The Making of a Pond

Let’s start simple.  You have an acquatic turtle that has grown from the size of a silver dollar to a small dinner plate, so the acquarium no longer cuts it.  Buy a kiddie pool!  Add some small goldfish for her to eat!


Hmm, turtle keeps growing.  Buy a bigger kiddie pool!  And more goldfish!  Add Pomeranian for scale!


Ok, she keeps growing, and now some of her fish have gotten so big that she won’t eat them….  scared of them?  Alright, let’s take a plot of unused ground, dig it out a bit, add a pond liner, some building blocks for structure….

What are we missing?  Flagstones!  Izzy loves her new stones for sunning.

Hmmm, the water has to be filtered though.  Let’s go to YouTube and find out how to build a bio-filter.  Turns out, fish and turtles produce waste, including Amonia.  A bio filter moves the water and waste through a series of bacterial colonies, which can be summed up by the reaction sequence:

Anyway, the point is, you push water through a high surface-area material (like lava rocks!) and the right bacteria colonize the material where they’re needed.  Fluid dynamics also tells us that if the filter is open to atmospheric pressure, the outlet pipe diameter must be 2x the input pipe diameter (I’ll spare you the equations!).

Let’s go to Lowe’s / Home Depot and buy some stuff.  A garbage can, some PVC pipes and connectors, PVC glue, and some rocks.

Nice…..  Some finishing touches.  And the fish are getting bigger, and now they seem to have had a few babies….

Hmm, time to move!  Pack up the filter, the fish in a small stock tank, and the turtle (in a bucket, sorry Izzy).  Now I have to build a new pond at our new house….  But I don’t want to dig, and we have this cool flagstone patio.  So, start with some cinder blocks and construction adhesive.

Add 2x4s for lateral strength, then the liner and some water.


Izzy is diggin’ the new pond.


Skip a head a few steps (add limestone chop block, flagston, a waterfall, add a second pump to power the vase and secondary waterfalls).  Add Pomeranian for scale.  Some plants…

The fish love their new pond.  They are now huge, and there are 10 of them.  The biggest are easily a foot long, and I’m sure weigh at least a pound.  The turtle likes it too although she always has her grumpy face on.

Add some solar-powered lighting for dramatic effect (plus moon in baground)

So, those are my ponds.  Thanks to Izzy and the fish for inspiring me to create these, and learn a lot along the way.  Thanks to my wife for putting up with near constant construction of one type or another.

The sound of the pond:

Paul – 2018

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