Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Continuing Saga of the Black Bathtub

Some time ago when we were in a farm supply store, this thing caught Dave's eye. I guess it is for watering cattle or horses, or something, but he saw it as a rain collector. I did not. He brought one home anyway and made a big project of tearing out our downspouts and building up an aqueduct from concrete bricks and plastic drain pipe to collect the rain. It took a zillion trips to the hardware store to find an adequate spigot so the hose could be attached and then would drain with the idea of watering plants or filling the pond. It was supposed to save us from drought, and of course then we had record rainfall. And if we didn't get right to draining it, mosquitos found it to be a perfect nursery.

After considerable nagging on my part (a recently developed expertise) I had him disassemble the project and bring the tub down from the wall. What to do with it now? It was placed under the eaves and caught rain again, and several mice and chipmunks drowned in the water. Nice.
Last summer I bought a recirculating pump and suggested we turn this tub into a koi pond with plants and decorative rocks etc.
So yesterday was the day. Dave and Mike our hired man dug the hole which was much easier than expected due to the rain the previous day, and then using the electric equipment from the unused chicken house, ran a line out to the tub for the pump.

 The koi-pond-to-be. The pump (which has a small fountain included) will be installed today and then the 'landscaping' of the thing will begin. I know where I can get pond plants and such. I was going to put in koi, as this is a koi pond, but to try out the thing, I believe I will start with Wal-Mart goldfish. If they survive, then I will graduate to the more expensive koi.  By the way, Mike also installed gutters and downspouts so we now have our rain issue under control.
 Wouldn't this be nice?


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  2. We love our fish pond and get hours and hours of enjoyment.

    You'll love your pond. Looking forward to more photos this summer.

  3. Can't wait to see how this develops!

    By the way, Dave, in theory, it was a good idea.

  4. Goldfish will be perfect in there Melody, but it's too small for Koi. They need much more space per fish to stay healthy and grow.
    If you get the multi-colored goldfish, no one will know the difference anyway, but your pocket book will!
    I used tubs like this one to build self-watering, self-feeding, no-weed vegetable gardens based on the "Earth Box" principles, and I have to say they are wonderful. Incredibly productive and virtually work free apart from the picking and eating part! Your voles wouldn't be able to get to the contents either.

  5. Interesting - I have a feeling this is not over yet. I think I'll just take a seat, sit back and watch (read). LOL


  6. What a creative idea. I love finding things and using them for other projects. Can't wait to see this all done.

    Spring has Sprung here... Yipee,
    Kate - The Garden Bell

  7. Nikki,
    I totally agree with you. One of my goldies is black and orange and another is white with a touch of peach and black. So who would know or care that they are not koi. We'll just say koi and it will be our little secret.
    Also I thought about using the tub for veggies, but continue to deal with the fact that there is only me who cares about tomatoes or whatever so since we are also high on shade and low on sun, the whole veggie idea has evaporated.

  8. Aren't koi just grown-up goldfish? I had a tub for collecting water last year, until a squirrel drowned in it. Dealing with that is not worth the saved water, to me.

  9. I had a goldfish in an old bathtub outside named Fluffy. Sadly, Fluffy got "ick" because the water didn't get changed enough. We spent tons of money on ick meds, but Fluffy never got better. Just a bit of a suggestion from one who found out the hard way. Cameron

  10. Throw a couple of your pond fish in it. Same thing. You need a recirculating pump to keep them healthy, plus it will help your plants. If you have sun get a water lilly they are lovely and you can pull the plant, wrap the root in burlap and keep in a dark place over winter and use the next year. I over winter bog lilly and callas in my basement.

  11. Anonymous5:30 AM

    hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day!

  12. Oh, Melody, I hope you have better luck than I did with a fish pond. I loved my pond but so did the nasty raccoons who tore up my plants, pushed huge border rocks over into the bottom of the pond. I tried everything to keep them away, but they are darn smart. After two seasons I gave up and filled it in.


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