a garden hose to lay out an area for digging.
Don't forget to make careful considerations when deciding the
best area for your pond. The site should be shade free for 5-6 hours for
the best optimum display of Water Lilies and other aquatic plants, but
also needs some protection from strong winds and too much hot sun. Trees
that hang over the pond pose serious problems as the leaves that fall
into the pond decompose and produce harmful gasses and encourage green
algae. Choose a spot that is convenient for
electricity and water and also close enough to the house to enjoy
the sights and sounds of your pond.
the earth may not seem that big of a task, but unless you are planning a
very small pond, or you are in reasonably good shape, this may be more
than you can handle yourself. An alternative way to excavate the dirt
would be to hire an earthmover from your area. Before you dig make sure
there are no cables or pipes in the area to be dug.
Notice the shelf area around the inside of the dug out
pond. This shelf inside the pond is used to place marginal plants
that are in containers. Deep-water
aquatic plants are placed on the bottom of the pond. (For rigid
preformed liner ponds, the ledge area will represent the slope you will
have to excavate to accommodate and support the slanting sides of the
After the hole is dug, leveled and ready for the liner, dig a small
trench about 5” inches wide x 1 foot deep around the perimeter of the
pond, this is where you will need to backfill the liner edge into the
trench to keep the liner secured in place.
liner across the newly dug out pond area. DO NOT PULL THE LINER TIGHT,
LEAVE THE LINER LOOSE FITTING. Pleat the edges or corners to form a neat
edge. Loosely backfill the trench with the dirt, or place stones to
secure liner in the trench area. Do not compact dirt yet.
Slowly fill the pond with water. The liner will stretch and
contour to the shape of the hole. Once you start filling the pond, keep
a watch on the liner to make sure all the areas are conforming to the
pond like you want, straightening any areas before there is to much
water pressure and weight to adjust.
You should get into the pond barefoot and monitor the pond as it
is filling. Do not start
filling pond and leave area, or you may have to drain and refill to make
any adjustments. (Not applicable to rigid preformed liner ponds - but do
make sure it remains LEVEL as you fill it.)
When the water reaches about 2
inches from the top of the pond, turn the water off. Cut the excess
liner around the edge of the liner with scissors. Leave about 6 inches
around the edge. This is the time when you would want to place your pump
and or filter into place. You can run your tubing and connections
under the edge of the liner. This is also a good time to install
your electrical connections, lighting , fountains, etc.
Remove all of the stones and backfill trench, compacting the dirt
rocks of choice around the edge of the pond so they lay over the edging
toward the inside of the pond about 1 to 2 inches. This will help hide
the top inside edge of the liner. After all of the stones are laid out,
place the mortar to hold the rocks. Place small rocks into the gaps to
make sure all of the liner area is covered.
Be extra careful not to drop the
mortar into the pond! If you do, you should empty and refill the
pond. Mortar has lime in it and will harm fish.
AND STOCK: OK!
Now you are ready to stock your pond with plants and some fish! Place
water plants into the pond by setting the pots onto the shelf and on the
bottom of the pond. Generally, some like to wait 1 week to 1 month
before introducing fish into the pond. To put fish into the pond
right away, first put a good conditioner for fish in the pond. Just make
sure your pump is oxygenating the water. A good rule of thumb is one
inch of fish per sq ft of water surface, unless you are stocking Koi
fish then the rule is one fish per 25 square feet of pond space. Some
good varieties of pond fish are: Goldfish,
Shubunkins, Comets, Black Moors, Oranda, Lion heads and all the Fantail
fish require a good balanced food. Feeding your fish floating pellets
will enable you to net out the uneaten food before it has a chance to
decompose. Read the directions on the fish food as to the rate of feed,
but usually what is not eaten in 5 minutes should be removed. Your pond
will supply lots of food on its own for your fish, but a supplemental
food for good nutrition is recommended. Never
feed your fish if the water temperature
goes below 50 F. The metabolism of the fish
slows down and it is hard for the fish to digest the food. Read the
label on your fish food for its requirements.