Over the years of blogging about my stock-tank ponds (a gallon container pond in my former garden, and this new gallon one), Ive been asked many times how I constructed them. I finished the new pond yesterday evening, so Ill explain how I did it, from start to finish.
Setting up the stock tank
If you live in the Austin area, go to Callahans General Store to pick out your stock tank. If you live elsewhere, I suggest searching for farm- or ranch-supply stores on the outskirts of town or looking for a mail-order source. Stock tanks come in many sizes and can be either circular or oval. I recommend a 2-foot-deep tank if you plan to grow water lilies and keep fish.
Measure an area a few feet larger than the size of your stock tank, and dig out the grass or groundcover down about three inches. Using decomposed granite or paver base and a level (rest it on a long, straight board to check the level across a large distance), lay a flat, stable base, tamping it smooth and level, for your tank to sit on. It will be very heavy when filled with water, and you want to be sure it wont sink on one side over time, making the water line in the pond look tilted too.
When the tank is positioned, fill it with clean water from a hose or, better, a rain barrel. If using tap water from the hose, let the water sit in the tank for three or four days before planting or adding fish so that the chlorine in the water has time to evaporate. Once you have fish or other wildlife in your pond, youll need to be careful about how you add water to compensate for evaporation. To top off small tanks like my old stock-tank pond, use rainwater or a bucket of tap water that has had time to de-chlorinate. Larger tanks like my new one may be topped off with water right out of the hose if its only an inch or two; the volume of water in a large tank nullifies the impact of the added chlorine, so long as its not too much.
Update 4/20/ If you live in the City of Austin, chloramine is now added to our drinking water. (If you live elsewhere, check with your water provider to see if your water contains chloramine; many cities use it.) Unlike chlorine, chloramine does not dissipate on its own, and it is toxic to fish. Youll need to buy a product to neutralize the chloramine in your pond water before adding fish. I bought a liquid product called Pond Prime from Hill Country Water Gardens in Cedar Park, and they told me that using it once a month would be sufficient. It only takes a few capfuls to treat my 8-ft. diameter ( gallon) stock-tank pond.
Planting the stock tank
Youll want to choose at least three types of plants for your new pond: oxygenators (submerged plants), marginals (waters edge plants), and deep-water aquatics (plants that sit on the bottom and have leaves on the surface, like water lilies). Water lilies may be sexy, but the hard-working oxygenators are very important in maintaining a natural balance in the water, keeping algae at bay, and producing oxygen for fish. I like to use anacharis, pictured above. The nursery will sell it in small bundles wrapped in wet newspaper.
As soon as you get home, put the plants in a bucket of water or get them planted in the pond. Youll need a few old plastic pots filled with clean pea gravel. It doesnt matter whether the pots have holes in the bottom. Pick up a clump of your oxygenator plants
and carefully insert the bottom inch or so of the stems into the pea gravel of the pot. The stems are fragile, so I make a little hole in the gravel with my fingers, set the stems in the hole, and then bank the pea gravel around them.
Heres a bunch all potted up. Anacharis doesnt even have to be potted, Ive heard, but doing so helps protect it from being devoured by the fish. The fish may eat it up over time. When that happens, just buy some more.
Place the potted oxygenator plant on the bottom of the tank, and thats it. I bought six bundles of anacharis for my large stock-tank pond and filled three pots with them. I may need more, but Ill wait and see if these grow fast enough to keep the tank clean.
Next youll need to build some platforms for your marginal plants. I use whatever is at hand: stacked bricks, overturned pots, and cement blocks.
Cement blocks with holes in the middle have the added advantage of giving fish a hiding place from predators like raccoons and herons.
I chose three marginal plants for my new pond: dwarf papyrus (brought over from my old pond)
Black Marble taro
and a dark-leaved pond crinum from Hill Country Water Gardens.
