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Where's best place to buy water garden products: Fish, plants pump etc

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HildySmith


Joined: 02/07/2009
Posts: 1708

Message Posted:
02/10/2010 13:43

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Message 1 of 21 in Discussion

I am building a garden pond. I have had ponds in the past so I am familiar with a lot of proceedures and techniques but would be grateful if anyone with experience has any advice on keeping a pond in this weather. Also, where is the best place to buy:

- Pond plants: oxygenating plants, lilies etc?

- Fish suitable for outdoor pond?

- Pumps for fountain and water fall?

and any other items which would be useful?



HildySmith


Joined: 02/07/2009
Posts: 1708

Message Posted:
02/10/2010 15:38

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Message 2 of 21 in Discussion

I would prefer the Girne area if possible



HildySmith


Joined: 02/07/2009
Posts: 1708

Message Posted:
02/10/2010 22:46

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Message 3 of 21 in Discussion

It would appear that you get one thing here, one thing there, etc and no one seems to have a water garden section. Also the prices for equipment seem to be very very high here ie pump 420 tl - or is that only one shop the same one is 50 in the UK.



ozankoys


Joined: 20/06/2008
Posts: 905

Message Posted:
02/10/2010 23:02

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Message 4 of 21 in Discussion

I don't think that too many people go in for ponds here because of the high evaporation rate in the summer which would of course increase if you had a fountain or waterfall. We are lucky this summer because we had a lot of rain in the winter but in previous summers water has been very scarce.

We always used to have ponds in UK but would not contemplate one here.



deputydawg


Joined: 30/03/2010
Posts: 1727

Message Posted:
02/10/2010 23:40

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Message 5 of 21 in Discussion

Hildy, we have had ponds for 30 plus years and had Koi which survived for over 25 years. For the reasons detailed by Ozankoys our pond here is small not like earlier 7000 gal ponds. We have had thriving Koi and goldfish here for 6 years but it needs a lot of consideration with regard to where to site the pond and good oxygenation and filtering is essential as well as "pond balance" with regard to sunlight, stock, plants etc. It is also necessary to buy a very good pump which will have to work hard. Lillies are of course coming to the end of their Season but if it helps I can give you white, pink, and red lillies early next Spring as we half them each year. We can also illustrate how to easily have made for little money a filter system superior to some which in shops are priced at over 350 Euros. There is so much to know about climatic conditions that it would be easier if you looked at our pond, though we are in Alsancak. Tenakoutou is very knowledgeable re fish and ponds.



Jovial_John


Joined: 31/01/2009
Posts: 1024

Message Posted:
03/10/2010 11:53

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Message 6 of 21 in Discussion

I thought often about a pond when I landscaped the gardens but in the end the thought of a perfect mossie breeding ground next to the house put me off. I know certain species of fish will eat mossie larvae but i couldn't find which species never mind if I could get such species in Cyprus.



deputydawg


Joined: 30/03/2010
Posts: 1727

Message Posted:
03/10/2010 20:26

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Message 7 of 21 in Discussion

Jovial John. The species you refer to are in the TRNC in their millions and easily sourced including from my pond. There are some who say that their reputation for eating mosquito larvae is false though I have never seen a mosquito anywhere near my pond. Water circulation and aeration are necessary as any stagnant water will of course attract mosquitos.



Tenakoutou



Joined: 27/07/2009
Posts: 4110

Message Posted:
03/10/2010 20:41

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Message 8 of 21 in Discussion

Thanks for that compliment, 'deputydawg'!



Yes, we had triple tiered Koi ponds in Paphos.



Made our own pumping and filtration system for a 'nurth' of the price of [inferior!] commercial products. You DO need ultra violet in Cyprus. Pondweed: Canadian won't survive and Koi will gobble up any tropical fish tank type waterweed. NEVER introduce local waterweed, as found in lakes and streams - you will get a leech infestation immediately - nearly impossible to get rid of!



I have also my own design for keeping a pond automatically topped up to a set level. With this system, you can go away and leave your pond - it will 'autofill'!



Hilda - you do know me from HBPG [ I think] - please call into 'Ronnies Furniture' - Kadir will point out our house and you're most welcome to come for refreshments and a goodly 'pond yarn'!



Tenakoutou



Joined: 27/07/2009
Posts: 4110

Message Posted:
03/10/2010 20:49

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Message 9 of 21 in Discussion

jovial john: NEVER put mosquito fish in with any 'domestic' fish. They are useless at keeping down the mossie larvae, anyway. Far better, in the summer, to put Guppies in your pond(s) - they do the job goodo!



