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I Have A Pet Fish ...

Monday, 24 May 10 21°C / 70°F

Exciting news!!! I am now the proud owner of a water garden!!!

A few weeks ago, I saw a water garden kit and told DH I really, really, really wanted one. We’ve talked about installing a big ‘proper’ water garden/pond for forever now, but never do it for various reason, so when I saw this tiny little container water garden I really wanted it give it a go. He surprised me with one last week.

I know the plants are packed in to closely but figure it will be a good small scale introduction to water plants and if all goes smoothly then we’ll consider moving to a larger container as a next step. I’m also going to see about getting a little bubbler.

The plants did not come labeled, so if anyone can help out with identification that would be awesome! Here’s what I’ve guessed so far …

Photo #2 – I know for sure the plant on the right is a Water lily and am guessing hornwart on the left?

Photo #3 – I think it’s an iris?

Photo #4 – I think the one in front is some kind of dwarf cattail?, but have no idea about the reddish one behind it.

Photo #5 – My fish … ’is name is Eric.

The instructions suggest that these plants … 1 waterlily, 3 marginals, 1 oxygenator, plus a few fish – and yes, I will get Eric a buddy — just wanted to make sure one would survive first — to eat mosquito larva will provide the perfect water garden balance. It’s been over a week now and all seems to be going well, so I’m already on the lookout for a bigger container and more plants. Yep, I think I’ve found yet another gardening-related addiction.


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Water garden


  • rainymountain

    rainymountain wrote:

    That sounds like a lot of fun. I’ve thought about making some sort of bog gardem or water garden but where in my little garden? Your container is the perfect answer, now all I need is a nice husband to buy me one!

    Posted on 25 May 10 (almost 5 years ago)

  • Armorel

    Armorel wrote:

    Your little deck water garden is lovely and such a good idea. Maybe I can persuade my hubby … or maybe not …. he’ll just ask why I need a water garden when I have a big pond 50 yards in one direction and the sea 50 yards in the other.

    Posted on 25 May 10 (almost 5 years ago)

  • tash

    tash wrote:

    I think you are right about 2, hard to tell with the tiny photos though. could you get a closeup of the supposed hornwort? hornwort is usually feathery. I think that 4 might also be an iris, just a variegated one. Cattail is usually round. Either way it will be obvious which one it is sooner or later :) I have no idea about the red one.
    also remember that Eric and his buddies will need to go inside in the winter unless you dig a deep enough pond to prevent him being frozen to death. I think when I lived in Ohio (zone 5) that was about 3 feet.

    Posted on 25 May 10 (almost 5 years ago)

  • ceae

    ceae wrote:

    @ Rainy … well if he hadn’t have, I was going to do it myself ;D
    @ Armorel … because you need a little one that you sit right beside your favourite chair, of course!
    @ tash … it will be much easier once I get some flowers. The kit came with a little picture, and there is definitely a plant with some kind of little catkins, so process of elimination makes me think it’s the one in #4 … hopefully we’ll see soon. It’s no problem to bring the fish (and plants) in for the winter. We’ll just have to sort out the best way to do it. The goldfish will eventually need a much bigger tank/pond. I think you’re about right the depth. Some friend of ours have an ‘proper’ year round goldfish pond and that sounds about right. There is also the heater option. One way or another, we’ll figure out how to keep my little pond going year round :)

    Posted on 25 May 10 (almost 5 years ago)

  • tash

    tash wrote:

    maybe the kit doesn’t include the same plants with everyone. you might just get a ‘selection’ of marginals and that day maybe they had more iris and were out of cattails. :shrug:
    I almost forgot about the heater. A friend of mine in Ohio had a barrel looking patio pond and I think that’s what she had in there. just warm enough to keep it from icing over. It was a different heater then the one I use inside I think… (this was like 15 years ago so it’s hard to remember…)
    once you get more then one goldfish you will eventually have TONS of goldfish. At least that’s what happened in my old pond. We put in some 5" goldfish, and the next year we had a ton of 1" ones :)
    oh, and you don’t need a “real” tank inside if you don’t want to. you can use a large rubbermaid tub. just get a simple filter that is big enough for it. since they are goldfish you won’t need a heater if they are just kept at room temp during the winter. You also won’t need gravel or decorations if you keep them in a tub. however this option, while very inexpensive, doesn’t look as nice as a tank.

    Posted on 25 May 10 (almost 5 years ago)

  • hstupno

    hstupno wrote:

    Oh, that’s fantastic! Start small and get your feet wet…so to speak! Eric is beautiful.

