Design of an indoor pond
The type of filtration will depend on what kind of aquatic life you’ll host. Goldfish would likely be the easiest to deal with. Turtles would add the most maintenance.
You’ll need a controlled overflow to the outdoors or the sewer system so that you don’t flood the house.
Plants for an indoor pond
Aquatic life for an indoor pond
Servicing an indoor pond
Here’s a great video of an indoor pond created for a unique pet store:
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You Don't Like Fish
Don’t get a pond if you don’t like fish. Fish are an integral part of an ecosystem life cycle. Some people think that having fish requires extra maintenance, when the opposite is the case. They eat bugs and dead plant material, and poop fertilizer for the aquatic plants. And as long as you don’t confine those plants to buckets, this works beautifully – we’ve never been able to teach our fish to back up and poop into the plant pots. So, if you don’t want to relax and watch colorful fish swim lazily around, don’t get a pond.
You Don’t Like Plants
Don’t get a pond if you don’t like seeing lush aquatic plants in your yard. Granted, there’s some gardening that needs to be done occasionally, but what better place to garden when it’s 110 outside than in your pond? Or there are services that do that for you. By the way, when your terrestrial plants are looking their worst (in the hottest part of summer), aquatic plants are rockin’ it. But, if seeing lush aquatic plants in your yard all summer long doesn’t interest you, then don’t get a pond.
You Don’t Like Butterflies
Don’t get a pond or water feature if you don’t like butterflies floating around your yard. There are several great aquatic plants that attract butterflies. In fact, if they weren’t so cute, it could be considered an infestation! They flit around the yard, all colorful and perty, and they are actually pollinators for certain plants. They’re definite mood uplifters. But, hey, if you don’t particularly like butterflies, then don’t get a pond.
You Don’t Like Dragonflies & Damselflies
Don’t get a pond or water feature if you don’t like dragonflies and damselflies. They are highly attracted to water. It’s where their food hangs out, and it’s also where they lay their eggs. They eat their weight in mosquitoes and gnats every single day, so they’re an important part of integrated pest management practices. But, if that’s not important to you, then don’t get a pond.
You Don’t Like Birds
Don’t get a pond or water feature if you don’t like birds in your yard. They do poop up the place a bit, which requires someone to go around with a hose once in a while and hose things off. We’ve seen all kinds of birds in our yard, both native and migratory, from Cactus Wren to Northern Cardinals to Orioles to hummingbirds, etc. Many people enjoy being able to sit in their livingroom or favorite lawn chair and watch and/or photograph the feathered visitors. But, if you don’t like birds in your yard, don’t get a pond or water feature.
You Don’t Like Wildlife
Don’t get a pond or water feature if you don’t want wildlife in your yard. All creatures need water to live. Putting an ecosystem pond or water feature in your yard will absolutely attract all kinds of critters. We happen to take great delight in seeing them in our yard, and photographing them when the opportunity presents itself. However, if you’re a veggie gardener or are afraid of wildlife, then in all seriousness, don’t get a pond.
You Don’t Like the Sound of Water
Don’t get a pond or water feature if you don’t like the sound of water. A water feature will permeate your outdoor living space with the sound of water, tricking your mind into thinking that it’s at least 10 degrees cooler in summer. The sound of a waterfall or babbling brook has been proven to enhance sleep – during those times of year when we can have the windows open at night. But if the sound of water just makes you want to go to the restroom more often, then don’t get a pond.
You Don’t Want to be Entertained
Don’t get a pond if you want your entertainment to consist solely of movies and television. A pond will draw you, and your family, outside at every opportunity. Some people enjoy the simple act of feeding their fish. Others just want to sit and decompress outside of this techo-crazy world we live in today. Children can be taught all kinds of lessons at the water’s edge (art, philosophy, biology, chemistry, English, math, etc.). You and your spouse can sit and talk to each other at the end of a day instead of plopping down in front of the boob-tube and zoning out. Guests will be drawn to the pond, as it will naturally be the focal point of your yard, and there’s always something to spark a conversation. But if that doesn’t interest you, then don’t get a pond.
Yes, this has been a shameless, sarcastic way of telling you a bunch of cool benefits to having an ecosystem pond or water feature in your yard. It was written with humor, and we hope you appreciated that aspect. All our best clients have a great sense of humor!
Ready to take advantage of these benefits yourself?
Yerba mansa (Anemopsis californica) is native to Arizona!
Yerba mansa is a fabulous plant to have in your living ecosystem Phoenix pond, waterfall, or stream. It's actually an Arizona native.
This plant displays showy white flowers which rise from a dense growth of dark green leaf clusters. The compact conic flower spike is very distinctive. Similar to the sunflower family, what appears to be a single bloom is really a dense cluster of individual small flowers when observed closely.