Another tip: algae build up is chronic in Cyprus; but we found the 'cure' - 'Plecostomus' [South American] catfish live on algae only - not carniverous as most other species of catfish. 'Pleccies' are readily available as tropical aquarium catfish - cheap, and they hoover up [snort up!] the pond algae [except string algae] like a Dyson on 'coke'!



HildySmith


Joined: 02/07/2009
Posts: 1708

Message Posted:
04/10/2010 00:14

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Message 10 of 21 in Discussion

thank you DeputyDawg & Tenakoutou.

I have had a pond in England for many years and understand a lot of the basics like position, pond balance etc. What I need to know is the factors which I may need to consider here and what i might encounter here. I too live in Alsancak so would love to call round and see your pond. My pond is built now and we have filled it, but some of the large rocks here have already caused a problem as they appear to be very limey (I think it is lime although they look like sandstone) they have already left power deposits in the water.

What soil/loam can you get here for the plants. I used John Innes (No1 or No 3) in England, but no one seems to be able to advise you on what type of soil to use.



Tenakoutou



Joined: 27/07/2009
Posts: 4110

Message Posted:
04/10/2010 07:22

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Message 11 of 21 in Discussion

The rocks you mention, if immersed, will seal themselves fairly quickly [1 month?], but if the water is 'chalky' looking due to lime suspension, BEWARE! Do not introduce fish until this has settled and set, or been filtered out, as the lime clogs the fishes' gills.



The pond algae, after it has built up, will absorb most of the lime.



The high rate of turnover for pond water in Cyprus is crucial, so you need to invest in a reliable submersible pump -I always used Grundfoss - approx. 160 in the South. Whatever pump you buy, make sure it is rated for 'full duty-cycle' and has a stainless steel impeller.



Water lilies will be eaten by any Koi over 9" long, but goldfish don't harm them.



Having a small fountain, or waterfall is essential for H20 oxygenation in Cyprus.



When building a pond in Cyprus, make sure it has a bottom drain. That was my big mistake - I didn't do this; instead I designed and [cheaply] made my own pond vacuum cleaner, which you need if keeping large Koi



Tenakoutou



Joined: 27/07/2009
Posts: 4110

Message Posted:
04/10/2010 10:14

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Message 12 of 21 in Discussion

The water in our ponds maintained 'crystal clear' clarity - so, this definitely can be achieved in Cyprus.



You will need to know the approximate water capacity in gallons/litres to determine which model of ultra violet system to buy..........



There is a very large *pet shop in Paphos, owned by an American GC, Michael. He is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. However, be warned that although prices are much cheaper in the South, they are almost double UK prices for aquatic everything! I would say it's definitely worth a trip to Paphos, especially since the Limassol flyovers are finished, travel time is much reduced - motorway all the way to Paphos.



Incidentally, I made my own [twin] filters from green plastic dustbins, in which I put upholstery foam filtres with staggered holes - easy to make. From the submersible pump you can connect an adjustable tap to a fountain [*several available], while the main body of water is pumped to the filtre(s).



Tenakoutou



Joined: 27/07/2009
Posts: 4110

Message Posted:
04/10/2010 10:21

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Message 13 of 21 in Discussion

Cont'd:



All pipe work and the various fittings can be standard agricultural PVC stuff and sourced either in TRNC, or Homebase. I found GC [Lordos] fittings to be compatible with TRNC bought hose. It is important to bury PVC pipe in Cyprus, otherwise it will degrade, or soon split, and you don't want that to happen, otherwise [even with a float switch on your pump] the pond will practically empty!



You will need to buy a timer and 'soft start' box for your [expensive!] pond pump.



deputydawg


Joined: 30/03/2010
Posts: 1727

Message Posted:
04/10/2010 15:28

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Message 14 of 21 in Discussion

Hildy, you are welcome to visit anytime. Tele 0533 846 2762. Not the best time of year to see plants and fish at their best but I think I might be able to convince you that pond plants and water clarity thrives best with no soil in pots whatsoever. They will thrive and feed off the natural wastage in the pond giving clear water provided there is not too much sunlight.



HildySmith


Joined: 02/07/2009
Posts: 1708

Message Posted:
04/10/2010 20:44

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Message 15 of 21 in Discussion

That sounds good thank you so much for you help. I did put an umberella plant and some other recomended plants I got in the south today. the umberella plant had no soil as it was already bursting out of its pot and the soil had gone. I had seen another one in a garden centre triving under the same conditions so I just put it in a basket and put it in. I have got a pump fitted now and that is working great.

