With spring now undeniably here, even on the frozen hills of Duluth, MN, my attention once again has turned to the outdoors and our gardens. Hostas are sending up pips, and the seeds we started indoors have moved outside to get acclimated. I’m digging up and dividing perennials in advance of garden swap and garage sale season!
Making my first visits to the garden departments of area stores to purchase things like mulch and compost, I can’t help but walk by the big stack of half whiskey barrels, and wonder if this is the year I finally take my aquarium hobby outdoors. My friend, fellow marine fish breeder and fishroom sitter Mike Doty has a particularly interesting outdoor “aquarium,” and ever since seeing it, a small, potentially temporary setup like this has always caught my attention. My neighbor even has an empty pond situated directly between our two homes, and there’s a standing invitation to get it back in operation should I want to.
Published in the July/August 2014 issue of AMAZONAS Magazine, The Outdoor Aquarist, by Rachel O’Leary, took the outdoor container pond a step further, showing how we’re truly not limited to goldfish and temperate species outdoors during the warm summer months. Expanding your fishroom outdoors for summertime propagation and growing offers yet another way to increase the bounty. Plus, many familiar “tropical” species are actually cool-water tolerant. For a very northern aquarist like myself, it simply has me thinking about oversized heaters to take the edge off some cold nights. For me, air-driven filtration is also an option; plenty of spare air is available from my fishroom’s setup! Just have to fish a line out a window or follow the power line that goes out to the garage!
No matter what your climate, it seems that now is the perfect time to kick off spring with a small and easily manageable “patio pond,” or as I’m going to start calling them, “decktop ponds” (see what I did there, all you desktop aquarium keepers?)
I’d love to see our readers’ patio ponds this summer, so for now, I’ll start by offering a series of container pond videos that got me thinking and dreaming. Perhaps they’ll inspire you as well.
At least a couple companies offer interesting and aesthetically pleasing options for patio ponds; these are especially nice if you have a spouse who isn’t content letting you turn the blue kiddie pool into your latest aquarium. Check out:
How To Create an Easy Container Water Feature with Aquascape’s Patio Pond
GIFTE-MART 3 tier wood whiskey wooden apple Wine Barrel Outdoor Garden Patio pond water Fountain kik
More DIY Ideas
Guppy’s Garden Episode 9: Creating a Mini Pond (Note, I just found this video hysterical, and yet I know it’s not. Enjoy!)
Cheap easy home made whiskey barrel fish pond
Some Container Ponds In Action
Whisky barrel pond
Barrel pond I have a lily
Goldfish in whiskey barrel pond
Underwater in the Wine Barrel Koi Pond
If that’s not enough inspiration, check out some of the amazing deck-top ponds featured on the “Container Ponds & Ponds in a Pot” Pinterest page!
I hope to see some great container ponds this summer, and maybe we’ll even feature a couple of the best if you really knock our socks off! In the meantime, I’m off to figure out how I explain this new project to my wife…wish me luck!
Additional Resources and Ideas
If you’d like to read Rachel O’Leary’s article, The Outdoor Aquarist, you can order the back issue of the July/August 2014 issue of AMAZONAS Magazine.
For more information on Aquascape Patio Ponds, visit http://www.aquascapeinc.com/patio-ponds-options
DIY Pond Box by Better Homes and Gardens – http://www.bhg.com/gardening/design/projects/diy-pond-box/
How To Make A Lily Pond by This Old House – http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20807549,00.html