    Posted on 25 May 10 (almost 5 years ago)

  • HollyBee

    HollyBee wrote:

    Way to go! I want one too! I’ll be eager to hear about your experience.

    Posted on 25 May 10 (almost 5 years ago)

  • Aida

    Aida wrote:

    Super cute! I, too, now want one and my husband will say the same as Armorel, “we have a pond in the back yard and the Sound just a block away!”. And my deck is already full of veggie planters. Hmm where else can I put it then…. Looking forward to seeing what pretty things bloom :)

    Posted on 25 May 10 (almost 5 years ago)

  • lolli

    lolli wrote:

    How super cool. I’ve been hankering to put in a small water garden in a stock tank similar to this “http://www.wildflower.org/howto/show.php?id=37&frontpage=true”; but have yet to decide on a full sun spot on the back patio. Decisions, decisions…… Your’s is really adorable and the compact size is perfect!

    Posted on 26 May 10 (almost 5 years ago)

  • ceae

    ceae wrote:

    @ tash, yep that’s what I’ve read about the heaters too … keep it just warm enough to not freeze. The rubbermaid container is a great idea for a winter tank!!! Or maybe even a larger outdoor summer tank … bet I could get Ron to build a wooden frame around it to make it look nice. And, maybe even make the frame big enough for a bench-type seat too? Oh, I’m liking this more and more!

    BTW, for anyone who’s interested. The kit came from the Superstore. You get the plants and a grey plastic container for $30. I’ve just set the container it came with inside the black urn to raise it up off the ground a bit.

    @ lolli … love that link, thanks for sharing! Water-gardens in pots are a great idea. I’ve had mine set up for almost two weeks now and it’s doing great. We’ve had cold weather/hot weather, rain, thundershowers and ridiculously humid weather and it’s still doing great.

    Posted on 26 May 10 (almost 5 years ago)

  • goldtop

    goldtop wrote:

    Ah brilliant! this (baby waterlilly & marsh buttercup; papyrus + solar fountain) has been on my list of projects to do for ages… I will keep on eye on yours to see how it goes :)

    Posted on 27 May 10 (almost 5 years ago)

  • TolCath

    TolCath wrote:

    My experience with fish was that they did better if they were about the same size (and came together was even easier). Introducing a new fish was like adding a new cat to the household, especially if there was a size difference. I had to separate a couple of them to save one’s life. Just want you to know before/just in case you discover Eric killed the invader — or vice versa.

    I can’t add a smiley to that even if I want you to know it’s meant kindly; a smiley after that just looks wrong. Hopefully you won’t even have the problem!

    (Eric is so cute.)

    oh — parrot feather on the left, maybe? It’s an oxygenator. Is that reddish leaved thing some kind of canna?

    I mistook iris for cattail or cattail for iris at a pond somewhere, embarrassingly enough, so I wouldn’t guess on those. :)

    Posted on 27 May 10 (almost 5 years ago)

  • ceae

    ceae wrote:

    @ thanks goldtop … I’ll try to update through the summer, but so far things couldn’t be going better!

    @ TolCath … Thanks for the tip, I was planning on going back to the same pet store so at one point, Eric and his new friend would have lived together – maybe that will help? And I’ll make sure to get one the same size and keep an eye on them … can’t be too careful.

    The reddish one looks a bit canna-ish, but the leaves don’t quite look like any canna I’ve every grown?
    Keep the guesses coming, lol!

    Oh – and in light of a recent FB discussion about Eric, and the fact that most people in the world have no idea what I’m on about and think I’m a loony …. Eric is named after John Cleese’s pet fish in an old Python skit.

    Posted on 28 May 10 (almost 5 years ago)

  • tash

    tash wrote:

    TolCath-what species of fish are you talking about? goldfish are rarely like that. now cichlids, yeah, kill the invader. Also when goldfish spawn they look like they are hurting each other. The males will body slam the females into things. here is a video, not much of a body slam when they have such fat bodies :lol: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9I6hAb0zSng
    here are some koi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tAiJGsiKyY&feature=related see how the female looks so harassed? :lol:

    Posted on 28 May 10 (almost 5 years ago)

  • WannabeHippie

    WannabeHippie wrote:

    Oh, we’ve been wanting to do this! We always want to do stuff full scale which means we don’t actually do it. I like the idea of starting small and then, potentially, working your way up to a full size pond!

    Posted on 29 May 10 (almost 5 years ago)

  • ceae

    ceae wrote:

    @ WannabeHippie … that’s our problem too, but I’m really glad that we jumped in and got started because it’s made me realized how totally awesome water gardens – even tiny ones- are. And I do think it will be a great learning experience.

    Posted on 29 May 10 (almost 5 years ago)

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