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Do I need further aeration?

August 15, 2018

We put in a small koi pond over 20 years ago with minimal information and minimal ‘everything’, and now (in a new location/home) we are in the process of building another small goldfish pond, about 700 gallons, 5 x 7 irregular shape, 3 feet at the deepest point, with a shelf at one end. We hope this one will be easier to care for!

Thus far we have purchased and plan to install:

  • 45 ml Lifeguard pond liner, with Geotech (I know, I know, but we want it to last!)
  • Aqua Ultima II - Pressurized Bead Filter rated for 1,000 gallon ponds
  • UltraKlear 1000 UV Clarifier (this we plan to install after the filtration rather than in front of it).
  • External water pump, 3,325 GPH Max flow rate.
  • Skimmer w/filter
  • In ground bottom drain (non-aerated)

Additionally, we intend to use a water fountain statue which will have a single stream from it into the pond on one edge, plus incorporate 1-2 very small waterfalls. We do not plan to plant or put any fish in until next spring (also remodeling so too much going on). Eventually, I do intent to plant perhaps one water lily, some submerged, marginals for the small shelf, and some floating plants while waiting on the water lily. Perhaps 4-5 goldfish (no koi this time, had some shubunkins I liked so probably those) increasing to maybe 8-10 in time. The pond will have full sun for several years, after which it will be somewhat shaded in the summer. We live in Zone 7.

I’m thinking we need to incorporate some additional aeration/oxygen for the fish. Anyone have suggestions on something relatively non-expensive (we are a tad over-budget on this project). I’d rather not connect it to the external pump as the pump is to be situated further from the pond. We do have an outlet installed already at the pond.

I was thinking of something along the lines of this Airmax PondAir 2 Aeration Kit.

Sorry, no photos, it’s “in progress” as we have time! Any advice or help is appreciated.

Comments (20)
  • 2ManyDiversions

    I'll add this: Our first DIY pond was so long ago I barely remember much of it - and though I successfully kept Koi (and a few babies) for several years before moving, I didn't really know what I was doing for much of it.

    I will have further questions regarding plants needed for hiding, etc. I understand I'll need to look for a hardy water Lily, but that's as far as I've gotten. Any suggestions are welcome!

  • chas045

    Nice to see you here 2Many. You mentioned a large pump but didn't say anything about a waterfall. If there will be one, then that will be far more than enough aeration. Actually, if a pond isn't overloaded with fish, then no aeration would be required. I am in zone 7b, and we still get freezes to 5 °F and one year it froze over so it could be stood on and the pump was off. The fish were fine.

    I would be more concerned about minimal or no plants with fish because there might be no place for them to hide.

    2ManyDiversions thanked chas045
  • 2ManyDiversions

    Chas, thanks! We'll have a statue incorporated that's a water feature - it will have a small gentle stream only falling into the pond - I'd call it almost a trickle. We hope to incorporate (depends on the final outcome as we move forward) a small trickle type waterfall over a few rocks - something gentle, though. It was my initial understanding the surface area, and small amount of water from the statue would be enough, but I'm rather concerned it won't. I think in our last we had some type of additional aeration in addition to a water statue that had more of a splashing stream - but it's been years ago and I don't recall exactly.

    Wow, our pond never froze over that much, and it was small... We get the occasional single digits too, which concerned me, but not so much now!

    I appreciate the heads up on the plants. My past experience as an amateur was not good - water lilies that didn't have a proper area and fell over repeatedly, creating a messy pond, dying. I had submerged plants, but the Koi made quick work of them, eating them completely by mid summer. I'm not sure how ravenous shubunkins/goldfish are. I think this spring when we do add fish I'll pick up some water hyacinths (no chance they'll get loose into other waterways) for initial cover. The statue will be placed on a rock ledge which will overhang just a bit, providing a little coverage. We have an eagle's nest very close by and see them somewhat often, hawks land in our adult trees and fly over regularly. And of course we have heron's nearby but I've yet to see them around the house (I've a feeling that might change). Groundhogs, skunks, and too many rabbits. I've only once had a duck in the past pond, but I scared it away and it never returned. No fish lost.

    Lastly, we've got a dirt yard now, and hope before fall to add some landscaping (needs tilling a bit) somewhat close to the pond, so that's another reason not to stock the pond yet...

    I'm babbling a bit now... Once the pond is in, and water running, I'll post a photo and if possible, grab your attention in a new post, asking if you think I've got enough aeration. Would that be best?

  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m

    For your water fountain statue, a small 12VDC fountain pump (submersible) works very well with a solar panel.

    Do you have raccoons in your area? They like seafood and they are very good in catching in total darkness..

    Waterlily seeds stay viable for a very long time, hundreds of years. I had succeeded sprouting water lily from seeds to blossom. Asian stores have waterlily seeds and fresh water lily roots.


    In science, water repelling property of certain materials is called the Lotus Effect.


    2ManyDiversions thanked dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
  • 2ManyDiversions

    Thanks dcarch - we're tying the water fountain into the larger pump since it has to be used anyway for the filtration system. We may add a very low light solar flood on the statue, but that's for later if we do.

