Success With Ornamental Fish Ponds Success With Ornamental Fish Ponds

Many people find joyful respite in watching the soothing motions of fish and prefer to keep them in places that more closely resemble their natural habitat. Man-made backyard fish ponds are as close as many of us can come to the real thing, and besides offering a welcome environment for our outdoor pets they can also complement the beauty of our landscapes. Oftentimes, though, people are reluctant to try to build their own pond because they overestimate the work involved and doubt the task will be economically feasible. But the combined cost of pond liner, water conditioners, filter, fountain and fish is actually quite reasonable, and most of the physical labor can be completed in an afternoon.

Location

When planning your pond, you first need to choose a location. Do you want it to be secluded, or clearly visible from a facing window or door? If there are trees looming overhead, that could mean tough roots in the ground; also you’ll have to worry about leaves falling into the water and clogging the filter. The ground around our proposed site should be level, and close to an outside faucet.

Size

Anticipate your pond’s dimensions in order to know how big of a liner to purchase. This is the basic formula for calculating the size of liner needed: add twice the maximum depth to the overall length and width, respectively. It’s a good idea to add a foot to both of these measurements to allow for error. Also, you’ll end up with a few extra inches of liner to pull over the edges of your pond. Keep in mind that the shallower ponds are, the more they will be affected by temperature changes. Consider a depth of five feet or more if you live in a cold area where water icing is a danger. In warmer areas, three feet of depth is plenty.

Construction

Digging the hole is the only labor-intensive part of the project. From there, line the new pit and fill it with water. House water must be treated with a conditioner to remove chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia before it can be habitable for fish. Stress Coat is a water conditioner that replaces the natural mucous coating on pond fish and keeps their skin healthy. A couple of drops of this compound is enough for most ponds, so we might consider this added treatment to insure the well being of our fish.

The conditioning process takes about six days. While you wait, you can set up our pond filters and pumps and add décor such as rocks, a Fish Spitter, and water plants like Virginia Waterlillies and Dwarf Cattails. The best way to aerate your fish habitat is to allow pumped water to splash over rocks and collect in small pools on its way back to the pond. You can, of course, elaborate upon your basic design by adding a stone walk, some lantern lights for nighttime viewing, a bridge, and even a gazebo overlooking the pond. Whether or not you opt for such extravagances, your new pond, once conditioned, will be ready to receive and support the life of your fish.

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!