10 Things You Must Know About Ponds

Anyone planning to put a pond in a backyard should follow these tips.

Tip #1: Plan the Pond

dten204_10_plan

dten204_10_plan

Make sure the soil is stable enough support a pond. You don't want plants to be able to cut a hole in the liner. If you plan on having fish in the pond, choose a site with a good amount of sunlight.

Tip #2: Determine Depth

dten204_9_depth

dten204_9_depth

Deciding to have plants or animals in the pond will determine its depth. It's important to make sure there's enough depth to allow the fish to hibernate during winter.

Tip #3: Try a Kit

dten204_8_kit

dten204_8_kit

Give kits a chance. The best way for beginners to install a pond is to buy a pond kit, which will include all the components needed to start the pond.

Tip #4: Choose a Liner

dten204_7_liner

dten204_7_liner

Line the pond with confidence. The best to use is butyl rubber — the thicker the liner, the better. Use carpet padding, which is thick and contours nicely, underneath the liner to protect against pebbles.

Tip #5: Add a Waterfall

dten204_6_oxygen

dten204_6_oxygen

Keep the water oxygenated. Adding a waterfall or fountain will circulate the water and keep it oxygenated. By circulating the water, you can keep algae at bay and prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs. The water has to be oxygenated if fish are to live in the pond.

Tip #6: Choose an Edging

dten204_5_edge

dten204_5_edge

Give the pond an edge. Edging can make or break a pond: the right edge can make it look as if it's always been a part of your yard. Use natural rocks and plants to hide the edge of the liner.

Tip #7: Learn About Maintenance

dten204_4_maintenance

dten204_4_maintenance

Make a commitment to maintenance. There are no maintenance-free ponds. A small pond is actually a lot more difficult to take care of than a larger one. The more water you have in the system, the more nature is able to take over and regulate the environment. Fish need to be fed daily, and pump filters need to be changed or cleaned.

Tip #8: Practice Energy Efficiency

dten204_3_pump

dten204_3_pump

Solar-powered pumps won't use any electricity, but they'll have a weaker flow. Larger pumps draw a lot of electricity but are more dependable. If you have fish, plan on a higher electric bill. Ponds with fish have to be run constantly and should never be turned off.

Tip #9: Winterize the Pond

dten204_2_winterize

dten204_2_winterize

You wouldn't want to drain the pond because the rubber liner will dry out and crack. As long as the water is moving, it probably won't freeze solid. Fish will swim below the ice and remain there until spring.

Tip #10: Build a Curb

dten204_1_curb

dten204_1_curb

Curb the chance of an overflow. You need to build a curb around the pond so that rain water won't cause it to overflow; otherwise, if you get heavy rains, the fish might end up on the lawn. Use a berm that's at least 2 inches taller than the pond to force the water around.

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