Saturday, November 1, 2008

Steps for Building a Pond

# The first step to consider is to decide what type of pond you want to build. You should consider what type of aquatic life you want in the pond. Is it going to be a home for goldfish or koi? Or is your main concern for the aquatic plants? Perhaps you only want the pond for the sound of a waterfall. Each type of pond will need to be planned for its specific features. Keep in mind that the most common mistake water gardeners say they made when building their first pond was making it too small. A small pond limits the number of fish and plants you can add.

A koi pond is different from a water garden because koi limit the amount of plant life available to be grown. Simply put: koi eat some plants. A koi pond should also be larger because koi get quite large despite the size of the pond, it is recommended that a koi pond be no less than 1000 gallons in volume, the bigger the better. It also needs to have an area of the pond at least 3 feet deep, 4 - 5 may be better.

A water garden typically contains both goldfish and a variety of aquatic plants. Water gardens in moderate climates usually need for an area of the pond to be at least 2 feet deep. Colder climates require a depth to provide at least 12" to 16" of water below the freeze zone.

# The second step in establishing a new pond is to select the proper location. Most ponds will be enjoyed more if they are installed close to the home. Select an area where you can see the pond year round. Ponds are great attracters of wildlife including birds and butterflies. Position the pond where runoff from rain will not flow into the pond. This may carry fertilizers, chemicals, and organic debris into the pond. It may be necessary to alter the terrain to accommodate this. Avoid placing a pond too close to trees. Falling leaves and other debris will need to be removed from the pond. You will want to 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. Water circulation is not essential but the use of a pump will allow you to keep more fish, it will keep your plants healthier. A pump is required to run a filter, fountain, or waterfall. The sound of running water adds greatly to the enjoyment of the pond. Most ponds will benefit from the use of a biological filter. This is essential if you are keeping koi or more than a few goldfish. We have several types of biological filters to choose from.

# Now you need to determine the size of your pond or water garden.
The best way to do this is to use a rope or water hose and lay out the shape on the ground. A pond for goldfish or water lilies need be only about 2 feet deep for zones 5 or greater. Ponds built in colder areas may need more depth to keep the pond from freezing solid. Ponds built for koi should be close to three feet or deeper to allow these larger fish enough space. The biggest mistake that most people make is building the pond or water garden too small. A larger pond is more stable and easier to maintain. Keep in mind that a finished pond or water garden will be about 30% smaller than you visualize it. After you have laid out the shape, measure the maximum length and width. Add the depth twice to these measurements plus a foot or two for overlap and this will give you the pond liner size.

Dig the pond or water garden to the desired shape and dig a shelf around the perimeter of the pond about one foot deep and one or more feet wide. Dig the remainder of the pond with a slight slope to the end opposite the waterfall if one is included in the design.

Position any external pond filters and/or pond skimmers and level these in their proper location. Pond skimmers should be buried to the proper level beside the pond. A ditch should be dug for the plumbing from the pond to the waterfall or external pond filter. If a pond skimmer is being used, dig a ditch to the external pond pump and from the pump to the external pond filter or waterfall. If you are using a submersible pump in the pond skimmer then the ditch will be from the skimmer to the external pond filter or waterfall.

# Line the pond or water garden excavation with Pond Underlayment. This can be cut with scissors or a utility knife. You may want to tape any small pieces together to keep them from moving when the pond liner is placed.

# Place the rubber pond liner into the excavation and unfold. Position the liner evenly in the pond. Try to minimize folds and wrinkles but some will be necessary. After the water is added the folds should flatten out.

# Pond waterfalls and streams can be excavated now. An external pond filter or waterfall tank can be positioned to create the first waterfall. This can be placed to spill directly into the pond in which case the pond liner is held against the pond filter until you are able to stack stone from the pond shelf up against the pond filter to create a waterfall. If a small pool or stream is desired then excavate this several inches deep and to the desired size and shape. Position the underlayment and pond liner allowing extra material to overlap several inches into the pond. Plumbing from the pump can be brought over into the stream or pool or again if using an external pond filter this will be the start of the waterfall. Streams should be dug wider than the finished size to make room for stone that will be placed into the stream for the edging. Stone can be secured to the liner with mortar or expandable foam. This will hold back the water allowing it to spill over the stone creating the waterfall.

# Connect the pond liner to the skimmer, if one is being used, following the manufacturers directions. Place the pipe or tubing in place leaving a few inches extra to make your connections later.