Last but not least, the attention-getters for any pond: water lilies. Deep-water aquatics like these shade the water with their large, spreading leaves, helping to keep the pond cool, sheltering fish, and blocking out the sunlight that algae feed on. I brought over Helvola, a dwarf yellow, from my old pond.
And I recently bought this Colorado, a medium-to-large coral-pink lily. When purchasing water lilies for your container pond, be sure to note their mature sizes. Small stock-tank ponds like my old one have room for only one dwarf water lily. Larger ponds may be able to support two or three larger lilies.
Water lilies should be placed on the bottom of the tank if their leaves can reach the surface. If the leaves arent that long, place the pot on a few bricks to lift it up. As it grows, remove the bricks to lower the pot to the bottom of the pond. Once a month during the growing season (March or April to October in Austin), press a fertilizer tablet with your finger deep into the heavy soil of the water lilys pot. Dont let the tablet dissolve in the water, or it will contribute to algae bloom.
In Austins climate, hardy water lilies (as opposed to tropical ones) can be overwintered in the bottom of a 2-foot-deep stock tank. The water lily will die back to mushy stems in the winter, which should be collected and discarded from the pond. Every year in early spring, as new growth begins, divide your water lily and replant in heavy clay soil in a pond pot with no holes in the bottom. Top-dress the pot with pea gravel to keep the soil from floating into the water.
Bird-bathing and insect-drinking platform
With their sheer sides and lack of natural shelves, stock-tank ponds have the advantage of being difficult for raccoons, dogs, and cats (and small children) to get into. But its good to make your pond hospitable to birds, insects, and other small creatures that might want a drink or a bathe, or that fall in and need a place to crawl out. I put a stone bathing platform on top of a cement block next to the edge of the tank. It gives birds and insects easy access to the water, and I can enjoy watching them enjoying the pond.
I will add fish native gambusia or hardy goldfish are good choices for color and life in the pond, and for eating mosquito larvae. In fact, I never feed my goldfish, letting them forage instead on mosquito larvae, algae, bugs, and the anacharis at the bottom of the pond. Check with your supplier to find out how many fish your size pond can support. If you dont want fish, youll need to rely on mosquito dunks or bits to keep larvae from hatching in the water. Questions about the water temperature and fish are answered below.
Pumps and filters
A filtered bubbler pump can be a nice addition to your pond, especially if you desire the sound of moving water. But in my experience it isnt necessary for clear water, mosquito control, or healthy plants. It may, however, be necessary if you keep goldfish and your pond is in full sun and the surface water heats up in the summer. Goldfish prefer cool water, and a pump will help keep the water at a constant temperature by circulating cooler water from the bottom. Gambusia (native mosquito-eating fish), while not as colorful as goldfish, are hardier and will not mind warm pond water; therefore, a pump is not a necessity for them. As far as keeping the water clean and healthy, a filtered pump is not required. What matters is having an adequate amount of underwater plants, surface-shading plants, and not overcrowding your tank with fish.
Will the metal tank cook my fish or plants in summer?
This is the most common question Im asked about stock-tank ponds from fellow hot-climate gardeners. Ive had a small, 4-ft-diameter pond in full sun, and a large, 8-ft-diameter pond in part shade, and at no time have I ever observed the plants to suffer in the heat. After all, theyre sitting in a nice, comfy bowl of water. Theyre loving summer!
Whether the water will get too warm for fish, however, depends on a number of factors: the size of your tank, how much sun it gets, whether you put a recirculating pump in the pond, and what kind of fish you choose. Goldfish prefer relatively cool water temperatures and need more oxygen as the water temperature increases. Therefore, if you stock your pond with goldfish, consider installing a pump to circulate the water and aerate it. You might also bank soil up on one side of the tank to provide insulation easily done if your tank is situated in a garden bed rather than free-standing in the open. Alternatively, stock your pond with gambusia, native mosquito-eating fish, as they tolerate warmer water than goldfish. You can usually find both types of fish at pet stores or pond-supply stores.
