Are you thinking of building your own pond in your garden? In this article, we’ll explain the details of this and other related topics, such as the advantages of having a pond, and how to choose the best plants for your pond. This guide can prove beneficial if you are planning to build one, or you are thinking about having one in the near future!
What Are the Benefits of a Pond?
Let’s first look at the different advantages of installing an outdoor pond. In each of the sections, we’ll discuss what each benefit includes.
The plants that are soil-based as well as lawns require plenty of watering. Because ponds accumulate rainwater over time, it could be utilized to provide water to your garden. It is possible to do this by putting watering containers inside the pond to capture some water. If you have fish in the pond, ensure that you do not take them out in the process by accident! Ponds can also be self-sustaining hydration cycles that help to ensure that plants are healthy without having to supply them with water directly. In the event of a time that is less rain than normal, you can move the drain pipes around so that they empty directly into the pond and act as a natural reservoir. Ultimately, pond water conservation can mean lower utility bills.
Support Local Wildlife
Ponds attract a variety of animals, including turtles, frogs, and even insects. They also provide an ideal place for fish such as koi, goldfish as well as plecostomus, golden orfe, and golden. Tadpoles can be a beneficial feature of a pond for wildlife because they eat algae. Adult toads however aid in controlling insects in the garden.
Water features like ponds generally can provide a peaceful atmosphere. Naturally the pond itself will provide an aesthetically more natural design to your backyard, while the animals it attracts will help more. In the event that you’ve got gurgling or flowing water in the vicinity of the pond These sounds won’t only provide peaceful feelings but even drown out or minimize other sounds in the vicinity.
A water feature can improve the look of your garden as a whole. A pond is a great way to give a garden character and give it a fresh look. It can be an attractive central element of an outdoor garden.
Like any other water feature A pond could improve the air quality inside your backyard. This is because of the negative ions that result from the water. They can draw pollen dust, dirt, toxins, and other hazardous or problematic substances from the air.
The sludge that collects in the pond’s filter might be considered a hassle at best. It is, however, an excellent way to fertilize your garden organically. In this way, you’ll stay away from harmful synthetic products. This is not only greener, but it will also save you money.
Things You Need to Consider
Before you begin the process of building a pond there are a lot of things you should be aware of. Every one of these considerations must be considered prior to drawing up plans for your pond.
First of all, which plant species do you want to include? There are a variety of types of plants that can be added. The most suitable plants for the type will differ based on the depth of your pond. The plants that border the pond, like one might imagine, cover the edges of the pond. They can aid in limiting growing algae especially in shallow or warm waters. Submerged plants, often referred to as oxygenators. In the sunlight, they create oxygen and act as an ideal nighttime cover for the aquatic inhabitants living within your pond. The most well-known aquatic plants in ponds are floating.
They aid in preventing algae by keeping the water cooler clean. It is recommended to keep around 50% of the surface free of plants. You might need to reduce the amount of plant life to your pond in the summer months. In addition, you might be tempted to include a few waterlilies for a more attractive accent. For waterlilies or plants that are not considered to be marginal some species are better best suited to different depths. This is discussed in greater detail and offers several examples of plants for ponds section, which is later in this article.
After you’ve given a lot of thought to the plants you’ll select for your pond garden It is time to think about whether you’d like to include fish. First, the pond must be at least 60cm deep in order to be suitable for fish and other aquatic creatures. For choosing the appropriate type of pond fish, surface fish are close to the water’s surface, and there are fish that catch your eye that do not camouflage or disappear like other fish. It is also important to ensure that the fish will not reproduce too fast because the fish population in the pond can quickly grow out of control. This is a crucial aspect to consider.
If you opt to include fish that captivate the eyes it is crucial to include protection so that they aren’t pursued by birds, such as herons, which are known for stealing fish from ponds. Fences either electric or non-electric and tripwires are great methods of protecting a fish pond. Certain tripwires have bells that go off and are designed to scare off any predators that might be lurking around. Pond crop tiles as well as fish nets can also be utilized. When it comes to caring for your fish in the pond it is also essential to be aware of what particular feeding requirements a particular species has. It is also important to be aware of this if you’d like to incorporate several species of fish. Be aware that mixing multiple species of fish in an aquarium can pose a variety of risks, for instance, the larger fish might eat smaller ones. All in all ensure that you conduct extensive research prior to the introduction of fish into your pond.
This will reduce the chance of things going wrong at the low level!
