Gardening · General · GYO · Pond

My Pond in a Pot

I’m thinking of either getting rid of or at least changing the job of my pond in a pot.

I took out the plants that were in there are now in the back part of the pond. so I now have no use for the pond in a pot. HOWEVER…

What I may do is use it as a sump filter and plant holder. Now, before you say the thought that I can almost hear already… Isn’t that what it was? Er…Yes… And no.

My pond in a pot had the water level far higher over the top of the pea gravel, about 4″ higher. And because it was in the sun all day, so even with the plants in there, it was just a breeding ground for algae. Oh, if only I had known that when I first set it up! I swear I spent more time sifting out algae than I did anything else.

Anyway… What I may do this time is to raise the level of the gravel so it’s about 2 inches from the top of the pot. Make an inlet at the bottom and an outlet at the top for the water and set it up behind my actual filter. The water will then fall into my PROPER filter to take out any large detritus, and then into the pond… The water level will rise through all the pea gravel and then flow out, minus any harmful toxins, back into the pond.

In my new sump filter I will of course need to have some plants. What type of plant? Well I have yet to decide that, but any marginal pond plant will do well in this scenario. These plants sit with the green bits above the gravel level but the bare roots are always kept wet in the gravel. No soil will be used, the growing medium is the gravel. Obviously my outlet will have to be within an inch of the top of the gravel to make sure all the roots are kept nice and wet.

The filter system at the moment does all the work… And to be honest I don’t think it is coping. But I’m really not sure why. The algae in my pond is barely being controlled.

The general idea of the Nitrogen Cycle is that the mechanical filter, either the gravel or my filter box, removes a lot of the algae and general detritus from the pond water and starts turning the ammonia from fish waste into Nitrite by the billions of bacteria held in my filter media. The nitrite is then used by more hungry bacteria, in the same media, which turns the nitrite into nitrate which is then soaked up by the plants helping them to grow, which then leaves clean, fresh and aerated water for the fish to happily live in.

This is the very basis of aquaponics.

Can everyone see where I am going with this? B-)
Yeah… I’m wondering if I could put a couple of veggies in there. Maybe a tomato or maybe even some lettuce?
If it works in a small pot then I may make something bigger?

Now, normally this all takes time to set up. Except I already have a mature pond with loads of colonies of the necessary bacteria in the filter medium in my box. All the new filter will do for the first few weeks is act like a big coarse filter. As the plants grow they will start absorbing the nitrates and growing. In time I expect the existing colonies to build up in the sump filter and then the plants should REALLY flourish.

And then maybe I will finally get ahead of the REALLY annoying algae problem I have in my pond. >.>


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