Water Garden Question

I have a copper fire pit which has never been used and likely will never be used for fire. I would like to turn it into a small water garden with small waterlily and a few other plants and a small fountain. Any ideas on the suitability of the copper for a water garden? And any ideas on plants which woud be easy care?
Shell
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never be

with
ideas on

plants
Try post at rec.ponds, most of the water garden people are there.
Regards, Wong
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A vendor at the Lavender Festival this past weekend was selling the most artfully designed all-copper garden pools with all-copper waterfalls. Most were shiny new copper, some were coated in verdigris, tastefully arranged to give the impression of waves or moving water. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. And toxic.
A small amount of copper in an aquatic environment is probably of minimal harmfulness -- like old pennies tossed into a pool with koi, not the best thing to do, but not sure death either. But the entirety of the soil or water content of a pool or marsh container being copper? Bad! Bad!
The vendor promised "no algae" but failed to mention "no fish" & "no plants." They did however also sell waterlilies, irises, & cattails made of brass, bronze, & copper.
The reason algae doesn't get started so easily in an all-copper pool is because copper suppresses plant growth. It will be VERY harmful to waterlilies. It will also kill fish, molluscs, & amphibians. Copper water features which are for water exclusively, no flora & no fauna, will stay clear for longer periods of time. If flora & fauna is to be incorporatged into the pool, then copper is exactly the wrong thing.
Build up of heavy metals in water or in perepetually wet soil is extremely slow because copper is surprisingly stable in its solid form -- build up is faster when in contact with soil or fish poops or in circulating highly oxygenated water. However, verdigris is very UNstable & would cause swift toxicity, not inconceivably sufficient toxicity to harm a dog, bird, or child that drank from such a pond (anything above 2 mg copper per liter of water is considered safe to drink). But if such a pool were drained & cleaned monthly, I'd wager it would be safe. I'd much rather not have a copper fountain to begin with.
Copper pools further increase electrocution risks when pumps or lights or filters or extension cord or anything electrical is in any way connected to or touching the pool. You think the toaster in the glass bathtub trick is a good way to kill someone, wait till your hand brushes against even a dry spot along the edge of a copper pool when the pump gets a short in it.
As an aside, I don't know how deep your firepit waterlily pond would be, but waterlilies need some pretty deep water to survive, a firepit that deep would be rather unusual.
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"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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I realised after I posted that copper is toxic to fish and other critters (smacking self on head) The local home stores sell nice large pots and plastic ponds so I wil probably go that route and use the copper fire pit as a fountain with a rock garden. Of course a small reflecting pool and fountain would be pretty too.
Thanks for all the information and help
Shell
wrote:

be
on
plants
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Copper is poisonous to fish. And without a couple small fish in your small water garden, you will need to take extra precautions about breeding mosquitoes. You could line the copper fire pit with a rubber or vinyl membrane which should be safer for fish. Given the right conditions with plenty of sunlight, most water plants are easy care. I have parrot feather, three water lilies, screw rush, striped rush, elodea (anacharis), water hyacinth, and mint. Cattail and azola are growing too, and very invasive. All of these have overwintered in zone 7, although the hyacinth usually freezes out.
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I realised after I posted how toxic copper is, so scratch that idea. Maybe a reflecting pool with a small fountain or a rock garden with a fountain will be nice. With heat indexes in the 100's fire in the fire pit is definitely out :)
Thanks for the help and information
Shell
wrote:

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on
plants
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Weeble wrote:

It's probably OK for scaly fish, but it would likely kill any snails, shrimp, or other aquatic invertebrates.
The solubility of copper is very low, and people throw pennies into fountains all the time without killing the fish. But copper would not be my first choice of materials for a pond.
Best regards, Bob
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Well if its not leak proof just solder the joints, easy task to do. Other than making sure it doe sot leak it ought to make one fine looking water garden especialy when it starts to get the green color or blueish color from ageing. Copper and fish do not exactly get along so don;t add any fish or they more than likely will croak.
Copper is an easy metal to work with and any piping or such you may want to add can easily be soldered or brazed in place. I wold certainly keep everything copper as much as possible so it al ages the same color unlike cheap PVC........which would be very distractfull on a solid copper container IMHO. Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Opinions expressed are those of my wifes, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
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You might ask your questions to snipped-for-privacy@backyard-lifestyle.com
www.backyard-lifestyle.com and www.bestpondstuff.com
both are excellant for pond and fountain ideas.
I hope this helps, Norman

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Since you have also been aggressively promoting your sales of bogus ultrasonic devices, I personally wouldn't trust that anything else you attempted to sell would work any better.
Honest, competent companies do not spam on UseNet.
-paggers

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