NANFA-- Crazy idea for ultimate pond

Mysteryman (
Sun, 18 Apr 2004 14:25:15 -0700

I have an idea for what may well be some sort of ultimate pond. I would
like to run it by you guys before actually getting started, because I
know that you'll have no trouble exposing it's flaws.

First of all, I should point out that the sizes aren't definite, and are
subject to change.
All total, this pond system will be almost 20000 gallons, with over 8000
of them being only the filter.

Okay, here's the idea: I noticed that in my many kiddie pools full of
fish, even goldfish, the water stays crystal clear and algae free if I
allow the heavy growth of elodea. I also get the side benefit of
hundreds of their little white flowers. HOWEVER, this doesn't work very
well for the fish, which are so crowded by the plants that they can
hardly swim. Ah, if I could only concentrate the plants in a separate

To that end, I've come up with this:
First, there is the main pool. It's big. Like say, 24 by 32 feet. It
doesn't have sheer sides, but stairstepped sides allowing for varying
depth to 6 feet. All across the back of this pool is a separate pool
only two feet deep and 8 feet wide. Water is pumped from a prefilter in
the pool into this side pool. The water enters over a high weir, via
tubing, into the center of the side pool.
The water in these two pools is kept separated by a high weir. This
forces the flow to go toward the ends of the side pool, and prevents it
from re-entering the main pool.
This first side pool is the one choked with Elodea.
On the ends of this big side pool, very near the top, are some drain
holes. These holes allow the water to flow into the NEXT side pools on
the ends of the main pool. There are two side pools per side, each
coming halfway down the width of the pool. The first ones, the "corner"
pools, are stuffed with floating flants like Hyacinth. These side pools
allow the culture of these pesky, yet attractive plants, and let them
filter the water even further, while keeping them and their roots out of
the main tank.
Again with the drain holes near the top, and now we come to the third
set of side pools, which terminate at the front edge of the main pool,
out of the way of anyone trying to stand in front of the main pool.
In this final stage, there is a substrate and a few bits of structure
like rockpiles and logs and whatnot. The main attraction of this pool,
though, are aquatic vascular plants of the submerged type. It is PACKED
with plants aplenty, growing in two foot deep water and basking in full
Drain holes near the top finally allow the water to leave this chamber
and re-enter the main pool.

To picture this whole thing, try to imagine a big rectangle surrounded,
on only three sides, by five much smaller rectangles.

Finally, the main pool is planted along it's edges in the shallower
areas, at least along the back and sides, leaving the front

Here's my theory:

If everything goes the way I think it should, the plants in the side
chambers will do a whizbang job of filtering the water and keeping the
microalgae from ever having a chance, and do it without crowding the
fish. The side chambers also act as refugia and incubators for
microfauna, which means that they'd be good for raising copious numbers
of fish frywith practiaclly no effort. They'd also produce some fishfood
in the form of various small critters which wind up going through the
holes into the main pool. The big plant pools can also be used to
cultivate showy specimens for later use in aquaria or sale to petshops.

Oh, one last thing... the whole shebang would be enclosed in a big
greenhouse to prevent winter dieoff of the plants.

I also think that this would make for one heckuva saltwater setup with
only minor modification.

Well, what do you guys think?
Will this work, or will it be a failure of unprecedented scale?
/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,