- Algae Eater
- Fathead Minnow
- Golden Orfes
- Golden Tench
You’ll also have to decide which type of pump would best suit the design of your pond since these are vital pond equipment. There are many types that pond pumps can be purchased and the one you require or choose will be contingent in the dimension of your pond as well as other factors like the presence of fish in the pond. In general the pond pump must be able to provide a gallon per hour (GPH) rating that is at least half the size of the pond.
This is because the water in a pond should circulate approximately each two hours. An intermittent pump is appropriate for a pond that doesn’t have fish in it, but when there is a lot of aquatic life within your pond, then the continuous-duty pump will be essential. If you own the pond for fish, then filtering systems would be a good idea.
It is also crucial to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of submerged pumps versus an air-based pump. Submersible pumps for ponds do not require high voltage, and are typically suitable for smaller to mid-sized garden ponds. In larger pools, install an underwater pump. It should have a well-ventilated dry housing that is accessible. If you want a more modern option, you can buy an adjustable pump.
The adjustable flow type of pump is equipped with the option of a remote control that lets you increase or decrease the rate of flow of the waterfall, and consequently the volume of sound. These are just a few suggestions for pumps for ponds. In any case, you need to conduct your own research and select the most suitable solutions for your pond.
As we’ve mentioned before, certain species of fish and plants are more suitable for different pond depths. The deeper a pond is, the more difficult the construction work in bringing it to life. But, the size of the pond can be determined not just by the depth, but also the length and width of the structure as well. The ideal size of pond for your garden will be determined by the amount of space you have, the space you’re willing to take to fill it, and how the size of the pond can fit within your garden’s design.
The bigger the pond, the more difficult it may take to control. Although a large pond can provide more visual appeal to your yard however, it could require more pumps, and more time on pond maintenance and management and an increased cost in the event of any problems requiring fixing that occur with the pond’s size over time. It’s really an issue of both pros and cons and you’ll have to take into account these before deciding on the perfect size of pond for your yard.
Another crucial aspect to think about is the best location for your pond. You should aim for an open-air pond and level, situated on a flat surface, with a south-facing aspect and well-drained. This is especially important in the case of an active pond. Additionally, you should keep the pond clear of places that are shaded, such as those near large trees, however you’ll also need to find the perfect spot in your backyard that is not particularly exposed to strong and windy conditions. In addition, you’ll likely need to choose an area for your pond that’s visually pleasing, both from inside your home as well as out in the garden.
How to Build a Pond
Then, we’ve discussed what is required for a pond as well as the many benefits that creating one can bring. Let’s now consider how to construct a pond. This will include an overview of the equipment, tools and processes involved in making one!
There are a variety of equipment you’ll require when creating a Pond. In the two lists below, you might not require each item but, in a lot of cases the tools listed will be necessary.
- Garden hose or rope required to design the pond’s shape
- Marking tools (e.g. the spray-paint or chalk)
- Wheelbarrows – To transport equipment and other materials
- Square spade
- Round shovel
Optional Construction Tools:
Equipment and Materials Needed
When you’ve got all the tools, you’ll have to buy the right equipment and materials to construct or prepare the pond.
- Straight board (must extend to the entire length and width of the pond)
- Preparation materials (e.g. Fine sand or gravel)
- Pond Liner – A membrane impenetrable covering that is used to keep liquids in
- Construction materials (i.e. large rocks or bricks)
- Filter – keeps the pond clear of algae, debris and other debris.
- Tubing, pipes and fittings
- Pond edge material helps to hide the liner for the pond and blends the pond liner into the landscape
Optional Construction Equipment:
- Aerator – Circulates water as well as the oxygen-containing dissolved particles.
Building a Pond
Let’s take a look at the steps to build the garden pond. The specifics of each step will differ based on the dimensions and design that the water pond is designed.
1. Choose a Location and Draw Up Plans
As mentioned earlier it is important to choose an appropriate location for your pond. It must be a suitable spot for aesthetics as well as with access to sunlight with a level surface as well as an adequate drainage. The location of the pond will be crucial when you design and draw up the plan for your new pond. The design process should include determining your pond’s depth along with its length and width. Also, you’ll need to determine the kind of materials you’ll need as well as the particular shape the pond is going to have. It doesn’t matter if it’s small ideas for a pond with wildlife you’ll need to think about or ones that are suitable for a large or medium pond, it is essential to conduct research.
2. Preparation Work
Before beginning construction you’ll need to draw the area around the pond. In this stage, you’ll need all the equipment and tools needed in the standby position. It is also a good moment to begin making the straight board in the event that it is required. It is also advisable to purchase wheels so that your items can be moved easily.
