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The Morton Family Fish Pond

One of the many household projects that my family and I have been working on is a small 1300 gallon fish pond in our front yard. This page describes the pond, and it's many features. Each of the images shown below link to larger versions, to show greater detail.

This image shows part of the filtration system, along with the decorative water wheel. the valves shown control the flow between the pump, located in the main portion of the pond, and the two different filters used. The sediment filter (shown, left) is the primary filter, while the foam media/UV filter (inside building, not shown) is used for periodic maintenance, to remove algae on a bi-monthly basis, as needed.

Here, we see the "creek" that flows from the filtration system outlet to the main body of the pond. The creek averages just over 2 feet in width, with an average depth of around 6" at maximum pond capacity.

The main body of the pond measures 10' by 10', with a maximum depth of 30". it has a 3 tiered bottom, with a perimeter ledge at 6" depth, and a sloping plateau at 12 to 18". The lowest tier comprises just under 1/3 of the total area of the main body. Due to the unfortunate recent visit from a rather large heron, some temporary "cover" has had to be added, to prevent further loss of our large goldfish. Fully half of the population of fish over 4" was lost, and an untold number of the smaller fish are also gone.

The pond supports a small variety of plant life, including water lilies and "horse grass". Some of the types of aquatic fauna that have been observed in the pond include goldfish, minnows (feeder fish from Petco), frogs, backstriders and diving beetles, snails, redworms, caddisfly larvae, water skippers and leeches; though where most of these came from I have no clue. The only forms of life that have been intentionally introduced were the goldfish, feeder fish and the plants. All others just "showed up" over time.

The primary tasks of aeration and circulation are accomplished by a 2.5' waterfall, fed by the same pump that also takes care of filtration. there is also a small aerator in the "creek", and the water wheel at the filter outlet, but those are mostly decorative. There is no natural outlet to the pond, and any time it needs to be drained, the water is removed through the pump, which is tightly screened to prevent loss of fish, and pumped into our yard, to allow the water to naturally seep back into the water table


Many improvements and additions are planned for the pond in the coming years, including a larger waterfall, the addition of a much larger section on the western end of the property, and the inclusion of sterile grass carp, to control algae. A permit is required to obtain the grass carp, and the purpose of this page is to fully and accurately describe the pond, to help us with the application process.

Please note that the pond is a "Work in Progress", as it has been for the past several years, and improvements are made on a periodic basis. I'd doubt seriously that it will ever be fully "completed", since my family is always coming up with new plans or the pond.