Garden Ponds

In the past few years, there has been a growing trend to produce a more natural landscape in the  garden. The sight and sounds of water often serve to top off this natural setting. Before embarking  on making a pond, ertain decisions must be made in advance; careful planning will save a lot of  time and frustration.

  • Where is the pond going to go?
  • What is it going to be made of?
  • What do you want in the pond?
  • Do you need a filter?

PLACEMENT:  Ponds can be placed in  full sun or slightly shaded areas. It  would be advisable to place the pond in  a position where it will not receive too much mess from large bushes or trees. If young children  frequent the area, consideration must be given to the depth of the pond for their safety!

TYPES OF PONDS: Pre-formed fibreglass or Poly ponds which come  in a variety of shapes (though tend to be small), are durable and one  of the easiest types of ponds to  install. Plastic lined ponds are  a  cheaper alternative, but difficult however to form a neat, contoured  pond due  to the number of folds required. Plastic liners are best  suited for larger, simple square or round shapes where no pre-formed  units are  available. If you wish  to have  a self-designed, highly  contoured pond, then concrete is the answer. If an acrylic sealer such  as “Wet-Look” is added to  the cement (with an added damp course)  and it is reinforced properly, then you will have a permanent, long lasting feature in your garden.

FISH: There are basically four ways you can decide on fish. The first is KOI CARP. Koi can grow over  two feet in length, so a large pond would be recommended. Also, they have the tendency to destroy  plants, so it is not recommended to mix both together in the same pond. GOLDFISH only do  little  damage to plants, so a few goldfish in a well planted pond would make a good second choice. If you  only want a small pond and you don’t like goldfish, then there are several species of small fish that  you can also put in there. LIVEBEARING FISH such as guppies,  mollies,  platies and swordtails,  require very little attention. They live on insects and graze on algae, but the cold of winter will force  down their  numbers until  successive generations, resistant  to the cold, continue to breed the  numbers back up every summer. Or, if you want  trouble free fish, then the small WHITECLOUD  MINNOW is the easiest self-sustaining fish that you can keep. They will live entirely on insects that  fall  in the water and they are also fond of the dreaded mosquito larvae. The fourth choice is the  natural method, keeping FROGS! This will  increase the natural sounds in you garden (or drive you  crazy at night). The whitecloud minnow can also  be  kept in the pond with them to  keep the  population of mosquitoes down.

PLANTS: If you have decided on not keeping Koi carp, then it should not be difficult to establish  plants in your pond. By far the most popular plant is the WATER LILY. A wide range of colours are  available but normally only during the warmer months. If they are kept in large pots and re-potted  every few years with a little cow manure, then they won’t over-run your pond and they should flower  frequently, especially in summer.   There are many other plants available all year round which include  fully submerged and some floating plants. Emergent plants can be  planted in the shallows and around the outside edge of the pond in  moist soil.  Plants in the pond assist in minimising the chances of  algae blooming in the pond. They do this by reducing the amount  of light entering the pond and by absorbing the waste made by the  fish.

FILTERS: In well planted ponds with a low stocking density of fish, filters are not normally required.  But if you have problems with cloudy water (either from dirt or algae), or you intend to have large  numbers of fish, especially Koi and goldfish, then it is necessary to invest in a filter. There are  several designs of filters on the market, each for different pond sizes and applications. An AQUOTIX  staff member can show you the choices during your next visit. Quite often the cause of cloudiness in  the water is caused by algae. There are several ways of removing the algae, this is outlined  in  another free handout from AQUOTIX called "Pond Maintenance and Algae Control" There is more  than one way to make a garden pond. Before you make any  final decisions get advice from more  than one person, especially friends who have already got a pond. The biggest secret of a successful  pond is to  disturb it as little  as possible. Ponds are  not normally well established for a  couple of  years. Once nature takes its course and an equilibrium is reached,  then the crystal clear pond will  blend in with the natural landscape of your garden.

If ever you run into  trouble or you just can’t seem to find what you need, just visit the AQUOTIX  showroom for friendly  professional advice and find our fully comprehensive selection of pond and  aquarium goods.