Building Fish Ponds

Some Items to Ponder Before you Build

Building a garden pond in your back yard is a lot easier then you might think. For beginner ponders, garden pond kits can be purchased online and include all the necessary equipment it takes to build a professional looking pond in your backyard - without having to hire a garden contactor. All you need to do is decide what type of garden pond you want and where you want to build it. Then you can landscape it to suit your taste - adding elements such as waterfalls, fountains, bridges, aquatic plants, goldfish or Koi.

Fish or Plants - The first mistake novice water gardeners typically make is filling their garden pond with Koi and aquatic plants. However, Koi ponds and water gardens don't co-exist well. A Koi pond and a water garden are two totally different types of garden pond. Koi eat plants, so they will end up munching on all of your beautiful aquatic plants and costing you a lot of money. Secondly, a Koi pond needs to be larger then a garden pond with plants because Koi will grow regardless of the size of the pond. On the other hand, a small pond with aquatic plants can exist harmoniously with goldfish. Goldfish won't eat aquatic plants and will only grow as large as the pond size permits.

Pond Location - Where you decide to build your pond is vital to your enjoyment of it. Follow these tips when deciding on an installation site for your fish pond:

  • A garden pond should be located close to your home so you can see it year-round, when outside as well as inside. Your pond will attract butterflies, birds and other wildlife that can be viewed from inside your home.
  • Don't install a garden pond under or near trees or shrubbery. Falling leaves and debris can build up on the bottom of the pond and release toxic chemicals if the pond is not cleaned regularly. A pond placed away from trees will require less skimming and maintenance.
  • Ponds with aquatic plants, such as water lilies, require at least 4 hours of direct sunlight. A shaded pond is only healthy for a pond containing fish.
  • Sloping ground is hard to dig because of rocks in the stratigraphy.
  • Do not place a pond near any pipes or cables. Not only can digging be a life threatening issue, water seeping into the ground from the pond may cause problems and may result in having to dig up the pond.

Size & Shape - The size and shape really does matter. The deeper the water the better chance aquatic plants have to root. Deeper waters make it easier for fish to hide from predators, plus they get better oxygenation and the water's balance will be better and easier to maintain. If the pond is too shallow you will also have algae issues.

The Top 5 Parameters When Pond Building

  1. Ensure the location you choose includes partial shade, adds to the décor of your garden, is protected from wind, is away from the shade and trees, and provides a good view from your home.
  2. The bigger the better - size does matter.
  3. Decide if you want to use fish. Some fish are not plant friendly.
  4. Safety - ensure the area is safe if you have small children and mark it off in the winter.
  5. Water access. You are not going to love your pond in the hot summer when you have to trek 50 feet with buckets to fill your pond. At least make sure it's within hose length.
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