# Place the stone or other coping around the edge of the pond or water garden. Arrange the copingstone around the edge of the pond and fold the pond liner up behind the stone to slightly above the water level. It is usually not necessary to mortar the stone into place if it is of sufficient size to be stable. If using small stone or if people will be walking around the edge then mortaring the stone for stability may be required. Back fill with soil to hold the pond liner against the stone. Fill the pond with water to within a few inches from the top and then make corrections if necessary to ensure that the pond is level. As the pond is filling remove wrinkles and make folds as necessary.

# Other methods of edging the pond or water garden. For most installations having a
necklace of stone around the pond or water garden does not create a natural appearance. If your goal is to make your pond blend into the landscape in a natural setting then you will want to consider other methods of edging the pond. Besides the traditional method of edging with a thin stone on the edge overlapping the pond you can also use one or more layers of stone built up from the shelf. This provides a more natural appearance and will allow the water to fluctuate without seeing the liner. You can also create a cobblestone beach edging by placing a large stone at the inside of a large shallow shelf and filling the area with gravel and cobbles. You can naturalize this area by planting shallow water plants. This will create a more natural edge with plants partly in and partly out of the water. You can plant bare root plants directly into the gravel or place the plant with some soil still attached into the gravel. This will help the plant to establish quicker.

# Add dechlorinator to the pond to remove any chlorine or chloramines.

# Add aquatic plants as soon as possible after constructing the pond or water garden. Add a packaged bacteria to seed the pond filter and pond. Fish should be added a few at a time over several weeks to allow the bacteria to establish in your water garden.

# The most important plant is Anacharis. This is an underwater plant that uses up the nutrients that would otherwise feed the algae. For ponds and water gardens under 25-sq. ft. use one bunch for every square foot of pond surface area. For ponds 25 to 100 sq. ft. use one bunch for every two square feet of surface area. For ponds 100 to 300 square feet use one bunch for every three-sq. ft. of surface area. Use one bunch for every four square feet for ponds over 400 square feet in size. If you are keeping koi then a smaller upper pool or plant protectors will be needed to keep them from eating the Anacharis.

The next step is to add water lilies and other plants with surface leaves to provide shade to approximately 66% of the surface area if in full sun. If less than full sun then less coverage is acceptable.

We hope you have found our information about building your own water garden useful. If you have questions, please contact us at:

Visit our Aquatic Plant Care Page for information on potting your plants.

A DIY Guide for Building a Garden Pond With Bridge and Beach

When building a garden pond there are a lot of things to keep in mind. Garden ponds may be created in many different ways and it is up to you to design your pond in the way that you like most. Of course, you may want to include a bridge and a beach in your garden pond and that is a wonderful way to integrate the pond into your yard. You may be using a Scottsdale landscape contractor to help you design your garden pond or you may be designing your garden pond on your own. If that is the case then you will need a few suggestions to help you make your garden pond as beautiful as possible.

The first thing to keep in mind is to think of exactly how you want the pond, bridge, and beach laid out. When you know what you want the pond to look like. Also, keep in mind that the majority of water gardeners look back and say their biggest mistake was making their water garden too small. So, don’t be afraid to make your water garden as big as you like. That way you can really enjoy the fish and plants you place in the pond not to mention if you have a bridge and beach you will need a substantial sized pond in order for it to look good.

Now that you know what you want you need to find a place in your yard for it. If you are putting so much effort and time into your garden pond you will want to make sure it is in a location that you can truly enjoy. Usually close to home is the best place so that you won’t have to go far from the house to enjoy your garden. Also, you may want to consider placing the garden in a location where you can see it from your favorite window all year round. Avoid placing your garden near trees and the like because it will only make your garden dirty and require more work from you when the leaves fall inside! Keep in mind that direct sunlight on the pond is important if you want to grow certain types of water plants like water lilies.

Once you finish with your garden then you can begin building your bridge across it as well as surrounding the garden with sand to make the beach. Save these two steps for last. Also, keep in mind that you don’t want to build a bridge that is too big or else it will shade your view. If this feels like too big a job for you then contact a landscape designer Phoenix to help you make your garden pond a reality.

Caitlina Fuller is a freelance writer. A bridge and a beach in your garden pond and that is a wonderful way to integrate the pond into your yard. You may be using a Scottsdale landscape contractor to help you design your garden pond or you may be designing your garden pond on your own. If this feels like too big a job for you then contact a landscape designer Phoenix to help you make your garden pond a reality.

