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Backyard Fishponds

Community Contributed

By Joe Kennedy

Tilapia, guppies, mosquito fish, and patties are thriving in my pond. The pond is 44 feet long and 16 feet wide. After being in there for a year and a half, the tilapia are about one pound in weight — and surprisingly beautiful. They’re a kind of flashing gold color with dark orange spots all over their body.

Some of the guppies are flashy also — purple and violet. Several other species of tropical fish are in there also. Even more species could survive in the pond because the tilapia are not eating them.

A small kind of snail is attached to the dead logs and even to some of the aquatic mulch plants. These plants have given me what amounts to two heaping pickup loads of fresh green mulch. For humans, there’s unchoy, taro, and watercress. The overflow water is giving me water and fertilizer for the papayas, bananas, asparagus, pumpkins and other veggies.

I feel I’m just beginning to learn about the fish and plants. Many more plant and animal species are possible.

For a 44 by 16-foot pond, it cost me only about $60 to build. I used free pallets, free cardboard, and $60 worth of 6 mm plastic from Hikiola. A 100 by 20-foot roll costs $90.


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