Will the galvanized coating on the tank poison my fish?
I get asked this at least two or three times a month. I can only answer from my own experience: no, Ive never noticed any problems with goldfish or gambusia (mosquitofish) dying off when placed in a galvanized tank. And Ive seen many tanks in various gardens over the years that contain fish, including at the Wildflower Center. My mom even had one with koi for several years, although they did eventually outgrow that small tank. My advice is to wash out your tank thoroughly before filling it with water, and once you fill it hold off on adding fish for a week or two so the chlorine can evaporate and the water temperature can stabilize.
The only maintenance is netting fallen leaves from time to time, fertilizing once a month during the growing season, mucking out the bottom once a year, and dividing plants once a year. Expect an algae bloom the pond will turn green soon after you plant your pond and maybe each spring as the water heats up. But by keeping the pond stocked with oxygenator plants and being patient until the water lilies leaf out to shade the water surface, youll find the water clears up on its own without need for any chemicals. Just as nature does it.
This is part 1 of a 3-part pond series:
Part 1 How to make a container pond in a stock tank
Part 2 Winterizing a stock tank pond
Part 3 How to spring clean your stock tank container pond
Update: August 15, Here is how the pond looks after only a few weeks!
Disclaimer: This post details what has worked for me in making a stock-tank container pond in zone 8b. Gardeners in colder zones may not be able to overwinter pond plants or fish in this way.
All material © by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.
2nd garden, Fish, How I Did It, Ponds, Stock tanks, Water gardeningSours: https://www.penick.net/digging/?p=
Gallon Stock Tank too Small for QT?
Im looking at picking up a couple Tosai size koi this spring. With space being a factor is a Gal Rubbermaid stock tank too small to Quarantine 2 Tosai and possibly one 15 Canary Koi for 6 to 8 weeks? My filtration would be two 55 Gallon drums one moving bed with K1 and the other a static filter with Springflow? I dont want keeping the water parameters in check a daily chore and would be trickling fresh water in 24/7. I would have the tank installed in my heated garage and also have two watt heaters in the tank to regulate the temp. Any experience or advice would be greatly appreciated
d spend a few more bucks and get the gallon Rubbermaid stock. with your filtration you mentioned and trickling waterthe may dobut if you have a power outage and have no back up,,,,you'll have very small window of time with gallons
The reason with going with the Gallon stock tank is one I already have one and two I could still park the cars in the garage. If I wanted to leave one of the cars out I would just set up a 6 foot POP or Dream Pond tank. I cant get away with an Intex pool since they dont seem to make them less than 10 diameter. My thought was by adding more water in filtration I would essentially be adding more water volume and stability to the overall system but the fish would not have as much room to grow. I dont want to stunt growth or have any negative impacts on the young fish.
- it's your call and you know what your needs and wants arethe smaller the tank,,the less forgiveness you have if something goes wrongI'd be concerned about the emissions of the cars personallydo you have room for a shed?don't know about your area,,,but in my area you can get great deals on sheds on craigslistOriginally Posted by CdteoThe reason with going with the Gallon stock tank is one I already have one and two I could still park the cars in the garage. If I wanted to leave one of the cars out I would just set up a 6 foot POP or Dream Pond tank. I cant get away with an Intex pool since they dont seem to make them less than 10 diameter. My thought was by adding more water in filtration I would essentially be adding more water volume and stability to the overall system but the fish would not have as much room to grow. I dont want to stunt growth or have any negative impacts on the young fish.
- I could put up a shed but was hoping to use the heat thats already in my garage to help out with keeping the water warmer. It sounds like best bet is to just leave a car out of the garage and do a 6 foot POP tank although my 2 Watt aquarium heaters probably will not do much for a tank that size. I appreciate your help. I still have some time to think about it.Originally Posted by pearlharbordayit's your call and you know what your needs and wants arethe smaller the tank,,the less forgiveness you have if something goes wrongI'd be concerned about the emissions of the cars personallydo you have room for a shed?don't know about your area,,,but in my area you can get great deals on sheds on craigslist
I would go with the 6 foot tank my self.