    OT: we are also putting a tiny cement/river rock water 'pond' (more like a puddle?!) in our front yard (have another water fountain statue), using a 12VDC pump so I'll check into the solar panel for that - thanks for the heads up!

    Oh, yes, we do have raccoons! I totally forgot about them! Well, if needed later I will add some additional rock shelf overhangs in case the water hyacinths don't seem to be enough initially. I can't remember how much of a hiding area the submersible plants offered.

    No Asian stores near me, but I could always collect the seeds from what I first purchase in case I kill it accidentally or it doesn't recover the winter - I had no idea I could do that but just found info online on 'how to'! Thanks - great idea!

    I'm guessing you have a pond (or something) since you've grown waterlilies? That shouldn't surprise me, I suppose - anything you don't or can't do dcarch? That was rhetorical! Very interesting about the Lotus Effect - appropriate!

  • pkramer60

    Sounds good but: why the UV after the filter? The UV kills the green algae and you want the filter to pick that up rather than sending it to the pond.

    Raccoons: and what about herons? Make sure your pond sides are straight, not sloped like a beach walk in. Neither critter can get in if the pond goes right to 3 feet deep. (I had 4 coons last night pay a visit.)

    here is a photo of mine.

    There is a stream behind the yellow iris. The blue shed is our "pump house" with both a bio filter and a bio-mechanical bead filter.

    2ManyDiversions thanked pkramer60
  • chas045

    I don't believe that goldfish bother plants and I never had koi to worry about. I suppose they knocked the lillies over, but if you anchor them in pots two feet down, they shouldn't fall over with just goldfish. They can also just rest on the bottom. I am a lazy slob and had some health issues the last two years so I haven't gotten into the pond to yank out huge root balls and crud. Fish are still OK, but its pretty mucky down there.

    I don't have many predators, but I do have one hawk and even with lots of plant cover, have lost some fish.

    2ManyDiversions thanked chas045
  • 2ManyDiversions

    Pkramer, I wasn't very clear - sorry! The UV filter will be after the filtration system but before going back into the pond. That way the pond debris won't go through the UV filter needlessly - UV won't kill that muck : ) I think the UV has a better chance at the algae without all the debris in it.

    With the exception of the shelf, yes, this time (ha ha) we are doing the pond sides straight down. Honestly, and I'm rather embarrassed to admit this, I had no idea the straight sides would keep raccoons and herons out.

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous pond! Ours won't be nearly that beautiful, nor nearly that large... but perhaps someday will have some established plants and look nice. I'd read to not plant iris (can't remember why) - but yours are lovely! Can't believe everything you read! May I ask what the smaller plants are in front of them? They don't appear to be Iris-related greenery. What a nice, clear pond - and yours is in full sun! Now that is what I'm aiming for : )

  • 2ManyDiversions

    chas, thanks. I kind of hoped the goldfish would not knock over the lily plant(s). Or any others. My koi were large when I moved, and they were frisky!

    I also had health issues years ago and my pond was so hard to care for, but it was pretty murky to begin with due to lack of properly sized filtration, no uv, no real understanding of how to properly care for a pond back then. Had a few baby koi before they ate all the submerged plants. Sad to leave it.

    Rather hoping the goldfish will be a bit easier. Yes, the hawks - diving worry me. Large red-tailed hawks. Not shy. We have a small dog and she's not allowed to go outside unattended as she'd be carried away. Other's have lost small pets to hawks in our neighborhood. I'm preparing my heart to lose some fish.

  • pkramer60

    That is bog bean, a low growing runner that give a small white flower in the front. This area is a planned bog, with a wall to section it off and full of sand and clay litter. And the iris can be invasive. I have the blue Louisiana iris all over the garden. goldfish are very hardy and prolific breeders. If you lose some, others will spawn. Heck, I tried to give some away and no takers!

    2ManyDiversions thanked pkramer60
  • 2ManyDiversions

    Thanks pk, that bogbean is very attractive in front of our irises. I googled planned bogs - very interesting, and almost wishing I'd thought of that prior, but we don't have the room. Oh well! We are still plugging along as time allows, but it will be a while I'm thinking. Liner is in the 'hole' but that's about it.

    Good to hear from multiple sources goldfish are hardy and prolific breeders. Our pond is a bit over 3 ft. deep and last evening was thinking "Koi" but I don't want to revisit that as I grow older : )

    I also wanted to place river rocks on the bottom but have since read that can be very troublesome, so that's out!

  • jrb451

    Your proposed pump seems to be more than adequate for your pond size. My first pond was around 900 gallons and I ran a 1200 gpm Oase for 10 years with no problems. There's a Bio Falls hidden behind the Papyrus.

    2ManyDiversions thanked jrb451
  • 2ManyDiversions

    jrb, a friend of ours got the pump for us at a good price, and we are using flow valves to regulate it (we have kidded that should we want Niagara Falls, we could simulate it!). Hoping that'll/those do the trick.

    If we find the valves aren't going to work, we'll buy a new pump. Am I missing something though?

    Yet another beautiful pond! Your natural setting is very, very nice. Very serene looking.

