You will need to find out the needs and limitations of your body of water, from the preliminary studies to the construction and precautions to be taken for the survival of all beings that live there. No pond is alike from one season to another or from one region to another. However, no proof is needed to state that ponds bring a romantic touch, freshness and beauty to your garden.

Source of an intense and varied aquatic life, having a pond in your garden will give it an impression of tranquillity as well as an additional decorative element that adapts easily to any garden. Whether animated or stagnant, it will be a real centre of attention where kids will be happy to feed the fish while the parents will tend to the development of flowers and plants. If its initial design was well developed, this habitat will become a balanced environment that works and evolves in a self-sufficient manner. It will bring true harmony by giving the image of a natural pond. There are many types of prefabricated ponds made of fibreglass or plastic reinforced polyester.  They are of different sizes and shapes. Installation is quick and easy, even if takes some effort.

On which side of the garden should the pond be located?

A pond needs at least 5 to 6 hours of sunshine daily. Its location largely depends on this requirement and remember that the sunshine needs depend on the pond’s relative depth. However, it should be noted that in summer a rapid and high heating rate will be detrimental to the survival of fish. That is why aquatic plants like water lilies are planted, so that the fish can remain cool in case of high temperatures. Avoid building the pond near a tree. The falling leaves cause the formation of silt. Avoid locating your body of water in a basin because during the rainy season it may collect water that washed off from the top of the garden before streaming down and polluting the relaxing area. Also think about the electrical and supply networks. They should not be located too far away or be too difficult to access because this could increase the building costs even more.

Foundation work and filling in the garden pond

Since you will surely make a mound of earth, it is first useful to consider where you are going to put all the removed earth. Dig the ground in concentric circles beginning by the shallowest part. It is best to create four levels, each of which will have a height ranging between 4 and 12 inches (10 and 30 cm). The deepest level will be between 24 and 36 inches (60 and 90 cm) below ground surface while the first level will be reserved for border plants and will thus have a depth of 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm). For added protection, line the bottom with a special garden felt before unfolding the tarp. Do it as gently as possible even if the presence of folds is inevitable. To prevent a pebble from puncturing the tarp, it is advisable to lay it on a 2-inch (5 cm) layer of sand. Then, slowly fill the basin with water so that the cover is well-pressed against the walls. To finish, cover the edges with stones and pebbles to better camouflage the tarp.

Some tips for maintaining your pond

There are some valuable tips that can help you maintain your pond. In periods of high heat, your pond’s water may turn green. This is due to the development of microscopic single-celled algae that are not dangerous to living organisms present in the pond. To remedy this, use a UV lamp that must be kept in operation at all hours. The first results will be visible after 2 weeks. After a harsh winter, one can see the development of filamentous algae which can come from vegetable waste, an excessive amount of fish or a lack of aquatic plants. Although it is normal and harmless phenomenon, the surplus can be removed by using a good filtration system. Over the months and years, the pond can accumulate waste coming from rotting vegetation, fish excrement and leftover food. It is then necessary to resort to cleaning by oxidation. This consists of using biological filtration, which is itself made possible by aerobic bacteria. The presence of bacteria in your pond is essential because they purify the water and adapt to pollution. However after cleaning the filter, these bacteria can disappear, thus encouraging the formation of nitrites. As a solution, it is recommended to change 2 / 3 of the water volume in the pond and check if the installed filtration system is well-suited to the pond. The pool needs a good supply of oxygen. Various methods can be used to solve this issue: installing a waterfall, a bubbler or oxygenating plants.

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Published in Decorating guide by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011