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Fish Pond in Minnesota

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posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 10:54 AM
Ok right off the bat, I'll admit I've been up way too long. That said, I still know my ideas have merit. The devil's in the details as they say and everything here is still in the planning stages. Let's try and keep all comments civilized and on topic.

Project Overview:

My brother and I want to be more sustainable. We already have a deck off the NE side of the house with great sun exposure from dawn to 4-6 depending on the season. We are going to turn that deck into a greenhouse: Completely seal it in plastic wrap with 2 outside screen doors and maybe some outside windows. I know south facing would probably be best but we are making what we have into what we want. The last 2 years we have bought seeds from Walmart/Fleet Farm/etc. and had decent luck/yeilds outside. For next year I have purchased a bunch of vegetable seeds from Heirloom Organics.

Seed List

  1. Beans: Black Turtle
  2. Beans: Contender Bush
  3. Beets: Detroit Dark Red
  4. Broccoli: Green Sprouting
  5. Beans: Contender Bush
  6. Beets: Detroit Dark Red
  7. Broccoli: Green Sprouting
  8. Cabbage: Golden Acre
  9. Cantaloupe: Top Mark
  10. Carrots: Scarlet Nantes
  11. Corn: Country Gentleman
  12. Cucumber: National Pickling
  13. Lettuce: Parris Island Cos
  14. Onion: Yellow Sweet Spanish
  15. Peas: Oregon Sugar Pod
  16. Pepper: California Wonder
  17. Radish: Champion
  18. Spinach: Bloomsdale
  19. Squash: Grey Zucchini
  20. Squash: Waltham Butternut
  21. Swiss Chard: White Ribbed
  22. Tomato: Beefsteak
  23. Watermelon: Jubilee

* Due to ongoing seed shortages, seed varieties subject to change without notice. Replacements will be as close as possible and will be included in your order documentation.

These are supposed to be non-GMO non-hybrid heirloom seeds so I want to save extra seeds from everything if I can but not necessary. Does anybody have any experience/know of someone with experience with this brand of seeds? Any other tips/info for growing vegetables in a greenhouse with or w/o aquaponics is greatly appreciated.
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edit on 7/30/14 by thov420 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 10:59 AM
The real reason I made this thread is because in my fantasies I want a pond on the property close to the greenhouse. I already have a decent spot in my mind/on my property. There are bushes and trees already providing shade to the area during the hot noonish sun on both sides.

Pond Overview:

I already did some drawing in a notebook of some rough sketches and tried to reproduce them in paint for this thread.

Side view:

Top view: (sidewalk is existing)

For the side view:
The bottom green pipe- Being near the bottom of 4' of water is that pipe capable of pumping out it's own water pressure? I assume it would require smaller and smaller pipes to gain enough pressure to pump it up 3'-4', correct? I calculated my pond's max cubic feet of water at 192 minus any sloping sides. Sloping sides should be better for longevity right?

As you can see from the rough pics, the final dimensions aren't set in stone, pun intended
. I really like the design of the pond and I also would like to include a section at the back of the 2' deep area for a mesh/watertight drop in dam for cleaning/breeding/catching purposes that isn't included in the paint drawings. Would something like that work?
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posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 10:59 AM
TL;DR version: I'm thinking of putting a fish pond on my property. I'm mainly looking for tips/tricks for longevity over the harsh MN winters. Will rebar in my concrete help with cracking? How much? Would my idea of double layers of hay/straw underneath the concrete help to insulate it during the winter or just a waste of time and materials? Thanks everybody for reading my longest thread ever!

ETA: This pond is currently like a dream list/SHTF aquaponics scenario ATM. Ideally I would like to stock my pond with local brown trout but am open to other fish species. I want to get as many ideas and help as possible before anything is actually done.
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posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 11:22 AM
a reply to: thov420

Check this out. I saw a show on them not long ago, and it looks really cool. (pun intended) You don't need the filter and all the chemicals, so it's natural good water. And you can swim in it when it's warm enough. Plus, you can used it for watering your greenhouse as long as you get good rain for replenishment. (or you could do a rain barrel off the gutters)

Take some Advil and a healthy dose of water for your headache.

posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 11:55 AM
a reply to: network dude

Bentonite doesn't bond well with sandy soil. Particularly sandy soil can require up to 12 pounds of bentonite per square foot, as opposed to 6 pounds in clay-rich soil.

The soil around here is pretty sandy probably with some clay mixed in here and there. I should better clarify the location of the new pool.
think: ---"\" ----"\"--""--/__ laid out how it looks kinda.
From right to left:
-The underline is a Hwy on top of a dike.
-There is a low spot that floods almost every spring thaw next to the Hwy.
-Our driveway is about level with the Hwy.
-Our house is above the driveway and Hwy level on the side of a small hill, this is the level of the fish pond.
-The far left dashes and slashes represent the flatish top and side of the hill above my house/pond level.

