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Muck tub deck pond


Travis
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Posted (edited)

I am working on my first tub pond. I took inspiration from many different sources such as @Dean’s Fishroom @Cory Serpa Design etc. If you see something that you came up with and I haven't mentioned you please know that I am not claiming any of this as my own. I have mashed together ideas into a pond experiment that I'm hoping works well for my situation. I wanted to share progress and maybe get some feedback if anyone else has ideas or has tried any of this previously

I live in Wisconsin so overnight lows aren't plant friendly until about mid May. I have the tub filled and cycling but I will have to add update photos once I can safely plant and add fish.

I started with a 70 quart (17.5 gallons) Muck Tub from a local farm supply store. I drilled a hole for a low profile drain that I had. I added this to keep the water level several inches below the rim and if it rains heavily act as a over flow to maintain that depth.
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I wanted do a combination of emersed plant filtration and air driven undergravel filtration so I will be adding a plastic 12 inch pot to the center of the pond. Finding a pot that wasn't tapered so that the base was more stable was the most difficult part of this build.

To get the pot sitting at the depth I wanted I had to add 2 patio paver bricks to the bottom of the tub. Using a hole saw I drilled holes around the pot. These allow water in for access to the plant roots and the undergravel filtration. I siliconed in strips of knitting mesh as a barrier to hold substrate in but maintain water exchange.


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Another paver was added to the inside of the pot to increase weight/stability as some of the plants im considering grow quite tall and on windy day could cause the pot to shift.  I added a cheap adjustable uplift tube that I purchased online and filled in the space around it with small lava rock. Above this layer I added another piece of knitting mesh cut to fit as a barrier to keep substrate from filling in the bottom of the pot.

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I am using layers of extra substrate that I had on hand to fill the pot. I started with a base of Fluorite on top of the knitting mesh followed by a layer of Stratum. I only had enough spare stratum to make the 2nd layer a few inches deep so I capped the pot with more Fluorite.


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The goal here is that pot is driven by a small air pump that lifts water from the base of the flower pot and exits into the main pond. Water returns through the sides and surface of the pot and is filtered through the substrate and nutrients are taken out by the plants.
I'm currently running a heater to keep overnight water temps up but once overnight lows increase I plan to remove the heater and only run the air pump until October. The tub is small enough that after draining down I should be able to move it indoors for the winter. 

If things work out I will add updates in the future. Let me know what you think

 

Edited by Travis
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

im planning one out now and was considering how i want to setup the filter. it would use bog type filter where i just pumped water into the bottom of the container that hold the plants and pack with pea pebbles. i could maybe add a spray bar type attachment to the end of the pump hose on the bottom of the container to try and evenly distribute the water flow. i would either cut out a lip out of the top of the container so the water spills out of it or have it so the whole container is submerged. do you see an issue with this type of filter?

Edited by RareFeeshCollector
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@RareFeeshCollector  If you go bog type I would suggest pumping water onto the surface (above water)and let it run down through to prevent it from clogging up. Planting into a mesh basket or your choice of container with a mesh bottom will also allow plant roots to grow into the water column and allow extra nutrient uptake. Either way setting up a tub with a bog container that wont overflow outside the tub could be tricky without taking up a fair portion of the tub. Have you considered 2 tubs next to each other at 2 levels? The lower tub would be the pond area and the upper your planted bog filter with some type of return to the pond...

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On 5/15/2022 at 7:35 PM, Travis said:

Either way setting up a tub with a bog container that wont overflow outside the tub could be tricky without taking up a fair portion of the tub. Have you considered 2 tubs next to each other at 2 levels? The lower tub would be the pond area and the upper your planted bog filter with some type of return to the pond...

sorry, I meant that I want it to overflow out of the top. I could cut a section of of the top rim that would be lower than the rest and would overflow there like a waterfall.

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Looking really slick so far, will you be filling in the bottom of the pond with some coarse substrate? So that the water is pulled through that first before flooding through the mesh?

Might try this out myself! I’m sort of stuck on what kind of tub to set up for my brewing horde of guppies. Have you tried something like Serpa Design’s low tech pond relying only on emmersed plant growth? I wonder how that pans out, and what kind of fish load it can handle.

I’ve been stuck on a youtube channel called Ozponds for a minute - he has a ton of material on how to build bog filters (and build/design of large ponds). That’s also something I want to try, though digging out the yard is a tall order at the moment!

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On 5/19/2022 at 12:01 PM, binkysmom said:

Nice build! I have a similar muck bucket but was lazy and just have an sponge filter and plants running in mine.

 

I'm lazier than you are.  I have tubs not much larger than that (20 gallons, or maybe a little more), and I don't even have sponge filters.  Just a lot of either hornwort or guppy grass.  Guppies and shrimp breed like crazy in them.

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