Once homeowners have everything just right inside their house, they tend to turn their focus to the exterior and their yard. For many, creating the perfect backyard oasis becomes the goal, and for some, that means building a pond. Here are the basics to consider when planning a backyard water feature.
What Kind Of Pond Do You Want?
Some people just want a small pond with a waterfall to provide the relaxing sound of running water in the background. Others want a pond with beautiful lily pads and other aquatic plants to add an additional element to their landscaping. Still others want to have a pond with exotic koi swimming around.
- Water Gardens
A water garden usually combines a running water feature with aquatic plants and water lilies. A water garden can also include regular goldfish. A water garden needs to have a minimum depth of 24 inches in mild climates. In northern climates, the depth needs to be one and one-half to two times that depth so the fish don't freeze. If you don't plan to have fish, a depth of two feet is fine in most climates.
- Koi Ponds
Koi are in the same family as the common goldfish, but they grow much bigger. A koi pond needs to be considerably larger than a simple water garden to provide the fish with enough oxygenation and room to grow. At a minimum, it should hold 1000 gallons, which translates into a six-foot diameter pond with a depth of five feet. You can use a pond volume calculator to determine the size that will work best for you.
Determine Where To Place The Pond
While you will likely want to have your pond where you can see it from inside your home, there are other considerations. A pond should not be placed downhill. This would make it susceptible to rain runoff, which can contain dangerous chemicals, like pesticide. Pesticides will lead to algae bloom, an unsightly explosion of algae that will deprive the water of oxygen, which is required for healthy plants and fish. The pond needs to have a minimum of four hours a day of full sun, preferably six or more if you want to have water lilies. You also don't want to place your pond too close to any deciduous trees as leaf litter will be a problem.
What Are Other Supplies Are Needed To Build A Pond?
Once you have determined what kind of pond you want and where you will place it, you can begin excavating the site. Be sure to check with utility companies before you begin digging. You will need access to electricity to run a water pump, which will also run the water filter system and a fountain if you choose to have one. A pond liner, which is usually made of synthetic rubber or polyethylene plastic, provides an impermeable barrier that keeps the water from escaping into the ground.