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Robyn's 153 Gallon Pond Page

Last Updated: 3/30/22


Blueprint - this is the blueprint I drew up for the pond before building it.

Extensive photos of the pond, animals, plants, etc. during the yearly cleanings from 2004 to 2012 can be seen on the pond cleaning page.

Winter photos of this pond can be seen on my winter photos page.

Many photos of this pond can be seen on this page. There are also some here.

Photos are listed from newest to oldest:

From 3/8/12:
Three ponds - left to right the 50 gallon tub pond, 20 gallon tub pond, and 153 gallon liner pond, facing north
Three ponds facing northwest, 153 gallon pond in the front, 20 and 50 gallon tub ponds in the back

153 gallon pond on 10/18/09 covered in my new white net. It looks like a spider's web so my mother had to add a big fake black widow spider to the net!
153 gallon pond on 10/18/09, closer in.

Photo of the 153 gallon pond on 2/13/05, facing northwest. The 20 and 50 gallon tub ponds are in the photo too.

Photo of 153 gallon pond on 6/23/03 facing southwest.
Photo of 153 gallon pond on 6/23/03 facing northwest.

Photo of empty 153 gallon pond on 4/2/03 during pond cleaning, facing southwest.

Photo of 153 gallon pond on 5/27/02, facing west. The yellow and blue iris are in bloom.

Photo of pond on 6/18/00, in sun, facing north.

Photo of pond on 5/23/00, in rain, facing north.

Photo of new pond almost complete on 10/17/99 showing fountain, bridge, iris, and pipe going in, facing southwest.
Photo of new pond almost complete on 10/17/99, facing northwest.
Photo of 153 gallon pond on 10/3/99 showing the brick work going in before the liner is in, facing north.
Photo of 153 gallon pond location and brick edging before any holes were begun, 20 gallon lily tub and 50 gallon lotus tub are behind it in the distance; facing west, 8/11/99.

Physical Attributes

Built July through October 1999 with most plants and animals added from 10/17/99 to 10/29/99.
Ultiliner (45 mil EPDM + fabric underlay).
153 gallons (by bucketing it in!) without pots, etc.
Edging is two layers of regular holed bricks topped by 16" x 8" red patio bricks.
Sandstone bridge.
Depths: ~10% surface area 6.5" to 7.5" deep, ~25% surface area 10.5" to 11.5" deep, and ~65% surface area 22.5" to 23.5" deep.



PondMaster filter 700 with Mag-Drive 700 gph pump and bell fountain during warm months
De-icer in the winter, and for 2001, I am planning to use a Luft pump in winter to aerate the bottom as well to keep the frogs from suffocating as they did in 2000. Every year since then, I have used the Luft pump with air stone over the winter.


3 fathead minnows - 3 counted on 3/22/21 (one male, two females). 4 were added on 8/8/20 that I had for months inside in the 65 gallon aquarium quarantining. One of the fish was definitely male (turns his stripes off an on), and the other three seemed to be female.
0 rosy red minnows - 0 counted on 3/22/21. 1 counted on 3/30/20. 13 counted on 4/8/15. 31 counted on 3/27/14. 27 counted on 3/30/13. 36 counted on 3/14/12. 41 counted on 3/30/11. 24 counted on 3/31/10. 43 counted on 4/1/09. 31 counted on 4/1/08. 48 counted on 3/29/07. 51 counted on 3/30/06. 63 counted 3/25/05. Fish counted from 3/28/04: 2 male, 1 female, 6 smaller minnows added on 4/12/03. Five large ones added 5/17/03 (from the same batch but kept inside longer in the basement pond). Photos of the first set of 8 fish can be seen on the rosy red minnow page.
Baby rosy reds started to become evident in late June! By 7/7/04, there are many dozens of baby minnows of various sizes! It looks like many will make it this year. I think last year, there just were too few spawnings (all late in the year) for any to survive. During the 3/30/20 cleaning, I only found a single rosy red minnow left! I need to get more fish.

On 7/17/21, I released 12 minnows that I had been quarantining and treating for a month. They were very healthy for the last few weeks but had a bad first week, perhaps due to lack of nutrition and high ammonia in the feeder tanks. I released 7 fatheads and 5 rosy reds. One of the fatheads was in male breeding colors already! And, I saw fathead fry in the 153 gallon pond when I released the new fish!

Adult frogs: green frogs, bullfrogs, and wood frogs.
Tadpoles: green frogs and wood frogs.

Assorted insect larvae and worms including dragonflies, mayflies, etc.

Past Animals:
American toads starting laying eggs on 4/2/00. They laid again the following year.
Tons of wood frog eggs laid around 3/23/05. More wood frog eggs on 3/14/06. More in March 2007, 2009 and so on too.

Past Plants

[Note: A lot of this is out of date but I am too confused to figure it all out! See the cleaning pages for the current correct plants.]

1 one gallon pot of iris (maybe blue or purple flag)
2 two gallon pots of iris (maybe blue or purple flag)
1 two gallon pot of Albata white lily (from my big pond) but could be another variety
Algae, etc.


Ground was broken in late August, 1999. The liner went in on 10/3/99 but the edging was a problem and was mostly done on 10/10/99. The first plants and animals were added on 10/17/99.

I should have had over two feet of liner overlap at the long ends but I had barely an inch. Things never go as planned. I did not mis-calculate. The liner simply went in slightly offset and bunched up a lot making a big mess. The edging is regular bricks topped with patio bricks. There is a sandstone bridge but my father says we cannot walk on it since it would snap in two. I guess sandstone is not as strong as rocks usually used for bridges, or is my father wrong? Anyway, we will not walk on it which is a pain since it is the only way to the other side! Oops, I stepped across it the day it went in (10/10/99)!

On 3/26/00, I cleaned out the filthy 153 gallon pond. After removing the wood frog eggs and pots, I drained away half the water. Then, I ran various nets along the shelves and bottom. The fun part was rooting through the black slop for life. The debris was 90% live and dead earthworms. I guess they are not a problem in my big pond because the orfe and goldfish eat them. I also found 3 large dead green frogs, 3 live green frogs, about half a dozen red shiners, about half a dozen Ozark minnows, and one mayfly. I did not net out any bluntnose minnows or mosquito fish although there may be some that evaded the net. By the way, I use the bridge every day!

I completely cleaned out the 153 gallon pond on 3/26/01. I had planned the day off for a month but it turned out to be a warm 34 degrees F. I layered up in 3 layers of clothes and got to work. It took seven hours of toiling to repot every last of the pots and sift through all of the debris for life forms. I found the following besides my potted plants: lots of anacharis and hornwort, 100+ ramshorn snails, 2 dead trapdoor snails, 100+ green frog tadpoles, 2 dead pickerel frogs, 8 dead green frogs, 3 live green frogs, 2 live female wood frogs ready to lay eggs, a few dragonfly and mayfly larvae, and 19 fish. I tried to tell which sexes and species the fish were but it was cold, and I was in a lot of pain from the work. I think they were about 1 bluntnose minnow, 4 male red shiners, 7 female red shiners, 1 Ozark minnow, and 6 Southern redbelly dace but I am not sure. I believe that the dead frogs died from a lack of oxygen. Not only did the de-icers act up and not work half the time but the pond is very narrow and deep and was very dirty. Next winter, I plan to run an air stone in the bottom of this pond to prevent frog suffocation. On 11/10/01, I removed the PondMaster filter for the winter and put in the de-icer with the Luft pump system to aerate the depths.

On 6/26/01, I removed an adult, 3 inch, male bluntnose minnow floating dead in the pond. He seems to have been beat up. I hope he was not the only of his species. I saw fry in this pond for the first time on 6/28/01. They are most likely red shiners but could be Southern redbelly dace, Ozark minnows, or even bluntnose minnows from the above, dead father. (I later found out that the babies are probably Southern redbelly dace!) There was a dead, 3 inch, male red shiner removed from the pond on 8/4/01. Maybe he got in a fight. I removed a 2 inch, female fish which I think was a red shiner but might have been a bluntnose minnow. There was no obvious reason for her death but she did seem to be full of eggs. Yet another dead fish was removed on 9/17/01. This was a female red shiner with chunks bitten out of her. Losing four fish in just three months is a big loss that I cannot explain except perhaps to think that they were nearing the end of their life span of about three years old. I normally clean this pond in spring and fall but this year, I am so far behind that I will have to skip the fall cleaning for 2001.

I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond on 3/29/02. It took six hours. The weather was perfect this time. There were no dead frogs! I found 13 live green frogs (no other species). The bad news is that only seven fish were found including three adult Southern redbelly dace and four babies which I think are Southern redbelly dace too. The bluntnose minnows, red shiners, and Ozark minnows have all died without breeding. I found two dead fish that I am not sure which species they were. There were also hundreds of tadpoles and ramshorn snails, eight baby trapdoor snails, one dragonfly nymph, and one mayfly nymph. The iris and water lilies needed repotting but I did not do it because I was tired and figure this way I will get more flowers this year (repotting reduces iris flowers if done before flowering in spring). I took a photo of the frogs waiting in a pot while I was cleaning and a photo of the tadpoles (and snails) in a kiddie pool while I was cleaning.

On 9/2/02, I repotted the three iris which were way overgrown (see my September 2002 Newsletter), the sweetflag, and one of the water lilies because the yellow flag iris was growing in that pot as well. All were put in one gallon pots and tons of extras in a low area on our property. The yellow flag iris had grown into a huge monster, growing into two neighboring pots so I had to pull the whole mess out in one clump!

I did the yearly cleaning of this pond again on 4/2/03. Instead of repeating the story here, you can read my April 2003 pond newsletter which covers it in detail. Basically, I found one adult Southern redbelly dace, one male red shiner, one female red shiner, one dead red shiner, one adult female wood frog, one emaciated young green frog, two green frog leg bones, one green frog vertebrae, a million earthworms, a thousand snails (mostly ramshorns but some others), a few hundred green frog tadpoles, a hundred wads of hornwort, a few pieces of anacharis, the potted plants, and water (ha, ha). For more on the missing frogs, see my green frog section and section on overwintering frogs. My colony of green frogs was not dead or alive in there which means they died before winterizing either from starvation due to the worst drought in 100 years or predators. Photos of the three fish are on the dace and shiner pages. Here is a photo of the tadpoles and snails in the kiddie pool during the cleaning. The empty pond is above with the photos for the 153 gallon pond.

On 3/29/04, I did the yearly clean out. I put the information on its own page to save room elsewhere. To read the details, go to my 153 Gallon Pond Cleaning Page for 2004.

On 3/25/05, I did the yearly clean out again. The information is on the 2005 pond cleaning page.

On 3/30/06, I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond once again. Information, photos, and a video of wood frogs in the pond is on my 2006 pond cleaning page.

On 3/29/07, I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond. You can see photos and videos as well as read the details on my 2007 pond cleaning page.

On 4/1/08, I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond. You can see photos and two videos and read about it on my 2008 pond cleaning page.

On 4/1/09, I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond. You can see photos and read about it on my 2009 pond cleaning page.

On 3/31/10, I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond. You can see photos and read about it on my 2010 pond cleaning page.

On 3/30/11, I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond. You can see photos and read about it on my 2011 pond cleaning page.

On 3/14/12, I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond. You can see photos and read about it on my 2012 pond cleaning page.

On 3/30/13, I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond. You can see photos and read about it on my 2013 pond cleaning page.

On 3/27/14, I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond. You can see photos and read about it on my 2014 pond cleaning page.

On 4/8/15, I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond. You can see photos and read about it on my 2015 pond cleaning page.

On 3/30/16, I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond. You can see photos and read about it on my 2016 pond cleaning page.

On 4/3/17, I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond. You can see photos and read about it on my 2017 pond cleaning page.

On 4/2/18, I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond. You can see photos and read about it on my 2018 pond cleaning page.

On 4/1/19, I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond. You can see photos and read about it on my 2019 pond cleaning page.

On 3/30/20, I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond. You can see photos and read about it on my 2020 pond cleaning page.

On 3/22/21, I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond. You can see photos and read about it on my 2021 pond cleaning page.

On 3/25/22, I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond. You can see photos and read about it on my 2022 pond cleaning page.

See my Pond Showcase page on this pond.

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