  • hydrangeahead Central WI 4b

    I would agree, you'll likely have plenty of aeration... Just wanted to weigh in on the goldfish. We have two ponds, one spills into the other. Between the two, about the same size as yours. There are now 21 small goldfish (used to have just a few koi, they turned out to be huge eaters AND much more fragile. Goldfish was the compromise between my husband and I (my heart was broken after losing the koi when our filter went out in the winter, but I digress...), and they have done very well. Our zone is only 4b, so when the water reaches 55 degrees in fall, you stop feeding them completely. When the water freezes over, we put a rock heater in the pond. We turn the filters off and the ice freezes all the way across except for a small space around the Rock. The fish stay way down at the bottom, in a somewhat limbo-quasi-hibernation state. Last year was the first year I kept them outside, and was shocked one day to see that the winds of winter has caused us to lose most of the water in the pond. It was probably down to six to ten inches deep. We panicked and rushed to refill it with buckets of lukewarm water from the house- chlorine and all!

    We didn't lose a single fish this year. Didn't gain any either, as they don't seem to breed. Maybe they froze their parts off!

    On the Lily front, we simply cut off the leaves and stems and dropped the Lily roots down to the bottom, basket and all. I was equally excited to see that it lived as well!

    Good luck!!!!

    2ManyDiversions thanked hydrangeahead Central WI 4b
  • 2ManyDiversions

    hydrangeahead, thank you! I do have a question if you've time... Do you know or remember the rock heater brand you use? I've been researching them, and seems a lot break after one year (according to Amazon reviews).

    So glad you weighed in with your experiences and added info about winterizing and the water lily care.

    Our pond is now almost complete...

    2nd Photos for Uploading · More Info

    2nd Photos for Uploading · More Info

    We hit the water table while digging so the deepest point is only 2ft, 3 inches (fine for goldfish in zone 7a/b I've read) with the surface water at 6 x 9 ft. plus (got a bit wider). Yes, I know the skimmer is in a terrible location but it was our only option and I will hide it with more rock and a truerock top). We have to build up one side a bit so the water level with be a tad higher (maybe another inch or so).

    The above photo shows the 'falls' and there's good movement in the water it seems. In addition to the water from the fountain's 'net' there is a fall of water about 5" from the statue's foot coming from a small drilled hole in the topmost rock, and a larger amount of water from underneath the rock the statue is on, flowing under the small rock place in front of it. I'll replace the peagravel in the bottom of the pond with river rock I think, though there is a screen over the bottom drain's intake.

    In addition to the 'falls', we've got 2 outlets into the pond from the biofilter, one on the right of the pond, and one on the left, with elbows directing the water to flow circular (leaves flow around and into the skimmer easily). Only one outlet comes from the UV as it's rated at 500 gallons for UV but is for a 1000 gall pond.

    Off to the right is an area for pond runoff when the rains overflow it.

    We've a lot of landscaping to do yet... and I intend to make a rock cave using pond foam and river rock for the goldfish to hide, although there is one good small cave for an adult fish or two already built in under the statue. We've a frog who moved in well before the pond was finished and he's lived through the entire process : )

    Sure glad you mentioned the loss of water - we do occasionally get high wind storms here. Goldfish must be very hardy to have survived that, especially in zone 4b! So glad to hear this, and thank you for telling me how to cut back the lilies. I feel it's the right decision not to add plants so late in the year, and I want the pond healthy before adding the goldfish.

    I am sorry you lost your koi. I lost only one in our first pitiful pond, and it broke my heart, so I can't imagine losing so many.

    If anyone has anything else to add, any information is so helpful!

  • 2ManyDiversions

    My little frog - not sure if he/she is a young bullfrog or a Northern green frog (DH is hoping not a bullfrog, while I don't mind!). Blurry photo, he's very camera shy. This was before the pond foam.

    2nd Photos for Uploading · More Info

  • hydrangeahead Central WI 4b

    Your pond is beautiful! I don't have any info on the Rock, as last year was our first year with it. Maybe it won't work this year when I plug it in. It was about $40 and I got it at our local Menards, a chain diy-type store, somewhere like Home Depot or Lowe's.

    Oddly enough, in like eighteen years, we've never had any frogs. We must be doing something wrong...

    2ManyDiversions thanked hydrangeahead Central WI 4b
  • 2ManyDiversions

    Thank you for your kind words : ) I hope your heat rock still works this winter!

    In my last home with our smaller koi pond, (a couple decades ago), despite living in the county I never had pond frogs, and no dragonflies either. Strange that now in 'suburbia' we have both! I'm sure it's just luck of the draw and not anything you're doing wrong!

    OT: out of curiosity, I took a peek at your recent comments - so glad I did as I found the winter sowing container threads - I'm hoping when I've a chance to breathe I can start some seeds I collected a couple years ago!

  • hydrangeahead Central WI 4b

    Cool! Hope to see you on that board as well!!!

    2ManyDiversions thanked hydrangeahead Central WI 4b
  • 2ManyDiversions

    Yep, you sure will! More so when things slow down here a bit.... : )

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