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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Solar Pond Pumps?

It's been a frenzy of gardening this Easter at my place. Well, a frenzy in my terms. Probably actually a slow sort of dig, dig, ponder, plant, pick out a weed, dig, contemplate...

Anyway, the first garden job I got cracking on was the pond. Remember how ugly it looked a few weeks ago? I dug up all the weeds - well most of the weeds and then they grew back again! And I pulled out all the cack that was growing on the bottom of the pond and I contemplated for a few days. Then I filled it up with water and contemplated some more. But the next day the water level in that pond was suspiciously low. And the next day I realised that I did indeed have a slow leak. Shouldn't have surprised me seeing as it has been sitting there for a couple of years and was made with plastic liner and there are rocks and things all about.

Problem was that after all that contemplation, I had set my heart on a pond and was determined to make it work. So I pulled the lot out went and purchased a pre-fab little pond from the local big barn. And plonked it in.
I also created a little bog garden with the kids' old wheelbarrow and some carnivorous plants. I love carnivorous plants and have a little jungle of them on my kitchen windowsill but I've never tried them outside so I do hope this one is successful.
Now I have been contemplating and googling a bit more. I haven't yet purchased the fish (goldfish this time) because everywhere I've been reading says that fish need pumps and filters in their ponds. And I am lazy and not inclined to do anything tricky and I especially don't want to waste electricity. I do have a couple of oxygenating plants in there but I don't think that will be enough. So I thought I might go for a solar pump. But when I went and priced one from the local big barn I nearly fainted on the spot. And then the helpful assistant at the local big barn told me that solar pumps are unreliable. 

I'm pretty sure that pond has only a few more days looking this good and will then turn a slimy green and become a nursery for baby mozzies. So what should I do? There are little solar pumps for a reasonable price on ebay. Whether they would do a good enough job of oxygenating the water and keep fish alive I'm not too sure. Any suggestions?




16 comments:

  1. Get snails to eat the algae that grows in the pond. Get some of the small black mosquito eating fish for the pond (I always forget what the actual type of fish is, but the store you buy them at could probably point you in the right direction). Then add some goldfish.

    For what it is worth, my mom has had a pond for as long as I can remember. It has a pump and a waterfall, but it is only run during the summer, and then only occasionally. The oldest living goldfish in the pond was bought as a tiny cheap feeder goldfish meant to be turtle food and is currently 8 years old.

    The pond my mom runs has some pretty basic plants like lily pads and some other common water plants. She cleans out the pond once or twice a year at the most. So, I think you can totally do fish in the pond without using electricity or buying a super expensive solar pump.

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    1. That is good to hear thanks k Koira. When you say snails do you mean water snails? I am forever squishing ordinary snails.

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    2. Yup. They are pond snails that specifically eat the algae and such that would otherwise muck up the pond. I wonder if you might have different options available to you as far as fish and snails go, since you are on the other side of the world.

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    3. If you're getting water snails, buy them in late spring. Most like a water temp of above 18 Deg C. If you get them and they slowly acclimatise to winter temps, they may survive, but def not if you buy them now. Goldfish and some algae eaters don't need warm water so can be bought now.

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  2. I had solar powered garden lights in the UK, except they never actually came on. Of course we actually get sunshine here and I suspect the technology has come on a little bit in the intervening 10 years...

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    1. I have solar lights and they work well.

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  3. Can't help on this one I'm afraid. You know my opinions on fish... well, certainly in respect of (not)eating them.

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  4. Well as I mentioned before VG, my daughter has ponds and fish and no pumps. She has plants in hers and they are fine. Just stick the hose in now and then to get some extra oxygen and it will be ok. It's certainly looking good. :)

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    1. Thanks jeanettann your sister's experience makes me feel optimistic.

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  5. Sounds like you have had a busy weekend, I have plants in mine and just give it a water when I'm watering the garden.

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  6. I also have a pond with goldfish (and waterlillies, siberian iris' and common water milfoil) and I've never used a pump, or feed them for that matter. They do just fine.

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  7. We have a solar pump. It works well but we have to clean the bird droppings off the panel occasionally. They love it.

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  8. Ok thanks everyone for your comments. I'm decided. My mum also has a big pond and they haven't used their pump for ages. So I'll get a little solar pump and see how we go.

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  9. The solar pumps do work, but you just need to ensure that the pump is big enough for the size of the pond. Also just be aware in the winter months and check that the pump is fully working for long intervals for the safety of the fish.

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  10. Sounds and looks really lovely! Looks great!! A million times better at least! :)

    Luxform Tuinverlichting & Buitenverlichting

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