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NFC: Pondering a pond

Hope some of you can help me with a little advice.

We're buying a home in North Glendale...and there's a stump in the back 
yard.  A BIG stump.  Of course, it's gotta come out!  And once it's out 
there'll be a huge hole in the yard.  What better to fill up a hole with 
than water!

I figure the hole will be about 15' by 6' by 4' to 5' deep, when all is said 
and done.  The stump may not be quite that large, but I'll just round it all 
out a bit to, uh, make sure I get all the roots....<g>

It's no secret that it gets V-E-R-Y hot here in the summer.  I expect that, 
even with a depth of 4', a recessed profile (the top of the water will be 
below the surrounding ground level), lots of aquatic plants and partial 
shade from overhanging trees, the water will probably reach 90 degrees or 
more in July and August.

Part of the stump (roots up) may go back in the pond as a decoration, fish 
cover, and to provide shade.

I will use a commercially available, flexible pond liner.

I don't want to add a filtration system, unless absolutely necessary, 
preferring to go the 'low tech' (natural) route.

The water here is very hard and alkaline, ph about 8.4.

I may or may not add a smaller pond from which a small waterfall will flow 
into the larger pond.

Now the questions:

I want, most of all, to put some species of sunfish in the pond.  Which 
species is best, given the above parameters?  I'm thinking maybe 
orange-spotted.  What do you all advise?

I'd also like to have heterandria formosa, I understand they do well in 
ponds here, even through the summer months.  There will be shallow bog areas 
to provide escape if the sunfish decide they look like a meal.

Are there any other fish that might do well in such an environment?  
Fundulus cingulatus?  Or some other killie?

In trying to come up with any reasonable idea to help keep the pond cool, 
I'm thinking that evaporation should help, at least to some degree.  To that 
end, should I avoid floating plants to maximize the surface-to-air 

Also, I'm a little concerned about increasing alkalinity and hardness as I 
'top off' the pond to replace evaporated water.  I'm hoping that the plants 
and snails, etc. will utilize some of the minerals in the water, thus 
alleviating this concern...any thoughts?

Is a no-filter set-up workable for a well-planted pond of this size?

I'm new to the pond thing, and would appreciate any help.


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