Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Introducing the Tuttle Aquatic Gardens! (with Pond Filter DIY)

It's finally here! After weeks of trying to coordinate and make a plan to load up my old bathtub and bring it up to our house, we finally got it together! Daddy and Mama helped me load and unload it (in front of all of our neighbors who were outside because the power was out and they were looking for entertainment) while Jared was at work one day. HERE IT IS! Tuttle Aquatic Gardens!

It's kind of an auspicious name for something not so auspicious just yet, but I've got big plans! Here's what it currently looks like.

Here are the humble and gross beginnings of our pond. 

I cleaned it out and Jared and I moved it on the back deck. We filled it up

After it was filled, Jared had to leave for work, so I started working on the pump and filter box! I bought this pump a long time ago when I made my first pond from this same bathtub. Just in case anyone is curious about the pump, here's a picture of it. I don't remember anything about the specifications.

I'll lay out the filter-making process in case any of y'all want to make your own. (I am not responsible if for some reason your pump doesn't like it's filter box. Mine likes it just fine.)  My uncle Chris taught me how to make these. This filter does great for smallish ponds, but if you have a bigger pond, you should definitely talk to a professional.


  • small cracked rubbermaid box with lid (if it is cracked, the pump can suck more water in.)
  • washable air filter
  • clear desired length of hose
  • hose clamp
  • scissors or exacto knife
First, put your pump in the box and decide where you want it to sit. I like it in the center. Cut a hole in in the lid so you can feed the pump cord back out of the box. Then cut your air filter so that the pieces fill the box and surround your pump.

Once your satisfied with how much air filter is around your pump, attach your hose (which will blow water away from your filter) with a hose clamp, and pile more air filter around it. Shut the lid on your box.


Once I got the pump and filter ready to go, I added some pretty rocks and submerged the filter box.

I'm super excited about the water plants! We bought a water hyacinth, water lettuce, and a royal blue pickerel rush. The rush is more of a bog plant, which means the pot sits in the water, but it isn't submerged. The other two float!

As you can see, the pond looks a lot different already from when we first got it on the deck. Aside from the plants we bought, my aunt gave us some yellow japanese irises that are considered a bog plant and a water lily. Unfortunately, when I added the water lily, I tipped the pot over and a bunch of dirt ended up in the water, which is one reason why the water is so dark now. Another reason is the fact that our plants are growing and that's what happens

The hyacinth liked it so much, it bloomed!

It's so interesting to me to watch these plants grow because I don't know anything about them. The water lettuce has put off two small "babies" and the hyacinth has a couple of new plants still attached to it!

Ophelia is intrigued!

We added a small PVC elbow, so that the water would bubble up. Jared was concerned that when we got fish, they would get blown away from the pump's pressure! I like it this way best because it makes a great sound.

I love how our back deck is shaping up!

It is so peaceful out there!

Hopefully, the water will clear up some and we can get fish soon! 

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