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New Pond; old water tank

Hi there,

I bought an old water tank that I want to use as a contemporary style of pond. 

I am super keen to get some wildlife into it, and therefore I want to make it as wildlife friendly as possible whilst also maintaining a contemporary edge. 

I have thought about digging the tank into the ground so c40cm is above ground then building a ramp made of earth up to it on one side so that frogs can get up to it. 

I am also planning on planting some long grasses behind it and either side to give some shelter for the frogs and birds. 

Should I dig it in slightly and build a ramp?

Do I need to create levels inside it..i.e. with old plates/bricks or something so that birds can come and bathe..?

Shall I get some dwarf water lillies and maybe some reed grass..? Which ones will suit my pond given it's so small...





  • The_herpetologistThe_herpetologist West YorksPosts: 481

    Yes, you could dig a hole about three quarters the depth of the tank and create a gently sloping ramp to raise it slightly above the surrounding level. That would look great and would support easy access.

    If you are wanting to attract amphibians, the it is important to provide an escape route. This could be done by creating a shelf inside the tank (pile of bricks?) or by adding a ramp such as an old log which is semi submerged.

    Location is important; sunny but with some dappled shading would be preferable, but steer clear of locating below overhanging trees to avoid leaves faling into the tank. Birds don't tend to bathe in deep containers but you could create a number of different levels using bricks.

    In terms of plants, the tank looks quite deep so you could plant some reeds such as Arundo donax 'Variegata' which look great, especially in spring and dwarf rushes or dwarf horsetail (Equisetum scirpoides). Dwarf water lillies would also work. You could also grow some creeping jenny or even sedum around the sides to hide the metal rim and give a more natural look.

    You could extend the wildlife-friendly area and compliment the feature by creating a bog garden / marshy area one one side. You can do this cheaply by using heavy duty plastic rubble sacks instead of a pond liner. You could plant moisture loving plants such as water forget-me-nots or marsh marigolds in this area.

    Good luck - would love to see some pics when it's done.


    Last edited: 03 August 2016 13:20:01

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,282

    I think it needs to be sunk right into the ground - otherwise being metal it will overheat in the summer causing it to become anaerobic and stagnant (and cooking the inhabitants), and freeze up in the winter.

    As has been said, you will also need a gradient to provide amphibians, reptiles and adventurous hedgehogs with an easy way out - don't want dead bodies!  

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • pokhimpokhim Posts: 210

    I bought it because it was metal as I like the look of it. It's got this industrial chic style which is a theme I have running through my house and into my garden...

    Maybe i'll dig it in a little way.. then build a dirt ramp up one side to give frog a chance to get in. 

    If i cover the 'ramp' with small white gravel stones will it be ok for the frogs?..

    Last edited: 05 August 2016 11:48:55

  • pokhimpokhim Posts: 210

    thank you so much!! I will dig it in this weekend, take a picture and keep up all updated with this. I will try and get a white lily!

  • pokhimpokhim Posts: 210

    So here it is so far.. I dug as much as in as I could... my back, hands and feet are knackered now... I've done soo much digging and renovation of this garden over the past 2 months that i dnt think I can dig any more!! 

    I planted  HEMEROCALLIS 'Catherine Woodbery' at the front to provide some summer colour. I also put in a MISCANTHUS sinensis 'Morning Light' to give some shelter to any wild life that could venture in.. and then some PANICUM virgatum 'Thundercloud at the back.. 

    I dug in a ramp for frogs... Do you think they'll venture up if I also put in some shelving in the pond?..

    Gosh!! I think I might have gone overboard on the grasses.....? Waddya think?

    Final picture is of the wife enjoying a nice iced tea!! yum!!!




  • pokhimpokhim Posts: 210

    bump... what are you thoughts on my trough?.. any good?...

  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    good, only problem that I could see is the galvanising, is it on the inside of the tank as it might have an effect on any species living in the water (I know amphibians can be quite intolerant of metals in water)

  • pokhimpokhim Posts: 210
    Very good point!!... I think I need to paint the interior or something like that...


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