Tips on garden pond planning and set-up

If you are thinking of building a pond in your back garden, this article will introduce you to a few practical tips to get you started. Whether your preference is for flexible pond liners disguised to make a natural-looking water feature or for a formal tailored-to-fit pond liner to house KOI fish, there are commonalities to planning and the maintenance of all outdoor ponds.

Garden ponds are generally very simple to construct and operate. Maintenance tasks are minimal and require far less time than keeping an indoor aquarium. With good planning and a strict adherence to some simple rules you can enjoy your pond creation for many years.

The size, shape and style of pond you ultimately choose to build will vary according to a number of factors, such as:

  • your own preferences
  • suitability of your garden to site a pond
  • the types of pond plants you plan to grow
  • whether you want to attract wildlife to your pond
  • if you want a fish pond, the type of fish you plan to home
  • the amount of space to site a pond
  • and, as is always the issue, what budget do you have for the project

A mixed pond is one which accommodates fish of various types and a selection of pond or aquatic plants. This is probably the most common type of pond. But, do note that if you plan to have a mixed pond that not all types of fish, and plants for that matter too, are compatible with each other. Also caution against overstocking your pond in your enthusiasm over this exciting project.

One of the biggest complaints pond-owners mention is their fight against algae. This often leads to ponds being ‘forgotten’. Preventing algae should be the first step and finding a solution should be secondary (which is inexpensive anyway). So as part of your planning phase ensure your pond is sited in an area where it will receive some daily sunlight and you don’t overstock it with too many fish. Algae is a consequence of nutrient levels in the water. So, over stocking and over feeding fish will contribute to increased nutrient levels and thus algae. Once your pond is built and filled with water the next step is to add the filter (this can be removed once plants are established if you choose to have a natural or wildlife pond) and aquatic plants. Then slowly introduce fish and give only sufficient amounts of food to minimise waste accumulating at the bottom of the pond. The fundamental goal is to get the balance right.

Few ponds can survive without constant water movement, especially if you keep fish. Since plants only photosynthesis and produce oxygen during the day, a pump is needed to maintain those levels especially through the night when otherwise, the oxygen levels would drop. Pumps come with optional additional features such as fountains and waterfalls.

Whenever possible, install an overflow on your pond. This is surprisingly easy to do on a lined pond even after they are built. Pond liners are easy to add an overflow to. This is done using a knife to cut a hole and fit a plastic bulkhead with gasket through. Having an overflow to handle heavy rains is a priceless feature that any UK pond owner will be grateful they added – particularly if we keep having wet winters like the one of 2014.

We hope these simple tips help with the planning and set-up of your pond. Do you need to buy a flexible pond liner and pond pump? Contact Liners Online and we will ensure you order the exact pond liner dimensions and a pump most suitable for your size pond.

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