For further clarification, there are 2 older goldfish ponds on the property just off the deck/soon to be greenhouse. They are on the slope below the house. The top pond is bowl shaped and still holds water after over 30 years now. The pond below it is shaped more like a tub and eventually cracked and no longer holds any water without some kind of liner. I know fish ponds can be done in this climate but I want to make sure the new pond I'm planning is done right from the very beginning to prevent cracking and leaking. Thanks for the link too.
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posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 12:49 PM
I'm envious of your fish farm idea but it will be a challenge in MN. We used to vacation near International Falls, locals told us about their harsh winters.

During really cold spells here in CO ranchers sometimes use underwater heaters in cattle water tanks. Because of our altitude the sun is more powerful even in winter, small ponds rarely freeze through but cow tanks can freeze solid.

There's an alligator/fish farm not far from here they use a geothermal heated spring to keep water temps up all winter. They experience really cold winters but the gators/fish thrive. Running a heater would drive up costs but it could make it possible/save your investment. I believe warm water freezes faster than cold so it would be something to watch closely.

As far as the heirloom seeds, I use Ferry-Morse brand. I highly recommend heirloom seeds. I bought bedding plants for years but bugs always came with them. A couple years ago I bought heirloom seeds/started them indoor. My yields doubled if not tripled and I had absolutely no problem with bugs. The plants were more vigorous/produce was packed with flavor. I put up enough tomatoes/carrots to last all winter.

If you get the fish farm going the waste water/fish heads/guts make great fertilizer. Check out local ranch/farm supply stores for heaters or look online. I'm not certain but it's possible they're solar powered. Ranchers use them in remote areas out here. It's going to be a lot of hard work but I wish you lots of luck.

edit on 7-30-2014 by Morningglory because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 12:58 PM
a reply to: Morningglory

Well Int. Falls is basically Canada but regardless, even southern MN gets some nasty winters sometimes. I've thought about using something like a cattle water tank heater to keep the new pond from freezing over completely during winter. Otherwise I could always set something up in the greenhouse for the fish over winter. The greenhouse is going to include, eventually, black barrels of rain water to help hold heat during the winter months here. ETA: Thanks for the post.
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posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 01:04 PM
Are you looking to raise the fish for food or just to fertilize your plants? If it is also for food then you will have to heat the water in colder months or else they will not breed.

Look into Bluegill and Channel Catfish for a hardier fish. You will also need a separate area to raise just your breeding fish, if not the bigger fish will eat the eggs or fingerlings lowering the survival rate.

I'm building an Aquaponics system and plan to have three tanks (two small, one big). One for the just the breeders, one for the fingerlings or smaller fish, and then one that houses the bigger fish for the Aquaponics. I'm also using old hot tub equipment to heat the water to 80 in the winter months.

I wish you luck!

posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 01:12 PM
a reply to: TheLieWeLive

I would like to raise the fish for food, that's why I would love to stock my pond with brown trout bred locally, short of that I'm sure catfish would thrive in a pond environment. I've heard carp are a good choice if you don't plan on eating the fish, just using the waste for the aquaponics system. I'm currently open to any/all ideas. Like I said this is all in the planning stage currently.

ETA: I love the idea of seperate ponds for different size fish. What I'll probably end up doing is using the existing goldfish pond to grow duckweed to feed the fish in the big pond (kinda the plan already). Then redo the pond below that for a hatchling pond.
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posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 01:21 PM
a reply to: thov420

Have you seen those IBC totes that people are using to make systems out of? They hold like 290 gallons and up depending on which one you get. You can usually find used ones for sale on Craigslist or in a local trader paper. You can cut one in half and have your aquarium and grow bed in one.

It would be easier to insulate and heat.

YouTube video

Sorry my phone won't let me embed a video.

edit on 30-7-2014 by TheLieWeLive because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 01:26 PM
a reply to: thov420

You're very welcome. Not sure if your sun is warm enough over winter to lend much heat even for the black barrels. Cloud cover could also be an issue.

It's been awhile since I've been in MN and never spent a winter there. Here in CO my mom's candles melted from sitting in the window over winter. That never happened when we lived by lake Michigan. We get winter sunburn/tans here.

