Container Water Graden

CorpsmanCooper(FL8b)June 21, 2011

I just have a quick question about water gardens. I have a very nice half of a barrel that I was thinking about turning in to a water garden but I was curious as to if I needed a pump or filter. It will strictly be for water plants. I do not plan to add fish. I'd like to keep it as simple as possible. Is it possible to do this without a filter or anything?

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gardengimp(9B Seminole Cnty FL)

Sure is. I can take a picture of my just starting off half barrel tomorrow and post. It is a plastic half barrel that is many years old. I patched up the leaks with some silicone. Filled it with water. Went to Petsmart and got some Cabomba and Hornwort. It has been set up for 6 weeks or so now. I'm heading off to Lowes tomorrow to grab a lily for it. Without fish in it, you do need some mosquito control. I've been using Mosquito dunks. I have wondered if I should build a frog ladder!

Seriously though, I buried my barrel about 8" or so. My thinking was to partially bury to help with temperature control with such a small water volume. (I wanted to bury it more, but ran into some darn buried wires) It is in an area to capture runoff water from the driveway. So I dug out the sand so there is a slight slope towards the barrel.

If you don't have a handy half barrel hanging out, other options are the small patio pond shells, stock tanks and galvanized pans. I've seen some really cool water/bog gardens made from kids swimming pools.

Oh, I remembered I have a picture from right after I set it up.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 12:03AM
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Right now, I have a large taro in a large container pot, not a half barrel but it isn't much smaller than that. I also have a Daubin water lily in another container, and a third container with umbrella palm and pennywort, all of them doing well with no filtration. I have also kept water iris and water hyaciinth in containers, and both did extremely well, both of them blooming regularly. For several years, I kept a betta fish, transferring him from one to the other, to keep the mosquito larvae in check, but he died last month (old age), so now I'm using mosquito dunks. I must add, he loved his "job", ;-)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 9:24AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

No you do not have to have a pump.

You also don't have to have a fish for mosquito control you can use Mosquito Dunks.

I have had a whiskey barrel pond for over a decade. The only problem I have is raccoons. They get in there and trash the plants even though there are no fish.

You can also use the plastic liners they make for whiskey barrels. I have one half depth sunk in the ground and one full depth free standing.

I glued flat marble gems on the half depth one's rim to make it look more attractive but the dang coons pull off the gems and spread them around the yard.....

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 11:23AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

LOL buyorsell.........those coons will take just about anything!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 4:14PM
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Yep, I have had containers ( 20 to 40 gal) for just plants with no pumps or filtration. Sometimes I've put baby fish in them and sometimes just the mosquito dunks. One of my favorites was for a water lily. Go for it!!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 5:24PM
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gardengimp(9B Seminole Cnty FL)

Yes Erin, go for it!

However, if you go off to Lowes to buy a lily - be forwarned. Then also pick up a dwarf cattail. Then get home and open the containers and realize you just spent over $16 on dead stuff.

So I get to go back to Lowes, oh joy. Note to self, open the dang containers before you buy them and make sure the divisions are actually alive. No full sun yellow water lily for me, boo-hoo.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 11:28PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Another thing you can do is make square of 4x4 or lanscape timber line with a fiberglass tarp either fill with clay or anything that has no floating material.
You can make a 4x5 foot bed for under 10 dollars . Great for non floating plants, tropicals that like lots of moisture such as canna, lotus, angelonia etc,etc.
Doesn't require fish or dunks because the is no standing water unless you want it . Will save you a ton on work in the continuing drought lol gary

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 2:42AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

There are dwarf and miniature waterlilies that are much better for container ponds than the ones available at Lowe's or other big box stores.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 11:26AM
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Thanks for the great advice! This might be my next project! I'm always looking for cheap ways of going about things. Especially since our cost of energy went of 11%!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 11:07PM
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Dianne, are you looking for a yellow hardy or tropical? If you want a yellow hardy, there is a "Chromatella" for sale on eBay. I know the seller personally. :o)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 8:28PM
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