Thank you Steve sounds like the 6' tank is the way to go.
If you can find room, these make an inexpensive QT too. I've had the same one
in my garage now for years.
I like the Intex idea but just don't have the space for a 10' pool in the garage. With two little kids I was thinking the POP or Dream Pond may be a little more durable for a temp set up that would be easy to break down and set up as needed. Thank you for the suggestion.
Chad, I kept 30 " koi in a g Rubbermaid stock tank from January to September of this year. I misjudged how long it would take to get a pond built. I kept it in my warehouse at around 68 degrees and had two small aquarium air pumps with air stones attached and built a bio filter out of a 30g plastic drum full of bioballs and lights set up on a timer. Once it cycled in I had no problems until this summer when they started to get big and the bio couldn't keep up. I was doing daily water changes (75%) for the last month before my first pond was finished and moved them. Not that I would recommend anyone doing that (I wouldn't do it again with all I've learned) but I think it's not a stretch to keep a couple of fish in a g tank especially if it's just a month or so as long as you have a good bio filter set up.
I like ICU2's idea and I'll probably get one of those for a QT tank at the warehouse and hook it up to a S/G filter.
Thank you for the input. I need to figure out a way to reduce time spent on the pond during the week and I think if I can find a larger tank like a 6' show tank for a reasonable price it would probably be easier to maintain water quality. Time being my biggest factor right now with two little kids at home I just need something simple that I can test the water a couple times a week and not daily to keep things in check.
I kept two koi in a gallon tank last winter with just a barrel with springflo in it. Never had any issues, but they were only about 12". Much easier to keep it warm in the garage, and you are right, I was still able to fit the cars. I'm going to have to do it again this winter it looks like!Vicki
"Some of my best friends have scales!"
Member Dallas Koi Kichi Club (www.dallaskoikichi.org)
Member North Texas Water Garden Society (www.ntwgs.org)
gallon liner pond
Skimmer to 1/4 hp 2 speed pump to Bead filter to 4 jets,
" BD to SC to Nexus to 1/4 hp Performance Pro Artesian pump to 2 S/G filters to waterfall
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A small garden pond is a great way to keep some fish while keeping the cost low.
If you have a space shortage you can build one in your garden, balcony, and even in the room.
The most common small pond sizes are
- gallon pond
- gallon pond
- gallon pond
- gallon pond
In this article, I will walk you through everything you need to know about a small pond for fish.
3 Ways to Build a small gallon Pond
Using Pond Liner
Pond liner is widely used to build medium and large garden ponds. It is a rear practice to build a gallon pond with a pond liner. Because such small size ponds are built with preformed pond liner or stock tank.
But that doesnt mean you cant build a small pond with a pond liner. It is still possible to build such a small pond with a liner if you want. You will need a smaller size pond liner for this purpose. You can find good pond liners at amazon and eBay for gallons, gallon, , and gallon ponds.
Using Preformed Pond Liner
Preformed pond liners are widely used for building a small outdoor fish pond. It takes very small effort and time to build a pond with this.
Preformed pond liners are easily available. Normally the volume ranges from 30 gallons to gallons. So, if you want to build a gallons pond with this, it is still possible.
To build a pond with a preformed pond liner, you need to dig the soil according to the size and shape of the liner and place the liner in that.
In Container or Stock Tank
If you want to build a small gallon indoor pond, the best way will be using a container or stock tank. It is also popular for balcony ponds. Stock tanks are made of galvanized steel, plastic, or Rubbermaid. Stock tanks are available from 50 gallons to gallons size.
Making a pond with a stock tank or container is super easy. It will take you roughly 2 hours. Just place it in your preferred place, install the pump and aerator, add some plants, and you are ready to stock the fish.
