Whether you have owned an aquarium or not, setting up and maintaining an outdoor pond can be quite a challenge. The key to success in setting up your pond and keeping it running smoothly is to do your research beforehand. In this article you will receive a number of useful tips designed specifically for first-time pondkeepers.
Setting Up Your Pond
If you plan to build your own pond, it is essential that you perform some research in order to choose the right location as well as the right construction method. The materials you use to build your pond will be determined by the desired size of your pond as well as the shape. If you are looking for a small, conventionally shaped pond you can buy prefabricated pond liners at your local home and garden store.
- Choose the right location – your pond should not be placed at the bottom of a hill or anywhere that it might be affected by agricultural runoff
- Don’t place your pond directly beneath a tree or you will constantly be removing leaves
- Choose a heavy-duty plastic tub as the base for a small pond – this is the easiest method for installing small backyard ponds
- If you want to build a bigger pond, use a heavy-duty pond liner and weigh it down correctly with heavy stones
- Don’t be afraid to landscape the area around your pond – use potted plants and large stones to decorate the area surrounding your pond
Stocking Your Pond
If you plan to keep fish in your pond, you need to think carefully about what kind of fish and how many you want. Even though a pond is much larger than the average fish tank, you have to consider the fact that many pond fish (like goldfish) require a significant amount of space so you shouldn’t add too many fish to your pond.
- Research and purchase the right size pump and filter for your pond – this is essential if you want to keep fish in your pond
- Determine how many fish you can safely keep in your pond based on its size – remember that koi need very large ponds (over 1,000 gallons) while goldfish can be kept in smaller ponds
- Consider adding lilies or other aquatic plants to provide shade and to act as natural algae control in your pond
Maintaining Your Pond
Once you have set up your pond you must maintain it properly in order to keep it clean and to keep your fish healthy. Maintenance tasks will vary by season – they may also differ depending on the type of filter system you use and how many fish you have in your tank.
- Give your fish only as much food as they can eat within a few minutes – this will prevent the accumulation of uneaten fish food on the bottom of the pond
- Make sure your pond has adequate water movement to keep oxygen levels high and to discourage breeding mosquitoes
- Install an EcoBio-Block Wave in your pond to help maintain a colony of beneficial bacteria – a single block is adequate for 300 to 1000 gallons and will help keep your pond water clean and clear and reduce the likelihood of getting algae
These are just a few basic tips to get you started in your research before building your pond. It should be clear to you by now that building a pond isn’t quite as simple as just buying a plastic tub and filling it with water. Like an aquarium, a pond is a self-contained ecosystem that must be carefully planned and maintained if you hope to see it thrive.