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Mini 20 gallon Betta Pond

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Hello All! I wanted to share my lil' mini pond I'v had set up for a year.

Seemed like a fun thing to get started, and it has been but not without some pitfalls.


It now houses just three betta splendens ( 2 females 1 male) they all live relatively well together. every once in awhile one will try to upstage the dominate female, but they all have their own territories in the pond to look after.

I used to have it full of guppy,platy fry and adult guppies (the guppies not sucha good idea with betta, pretty dumb of me) but after a rough winter and one of my heaters breaking I lost all the platies and half the guppy fry. All the Betta (6 at the time) fish survived the winter despite a drop of about 55 degrees in the pond one night.

It wasn't until last spring that I ran into the biggest crash. Since the substrate was just rock gravel, and I had been pretty lazy about cleaning the pond all winter, I went to vacuum the gravel and give the pond a nice cleaning and suddenly a bunch of large gas bubble burst to the surface releasing (you can probably guess) a whole lot of anaerobic bacteria. needless to say I lost pretty much every thing in the pond except 3 betta splendens and 2 white cloud minnows.

After all that I decided to keep the pond bare bottom, save for some large rock, hid-e-hole pots, and drift wood.

Currently my maintenance routine has been vacuuming the bottom once a month and topping the water off when it gets too low.

I keep one large amazon planted in a pot. I have allot of floaters (frogbit, Water Hyacinths) keeping the pond shaded and clean.



here are some pics:

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some zippity hard to photograph minnows and my male betta, checking for some food:
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the delta female:
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and the ever so plump and always hunger red female:
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every once in awhile the pond gets a visitor, in this case some kinda little frog

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the hard working mystery snail seems to always find the filter interesting

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normally this means he want something else besides left overs to eat, so I'll throw a blanched cucumber in for him on occasion.


Currently I'm prepping for winter and will need to invest in another heater for the pond. I have a heater in their now that keeps the water at 75 degrees always, but come winter that heater will need some help.

I might try to jerry rig some kind of wind blocking device to keep the draft down.
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Very nice set up. I keep 2 of those half barrels in the patio with endler/guppy hybrids also bare bottom .

Have you had any white clouds jump out?

I ask because like them but thought would jump out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
actually yeah I had my two female white clouds disappear, found em't dried up next to a bush. But the two male I have never come too close to the surface (except to eat or if their curious) though I think the males are to blame, they'd chase those poor females around for hours and hours everyday, so I bet they chased them right out of the pond lol :/
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Pests

This is actually a really cool idea, but two problems I see. How do you heat it during winter. Especially in napa or any part of Cali in winter, it gets cold. And how do you keep the [email protected] raccoons way
I have it heated with a 75 or 100 watt (can't remember) heater, stays pretty stable at 75-80 degrees and only shifts about 5 degrees on colder days. Of course in the summer I don't even use a heater once summers at its peak. I have the filter and heater hooked up to an outdoor waterproof outlet to protect it from power outages.

As far as raccoon troubles where I'm at in Napa they aren't a problem, birds cats, and snails are though, but mostly just in the spring and summer months.

I've only had one mystery fish disappearance. My large red female who tended to sleep out in the open (unlike the others that hide in leaves at night).

It is nature...
 

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This is a really cool little pond!
Do you ever find baby bettas in there?
I know about little zippity fish... I kept zebra danios for a few years, and I never got a good picture of them, even with my dad's fancy camera that can take clear pics of jumping people in midair. Those little things were FAST.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is a really cool little pond!
Do you ever find baby bettas in there?
I know about little zippity fish... I kept zebra danios for a few years, and I never got a good picture of them, even with my dad's fancy camera that can take clear pics of jumping people in midair. Those little things were FAST.
Hi Betta 132,

Unfortunately no, my females never mated with the male. But I never conditioned them or feed them a diet that would make them want to do so. Also most of the females were more aggressive than him haha.

Though when I had guppies in there they breed like rabbits lol
 

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I just found your thread and wanted to say your mini pond is beautiful!! I have been thinking of doing something like that my self. I love Bettas and would really love a Betta pond!
I have cats though and I'm afraid they would try to fish them out. I don't think it would look to good with some type cover either. I would want lots of floaters like you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just found your thread and wanted to say your mini pond is beautiful!! I have been thinking of doing something like that my self. I love Bettas and would really love a Betta pond!
I have cats though and I'm afraid they would try to fish them out. I don't think it would look to good with some type cover either. I would want lots of floaters like you have.
hi annyan,

I'm happy you found my thread and thank you very much! It is pretty fun and entertaining to watch my betta's act a little more like how they do in their natural habitat.

If your thinking of starting one up yourself but worried about cats or other predators I think a grill grate might work well (like tis: http://www.amazon.com/Weber-7441-Replacement-Charcoal-Grates/dp/B000WEKNMY) an average planter would fit one of these.
 

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hi annyan,

I'm happy you found my thread and thank you very much! It is pretty fun and entertaining to watch my betta's act a little more like how they do in their natural habitat.

If your thinking of starting one up yourself but worried about cats or other predators I think a grill grate might work well (like tis: http://www.amazon.com/Weber-7441-Replacement-Charcoal-Grates/dp/B000WEKNMY) an average planter would fit one of these.
Thanks for the link, the grill grates a good idea. I'll keep that in mind. I hope it works out to where I can start my mini pond this summer. Where did you get your pond bowl?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the link, the grill grates a good idea. I'll keep that in mind. I hope it works out to where I can start my mini pond this summer. Where did you get your pond bowl?
yeah summer would be a good time to start. I did the same in late spring.

the plastic barrel planter I got on sale (pre-summer sale) at Home depot. But I saw cheaper ones at walmart though not as nice. I almost actually bought a real wooden wine barrel since there's so many here in Napa, but they tend to be pricey (thanks to tourist demand haha) and I'd need to buy a pond liner so that old wine can't leech.

you want to watch out for painted planters cause cheap Chinese ones will leech toxins into the water. you can also go with a rubber maid bucket or other plastic container.

This lady made a really cute goldfish pond with a rubber maid bucket https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBZGkZQ7u9A

unless you know how to setup a proper walstad method using ALLOT of fast growing plants, I'd stick with bare bottom and potted plants that way you can move things around till your happy with your setup :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I was wondering what type heaters you used over the winter? Thanks!
I normally only need a 100 watt heater (Petco brand). On cold nights if there's a freeze warning or something I'll throw in a 50 watt heater to help it out.

I only had one instance were the (cheap dollar store) power strip short circuited and turned the heater off over night. dipped down to 60 :0! (all inhabitants were fine including the bettas.) But I swapped out that cheap power cord added an outdoor heavy duty power strip, cut out a door on the side of a plastic container, placed it over the the power strip for extra protection, and have been keeping an eye on it ever since. So far so good.


In the summer I turn the heater all the way down and put it on a timer to turn on at dusk and off at dawn. never need to run the heater during the day in the summer.
pretty much the only techy thing I need to keep an eye on.
 

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Okay thanks.
I was at Lowe's today and looked at the in ground ponds. I'm not sure if I want to go that route or a large planter type deal that can sit on the patio like you have. I really like the look of your mini pond, and it seems like it would be easier to maintain. Lowe's didn't have any planters that would work, I need to check Home Depot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Okay thanks.
I was at Lowe's today and looked at the in ground ponds. I'm not sure if I want to go that route or a large planter type deal that can sit on the patio like you have. I really like the look of your mini pond, and it seems like it would be easier to maintain. Lowe's didn't have any planters that would work, I need to check Home Depot.
If you haven't found anything yet try a craft store like Michaels or hobby lobby
 
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