When the area around the pond is identified, you can begin digging it up according to your plans. You can determine the pond’s surface using sand or spray marker, or string. When you’re satisfied with the design you can begin digging. Begin at the perimeter with a spade. Then, you can gradually dig into the interior. You can then remove the soil from the inside. If you would like to create an additional shelf to plant then you must excavat to an extent of about 30 cm, based on the area outside in the lake.
The next step is to draw out the water’s deeper zone. While digging this area that will extend to the total depth of your pond, ensure you have the sides of your pond sloped towards the back. This will help prevent soil from collapsing. Typically, there should be about a marginal zone perimeter shelf that is between 30cm and 50cm. This will provide the right amount of room for the basked to be placed upon once the liner has been added. If you are planning to add streams or waterfalls of any kind it is possible to make use of a portion of the excitable soil for the purpose of establishing the bank with a raised level. Then, it could be covered by a flexible liner.
4. Establish a Top Trench
In the next step, you must consider creating a small trench around the edge of the pond at the top portion of your pond. This will stop the water from inundating the soil around the pond.
5. Measure and Choose a Pond Liner
If you’ve selected the right pond liner you’ll need to figure the amount needed. Flexible measuring tapes or strings could be used to take the required measurements. It is recommended to start approximately half a metre off the pond’s edge. This will allow for any folds and pleating. Be sure to follow the contours of the pond using the string or tape. The measurement should end at approximately half a meter away from the edge of the pond to the opposite side. The distance between Point A and B gives you the length that is required to line the pond. You can repeat this process to calculate the liner’s width.
6. Fit the Underlay and Pond Liner
Before you can install the liner for the pond, you’ll need to install a protective underlay. You must allow an average of 15 cm space between the sheets. This will create the strongest underlay. A sharp knife or scissors is a good tool to remove any excess pond base. After that, according to the measurements you calculated in step 5, place the liner for your pond. You could also put in an attractive stone liner. This can help hide the look of the pond liner originally.
7. Install the Pond’s Fittings and Features
In this stage you’re ready to install the pump and filter for the pond and any other fittings you’d like include, be it an aerator or heater, as well as lighting. In this phase you can also add any feature, like waterfalls or streams.
8. Add Water
As long as everything is good, you can begin adding water. It can be done using the garden hose. It is possible that you will require another person to assist during this time when the pond liner has to be moved or adjusted to make sure it is filled with the pond properly.
9. Create a Border of Stones or Rocks
After the water has been added, you can begin covering the entire perimeter with rocks or stones. You are free to be creative and create a design you like the best.
10. Add the Plants and Fish
It is now possible to add suitable plants to your pond’s depth that you’ve constructed (see the following section for an example). After the pond has been examined and tested to ensure that everything is in order including filters, pumps and so on. It is possible to include fish in your pond. Now you’ve got it you’ve now made your own personal backyard Pond!
Choosing Pond Plants
We’ve discussed a bit about the various types in pond plant species earlier. Let’s look at a few examples of ideas for ponds built around these types.
First, we have ponds that are completely submerged plants, which are also known by the name oxygenating pond plant. These plant types can be used to ward algae because they are competitive and usually beat out algae in the race for nutrients. Submerged plants are vital when you are trying to create an ecologically balanced ecosystem for fish and other aquatic lifeforms that live in or around your pond.
- Willow Moss
- Frog’s Lettuce
- Water Violet
- Red Rotala
Floating Pond Plants
They are usually partially submerged. However, their leaves are floating on their own on the bottom of the lake. The majority of their nutrients are absorbed directly from the water without the necessity of soil. They can not only protect the fish as well as other marine species away from predators but can often be a stunning element in any lake.
- Ivy-leaved Duckweed
- Azolla Mexicana
- Fairy Moss
- Water Soldier
- Water Hyacinth
Emergent Pond Plants
You may have noticed that these plants are growing in the water from below until they attain a certain level and then rise from the surface. They are a great, natural touch to your garden pond.
- Alligator Weed
- Elephant Ears
- Lizard’s Tail
- Water Primrose
- Tape Grass
Marginal Pond Plants
Then, we’ll have plants that are marginal. They’re designed to be placed in the shallow areas of a pond. In the majority of cases, they’re planted in planters. Marginal pond plants are able to create a shape for the edge of a pond, as well as adding splashes of colours during their blooming season. In contrast to the other categories of plants, the types of varieties you choose to plant will greatly depend on the depth of the pond.
