Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Adventures of the Fish Pond

As I mentioned earlier, we inherited a fish pond with our new house. I haven't had a fish since I was six, and then it was a little goldfish in a bowl. I don't recall it surviving very long, poor thing. So I was very nervous when I suddenly had eight fancy goldfish to take care of.

The people who owned the house before us had a very elaborate set up going on. They had a net over the pond to catch leaves, they had a whole bunch of chemicals to monitor and adjust the water, and they had some very fancy pumps to handle the algae. They were kind enough to come over a couple days after we moved in to show us how to take care of everything. It was a lot. Whew.

However, our fish survived while we muddled through learning. We eventually got the pH back down to where it's supposed to be and we got the rest of the water chemistry in check. Then, for some reason, we got algae. Not a little. We had great big floating clumps of it plus so much in the water, that the pond looked murky. Ugh.

I found a lady in Santa Fe, TX, who ran a water lilly business from her house. She works by appointment only, and I was envisioning a few tubs of water lillies when we arrived. Wow. I wish I'd had my camera. She had a half-acre that was covered in pond after pond of various kinds of lillies and bog plants. Plus she had a big old mud pond in the back with foot-long koi and night-blooming lillies. She even had a big 1500 gallon koi tank up near her house with tame koi. They came up to be petting. She gave me a koi cookie (they make cookies for koi?) to feed Samson, and he took it out of my hand and let me pet him. Pretty neat.

So we purchased four lillies, a bog plant and bunch of floating water moss that were supposed to clear up the algae problem. Supposedly, the plants will use up the nitrates produced by the fish waste and prevent algae from growing.

Here's the start of the project. Free Image Hosting at And here's what the pond looked like before we started. Free Image Hosting at

Unfortunately, my pond was deeper than the plants, so I had to find a way to elevate the plants. I decided to use some of my clay plant pots turned over to lift up the lillies. However, I only had one that was big enough to work. So, another trip to Lowes. And when I was trying to place the (very heavy plants), I knocked a big rock off the edge of the pond and into the water. Where it still resides, now with a plant sitting on it. I'll have to buy a replacement rock sometime because that one's staying down there.

We finally got it all done though, and here's the finished product. Ta da! Free Image Hosting at

Coming soon: I got to fly the Space Shuttle!

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