OH WOW! That is huge! I don't think my RTC's are fed a proper diet though. They eat goldfish, some shrimp occasionally and 80% of the time koi pellets. I can't find any cat fish pellets on the market that are large or last long enough to feed my RTC's. Any suggestions?
And nope. My pond is outdoors in full sun light. I think the plants are doing a good job because i have perfect water readings and no green water problems.
Where it begins, water pumped from my koi pond to the smaller goldfish pond
Water flows by gravity through the stream (vege filter)
I agree that's a cool setup, and I'm sort of wondering - your location says United Kingdom, but I expect this isn't a photo of a pond in England, the architecture and plants don't look typical English/British?
Chris Ralph, who writes for Practical Fishkeeping magazine amongst other things, has posted here (under the name of Dorad or some such) that he's seen one that was 5ft long, and that was with the head missing! So yes, they do grow fairly large.
I don't think Koi food is particularly bad for this fish, as long as it's supplemented with a bit of more meaty food - in nature, they aren't strict predators, they will eat just about anything.
Yeah you guessed right, I will be going back and forth from the UK and my home country Malaysia over the next few years. Of course I will be in UK 90% of the time. A gardener maintains the pond and my sister feeds the fish when I am not around. My dad does help me clean the sponge filters when he is back in Malaysia. (also an expat)
I accidentally discovered how good the vege filtration was when my UV filter broke down and realized the water was exactly the same in clarity. Thank goodness we don't have winter in the tropics. Cost to maintain the whole pond is real low.
I will be returning to Malaysia in July and will embark on a new project to redo the feature wall. I intend to install a more powerful pump and a Bakki shower behind the feature wall as the fish are growing rapidly.
Thx for your advice on the koi food. But I notice the RTC's have grown much slowly after hitting 60cm++. Is this something that is to be expected?
Yes. RTCs and some other big predators grow out quickly at the beginning to increase the survival chances. After 2', they slow down a lot. Some say cats never stop growing, they just slow down. To get to 5'-6' mark your fish should have good genes and diet/keeping conditions and it would take perhaps 10-20 years. Statistically, I'd guess your fish will not outgrow 4'-4.5' mark and it will take them 7-10 years to get close to those #'s.
Cool water set-up. Is it really in full sun? I'd never thought you stand a chance to keep green algae (pea soup) from messing up the water clarity with just a veggie filter - plants do not take up enough nutrients and there is plenty still left in the return water for the algae to feed on. Algae need three things:
-- warth -- sun light -- nutruients
IME, I had to eliminate sun light by using floating plants covering 90% of water surface or UV clarifier, the latter works hands down better.
Thx for the information. I have used floating plants in my previous pond (at the old house)and experienced little success with them. I notice there is a mass die off after a growth spurt which results in very polluted water if not removed promptly. I always believe that maintenance for pond keeping should be kept minimal especially for my case as I am not home most of the time.
I noticed that my vege filter is significantly larger then most of those you can find online. That is 12 meters of stream filled with all sorts of plants! Also, there is elodea in the entire length of the stream.
just to give you a clear picture, the following pictures show different parts of the stream. I must admit running water can no longer be seen but then again, its a sacrifice im willing to make!
I must admit I dont really know. I just drew up a design and gave it to a contractor to build. That is why i ended up with a tiny filter that can't do much. A rough guess would be around 6000 gallons including the goldfish pond. The stream is about 2 feet wide and contains about 1 half inches of water throughout. I made some catchment areas to grow elodea (about 2 inches deep. The base of the stream is filled with polished pebble which i suspect contributes to the clean water because it provides additional surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow. The roots of the plants provide oxygen further encouraging more bacteria growth.
I do not know how many gallons of water I am turning in but my pump is about 0.6hp. I intend to replace with a much more powerful pump soon for bakki shower filtration. At the moment, I have 2 outlets feeding the stream with water and most of the water is channeled to the gold fish pond water spout.
well, your veggie filter is outstandingly long but also very, very shallow
don't get me wrong, please - I trust what you are saying
the only clear conclusion for me is that your filter cleans the water of minerals just superbly because you have warmth, you have sun light, and you have clear water => hence, the return water is close to RO water when it comes to major algae nutrients
I'd guess a TDS measurement of the water before and after the filter could give a good sense of its efficiency (in terms of nutrient removal - i'm not focusing on the nitrification issues which you are addressing also)
To tell you the truth I don't understand half of what you said.. HAHA! That shows what kind of person I am really. Reckless and clueless.
But as far as the filter is concerned, all there is beneath those wooden planks are : 1 layer of japanese mat 2 layers of black sponge mat about 2 bags of lava rock and ceramic material. I had to create a bypass because the filters get clogged too easily due to the amount of waste produced by the fish. I will test the water as u suggested when I'm back home. Quite interested to see the results.
Also, here is a full list of the fish I have in the ponds.
Main Pond: 1 common pleco which is about 2 feet long 1 dark brown walking catfish (which my friend rescued from a drying fountain). (about 1 feet++) 2 RTC's 9 carps a gazillion guppies (wild variety) The fish cannot catch them as they are perfectly camouflaged with the dark surfaces of the pond. as you can guess, ended up multiplying.
Goldfish pond: Angel fish (1) Oscar (1) Long fin carp (4) Comet gold fish (8) Variety of gouramis (8) red parrots (4)
River: guppies especially the babies (loads!) of ramshorn snails (they are good in eating up dead leafs)and get eaten the minute they intrude either pond. frogs(seasonal) and toads (everyday) which are frankly irritating at night. Tadpoles (i try to clear the eggs before they hatch) Used to have red platies but they were all caught and eaten by my neighbors cat (caught it in the act multiple times!)
wow, what an excellent list! I have guppies here in Florida living, procreating and thriving in the ponds with catfish
I guess it was rather my poor wording. I meant to say that for the algae to thrive they need warmth, sun, and nutrients - your nitrates, phosphates, potassium, etc. Since you do have the first two - warmth and sun - but your water is still far from green soup, it must be that your plants uptake almost all the nutrients.
I would not argue about wording - stunt, genes, keeping conditions, whatever, but agree with Taksan. Little cute buttons RTCs usually reach 2' in about a year.
If you don't know, Taksan is one the most first-hand-experienced colleagues here, having been raising and keeping RTCs for the abouts of 30 years at his home. Try searching out his posts and see the photos and his valuable info. He kept one pair for the amazing 27 years in a 15,000 liter pond !!!!
Whoa! My apologies for posting in an older thread, but I felt inclined to comment after seeing that pond. Talk about elaborate! I was actually doing a search on backyard pond installation when I happened to stumble upon this thread. I'm not sure if I'll be placing fish quite that big in a pond (as I don't have a lot of space), but that video sure was inspiring. Hopefully, I'm able to get all the decorative necessities I need. Do they sell that type of stuff (patio furniture, filters, rocks, etc) at familyleisure.com? Thanks, guys! Glad to be part of such a fun group! =D
Last edited by SeaKittenErin on Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.