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A Water Garden Kit Has Everything You Need For A Great Water Garden

You may ask 'what are water garden kits?' Let's just say that this is like Batman's utility belt for every gardener who has a water pond. With water garden kit, the water gardener has everything he needs.

So the next question is 'what's inside a water garden kit?' Read on so you could take a peek at the water gardener's utility belt.

To enhance the attractiveness and beauty of their water garden, the kit is necessary for every gardener. Not only will human beings appreciate the view, even wildlife such as birds will come flocking your garden.

1. Some kits contain a one fountain pump that comes with a safety cord. This is for water gardeners who prefer to install their own fountains by themselves.

2. They also contain a 4-pack bird bath cleaner that thoroughly flushes out the organic residue and mineral deposits that build up in bird baths. Made from beneficial enzymes and bacteria, the water gardener's bird bath will be healthier than ever. These handy dispensers float in the bowl and continuously threat the water for 30 days. Do not worry, these dispenser will not prevent the birds from drinking and bathing on the bath. In getting this, you even provided your flying pets with clean water.

3. No water gardener wants pesticides in his garden. Destroy those pesky mosquitoes even they are in their larvae states. Mosquitoes are so irritating, plus they can be harmful to human beings and animals. Mosquito bites transmit deadly viruses both to people and pets.

Garden kits contain solutions that you can throw into standing water. In only a matter of minutes, you can observe that it dissolves and releases granules that target mosquito larvae. These pests are destroyed way before they buzz around.

4. A main concern for water gardeners is the water that seeps through the entire ecosystem. That is why they have a water garden filter system in the first place to do the job. But for maintenance, water garden kits also include pond water filters that instantly remove the chlorine and chloramines from hose water. Simply by attaching these to your hose, you can fill up your pond and not worry about chlorine getting into the marine ecosystem and creating problems for your fish.

5. You want to feed your fish the best so we recommend that you buy a nutritionally balanced pellet that is also economically productive for everyday feeding of your goldfish. Make sure that it contains crude protein and can easily be digested by your pet fish living in water temperatures ranging from 50F to 65F.

There are some special pellets that combine the high quality required amino acids, digestive enzymes and vegetable proteins. Water gardeners and koi enthusiasts turn to these kinds of pellets for assurance that their pets will be healthy,

Usually, a water garden pond kit contains pond liner, the underlayment for the pond liner, a submersible pump, a filter, pond sterilizer, tubings, fittings and nozzle. Get the easy start pond kit to help you gear up for the water garden pond that you have always wanted.

The most popular garden kits are those that have everything the water gardener needs to have an attractive water garden. From maintaining the ponds to feeding the fish, the items inside the garden kit must be of top quality.

If a pump is included in the water garden kit, make sure that it can suck the water from the pond even with the skimmer flap placed above it. The pump should also filter the water as it passes through skimmers and pushed out to the tubing.

In fact some pumps have steam effect that allows it to make greater water drops (that is if you have a fountain). The good thing about having a water garden kit is that there are accessories that can play up your creativity, especially if you have a water garden fountain in your pond.

Most of the time, water garden kits can be assembled in the sense that it is a complete package deal for those who have water garden ponds with fountains. Considering the fact that it contains most of the tools you need for your hobby.

Lee Dobbins writes for Water Gardens at where you can learn more about water gardens and accessories like the water garden kit.

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Caring for Water Garden Fish In Your Pond

You have space to spare in your garden. You brainstorm on what you could turn it to. Your final decision – a man-made pond. Instead of having an aquarium inside the house, you opted to have a pond in your garden and fill it up with various kinds of water garden fish.

The most popular pond garden enthusiasts construct is the koi pond. This is a bit different from the water garden because there is a limited amount of plants that you can grow here. But the good thing about having a koi pond is that koi fish is one of the best water garden fish you can actually take care of.

We suggest that the koi pond you construct hold not less than 1000 gallons. The key is the bigger the koi pond, the better. You can even put a waterfall in your pond so that the sound of the rippling water can relax you. This can even delight the koi fish that you have living there.

Plan your koi pond specifically. Always remember that the mistake most gardeners do is that they build a pond that is so small, they end up not using it because there is a limitation on how much plant and fish they can put in it. So if you are building a koi pond, make sure that the area is 3 feet deep. You can even dig 4 to 5 inches to make it deeper.

The great thing about having a pond or a water garden is the variety of plants and fish you can have to fill up the ecosystem. Water gardens adjust moderately depending on the climate. Fish living in the pond will also adjust. As long as you meet the required depth such as 2 feet deep during moderate weather and 12 to 16 inches deeper during colder seasons, then you have nothing to worry about.

