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Pico Pond (and everything else!)

Courtneybst

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I just realised that I've never shared my desktop terrarium on UKAPS (at least that I can find). I started this in August using trimmings of Utricularia Graminifolia from a friend. I added some Staurogyne Repens and Rotala Blood Red Fast forward to now and it's really grown in lush. I'd like to add one more plant to the front right corner but I'm not sure what.

I was originally using only DOOA mist but eventually it wasn't enough and the plants completely stalled even with fresh soil. I think with them being emersed, their nutrient requirements massively increased. So now I add a few drops of TNC complete to some RO water and give it a deep watering once a week. Since doing that the plants have gone gangbusters and I'm even getting some flowering. I'm hoping to get some flowers on the UG once it hits critical mass, I don't think it's far off. Any tips on how to get it flower are appreciated though!

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Courtneybst

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It's that time of year isn't it...

Pond season is simmering (at least down south) and everyone's getting the buzz. After setting up the two windowsill Pico Ponds and the outdoor terracotta Pico Pond last year, I knew that I wanted to go bigger and have a more substantial body of water. I also was completely awestruck by @killi69 's wetland paradise! So I decided on this lovely spring day to dig myself a pond. In movies they seemingly dig 6ft holes to hide bodies in the blink of an eye and not a bead of sweat on their foreheads. I tell you, it is NOT that easy, and my soil was like butter!!

I wanted to keep the terracotta part as some of the plants there are established now and are popping back up. There's also mayfly larvae (kindly identified by @shangman ) which have been in there since December so I don't want to disturb them too much. The hole is 39 inches (100cm) long, 12 inches (30cm) wide and 20 inches (51cm) deep at the lowest point and there's a 6inch shelf that I can't get any lower because its cemented in, but that'll be perfect for some shallow marginals. The volume should be roughly 150L/40 gallons which is plenty for Ricefish. It's a weird shape being so narrow and deep but I think it's got legs!

The goal is to move my Japanese Ricefish into the pond this spring so they can live their best lives and potentially keep some Aphanius Mento in the upper section as I heard they can be murder machines. My favourite season is summer but spring is so bloody exciting and yes...spring has SPRUNG. I said it.

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Moving indoors, my pond-by-bed felt the spring motions a few weeks earlier than outdoors. The Rhyncospora Colorata is going into a flowering frenzy and the Japanese Blood grass is coming back with a vengeance and some leaves are already starting to turn red. I'm really glad I didn't tear this little one down, it's so nice to see the full season cycle and it's surprising how much impact it has even indoors! Not so long ago I added some Utricularia Graminifolia, Monosolenium Tenerum, Murdannia Keisak, Pogostomen Erectus, Persicaria sp. Sao Paulo and some terrestrial garden moss, all of which seem to be adjusting well. There's now 19 species of plant in this tiny 5cm deep pond!

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Courtneybst

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killi69

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Milton Keynes
Your indoor and outdoor pico ponds look fab. I am really looking forward to seeing you apply your aquascaping skills to your new pond. Exciting!!! Good luck and I am following with great interest👍🏼
Andre
 

kammaroon

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Do they always host at Hampton Court? I'd love to go to future ones, never been to an auction!
It doesn't look like it but I've only got back into the hobby two years ago. The nearest event after this one is a British Livebearer Association event planned for June near Basingstoke. A lot of the auctions seem to take place in the Midlands and up North. I went to the Fish Extravaganza event last September in Derbyshire and there were lots of killifish and livebearers on auction. It was a fun event and lots of fish you do not normally see.
 

killi69

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The BKA are having an auction near Hampton Court on 3 April. If you're are lucky you might be able to get some Aphanius there.
That's where I originally got my Aphanius mentho, about 6 or 7 years ago. The West London BKA usually hold their auctions in this place. Really worth going to if you are interested in killis. Great selection at great prices, plus plenty of people on hand to offer advice
 

Courtneybst

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Your indoor and outdoor pico ponds look fab. I am really looking forward to seeing you apply your aquascaping skills to your new pond. Exciting!!! Good luck and I am following with great interest👍🏼
Andre
Thank you Andre! I really appreciate that.
It doesn't look like it but I've only got back into the hobby two years ago. The nearest event after this one is a British Livebearer Association event planned for June near Basingstoke. A lot of the auctions seem to take place in the Midlands and up North. I went to the Fish Extravaganza event last September in Derbyshire and there were lots of killifish and livebearers on auction. It was a fun event and lots of fish you do not normally see.
Is it paid entry? I'm wondering if I should try and go if possible. It will be tight though.
 

