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Old 16-02-2011, 10:34 PM   #1
J351
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Default My First Water Garden

After spending the last 9 months or so as a new member of this forum reading numerous sharings and postings by so many members who tirelessly answer questions posted by new members, just wanted to contribute what i can, to this forum.

So, this is just a sharing of my experience and learning points in setting up a mini water garden in my HDB flat. Pls feel free to contribute any ideas/feedback that you may have.

While reading this thread, pls bear in mind that the set up was based on trial and error and some experience that i have in rearing fishes and doing some handy works around the house. So, pls bear with the raw workmanship and amateur set up.

My apologies for being so long winded...... Now, back to what this is about.....
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Old 16-02-2011, 10:36 PM   #2
J351
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Default My Water Garden - Continued

I had always wanted to have a garden with big leafy plants and a stream of water flowing and trickling down into a pool of water with fishes. The sound of water and watching the fishes swimming among the plants and rocks just gives me this sense of peace and calm that i cannot describe.

However, staying in an HDB flat has deprived me of this small dream that i always had.

So, in 2007, i decided that just dreaming was not going to get me anywhere and set out to create my own in my balcony. I knew that it will never be a true water garden but i thought better something that nothing.

I sketched about 10 over drawings of how i wanted my balcony to look like.

Finally, after talking to some shops on the cost involved on the main items and taking into account the space i had in my balcony, I decided on the final design.
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Old 16-02-2011, 10:38 PM   #3
J351
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Default My First Water Garden - Continued

Location : Walk-through balcony of a 5 room HDB flat. Walk-through means, when i enter the main door to the house, i have to walk through the balcony to the hall.

Space: Balance about 10ft (L) by 2 ft (W), after setting aside space for walking from main door, through the balcony to the hall.

Constraints: As the balcony is the only place in the house we could put our shoes, my CO approved my plans with the condition that all the shoes, laundry basket for dirty socks and umbrellas must still be accommodated in the balcony. With no other options (as usual), i agreed to the conditions.

My Key Design Considerations: Must have plants, flowing water and fishes that i can view from the side and of course space to sit down and view.
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Old 16-02-2011, 10:41 PM   #4
J351
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Default My First Water Garden - Continued

Based on the design, i had a number of things i needed:

1. Sufficient wood/wall brackets/screws to build the supporting structure
2. Fibreglass ponds
3. Glass tank
4. Cannister Filter
5. Thick transparent plastic
6. Polystyrene rockwork
7. Rocks/Driftwood
8. Water plants & Land plants
9. Fishes
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Old 16-02-2011, 10:43 PM   #5
J351
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Default My First Water Garden - Continued

Wooden Structure
Bought from IKEA (As-Is section), 2 sets of single-bed base wooden panels (used to support mattress). Each bed consists of 16 strips of 3 feet by 2 inch pine wood. So, all in all, i had 32 such strips of wood panels all transported by taxi to my home.

Fibreglass ponds
Custom made 2 identical black fibreglass ponds (20inch x 20inch x 8 inch (h)) with ‘lip’ for water to flow out.

Glass tank
Already had a 4x1.5x1.5 ft tank that was quite old. Decided to use it.

Cannister Filter
Already had an Eheim 2215. Decided to use it.

The rest of the items
Will describe the other small items as i go along.
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Old 16-02-2011, 10:55 PM   #6
J351
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Default My First Water Garden - Continued

Implementation

As a picture is worth a thousand words, i will try to use as many pictures as possible to show the stages involved.

This is a picture of the wooden structure that i built to sit the fibre glass ponds ‘perfectly’. The shelves on the structure are for the shoes. On the walls are the metal wall brackets to hold the shelves for plants.

The wooden structure took about 2 months to construct, working on it only when time was available on weekends.

Had to get all the dimensions right, so that it’s the right size and it can be placed at the correct position. This structure will later be secured to the back wall.

Learning point: Thought me a lot of patience- measuring, sawing, fixing and waiting for about 2 months to get it done even though i wanted to see it completed quickly.
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Old 17-02-2011, 10:23 PM   #7
J351
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Default My First Water Garden - Continued

This is how it looked after i fixed the wall shelves. Again alot of measurement is involved as i needed to get the wall shelves exactly at the correct height.
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Old 17-02-2011, 10:26 PM   #8
J351
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Default My First Water Garden - Continued

Testing with the fibreglass ponds to see how it will look and if there is any major design flaw. The 2 fibreglass ponds (one higher than the other) is meant to create a waterfall effect.
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Old 17-02-2011, 11:16 PM   #9
oldrookiesjerem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J351 View Post
Testing with the fibreglass ponds to see how it will look and if there is any major design flaw. The 2 fibreglass ponds (one higher than the other) is meant to create a waterfall effect.
So you are considering comb on the top or holes at the btm of the top tank for the waterfall effect?
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Old 17-02-2011, 11:27 PM   #10
J351
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There's a 'lip' on the top fibreglass for the water to flow down to the bottom fibreglass.

Similarly, there is another 'lip' on the bottom fibreglass.

See, if this picture helps.
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