If you find a pond …

I really think the point of picking something up from the side of the road is that you get it for free right? Well, that’s my point anyway.

Our garden doesn’t have a concrete plan. It has evolved around little ideas, like reusing the gazillions of bricks that we keep unearthing … for paving and edging. And using the wine barrels that we picked up from down the road as vegie and herb gardens.

And our tables and chairs of course. It’s all a bit rustic and random.

So … when I picked up a fish pond from hard rubbish I wasn’t envisaging the Trevi fountain – either in terms of looks or cost. I was thinking of a low key fish pond tucked away in a corner, with some water loving herbs growing near/in it.   Like vietnamese mint and watercress. That was my plan.

That’s why I was feeling quite nervous about the whole venture last week.


We had agreed on a location of the pond a couple of months ago. At the end of the drive in front of the studio. And Clive dug the hole. And installed it. And planted a passion fruit vine on the fence behind it, and a tamarillo next to it. Well done Clive. But then … we left it.

It filled up with rainwater and leaves … and then as the weather got warmer along came the mosquito larvae … Yuk! Something had to be done.

Clive started investigating pumps/filters/how to keep the water clean … and fish. And the pump sitch (that’s short for situation … is it a word?) quickly spiralled OUT OF CONTROL.

Did the $0 pond truly require a $90 device to keep it clean? As novices to the fish pond game we didn’t know … It did seem slightly ridiculous though.

In the end we just got the fish, (Clive made the mistake of taking the kids with him to the pet shop …) stuck them in the filthy water and hoped for the best. The mosquito larvae were gone in 24 hours (good work little fish). But then, the next day the fish food hadn’t been eaten. Oh no. Were the fish dead? We couldn’t see through the water to tell.

We consulted Tahlia and Annabelle about dead fish (I got Tahlia a fish tank for our second hand Christmas a couple of years ago – so they’re the experts). Annabelle said her fish floated to the top when it died. Good news … We didn’t have any floating fish. Tahlia thought hers sank when it died. So that didn’t really help. Back to square one.

Clive came home early from work and went to Bunnings to look into more filter options. But the pump there was dearer than the one at the pet shop at the Plaza (that’s Northcote Plaza for those not from the ‘hood). He rang me … and I had an idea. ‘Go to the big pet shop opposite Northland. They’ve got lots of fish stuff there’.

HOORAY … Clive found someone with some expertise.  And for only $20 Clive came home with a little air pump, just the right size for our little pond.

It makes a lovely trickling noise, and while the water is still green, it’s not gross. And hopefully the non-crystal clear water will protect Otto (the interesting sucker), Pinto, Daisy and Louise from Lolly the cat (she’s been treating the pond as her outside drinking bowl for the last couple of months).

So … $20 for the air pump, $10 for 4 fish. $0 for the pond. I’m happy with that.  I can tell already that it’s going to look great once the plants have grown all around it!

Fingers crossed the fish last longer than the chickens – did you know they got killed by a fox?  We were so sad.

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