Behold! The new outdoor aquarium, a chinese water pot with water plants and fish!
I’m not a fan of “water features”, generally. There is something off-putting about an ersatz spring welling up in someone’s backyard from the top of a rock pile. What’s worse are the streams that begin and end suddenly at the property lines. Bird baths are okay until they start looking Victorian. But a simple basin or pot full of water isn’t pretending to be anything else than what it is. Chinese water jars that are glazed a dark brown or black inside are especially nice. And, they are a small enough “pond” that you don’t have dig enormous holes or fuss around with pumps, filters, or electrical cords.
Want a water garden? Get a pot. Plug the hole. Fill with water. Done. Well, almost.
I did take the water garden up a level and put some fish in the there. The kids needed a pet, and if you are going to keep fish, this is the way to do it. The fussiness that comes with indoor tank management isn’t an issue with an outdoor pond-in-a-pot, especially if your fish-to-plant ratio is small. And there is something about fish. I used to step outside first thing to just look at the garden. Recently, I admit, I usually walk over to the pot first thing to check out the fish. So I guess I should say I got some fish for my pot because they are fun, and mysterious.
The mystery comes in when I went out to check on the fish a few days ago. We were given three black Shubunkins by the pond-neighbor around the corner, but I could only see two. They are tricky to spot in the dark water of the pot, and they don’t hold still for a census. But after a late night inspection with a flashlight, it’s confirmed; there are only two in there now.
Whence the third? There’s no sign of it. The pot is large and deep so predators can’t get in after them. A fishing bird is probable, but unlikely. I haven’t seen any herons in my yard recently. My best guess is one must have jumped out in the night, expired, and then one of the many itinerant cats that wander through picked up the body for a meal. Or maybe it decided to go back to its old pond, like my son suggested.