Introduction & Disclaimer
The following material is provided as a service to our customers. We recommend that you use this material as a guideline only.
Bylaws & Safety
Before you consider installing a pond or any type of water feature, we recommend you consult with your municipality’s Zoning Department. They can go over any water depth restrictions, fencing requirements or building permit requirements for your area. Bylaws differ from city to city and may even be different from one block to the next.
Before getting the tools out, you should make a few more inquiries. Think of underground services like sewers, gas and power lines, cable TV, telephone, etc. Be safe and call before you dig. Don’t forget to notify your insurance company.
If you plan to operate electrical equipment in your pond, such as a fountain pump or underwater lighting, make sure you use approved equipment only (UL Listed) and connect it to a properly grounded and GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) protected outlet only. Do not run extension cords across your lawn. Not only are they not approved for use around the pond, they may get chewed up by your lawn mower and you risk being electrocuted.
Carefully read all instructions supplied before operating any equipment. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines.
Now that you have found the perfect location for your new pond you can start gathering some tools. You will need:
- Rope or can of spray paint (to outline the shape of your pond)
- Pick Axe (if you have clay in your yard)
- Flexible measuring tape
- A level
- Straight board or 2×4 long enough to reach across the pond
- A few friends who would love to spend their weekend digging a hole in your yard
Choose a location that has 4 – 6 hours of sunlight daily and good drainage.
After you have chosen the location of your pond and purchased it, outline the shape using the rope or spray paint. Make the outline a little larger than the pond itself.
For a pond without shelves, dig the hole a little larger and deeper than the actual pond. Ponds with shelves require that the shelves be replicated in the excavation and fully supported with dirt or sand. Make sure you remove ALL rocks, debris and tree roots. Roots that can’t be removed should be cut back as far as possible.
Put down 2 – 4 inches of sand, making sure it is evenly distributed and level. Place the pond into the site. Begin backfilling the hole as you fill the pond with water. GAUGE YOUR TIME TO ENSURE THAT THESE TWO STEPS END AT THE SAME TIME.
Once the pond has been filled you should wait 24 to 48 hours before adding plants and fish. You may add a recirculating fountain pump or underwater lights at any time.
Multiple Pond Installations
Joining two ponds together is easy when you use our connecting pool. One pond should be at a higher elevation than the other. Place the connecting pool between the two ponds. Drill a hole just beneath the flange of the higher pond, in line with the connecting pool Also drill a hole beneath the flange of the connecting pool, in line with the hole from the higher pond. Using a piece of radiator hose or flexible tubing, connect the holes. Choose a hose whose diameter is slightly larger than the hole. Your seal will be watertight.
A well-balanced water garden requires relatively little maintenance. Occasional cleaning and frequent checks on its equipment and water level are about all that is needed.
Unless there is accumulated debris that cannot be removed by other means, there is no need to drain the pond on a regular basis. Instead, use a net or pond skimmer to remove the fallen leaves and other plant debris. Dead plant material that has accumulated at the bottom of the pond must be removed. Not only does a clean pond look better, it is also healthier for it’s occupants. Decomposing plant material can smell and it pollutes the water for aquatic life.
A major clean-up requiring draining of the pond is the only time when it is safe to add a large quantity of fresh water to your pond. Most times we recommend adding small amounts of fresh water only. Keep an eye on the water level and top off the pond when needed, being careful not to alter the water temperature by more than a few degrees. Some people collect rain water in barrels, which can then be added to the pond as needed. This is a good idea if you are on municipal water that has been chemically treated.
If you do drain the pond, refill it immediately after cleaning. Allow the water to warm up before adding your plants. Cold water may shock some tender plants. Allow the pond to re-establish for at least 48 hours before adding your fish.
Algae control is usually the largest maintenance problem in a pond. When setting up a new pond it is normal to have excess algae growth until an ecological balance has been achieved. A natural pond treatment will maintain a natural balance in your pond.
The amount of oxygen in the water is also important. Oxygen is needed to support aquatic life such as fish, tadpoles and aquatic snails.
If your fish are coming to the surface gasping for air, you have a problem in your pond. You can increase the pond’s oxygen levels by adding an aerating nozzle on a pump, planting more oxygenating plants or adding a bit of fresh water.
When water is exposed to air it will pick up essential oxygen. This is why many people use a recirculating pump to run a waterfall or fountain head. Moving water is aerated water.