We're looking at making our first backyard pond in the edge of our garden. I have read a LOT of pages through searching on Google and they seem to make it so hard to get started. I don't think it's this hard so I need some advice.
Our pond is going to be sort of round, mostly. Then it will elongate the last part maybe 3 to 4 feet long under our walkway as a mini under the bridge type deal. The round part of the pond will only be 4 to 6 feet in circumference. So a very small pond really.
First thing is can I just use either the dirt itself as the liner or line it with lime? (Lime: From what I have read through articles I have found, helps starting a pond with pH levels, bacteria, etc.) We live in Guatemala in Central America so pond liners are not easy to find, I would have to import it and that gets expensive, no point in it.
We live in the tropics, so no need for worries of freezing or anything of the sorts. The temperature is normally from 70°F to 90°F with no humidity, very nice all day long and all year long. Rainy season is a bit wild, but only 4 months long, just a lot of rain during those months.
What kind of fish would be good for this size of a pond and climate? I love Koi but they seem very work intensive and take a lot from what I have read. But I don't believe everything I read as the McDonalds down the road has Koi outside in a small around the building pond made of cement, so they can't be that big of a pain ha ha.
Or would Goldfish be better? That being said how many would be the max of a given fish, or better yet a good number of them?
I do "not" want a filter and a bunch of pumps etc. in our pond. I would like to have a still water pond. I know it will be a bit muggy, that's fine mostly as it won't be horribly deep in the elongated part under the walkway.
That being said, what are the suggestions for still water ponds to keep them clearer? Can we not buy a couple bottom sucker fish for it? We had one in our fish tank years ago that grew to 7 inches long.
Or is there another fish to keep them clean?
Are there some plants that would be suggested as water plants to help keep it clear water?
Would turtles be good to have to help keep it clean?
What do the fish eat? I know that for aquarium fish you get fish food, but wouldn't the mosquito larvae (a lot during rainy season as I had Tilapia tanks once) and other natural things be good food for the fish?
We really want this pond to be 100% natural and still without mechanics of any sorts. Electricity is hugely expensive in Guatemala, so we don't want pumps running year round.
Any other advice that can be given would be greatly appreciated for a first timer.