Deciding on building a pond and doing it right the first time, will not only make it more cost effective to build – ponds can be pricey – but it will also be the best feature in your garden and a project you can be proud of for years to come.
8 Pond Building Tips
Location – When picking the perfect spot for building a pond, check that it has level topography, the soil has sufficient clay to hold water and there is an adequate water supply. It’s also important to check that the soil will be stable enough to support your pond as you don’t want growing plants to be able to cut a hole in the liner.
Fishponds are best placed somewhere where there is a good amount of sunlight.
Before you start digging, it may be a good idea to check your house plans and even with the municipality if necessary, to make sure that there are no hidden cables or pipes in that area.
Depth – This would be based on what type of plants or fish you plan on putting into your pond. Make sure to take into consideration that fish need to hibernate during winter, so extra depth may be required to allow this.
When you’ve finished digging your pond hole. Make sure there are no sharp roots or stones sticking out of the ground that could do damage to a pond liner.
Pond liner – The thicker and more durable the liner, the better. Patching a leak is not a big deal, but finding the hole is another story, so make a sound investment when it comes to the pond liner. 45mm thick rubber is generally a good choice for a pond liner.
To protect the underneath of the liner against pebbles, growing roots and such, a thick carpet type padding will contour nicely and do the trick.
Save any scraps or off-cuts from your pond liner. These can be used to place under large rocks or stones that you might want to put into your pond. The scrap pieces of the liner will save your actual pond liner from possible damage.
Pond kits – Often the best way for beginners to get it right when building a pond is to buy a kit created especially for a pond. This should include all the components you need and cut down on guesswork.
Pumps – Solar pumps may be more energy efficient and save you a bunch on your electricity bill, but it’s important to realise that they have a weaker flow. If yours is a fish pond, an electrical pump is a much safer and more dependable option.
When installing the tubing from the pump, leave a gap between the stones so the tubing can slide through. Do the same for the pump’s power cord. This just makes life easier, should you need to remove or replace the pump at any stage.
Oxygenation – To keep the water oxygenated, the addition of a fountain or waterfall will help circulate the water and keep it oxygenated. Besides keeping your fish alive, the moving water also assists in keeping algae at bay and stops mosquitoes from having somewhere to lay their eggs.
Make sure to elevate the pump on a brick or stone. If left on the floor, it will suck up sludge which can damage your pump.
Also, make sure to place your pump as far away from the waterfall or inflow point as possible. This improves circulation and cuts down on the possibility of ‘dead zones’ which become a breeding ground for algae.
Curbing – When building a pond, it is highly recommended that you build an 8cm raised edge or levee around the top of your pond to ‘curb’ any overflow of water. Curbing will be worth its weight in fish if you happen to get any sudden heavy downpours or days of rain – you wouldn’t want your fishy friends flapping their way to a horrible end on your lawn.
Edging – One way to neaten a pond up and make it aesthetically pleasing is to edge it. Natural rocks and plants will not only hide the edge of the liner but will also make your pond look like it’s always been part of your garden.
Once you’ve finished building your pond and filled it with water, allow it to run for at least 10 days and check the PH and salt levels before putting any fish into it.
And lastly, don’t let your hard work go to waste – make a commitment to maintenance to keep your pond looking great and your fish merrily swimming.
Pool Spa can provide you with a wide range of pond kits, pumps, filters and pond construction accessories. Chat to one of our friendly experts today for advice on how to build your perfect pond. Visit us at www.poolspa.co.za