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How To Plan and Build a Pond

How To Plan and Build a Pond

Think of the most beautiful places you've ever been: a beach house, a cabin on a lake, a walkway by a pond. What do they have in common?  Water! A water feature enhances even the prettiest of landscapes. A pond brings Nature to your back yard….the sight of clear cool water, the trickle of a waterfall, the splash of a leaping fish to your own property. This blog will describe what you’ll need to get started.

PondFirst, imagine your ideal pond. Make it luxurious! Is it in full sun, or shade? Does it have a tree or flowering shrubs shading one of the edges? Perhaps your dream pond has a rock wall, and a waterfall. Add lighting so you can enjoy it night and day. Enjoy the site of fish popping up to eat dragonflies, creating a little splash. Make a list of all the things you would like best for your pond. Then, consult an expert supplier. You’ll be glad you bought high quality products.

While you could purchase a pre-formed, readymade pond, why not plan your pond so that it fits your site and your taste? Study your site, and decide where to begin digging. You will need to  make your pond about  two feet deep. You’ll also want to make a shallower shelf at the edge, upon which to place your plants.

Pond LinerOnce you’ve dug your pond, you will need a liner and underlayer for the base of your custom pond.  The best liners and underlayers are made of EDPM.  Install the finest quality liner with care and you will enjoy your water feature for years.  Avoid puncturing the liner. Buy enough to completely cover your pond space, to avoid seams or cracks that could leak.

The main disadvantage of pre-formed pond liners is that once you buy a liner, your pond design can't be changed without purchasing a new liner.  Over time, you may want a more advanced pond, adding fish and features, and may want to make changes- thus, purchase a liner and underlayer that you can customize in the future.

ThermometerAnother problem with many rigid pond liners is that often they are too shallow to properly control the water temperature for fish. Fish don’t like extreme changes in temperature! If you do decide to go with a preformed pond liner, and would like to leave your options open for the future, try to get the deepest pond you can, with a volume of water in excess of 1000L, since larger volumes of water react more slowly to temperature changes. Make sure to get a thermometer for your pond.

Time spent planning ahead will be time well spent. Consider your location. Do you have enough sun to keep plants happy?  Will you need to remove trees? Are there small children or pets at home? – water safety could be an issue, and you may want an above-ground water feature. Lastly, you’ll want to consult your town or city hall to see if permits are required.

Pond FilterThere's no question that your pond will require care and maintenance. Successful pond owners find that they benefit from products designed to keep their water, plants, and fish healthy. Overall, pond owners agree that buying top quality materials from pond experts will save you time, tears, and money in the long run.

To begin creating your man-made pond, the first items on your shopping list will be these:

  • EPDM liner
  • Underlayment
  • Submersible pump
  • Pond Filter
  • Waterfall tank

You can build a pond as large or small as your dreams and your site will allow. First, you will need to know how much liner to buy. Calculate the size of your dream pond here: Pond Volume Calculator

When planning your pond, keep in mind that Nature may bring an unwanted guest to your water feature: algae. Algae is unattractive to look at, as it dulls the surface of your pond. It can also cause an unpleasant odor and may attract insects.  The experts at Pond Supplies For Less recommend UV lights and waterfall features to help to control algae and keep your pond clean and beautiful.

This writer loves the sound of a waterfall! Choose the pump that suits your pond at: Pond Waterfalls

Another important consideration is your power supply.  To add lighting and pumps to your pond you will need access to power. Call an electrician to help you determine how to install wires and cords safely. People often regret not calling a professional, when they run into difficulties: their electrical work isn’t up to code, or their pond becomes electrified.

Garden lovers can spend hours with catalogs and websites showing the beautiful plants available for their water features.  Plan to float waterlilies in your pond, as they help to control algae, provide shade and shelter for your fish, and help to keep the water temperature constant. Plan to purchase fertilizers for your aquatic plants. Water lilies, one of this writer’s favorites, are heavy feeders that need regular fertilizing. 

Finally, plants will grow and look their best in rugged containers that are built to last. Floating plants such as water lilies will require floating containers. Try graceful irises or cattails in containers placed at the bottom or near the edge of your pond.

Speaking of fish, they will live for a long time - even 20 to 30 years! -in a well-maintained pond. In climates with tough winters, purchase a heater for your pond to keep fish comfortable. 

Pond owners may find that they are not the only ones interested in their fish and plants: birds and small animals may want to take a look or a bite! Pond netting will discourage unwanted guests. Net covers will stretch across your pond, anchored at the edges with pins or stakes. Nets can be removed at times for cleaning or for a clearer view of your beautiful custom pond.

There’s so much to learn about your manmade, custom pond. No need to guess- -consult the experts, who are pond lovers like you!

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