A pond without plants is always incomplete. They increase the beauty of the pond and helps to keep the water clean. Plants also make a good hiding place for fish. Some fish also spawn in the roots of the plants.
You have to be careful while selecting plants for your small pond. Dont add large plants as they will take up the place.
If it is an outdoor pond, you need to add some of the plants to the shoreline. Also, add some floating plants to your pond. It will make the pond charming and help to keep the temperature low.
You can also add some submerged pond plants. they are good for oxygenating the water.
For preformed and stock tank pond you have to use mall plastic container for plants so that plant will not fully be submerged in water.
Some good plants for a small fish pond are
- Water lettuce
- Creeping Jenny
- Cardinal Flower
- Sweet Flag
- Water Hyacinth
If your pond liner or tank bottom is visible, it looks odd. Rocks also help to culture beneficial bacteria and keep the water quality good.
Therefore, you have to add some rocks to the pond bottom. You can also build a pond retaining wall with rocks. Dont use uniform size rocks, it looks bad. Rather use a mix of all-size rocks for your pond.
Fountain and Aerator
Having a fountain in your pond will take the beauty of it to the next level. It also helps to aerate the water. Aerating is important for a pond because it adds oxygen to the water and fish cant live without oxygen.
You dont have to get a big fountain for your small pond. Small fountains with a built-in pump available. Just make sure it can serve enough flow for the pond.
Having a spillway in a very small size pond is very rare because there wont be enough water to maintain the minimum flow.
But you can still have a small spillway for your pond. I saw a guy install a small bamboo-made spillway in his stock tank pond. There is no need to buy a spillway, you can make one easily.
Lighting the Pond
Lighting your pond will increase its beauty. You can use a submersible or downlight for this purpose. Downlights are better than submersible lights as they last longer.
Normally, pond lights are LED lights. You can also use solar pond lights if you want. It will save you money in the long run.
For your indoor pond, you can install ceiling lights or clamp-on lamps, or LED grow lights. In indoor installing grow light is necessary because pond plants need it to thrive.
Choosing The Right Pond Filter
There are many types of pond filters available. The filter you need depends on the size of your pond.
For a small pond, you dont need a mammoth filter. Two Spong filters are enough for filtering the water. They are easy to install and dont cost much. You can power them with your pond pump.
Some people use bio-balls for filtering the water. They are good when you are super concerned about water quality.
If you notice too much algae in your pond, you can use a combo of filter and UV clarifier. This works really well for maintaining the water quality and killing the algae.
Choosing the Right Pond Pump
It is recommended that you recirculate the pond water every 2 hours. Therefore, you will need 50 gallons per hour pump for your gallons pond and gallons per hour pump for a gallons pond. For gallons, the pump capacity should be in between these two.
But the pump size may increase due to various reasons. If you stock more fish than recommended, you will need more flow. Again if you have both spillway and fountain, the size of your pump will increase as well.
Pumps are available in two types, External and Submersible. I will advise you to use a good submersible pump. It will not create any hoise as it is kept underwater. A submersible pump also has a great runtime as it is cooled by the surrounding water.
Heating The Pond in The Winter
If you are from a cold climate and everything around freezes, you will need to heat the pond. Some of the pond fish can thrive below 0 degrees but most of them wont.
There are a number of ways to heat a pond in winter. But for a small pond using a de-icer or immersed heater is the best practice. It saves a lot of money.
A deicer doesnt heat the pond, rather it floats around and keeps an air hole. Thus both fish and bacteria can thrive in the winter.
An immersed heater will keep the pond water temperature constant. Hence, you should use this one if you have fish that cant thrive at low temperatures.
What Fish Can You Stock in Small Pond
Goldfish will be the best pond fish for this size pond. Common goldfish can live for years in a well-maintained pond. Although fancy goldfish are also available, I dont recommend you stock them in your pond. They are good in the aquarium, not in a pond.
