Let me start off by introducing my fish, Captain Harlock and his first mate Markel. You can't tell by the picture (because there is no picture), but Captain Harlock and Markel are goldfish.
Specifically Captain Harlock is a red cap oranda, and Markel is a orange and white ryukin.
Well heres the story.
I had just confirmed with my family that we will be building a pond in the spring. Its an idea we had been playing around with for a while, but never could agree on the specifics. One day, while outside, we all came to a sudden cohesive plan for what we wanted to do with the pond. We measured things out, planned everything, and figured out the cost. They however patted me on the back and told me the fish and plant part was up to me.
The planned pond is going to be 700 gallons, with 10 fancy goldfish, some whiteclouds, 2 water lillies and a lotus. Some marginals and floaters as well.
However I'm one of those people that needs to do something with my hands to figure it out. With something this costly and permanent I wanted to be sure of what I was doing.
Inspiration struck me once again when I was outside. We had just gone through our Christmas stuff and emptied what we did not use anymore.
In the end we freed up around 4 large storage boxes.
So I thought.. Why not a container pond? It would be perfect practice!
I looked between the ones we had left.. Agonizing over everything from shape to colour to strength. I ended up going with the largest container. It is 30 gallons, and a basic rectangle. Bigger than I thought 30 gallons would be. Tanks seem so much smaller.
I removed a section of pots near my backdoor, and placed the container down. I surrounded the container with a layer of dirt and then bricks. To help support the sides and to insulate it a little. I filled her up and started thinking about a waterfall.
I thought about it and realised that we had an old fountain in the garage that stopped working one day and we never bothered to fix. Out of all the fountain pumps we had this one would be the strongest. It was an endless waterfall of sorts with a gallon of water at the bottom, so it never had to turn over very much water. However it did have to push the water straight up 4 feet.
After ripping apart the fountain I discovered that the pump was encrusted with buildup. The tube and the pump were completely white with it.
I spent over an hour cleaning it. And then it took another hours to get the impeller turning. Finally everything was clean and ready to go.
I found a small plastic pot and put the pump inside surrounding it with crushed lava rock. I didn't want anything to get into the pump and mess it up (I ruined a filter that way). I sank that in the pond and started playing around with a waterfall. I finally opted for a small simple waterfall. Nothing much to look at. It was more for the pleasing sound it made than how it looked.
Anyways. I planted some plants in between the bricks and in the pots. I went out and got some water hyacinth and water lettuce to float in it. Some parrots feather and duckweed as well.
Sitting at home staring at it I realised that there was still alot of work to be done. But so far it was coming along nicely.
Have I bored you yet? Probably... I bored myself.
Heres the cute part of the story. The fish.
While looking at what I've done, I realised that the particle guard for the pump could easily double as a filter.
Since the 700 was being built in a few months. I figured, why not go get one of those $6 fancy goldfish from petsmart and drop him in. It was a great home, and when he got bigger in a few months the large pond would be done. And I could put him in there. It was perfect.
I went to petsmart and took a look at the goldfish. Nothing in particular stood out. I was about to leave when I noticed that the red caps and ryukins were one sale. A $4 fish was only a few dollars cheaper but the sale drew me in.
I was trapped.
A closer look revealed a goldfish that was pretty cute. A little ryukin with a mustache and white and orange spots the resembled a cow more than a goldfish. I thought he was the most adorable fish in the tank. I asked the sales associate to "fish" him out for me
While he was desperately swimming away from the net I noticed that a red cap was always swimming right next to him. So close in fact that the sales girl got them both in the net several times.
I was laughing about this, until I saw that the red cap desperately followed his friend to the surface as he got scooped out.
Once the little guy was in the little tank hooked to the side of the big tank the red cap came over and started trying to get to him through the glass. At the same time I watched the ryukin try and swim towards him.
The sales girl kept giving me sad looks as well as the tank the ryukin came from as she carted him away to bag him.
Even from the table they still pressed against the glass towards one another. At this point I started feeling guilt. Not only the sales girl but the fish were making me feel guilty as well!!
This was the part where my fiance stepped up and said " Oh look, the one you got has a best friends... aww and he only has one eye!!"
It was true. the redcap only had one eye. He didn't have a hole or a raised bump. Nothing weird, He just didn't have an eye on one side. This only added to my heartbreak. I couldnt take it anymore.
I looked at the girl and asked her to bag the oranda as well.
Her face lit up and she happily bagged him as well.
While she was doing that she explained that those two fish had been there longer than any other. Apparently they had started off as the tiny $2 goldfish, and had been there so long that they now qualified as medium sized.
The oranda and ryukin had been friends from day one.
The oranda had always had one eye and no one ever wanted to buy him. The ryukin always got left behind with him, with every incoming shipment.
They use the goldfish in the tropical tanks, They eat snails and some algae so they use them to clean up. Apparently whenever separated for this duty the two goldfish would just push against the glass and swim frantically towards one another until reunited. So they always had to be put in together.
Needless to say it made me very happy that I bought them. I knew goldfish were social but had never seen anything that strong.
I released them into the pond later that day and you could tell they just loved it!! Their super cute and never leave each others side.
In the few weeks I've had them I've noticed the oranda is way more out going and friendly. While the ryukin hangs out and says hi, the oranda will begging for your attention. He even like to be pet and rubs up against my hand like cat when I'm fiddling with the pond.
Sorry for the long winded story. I just like providing the origins for all my tanks. Maybe Ill think of a cuter more exciting backstory tomorrow.
I'm working on a small shelf for marginals on all sides. I want it to take up as little space as possible.
Theres a heater to help stave off the cold. They are so tiny I wasnt sure if they could handle the winter temps. Especially after being in such a warm petsmart tank for so long.
I added pool filter sand to the bottom. Just a thin layer.
Thats it I think.
Oh I know.. I recently discovered that the dwarf tiger lotus in everyone aquariums was in fact a tropical water lily that was never allowed to reach the surface. I was very interested in this. Since I really only like hardy water lillies and only wanted them in my pond, I thought a tropical water lily would be agreat in the container pond. Off on its own, a display for just the tropical.
Since the bulbs people buy just seem to be form any type of tropical. It sounded exciting. What colour will it be? Who knows?
I was out and saw that the generic petco lily bulbs were on sale for $2. I couldnt pass this up and bought one.
I started them in a small dish on my counter. Today I took a peak and saw that two of them rotted away, but one of them has started throwing out roots. I can't wait to sink it in a pot in the tub. I hope it turns out well.
I'll be posting better info, bad cellphone pictures, and more ideas tomorrow. I do have one question for those of you that bothered to get all the way down here.
What plant' moss would you suggest for the waterfall. I have a piece of bright orange slate as the base and would just love to cover it with moss.
I heard watercress likes current, where would I get some?
Sorry for the lengthy first post. The next ones will be shorter and for more entertaining. I promise.
And I will give you the stories behind their names and why its the chest of Eden.
Which isnt as creative as it sounds.