the house wall, sunny spot, no tree leaves would fall in it but likely to have some petal fall from nearby flowers which I may need protective netting for.

Ideally the pond will have couple of plants and couple of goldfish.

Any advice for winter care and if I should not be considering an above ground pond for the cold spot I live in?
It is 2 degrees at the moment. It would like to put it beside the wicker seat you see in the pics, it gets the sun as it comes round in the afternoon, faces south-west(ish)

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hi Sarah, I have a raised pond but it is largish [15ft x 10ft I think but I am useless at measurements] and we are in east yorks. where are you? it does freeze in a harsh winter but we have had it in place for 18 yrs now. I dont bother netting the surface and just scoop debris out with a net. It gets a complete clean out every 2/3 yrs and it just does its own thing. I have many plants and fish in it. the pleasure i get from it is immeasurable. its in the back garden facing west.
there will be lots of photos in my photo section on here.
feel free to pm me especially if you want some plants [waterlilies in particular] :o)

20 Dec, 2013


Thanks Seaburn.. that was record quick!
The pond will be tiny as it is more like a ready bought water feature and the one I am planning is deep & upright rather than wide...but it is still a pond of sorts!
It is really all I have room for, due to having so many trees around the garden.

Thanks so much for the offer for plants/lillies - but I am sure I won't have enough open water/sunlight and stillness on the surface to suit the lillies. So I will need to make do with looking at your lovely photos instead..going to add you to my favourites and browse your photos when I am lounging over Xmas! Thanks for the reply :)

20 Dec, 2013


Sorry, I would be concerned about the fish :o| in the freezing weather as they may get frozen in the winter. :o{
I would go to your local pond & fish shop and ask for their advice as they do do water heaters for ponds for the winter months. Jackie :o)

20 Dec, 2013


I would stick to plants, as the fish will only add to the detritus in the pond and make it more likely to green up with algae in the spring. The water will still go green until the plants take a hold and remove excess nutrients thus suppressing the algal growth. Also, a small pond above ground could freeze through from the sides, although only in the coldest weather, and that might cause the fish some stress as the oxygen levels are reduced.

20 Dec, 2013


thanks Jackie - will do

20 Dec, 2013


Thanks also HC- I must have been posting the above just as you replied!

20 Dec, 2013


as it will be a small pond I agree fish may not be a good idea, unless you want to 'tank' them indoors over winter. the bonus of fish in the summer is they eat the midge larvae, as you will definitiely get them.

20 Dec, 2013


It'll be fine with both goldfish and plants. The pond will go green whether there's fish in there or not, it's all about getting the balance between fish, plants and sunlight.

A miniature lilly or some floating plants will help reduce the amount of sunlight on the water. The fish produce nitrates and phosphates which will feed the plants. A weekly 10% water change using just normal tapwater will help too.

If we're expecting a seriously cold snap of minus 5 or lower, it might just be worth taping some newspapers or bubble wrap to the sides and loosely cover the surface with bubble wrap. Cold water holds more dissolved oxygen than warm water so don't worry about that.

Ive been a keeper of ponds, koi, coldwater, tropical and marine reef aquaria for over 40 years and i currently have a 70,000 gallon pond at work.

20 Dec, 2013


I was a bit worried by the shape you mentioned - you generally need a larger surface area than you get with deep and narrow or there is a greater likelihood of the water going bad and smelly. Maybe this is why Badfish recommended a weekly change of some of the water. If you do that perhaps you could leave the tap water standing in a bucket or something so the chlorine in it evaporates before you add it and it has a chance to come to the same temperature as the pond water.

A recommendation we always tried to follow was a greater surface area than depth, and allow a gallon of water to an inch of fish bearing in mind that you hope the fish will grow.
Might there be a danger of the water overheating in the summer in that position? Sorry to be a bit of a Job's comforter - can't help looking on the black side to try to avoid disappointments. Probably best to ignore me.

20 Dec, 2013


I think you are making very valid points Stera

20 Dec, 2013


To be honest Steragram, for a couple of small goldfish, it's not going to make an awful lot of difference. Just think of a couple of goldfish in a 2 foot cubed aquarium....plenty of space. Ive also, in all my fishkeeping time, never used dechlorinated water. Straight out of the tap for me (providing it's not all the water)

As mentioned, it's all about getting the balance right and a nicely balanced planted pond with remove lots of the nasties from the water.

20 Dec, 2013


So you pays your money and takes your choice! Whatever you decide I'm sure it will give you a lot of pleasure - water makes all the difference to a garden.

20 Dec, 2013


It might be worth talking to a couple of aquatic shops in your area - they will know what your weather conditions are like, and by going to more than one you should get a balanced view rather than just someone trying to sell you something. Wander around for long enough and someone is bound to come and ask if you need help, then you can launch into what you're looking for. I've found (genuine) aquatics shop people can be very helpful and would rather send you away empty handed than have you go back a few weeks later with a bag full of dead fish!

20 Dec, 2013


As others have said keeping the water clear is about balance. I've used chlorinated tap water in my pond for years with no problems. I've got lots of oxygenating plants in the pond which take the nutrients out of the water and oxygenate it. The water in my un-filtered pond is crystal clear .

I don't add fish as they eat most of the other pond life. I have great crested newts,literally hundreds of tadpoles every year and a wide range of other small wildlife in the pond.... all thriving

I would say however that a sunken pond is far better for wild life and not so likely to heat up too much in summer .

I would recommend not having a pond less than 80-90 cm deep as shallower than that and it could freeze solid in a long hard winter

20 Dec, 2013


wow,thanks all I am amazed there have been so many replies when everyone is so busy in the run up to Xmas:

anchorman - I'll go check the height of the pond

urbanite - my local dobbies gc which is the main original one has a good aquatics dept so am going to consult them on goldfish, thanks

badfish - so tempted to take your advice and just give it a go !

stera - thanks for the tip on letting the tap water stand .midges here are a nightmare so I think it is either a pond with 2 fish or no pond at all and I spend hours wrapping up the garden for winter anyway, although unfortunately not always successfully!

22 Dec, 2013


Hope it all works out well for you anyway!

22 Dec, 2013

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