Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate

Posted by Thomas Murphy on 8/5/2012

Backyard ponds are becoming more popular than ever. If you would like to build your own pond there are some steps you will have to follow. First, you will need to decide what type of pond will need to be planned for its specific features. There are two types of typical backyard ponds; koi and water. Koi ponds are different from water gardens; koi ponds limit the amount of plant life in the pond. Koi ponds need to be larger because the koi grow quite large. A recommended size for a koi pond is no less than 1000 gallons in volume.  It should also have an area of at least 3 feet deep, but 4 - 5 may be better. A water garden typically has more plants and may have some goldfish. You should plan a water gardens to be at least 2 feet deep in a moderate climate. Colder climates require at least 12" to 16" of water below the freeze zone. The second step is to decide the location of the pond. Select a location close to the home and where you can see the pond year round.  Make sure to position the pond where runoff from rain will not flow into the pond. The reason to position the pond away from runoff is to keep fertilizers, chemicals, and organic debris out of the pond.  Keep your pond as free from debris as possible by not placing it close to trees. Place your pond where it will receive at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sun if you want to grow water lilies. Shade is fine for fish-only ponds. You do need a pump but water circulation will allow you to keep more fish, and keep your plants healthier. The third step is to determine the size of your pond or water garden. Lay out the desired shape of the pond on the ground with a rope or garden hose. You will need to have a pond liner. Now you can dig the pond to the desired shape. For plants you will want to dig a shelf around the perimeter of the pond about one foot deep and one or more feet wide. Line the pond or water garden excavation with a pond liner. Place the pond liner into the excavation and unfold. Position it as evenly as possible trying to minimize folds and wrinkles. If you are installing a filter or water feature now is the time. Use stones to secured to the liner and line the edges of the pond. Back fill with soil to hold the pond liner against the stone. Now fill the pond with water to within a few inches from the top. Your fourth step is to add dechlorinator to the pond to remove any chlorine or chloramines. Step five is to add aquatic plants as soon as possible after constructing the pond or water garden. Many aquatic plants are great at using up the nutrients that would otherwise feed the algae. Try plants like: Anacharis, Water Hyacinth, Parrot's Feather, and Bacopa. You may also want to add surface plants like water lilies. Lastly, to maintain a clean and healthy pond use packaged bacteria to seed the pond filter. Add fish a few at a time over several weeks to allow the bacteria to establish in your water garden.