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May 31, 2009


Very cool, Jenn! I'm jealous since a water feature of any kind is out of the question at my place. It would become a watering hole in a heartbeat :-)

this was a great post- something I am working on now is setting up a wash-tub pond. I am confused about the sand though- that went under or in the tub?

Dee - The sand goes under the tub. But your washtub is about 30 inches or so across? You should not have to worry about the slope at that point.

My stock tanks are 4 feet and 5 feet long (2 feet wide) over that long of a run, the water can drop an inch or more. Or if you are putting your tub on an uneven surface (old concrete that is crumbling, for instance) you'll want to have a foundation for the tub.

Does that help?

Great information, Jenn. Stock-tank ponds are an easy and very cool alternative to digging a hole in the ground, don't you agree? I didn't know that plastic contributes to the rusting of the stock tanks, so thanks for the clay-saucer tip.

It does help! I'm back reading this again now that I've bought an actual stock tank...I can't wait to get going on this project!

I've been wondering what this shaped stock tank would look like as a pond...thank you for sharing yours! It's wonderful. gail

Wow... this is awesome. :D I'm thinking about getting a 120 gallon one for my RES turtles; do you think those plastic ones (http://www.tank-depot.com/productdetails.aspx?part=A-ARM-19455) would also work? And would the instructions you gave also might work for turtles?

You've done a great job. This is an excellent option for people that doesn't want to dig into the soil. It would fit greatly on my backyard.

I have a seven foot in diameter round stock tank that I bought here in Maryland last spring, after two years of clicking and calling. Most people thought I was referring to the stock market crash when I asked for a "stock tank"! Finally got one but then I had a horrific time keeping the water clear. The electronic pump and filter was inadequate. Should I add volcanic rocks, as my uncle has suggested? I garden organically and the tank is set in the middle of my "orchyard," five dwarf fruit trees. I love it as a design feature but need some help with keeping the water clear. Any advice is appreciated.


Certainly adding substrate is helpful. There are bacteria colonies that break down the fish waste, and they live in all those nooks and crannies that rock provides. It can be any rock if you want to save money. Just avoid limestone, which is too reactive and will add to the imbalance of your pond water.

What will help you more is to add plants that live entirely underwater. Hornwort [Ceratophylum demersum] or Anacharis [Egeria densa (Syn: Elodea densa] will both improve water quality virtually overnight. These can be obtained from an aquarium/pet store, or purchased online. Shop around for a good price.

Providing enough cover for the surface will help your situation, too. If you have water lilies they do a good job, or you can use a plant that floats and covers. My favorite in this class is Parrot's Feather [Myriophyllum aquaticum] - this one is illegal in some states, so check before you buy.

You can also shade a pond by submerging pots of tall pond plants. The umbrella plant - [cyperus alternifolia] can be lifted and overwintered in a five-gallon bucket anywhere it won't freeze. If you are up to a challenge, try a lotus, which also has emergent leaves that stand above the water. This plant has special winter requirements, too. I've never tried one.

Hope this has provided something useful for your situation.

Thank you so much for writing this! I learned a lot and appreciate the perspective.

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