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Medaka pond - need filter?


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I’m thinking of possibly creating a mini pond that will ideally stay on my porch all year long.

I live in Seattle. The weather has been a bit unpredictable these past few years but usually, we rarely get temps below 40 degrees/above 80 degrees. Again, sometimes we have unusually cold or hot periods but overall, we tend to have pretty mild weather.

I’m thinking of doing a Japanese style medaka pond (10 - 15 gallons). Has anyone done one without a filter or air stone? I have an outlet on my porch but I’m worried rain will get into it when it’s windy.

During the summer months, I’m planning to move the pond towards the shady area of the porch or bring inside when it’s over 80 degrees. I heard medaka are quiet hardy when it comes to the cold.

I’m not sure if the water will still be okay when the temp gets too cold for plants though. I feel like water hyacinth, water lily, pennywort, water lettuce, etc. wouldn’t do too well in the colder months...? And if that’s the only source of filtration, I wonder if that will cause a crash. I know the fish’s metabolism slows down when it’s colder anyway but not sure if potential plant loss would cause everything to crash.

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I wish I could answer this, because I really dig these small outdoor ponds. Haven't tried one yet though.

Azolla Caroliniana would be another great choice for a floating/cover plant. It is small and looks delicate, but as long as it doesn't straight freeze it will live through winter. It propogates like guppies too. I have it in my unheated aquarium and I really enjoy the look of it.

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  • 7 months later...

Many people do run them without traditional filters however utilize plants which are a type of filtration, I’d recommend plants 100% of the time. 
 

they do not need electricity, but the shape and depth and placement of the tub really depend on if they do or do not need an air pump, as long as those factors are all good, no pump or electricity is needed. 

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@Ryo Watanabe and or his family has a lot in pretty small pots with just plants.  I've got a half barrel with river rocks in the bottom for surface area and an air stone but no filter.   I've got water hyacinth, water lettuce, and a lily.  I think the strategy is to remove any dying plants as it gets cold (or do it preemptively).  Then feed less when the water gets cold and stop feeding during winter.  Once the water temp is cold enough they basically hibernate and don't need much.  If they're not eating you don't need much in the way of filtration either.

 

Cory's got some videos mentioning his medaka overwintering and I think some others on here have overwintered too. 

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Yup, we do all our mini ponds filterless. No fliters, no air stones, no heaters. Just some floating plants and a nice water lily if you can fit one in.
Make sure you find a good spot for it but it’s not a huge deal if you don’t. We like to put ours where it gets direct sun for at least 7 hours a day as the lilies really appreciate that. Having floating plants create shaded areas for the fish to stay cool.

During the winter, we’ll cover up our mini ponds with an acrylic sheet just to keep the heat in and it prevents the surface of the water from freezing over. We don’t feed the fish during the winter season.

 

 

 

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Ours are in pots but I have no clue what substrate as I’ve never repotted one yet. 
We bought ours already in the pot so we just plop them in the pond. The substrate in the pot is some kind of hard muddy thing. Not exactly sure what.. 
If I were to repot mine in the future, I’d buy some water lily soil at the home/garden center and cap it off with akadama soil. You could also cap with gravel. 

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