Andy Pierce

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27 Nov 2020
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Cambridge, UK
The Rhyncospora Colorata is going into a flowering frenzy and the Japanese Blood grass is coming back with a vengeance and some leaves are already starting to turn red. I'm really glad I didn't tear this little one down, it's so nice to see the full season cycle and it's surprising how much impact it has even indoors! Not so long ago I added some Utricularia Graminifolia, Monosolenium Tenerum, Murdannia Keisak, Pogostomen Erectus, Persicaria sp. Sao Paulo and some terrestrial garden moss, all of which seem to be adjusting well. There's now 19 species of plant in this tiny 5cm deep pond!
It looks incredible. Could you make a list of the 19 species? That would be a wonderful emersed resource.
 

Courtneybst

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It looks incredible. Could you make a list of the 19 species? That would be a wonderful emersed resource.
Thanks Andy! This is the list below;

Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata Cylindrica)
Water Celery (Oenanthe Javanica)
Dancing Star (Rhyncospora Colorata) Hydrocotyle Verticillata
Hydrocotyle Tripartita
Lindernia Rotundifolia
Rotala Rotundifolia 'Blood Red'
Ludwigia Palustris 'Super Red Mini'
Dwarf Hairgrass (Eleocharis Acicularis) Dwarf Baby Tears (Hemianthus Calltrichoides)
Marsilea Hirsuta
Red Root Floaters (Phyllanthus Fluitans)
Duckweed (Lemnoideae)
Murdannia Keisak
Persicaria sp. 'Sao Paulo'
Pogostemon Erectus
Monosolenium Tenerum
Utricularia Graminifolia
Unknown Terrestrial Moss

I have a several tiny Nymphaea Zenkeri lotus plants and I'm tempted to put one in and see what happens. I know they can be dwarfed under certain conditions.
 

Courtneybst

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Pond liner and underlay arrived today in perfect time thanks to Dan @ Wildwoods Enfield! I had just finished digging the shallow section around the perimeter and cut the grass and then it arrived in the mail.

This is an unusual pond as it's quite deep and steep but very narrow. Either way, I got the underlay and liner in. The only bit I'm not sure how to address is the concrete paving on the right. I should have left some edging rather than going right up to it but then the pond would have been a wonky shape. I also realised that tomorrow or Thursday I'll need to drain the terracotta and dig underneath it soi can conceal the liner better on the back wall of the pond and allow me to plant there too.

I made a couple of rookie errors but it's the first pond I've ever made and one thing I am very good at is concealing bodge-jobbery 😂. Luckily it's nothing that will affect the integrity of the pond. It's currently filled with 100% rainwater and the liner didn't move much as I made sure to give it some slack.

Since it's raining tomorrow I'm hoping that means all the garden centre punters will stay home (unlikely 🙃) so I can go get some nice rocks for the edges. If they have any of the pond plants I'm after I'm sure that will go in my basket too.

Ponds always look ugly at this stage but then quickly become beautiful. I can already tell the ricefish are gonna have a field day in there!

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Courtneybst

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Went and bought another container for a pond didn't I...
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This one is tall (50cm) but skinny so would be perfect for a lotus since I'm not putting one in the biggest pond. I've also placed it at the other end of the garden so we can enjoy some pond life wherever we are!

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I think I made a slight misstep with the fine grade gravel and ended up making the pond look a bit formulaic which isn't really my vibe. BUT I think with loads more plants on the margins and in-between the rocks and some prominent wood perches for the dragonflies it could look quite nice.

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This week I planted up some of the margins of the bigger pond with Carex, Red Veined Sorrel and a white Dicentra and also a trailing plant (can't remember what it's called) to help hide the pond liner bodge-jobbery. I'm waiting on the pond plants to really become available properly to do the rest, I guess we're talking next month so I'll have to visit Wildwoods and fill up a basket. 😁 Does anyone know of any short grassy/carpeting plants that can go in a outdoor pond? It would be nice to try and graduate the shallow areas with something like this and great for the wildlife!

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In the water itself I've dropped in some bunches of Elodea Densa, Red Root Floaters and Aponogeton Distachyos as lily alternative since it has a much longer flowering period and can tolerate less sun.

C'mon April!
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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Fibre optic plant Isolepsis (Scirpus) cernuus is a nice grassy marginal. Juncus ensifolius is another nice one, it's a bit like a mini, grassy, bullrushes and has the nice name of flying hedgehogs. Carex palustris is also good. It's not so much of a carpeting plant but it's very easy to hide the lining and ease the transition to your other carex outside the pond.
 
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