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Right, let's think again ....................
Wherever did you find info on the web suggesting that they might be edible? That's dangerous
You need shallow 'beaches' sloping down into the water rather than shallow areas
I know this is a bit bigger than you had in mind, but it's actually a very small pond.
I think the friend misunderstood and it was a 'bush' tomato - i.e. a determinate variety and you don't take out the side shoots.
Hi, I'm not sure how successful a wildlife pond it could be if it stood 2ft tall - how would frogs, newts etc get into it and what about the essential shallow areas?
There's some info on this earlier thread http://www.gardenersworld.com/forum/wildlife-gardening/wildlife-ponds/2103.html
But get the right balance of plants and you don't need filters.
Providing you've got sufficient root depth, the only thing to worry about that I know of is lime content which would preclude you growing lime-hating plants.
There is also the consideration that as we age our taste buds become less sensitive ....
You have a drainage problem that needs to be investigated and resolved.
We'll need more details and photographs.
I think you know the problem - the one consistent fact you've repeated in your post above is that you've not selected a variety developed for flavour.