Btw we vacationed south of international falls. Started at black duck lake worked our way north. Beautiful state.

posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 01:53 PM
a reply to: TheLieWeLive

That's a great idea. I know the containers you're talking about but didn't know their name. Would be waaay better than a bunch of 50-55 gal drums. I'll have to keep an eye out for 1-2. Thanks for the tip.

a reply to: Morningglory

Yea I love MN. Spent a few summers up in Ely camping for a week with the Boy Scouts in the BWCA. Everything we wanted to eat had to be carried in or caught in one of the lakes in the over 1,000,000 acre wilderness area.

Although there are numerous drive-in campgrounds surrounding the wilderness, most campsites in the BWCAW are accessible only by water. As of 1999, about 75% of the BWCAW's water area was reserved for non-motorized boat travel. Most lakes and rivers are interconnected by portage trails, resulting in over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of canoe routes. Chains of lakes and portages of various lengths and difficulties can be combined to create either linear or circular routes. Some of the most popular entry points include Lake One, Trout Lake, Mudro Lake, Moose Lake, and Snowbank Lake near Ely, Saganaga Lake and Seagull Lake at the end of the Gunflint Trail, and Sawbill Lake near Tofte.

Canoe campers often use Duluth packs, designed for easy portaging and loading in canoes, to carry their gear.

posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 02:40 PM
I've been to Ely/Superior National Forest. My dad was into wilderness fishing. He preferred hiking to land locked lakes with no other access. I saw some beautiful country, honed my wilderness skills.

TheLieWeLive using a hot tub is a great idea. We picked up an older one for a good price. The heater was fine but we replaced the pump. Parts are fairly reasonable as long as we do the labor. They're very well insulated and the lowest heat setting keeps the water at 80 degrees. They're pretty basic. Look around you might find someone with an older tub they just want hauled away.

The fish farm near me keeps fish sorted by size. In addition to ponds they use large round cement crock-like containers that hold 100 gallons or more.

Another local fish farm used to stock a really small pond in the summer. They offered it as a pay lake for kids. We took ours there after failed fishing trips. The kids were guaranteed to catch something even with no bait. It was a lot of fun, people took their kids all the time.

Great way to make some extra cash. They rented rods if you didn't have one and charged for fish by the inch. The only problem was getting the kids to stop catching fish. LOL

posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 03:40 PM
a reply to: Morningglory

The hottub is a great idea for warmth. It would probably work great in the greenhouse during the winter but summers here get pretty muggy sometimes so wouldn't be necessary then. And plus the idea of a big pond is for local sustainable protein incase of a SHTF secenario. Again everything is still in planning/taking ideas stage ATM.

ETA: When I say big pond look at my sketches. I figured 192 ft cu from 12' x 6' x 4' at the deepest. That's a good sized pond, something I'm hoping might help it last year after year.
edit on 7/30/14 by thov420 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 06:11 PM
a reply to: thov420

My brother and I want to be more sustainable.

Stop surviving long enough to live a little. Go to town and
flirt with women til you find the right one. You can come back
and pick up right where you left off any time.

posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 06:53 PM
a reply to: thov420
the hay would settle under the weight,and crack in no time.Besides,it would either rot or be eaten by worms.Rather than rebar,or better yet,with rebar,use wire mesh screen made for concrete.It looks like small hog fencing

posted on Aug, 5 2014 @ 12:51 AM
a reply to: randyvs

Of course, I always find time to go out and mingle. Just not ready to settle down at the moment but in due time. Thanks.

posted on Aug, 5 2014 @ 12:53 AM
a reply to: blkcwbyhat

I know what you're talking about and that's probably better. I think you're right about the hay rotting so I'll leave that out. Being that it get's so cold here sometimes during the winter, I'll probably have to drain the pond and bring some fish indoors over the cold season anyways. Thanks.

posted on Aug, 5 2014 @ 01:59 AM
my uncle is really lucky. he has a pond fed by artesian spring water. this is in oklahoma. his pond's water is so cold that he has a survivable trout population. Trout are not supposed to survive beyond winter in oklahoma though recently two populations of trout were found reproducing in waters where they are annually stocked normally. they survived just bellow a dam in one case and in deep pools in a fast river in another. but by and large trout are not a reproducing species here.

as to your pond i have heard a few EPA nightmare stories about people getting in trouble for making ponds. bear it in mind and be careful.

posted on Aug, 5 2014 @ 03:00 AM
a reply to: stormbringer1701

Very good advice and very true about the EPA. Diverting water seems to be a no-no in some places. I'll definitely have to keep that in mind. At my place I have a pretty substansial river on the other side of the hwy from my place. We use a sandpoint water pump for our water system on the other side of the dike the hwy is on. Thanks for the bump.

ETA: We also live on the side of a hill so get yearly spring snow-melt runnoff that I would like to divert into the pond or around it to let it take it's natural course to the river.
edit on 8/5/14 by thov420 because: (no reason given)

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