Popular Examples (Based on Depth):
|<5cm and mud||5 to 15 cm||15 to 30 cm||30cm or more|
|Marsh Marigold||Sweet Flag||Lesser Spearwort||Great Water Plantain|
|Golden Buttons||Bog Arum||Arum Lily||Water Hawthorn|
|Acorus Gramineus Variegatus||Flowering Rush||Bog Bean||–|
|Carex Pendula||Yellow Flag||Dullchlum Arundlnaceum||–|
|Acorus Gramineus Var Pusillus||Glyceria Maxima Var. Variegata||Pontederla Cordata Blue||–|
|Japanese Water Iris||Corkscrew Rush||Pontederia Dilatata||–|
|Lizard’s Tail||Pickerel Weed||–||–|
|Bowles’ Golden Sedge||Zebra Rush||–||–|
Finally there are water lilies. They are usually included because of their beauty, but they also aid in regulating the temperature of the pond by restricting sunlight in the summer. Similar to marginal ponds, specific species are best appropriate for any water body, depending on how deep it is.
Popular Examples (Based on Depth):
|10 cm to 30cm||30 to 45 cm||45 to 75 cm||75cm to 120cm|
|Nymphaea Odorata Var Minor||N. Aurora||N. James Brydon AGM||N. Alba|
|N. Pygmaea Helvola AGM||N. Ellisiana||N. Gonnere AGM||N. Attraction|
|N. Tetragona||N. Indiana||N. Marliacea Chromatella AGM||N. Ambailis|
|N. Pygmaea Rubra||N. Lucidia||N. Marliacea Carnea||N. Gladstoneana AGM|
|–||N. Pink Sensation||N. Rose Arey||N. Escaboucle AGM|
|–||N. Caroliniana Nivea||N. William Falconer||–|
|–||N. Charlene Strawn||–||–|
What Wildlife Can Ponds Encourage?
One of the greatest benefits of a pond is the wildlife it is able to draw. We’ve already touched on this but let’s take a closer look at some of the most prominent examples more in depth.
Frogs, Toads and Newts
Many amphibian species can be found in ponds. The aquatic creatures can thrive in a pond that is a garden because it provides an unchanging, stable and secure living space. They typically make use of tiny water bodies to reproduce. Therefore, a small pond for wildlife is the ideal place to attract these creatures. It’s also an advantage because adult toads consume insects, which helps to reduce the amount of them within your garden, while tadpoles tend to eat algae.
The dragonflies will be more frequent in your garden after you’ve constructed a pool. They breed in water bodies and their larvae need submerged plants in order to grow.
The Erinaceidae often turn into garden ponds to replenish water levels or cool down in hot temperatures. But, it’s essential to provide an escape point for hedgehogs in order to exit the pond. If they don’t, they’ll be exhausted and drown. This is prevented by making a gentle slope, or by laying a plank to act as the exit route. One of the disadvantages to the netting for ponds is that it could be a trap for hedgehogs. Therefore, you’ll have to take this into consideration when preparing your plans. It’s possible to include fish with camouflaged features and avoid nets for ponds to safeguard both the hedgehogs and fish.
Water snails, water boatmen as well as pond skaters, are frequent examples of invertebrates which reside in and in and around the water. They are located on the bottom of ponds, and they generally consume plant debris and algae.
As we’ve discussed in the article above, creating a pond is completely feasible as a DIY project. It may be difficult at times, but in the end, you’ll be rewarded with a wonderful benefit of a garden pond that you can enjoy and cherish for a long time. This article has discussed the things you’ll require to build the pond you want to have and what you can gain from it and how this is possible to achieve. Again, ensure that you conduct any required research and plan well prior to diving into the subject. Good luck!
Q: How much pond liner do I need?
A: There are different formulas for working this out. One of the simplest equations is; overlap + overlap + depth + depth + width = total pond liner needed.
Q: How deep should a pond be?
A: It really depends on your preferences, but generally a pond should be at least 60cms in depth.
Q: What size pond pump do I need?
A: The pump should be able to circulate the entire water contents of the pond in two hours. So for a 4000 litre pond, you should purchase a pump that can move 2000 litres of water per hour.
Q: What are common problems that can arise with a pond during the summer?
A: During the warmer months of the year, water loss can occur due to increased evaporation. Fish gasping is another problem that can arise if oxygen levels drop too far because of hot weather. Further, plant growth could also choke the pond as plants seek more hydration. At the same time, algae growth can increase. To avoid or deal with any of these issues, make sure to research them before the summer starts.
Q: How long does a garden pond last?
Garden ponds often last for 20 years, if well looked after.