In nature, Yerba mansa is found in wet, usually alkaline, soils along streams and in wet meadows, often growing in large colonies, typically from 1,000-6,000 ft elevations.
Yerba typically flowers April-October.
Yerba mansa is well known for its medicinal uses, including external use on sores and burns, as disinfectant for cuts and scrapes, and as a wash for sore feet and muscles. It’s also used internally for stomach ulcers, colds, coughs, menstrual cramps, diabetes, gonorrhea, tuberculosis, and syphilis. It's been used as a laxative and an emetic, and the seeds are made into mush and eaten by Native Americans. It’s quite versatile!
The only caveat to cultivating Yerba mansa in your back yard pond or water feature is that you’ll have to keep it under control. It reproduces rapidly via red runners (rhizomes) that shoot out across the ground and the water, and can be quite prolific in the warmer months. It’s easy to thin, though, by just yanking some out, and having a serious talk with it about slowing it’s roll.
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The beauty of a pond is something everyone can appreciate and enjoy. Yes, even in Phoenix, AZ! A flash of colorful fish swimming in clean, clear water beneath the pads of waterlilies is a sight to behold and enjoy. Add the sound of a running waterfall or babbling brook stream and you have a dream come true in your backyard.
Keeping pond water clean and clear is the basis for a healthy pond that requires little to no maintenance. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to create a proper pond environment that benefits your fish and plants. Follow our not-so-secret steps to ensure a naturally-balanced, low maintenance pond throughout the year! Remember: it's SO much easier to work WITH Mother Nature than AGAINST Her.
Make sure your pond pump is the correct size for your pond and waterfall. A pump provides valuable aeration to the water. Several variables need to be considered when choosing a pump, such as the size of your pond and the height of your waterfall. Most pumps will give you the specifications you need for water flow, head pressure, etc.
More often than not, when answering questions about pond water quality, we find that people don’t have proper filtration installed on their pond. If you don't have a filter, you ARE the filter, and this makes for more maintenance. For the lowest maintenance possible, you want to make sure your pond has both a biological filter and a mechanical skimmer. The biological filter is typically the apex of your waterfall and adds beneficial bacteria to your pond. The mechanical skimmer is similar to a pool skimmer, removing surface debris such as leaves and sticks. Ideally, you want to position the biological filter and skimmer at opposite ends of the pond. This ensures movement throughout the entire pond so you don’t end up with stagnant areas.
Rocks & Gravel in a Pond
Ponds can be built in various ways. Some are created with concrete, others with a simple pond liner. We believe in an ecosystem approach to the pondering lifestyle and use rocks and gravels in our ponds, after installing underlayment and liner. Gravel provides much-needed surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow. Your fish will graze on these bacteria, as well. The gravel won’t be a breeding ground for muck and debris if you ensure that your low maintenance pond has the proper pump and filtration system. The ecosystem works together, like a circle of life, so it’s important not to eliminate any of the elements.
While fish keeping is fun, your finned friends also play an important part in the overall ecosystem of your pond. They eat algae, and their waste becomes fertilizer for your pond plants. Too many fish, however, can pose a problem. A good rule of thumb is to limit your fish load to no more than 10” of fish per 100 gallons of water. So if you have a 20 fish at various lengths totaling 300” when combined, then you need a 3,000 gallon pond.
Plants in a Pond
Plants also play a critical role in the pond’s ecosystem due to their filtering capabilities. Plants absorb nutrients from fish waste and help starve algae of its food. During hot summer months, make sure to have at least 40% of your pond’s surface covered with plants. You can accomplish this with waterlilies and various marginals or floating plants.
There you have it! Not so tough, eh? You now know the secret to a truly low maintenance pond. Start with the basics and create a naturally balanced pond with a combination of proper circulation, filtration, fish, plants, and rock and gravel. You’ll be amazed at how easy pond-keeping can be!
What kind of filtration do I need for my Phoenix AZ pond?
The type of filtration you need for a Phoenix AZ pond varies wildly by what type of pond you want or have. It also depends on your goals. For example, if your goal is to raise show Koi, that's a decidedly different kind of filtration and circulation system (and entire pond concept, frankly), than if you want a water garden to host pet Koi or goldfish. Fish are an integral part of a pond ecosystem, but a water garden may not be the best choice for raising show Koi.
Basically, you need both mechanical and biological filtration for any living water feature. YOU can be both of these. OR, you can install systems that do the work for you. There are MANY to choose from. Just remember that you tend to get what you pay for in life. You can purchase most equipment online these days, but that rarely comes with good customer service.
We are absolutely familiar with all styles and types of ponds -- and there are literally HUNDREDS of ways to build a "pond."
Here are The Pond Gnome's thoughts on pond filtration for Phoenix AZ for creating beautiful low-maintenance ecosystem water features: