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Hmm... i dont really know how to go about explaining this but anyways, here goes:

The structure

I think the best way to describe what i've got would be as a small indoor swimming pool in the middle of my living room. Its got a valve controlled inlet on the side and a drain at the bottom leading to another valve for drainage purposes. All the surfaces are tiled with beautiful mosaic blue tiles(Cost me quite a bit to get hold of them)... And the only viewing area is the top.

As for the dimensions, the cross section is a rectangle 196cm X 215cm with a triangular portion( base 140cm, altitude 200cm) removed and a depth of about 46cm(Should hold around 1300 litres by my calculations). Bit of an irregular pentagon. I hope you can visualize what i mean.... I'll post pictures as soon as i can....

Another thing i think i should mention is that i've got an opening in the roof directly above this of the same dimensions as that of the pool - A 'skylight' i can call it i guess... It is covered by some metallic mesh and transparent polymer sheets which gives me more than 4-5 hours of sunlight.

The Plan

Now what i want to do is to convert the whole thing into a sort of hybrid indoor pond with some great fish, a few water lilies and a whole lot of other plants.... I've got a big time vision for this space and have just about started planning out what i'm gonna do... (The removed triangular portion i mentioned is now filled with sand and i've got some bamboo growing there.... When fully grown, it should reach as high as the skylight and maybe overhang my pool...So if executed properly, this could indeed be very special.... A bit of nature right in the middle of my living room...:D)

The problem

The biggest one is that i'm a novice fish keeper who really doesn't have too many ideas as to how one should go about doing this.... Also, my knowledge of the other equipments like filters and aerators that i might need to get my indoor pond up and running are almost nil.. :(

Help!

So i'd really appreciate it if you guys could help me out here.... Like i mentioned, i'm still in the planning phase and am trying to gather as much information i can before i actually go about doing this.... I look upon this as a sort of long term project.... So,

Some of the info i want would be on :

1. The Setup

I have almost zero knowledge of the equipment i'll need to keep my pond and fish healthy and happy.... So really hope you guys can help me out.....

Do i need to have an aerator? Its got lots of surface area, so shouldn't enough oxygen diffuse in without any additional help?

Do i need a filter? I am willing to change whole of the water once a week - will that be enough? If i do need a filter, i'd like some sort of details on the thing i should buy. Like i've mentioned, the whole thing is in my living room - i wouldnt want the ambience to be disturbed by a noisy filter - So the sound that it might make is also a concern.

2. Externals

My 'pond' naturally has no covering on top, so lots of dust, stray hairs and stuff seem to be getting into the water. I do clean up as much as I can with my net but still it seems to be getting dirty..... how much does this affect water quality in my tank?

3. The Aesthetics

I've already mentioned that the whole thing is covered by mosaic blue tiles.... So i dont really know what to do as far as the substrate is concerned. I'm not sure i can put in sand or other fine gravel because i run the risk of getting my drain all clogged up and also i might have a problem removing it from the bottom of my pool if ever i want to get rid of the whole thing....What about lining the whole or part of it with rocks of some sort and let the rest of it remain simply as tiles...? Maybe the rocks could be like the ones we can find on a river bed...? I want plants in there but potted plants wont look too good on a tiled surface... so i was thinking that i could cover up the pots with these rocks and make them look as if they are growing out of the rocks.... I could also construct cave like and other structures for my fish to interact with....I'm not sure and would really like your thoughts on this. Suggestions on water plants would also be welcome..

4. And Finally........ The Fish!!


I'm living in india now and the avg temperatures here are around 75-85 F. I'd like suggestions on fish that are suited to my climate and temp range.... I also want my fish to be really active, my pond is after all a pretty large thing... so i want them to be swimming about the whole thing and enjoying themselves - not just sulking around in a corner. I don't know about this - but wouldnt schooling fish look good here? All of them swimming about together? I don't really know, so i'm open any sort of suggestions as far as fish are concerned...


Another thing i should mention here is that i don't really have a large budget to work on... So please keep that also in mind when you make suggestions...

Sorry about the huge post.... I know its a pain to read all of this.... But i still hope you've got the patience to read the whole thing and i will really appreciate all the help i can get........ Thanks in advance guys...

Cesare
 
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