If your pond is at outdoor, dont stock very little goldfish, they may die soon. Goldfish are very friendly and you can stock them with other pond fish like koi.
When we say garden pond, we mean Koi pond. Kois are a favorite garden pond owner for centuries.
As the depth of your pond is less, you shouldnt stock large koi in it. Again large koi are expensive too. It is recommended that you dont stock koi larger than 10 inches in a small pond. If you want to stock large adult size koi, our pond depth should be at least 3 feet.
You can buy small koi fish on amazon or PetSmart cheap.
As koi grow quickly, you may need to transfer them to a larger size pond within a year.
Other Small Fish
Apart from koi and goldfish, there are other small fish that you can stock in your pond. Some of the good small pond fish are
- Red Shiners
- Siamese Algae Eater
- Pond Loach
How Many Fish You Can Stock in Small Pond?
The number of fish you can stock in a gallon pond depends on the species and size of the fish. If you stock Mollies and Guppies the number will be higher than the Koi.
- You can stock up to medium size koi in gallon water. Anything more of that will make it overcrowded.
- If you stock baby koi of inches long, then the number will be But you should stock less as they grow quickly
- One Goldfish requires 20 gallons of water. Therefore you can stock 5 of them in gallons.
- You should never stock an adult koi in a gallon pond.
It is better to stock a blend of fish. Stock small baby koi, goldfish, and 20 other smaller size fish in gallons. For a and gallon pond, the number will be and 2 times gallons or less.
DIY Stock Tank Filter
Here is the stock tank in question. I got mine from the Tractor Supply Company for $ bucks, and I had a $5 coupon that I found online that I brought to the store with me. You can see that it has a 1 1/2" drain plug on the front, but I have completely ignored it because I want a bigger waste valve from below. You do not need to put it on as many blocks as I have. I needed to do this because I am trying to make the clearance of my crawl space under my screen porch. But you will need to put it on at least 1 set of blocks to get the waste pipe under it that I will show you later.
Let's begin. I would go no smaller than 2" PVC to plumb this stock tank You will need to get a shower drain from Lowes/Home Depot to serve as the waste on the bottom floor of the tank. You can also use a bulkhead fitting here if you happen to have one laying around. The drains are normally 3" on top, but the pipe below it is 2". Nonetheless you will need to buy a 3 1/4" holesaw from Lowes (so that it will fit the 3" drain). You simply drill a hole through the tank bottom, and clamp your drain on. You then grab some P&L Roofing and Flashing Sealant (in the caulk aisle) and work it in around your drain above and below.
Next, we'll make the inlet and the outlet holes on the side of the stock tank. I decided to make them both on the same side of the tank, so I wouldn't have pipe wrapping around both sides, and I wanted to avoid that 1 1/2" drain, as I mentioned earlier. Go to the electrical/conduit section of Home Depot and get two 2" (or 3", if you've decided to plumb your tank with 3" pipe like I did) male and two 2" female grey conduit adapters. They screw right into eachother as seen below. You put the female on one side, and the male on the other side of the tank wall and they screw very tightly together. DO NOT USE PVC FITTINGS FOR THIS TASK! PVC does not have the same type of close fit threading to clamp tightly together. Use P&L Roofing and Flashing Sealant all around the inside and outside of the fitting to prevent leaks.
Make sure that your upper exit pipe is at least inches down from the top of your stock tank rim.
Pond 150 gallon stock tank
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He especially liked to knead Anka's tight and slippery boobs from the gel. At some point, he squeezed them so that he pressed himself against his sister and his penis was comfortably located in the hollow.40 Gallon Stock Tank Pond Build - Under $100
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Unhurriedly fiddling with him, the brother slowly moved his hips, again starting to fuck his sister, causing moans of pleasure. Quietly watching this, Noel simply could not remain an inactive observer. As unhurriedly as they were, she moved her hips, shaking her lips swollen with excitement and the hardened clitoris against the wooden.