Before you begin, choose the proper location to situate your pond for the benefit of the fish. Typically, most ponds are positioned near the home. Choose an area where the pond will be okay all year round. For the fish, you can position it near wildlife. The surrounding birds and butterflies will be beneficial for your fish.

You can position your pond in an area where the run off from rain does not flow towards it. Because if it does, it may bring chemical, fertilizers and organic debris into the pond which will be harmful to your water garden fish.

Leave your pond where it receives four to six hours of sunlight. Fish in the pond reside in water lilies so they have shade anyway. If you are worried about water circulation, using a pump can do all the work for you. You can put water garden systems filter on the waterfall or on the fountain. Fishes in your pond will generally benefit a lot from this kind of pond.

If your fish seem to always be above the water's surface and you wonder whether they are just hungry or you're already paranoid that something is wrong, the answer depends on the kind of fish that you have. Generally, if fish do this, they need oxygen. Observe their mouths. If you see them gasping for air as they are above the surface, then they need oxygen as soon as possible.

If your fish swims above the water surface, then they may just be looking for food. Observe whether there are other fish or mosquitoes which get the food you give them.
Now that we are in the topic of fish, let's move to what you should feed them. If you have a koi fish, then it is suggested that you feed them about 6 to 10 pellets in the morning and in the evening.

It also depends whether you have a large pond. If you do then they have other microcosms for your fish to much on. If that is the case, then you do not have to feed them.

Basic rule is to not overfeed your fish. When you feed your pets, they should come above the water's surface and eat up what you give them in a minute and so. It is advised that you have hungry fish than a fish that is always full.

Another concern is when your fish are always swimming around your pump or your filter. Of course, you will wonder whether they are getting enough oxygen. Observe them closely. If they are not on the water's surface and their mouths are not gasping for air, then they are okay.

The thing about koi fish is that they are playful and they like to hide in different places in your pond. It can be between the water lilies or the water garden filter pump. This only means that you should go to your pet store and shop for a couple of toys for your koi fish.

Lee Dobbins writes for where you can learn more about water gardens and accessories like water garden fish.

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11 Tips Before Building a Backyard Pond Or Backyard Water Garden From the Pond Warehouse

Building and owning a pond, water garden or pond-less waterfall can be an awesome and rewarding experience to enjoy. Review this list of 11 tips before beginning your backyard pond or backyard water garden or waterfall project.

1. Pick an area in your yard that you can make a pond or water feature look natural, preferably not a low area in the yard. Low spots gather rain runoff which can be full of nutrients. Nutrients cause algae blooms and can turn a pond green fast.

2. Do not build your pond too close to a tree. This can damage a trees roots and possibly kill the tree. That is something you do not want to deal with at a later date.

3. Do not build a pond in direct sunlight. This will cause pond algae problems. We recommend no more than 4 hours of direct sunlight. Plants will grow perfectly fine in shaded pond. In shaded areas of your pond, simply use slow release aquatic fertilizer tablets a couple times a year.

4. Make sure there is plenty of room for landscaping around your backyard pond. This will add beauty and help the pond look natural even in the flattest of yards.

5. To layout the shape of your pond, we recommend using a cord, rope or garden hose. You can continue to change the outline in your yard and play with it until you get the pond shape you are happy with.

6. Keep pictures and make notes of the things you like and incorporate them into your water garden pond. Take into consideration water flow. Do you want a gentle waterfall or more a gushing look?

7. You should decide what you plan to do with your backyard pond or backyard water feature? Do you want fish and plants in it or not. A pond with fish and plants requires different design considerations and treatment than a pond without fish and plants.

8. Make sure you check with you local county or township codes regarding any restrictions regarding building your pond, such as pond depth.

9. Placement of the pond waterfall is important. It is best to place the pond waterfall at the back of the pond. This way you can see it and hear it from your view point.

10. Proper filtration is a must. We recommend putting all the water in the pond through a filter every hour. This means if you have a 2000 gallon pond then you need a pump that will move 2000 GPH.

11. Once you are ready to build your own dream water garden we strongly recommend you speak with an expert as pond design is critical so that everything works properly.

The Pond Warehouse ( has over 13 years of experience in ponds and water gardens. We can help you with all of your pond supply needs. We pride ourselves on delighting you - our customer by providing the pond expertise, highest quality pond products and top notch customer service all at the best value.

The Pond Warehouse

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