Backyard ponds filled with exotic fish and tranquil waterfalls are a beautiful addition to any landscape. In our previous blog, How to Build a Backyard Pond in 10 Simple Steps, we outline how to begin building a pond. Before you starting digging though, we have some tips to make this DIY project a success.
Pond Kits Give You Everything You’ll Need
The popularity of water gardening and fish ponds has grown so the supplies and the equipment you need are easy to find. Not sure what you will need? Pond kits come with all the required parts – pump, pipes and liner – and are readily available.
Bigger Ponds Are Better
If you use your own design, go bigger! The more fish and plants you have, the healthier the pond, so larger ponds actually require less maintenance. Keeping the water clean is key. Making sure you have the right size pump for your pond is important. Too small and the pump will be overworked and break down.
Pond Maintenance is a Must
A pond is very much like a swimming pool when it comes to maintenance. You will need to clean the filter frequently and remove any debris. Knowing how to service your own equipment will keep your costs down.
9 Tips for Building a Backyard Pond:
- Buy a good liner – A good butyl rubber liner can last up to 20 years. Use carpet padding or landscape fabric underneath it for protection.
- Avoid sharp rocks – Use smooth stones to line the pond to avoid tearing the liner. You need flat ones to line the edge.
- Build a pond shelf – This is a partially submerged ledge where you can place plants.
- Include rock overhangs – Give your fish places to hide and escape the hot sun.
- Have a GFCI outlet – Plug the pump into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlet. It needs to be at least five feet away from any outdoor water.
- Bury your electrical wires – Use PVC pipe to bury them safely in the ground and avoid having someone trip over them or an animal chew through them.
- Consider your yard’s rain runoff – Locate the pond where it will not fill up with runoff water from your yard or a neighbor’s. Factor in an overflow stream or waterfall where the pond water can go if it does flood.
- Add an eduction jet and skimmer – The eduction jet creates underwater currents to avoid stagnation and the skimmer will help clean of fallen leaves and debris.
- Include a bead filter and UV Water clarifier – A bead filter traps sand and debris and a clarifier keeps algae blooms from occurring.
Landscape With A Purpose
Landscaping in and around the pond is your next big step. Select plants that will help keep the water clean and algae free. When installing your plants, use aquatic potting soil. Regular potting soil contains nutrients that will encourage algae growth. Mulch the plants with pea gravel. Start the plants on the pond ledge to acclimate them to the water. Once you have them in the right spot, then submerge them. Plants that add to your waterscape include:
- Water moss
- Curled pondweed
- Canna – Use in the pond or outside
- Pitcher plant
- Taro or Elephant’s Ear – Use in the pond or outside
- Water Lily
Protect Your Fish
Feed your fish at least once a day during warm weather. Cut back to two or three times a week during colder weather. If you have a small pond, make sure it does not freeze solid during winter. Decaying plants release gases that get trapped under the ice and kill the fish. Install a floating deicer to keep the surface open.
Your Hard Work Pays Off
When you look back on the hard work that goes into this DIY protect and how great it turns out, you’ll be convinced that a backyard pond is a great investment for your home and a wonderfully relaxing place for your family to unwind.
From backhoes and trenchers to wheelbarrows and shovels our expert staff is always on hand to help with your next DIY landscaping project. As always, if you have any questions about pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.