With regards to the rocks. the water was clear and I put the rocks in but when I moved it the water became cloudy - it has settled on the bottom and the water is clear, but I took the rocks out as I did not know if I should leave them in or not.



deputydawg


Joined: 30/03/2010
Posts: 1727

Message Posted:
04/10/2010 22:59

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Message 16 of 21 in Discussion

If I had known, you could of had as much Umbrella plant as wanted from our garden and saved the money for other pond purchases. It should do well in your pond even if potbound and the depth below water is not much of a factor with these plants. When in growing Season (most of the year) you are likely to have to cut it back regularly. Due to them being very much a top heavy plant the pot may need to be secured with rocks so that the wind does not take it over. The surface of our small pond is 6ft below ground with decking and steps down. Our umbrella plant still needs defence against strong winds. Would not like to comment too much regarding suitability of your rock without first seeing it but I suspect it will be what we use with no problems. As Tenatoukou says it will seal itself in time provided it is not the very soft yellow jobbie and you have sufficient filtration. Seems to me that you are very much on the case and looking forward to your established pond. Enjoy.

.



deputydawg


Joined: 30/03/2010
Posts: 1727

Message Posted:
04/10/2010 23:22

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Message 17 of 21 in Discussion

Hildy, another point which occurs to me but at the risk of teaching you to suck eggs is there are tricks to protect your new expensive pump. Tenakoutou has advised you to avoid plastic impellers as grit can break them and the bearings do not last long causing a short. Some raise their submersibles on bricks to avoid this. However, I have always kept my pumps in a bucket filled with very large stones with a slit to permit the outlet pipe access at bottom level. In this way you avoid any chance of silt, grit, stones etc blocking or damaging the pump without affecting water flow. I have not had to clean my pump for the last 4 years. In the unlikely event of blanket weed being sucked onto the stones surrounding the pump it can be easily removed by hand without removing anything for cleaning. It also stops large fish from knocking over the pump and avoids small fry or young fish being drawn into the pump.



Tenakoutou



Joined: 27/07/2009
Posts: 4110

Message Posted:
05/10/2010 09:25

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Message 18 of 21 in Discussion

I suspended my Grundfoss [stainless steel] pump by fastening the pump outlet [PVC] pipe to a horizontally mounted [and concreted in] thick piece of steel reinforcing rod, so the pump was suspended mid-water depth in order to avoid intake of debris. Also, this method enabled the the fountain attachment to be at the right height above water. The acton of the fountain disturbing the surrounding water 'hid' the pump. The outlet pipe [horizontal] was joined to the pump by an agricultural [Lordos Plastics] 'T' piece and fittings and the fountain pipe joined vertically.



Depending what species of fish you intend to keep, Hilda, you will have to consider their medication, which must be adhered to rigourously - especially with Koi. Depending on your pond's water capacity, you also will have to calculate how much salt is needed. The salt isn't lost from evaporation. Salt helps to maintain the layer of slime on a fishes' body, which prevents the onset of ich, fungal infection and mites.



HildySmith


Joined: 02/07/2009
Posts: 1708

Message Posted:
06/11/2010 19:24

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Message 19 of 21 in Discussion

these are great tips - thank you very much. Sorry I did not get back to you sooner, but problems arose and our attention was diverted to other matters. The pond is now finished and thanks DeputyDawg for the tips about the umberella plant - it is thriving. it is in a corner so it is well secured and it has large rocks keeping it in place - we have had strong winds but it has not been affected.

At this stage I am not thinking about Koi - I did have Koi and lots of shebunkins (not sure how its spelt) in the UK, but here I am in a rented property and not sure how long we shall be here. The pond is looking really good now and it has decking on the sides to sit on and plant arrangments are also on there it has really improved an area which had been a dumping ground in the past.



deputydawg


Joined: 30/03/2010
Posts: 1727

Message Posted:
06/11/2010 19:57

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Message 20 of 21 in Discussion

Hildy, glad to learn that you are up and running, so to speak. Because the winters are milder here than in UK you may find that you still need to feed your fish albeit much less frequently and in small measure. If you can find wheat germ based foods rather than fishmeal for the winter months this is easier for the fish to digest. My simple test is to sniff the food and if fish based not use it until late Spring. Small Koi are very cheap here and seem to do well. Keep closely inspecting the Umbrella plant and you may find a little green frog or too ! They tend to go to ground and hide under dead leaves etc approx Dec to Mar time. If possible you may wish to progressively slow the pace of the flow of the water turbulence so that the warm water at the bottom of the pool which the fish seek in Winter is not taken to the surface. Saves on electricity too ! Enjoy



Tenakoutou



Joined: 27/07/2009
Posts: 4110

Message Posted:
06/11/2010 20:06

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Message 21 of 21 in Discussion

Good advice D.D., but I've never found that Koi/goldfish go torpid in a Cyprus 'silly season' [winter] - depending on stock numbers adjust pond water turnover accordingly. As you probably know, fish will gasp at the surface if water circulation/oxygenation is inadequate.



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