Pet Fish - Setting Up a Pond
If you are planning on setting up a fish pond, there are several things you should consider.
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There is no doubt that having a water feature in your yard can be very enjoyable and soothing. Of course, if you want that water feature, and choose to do the work yourself, you'll have some hard work ahead of you before you finish installing and setting up that new pond.
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Know what an "idiot stick" is? It's another name for "shovel", my friend.
Okay, it's some work, and some money, but, once you're done, you'll be glad you took the time to add a pond to your garden.
If you are planning on setting up a pond, there are several things you should consider.
Before the shovel hits the ground, planning must happen. You will find that, just like in real estate, the most important thing about a pond is location, location, location.
It's a good idea to place your pond in a sunny area away from trees so that leaves don't fall into it and create a slimy mess in the bottom or clog up that really neat, but expensive, pond filtration system you shelled out so much for at Home Depot or Lowes. Face facts, no matter how "natural" you like the pond to look, you really don't want to have to clean 6 inches of smelly muck out of your pond several times a year.
If you simply cannot find a sunny spot for your pond away from trees, you might want to consider covering it with netting in early autumn to keep the falling leaves out of the water.
Your chosen location should also be reachable with a garden hose to fill the pond and an electrical line to fire up the filters. By the way, hauling a 75 ft or 100 ft hose back and forth across the lawn is what we in the trade call "work". If you want the pond to be a place of rest and repose, put it close to the water source.
When it comes to electrical stuff, unless you are an expert, hire somebody. Don't just lay an extension cord across the lawn. That kind of stuff gets people hurt...even dead!
Here's another pond location fact.
Your pond is for pleasure. Therefore it should be located where it can be easily viewed or accessed so you can enjoy the view and easily maintain the pond. You would be surprised how many people leave that decision out of the equation.
Pay attention to the calendar as well. The best time of year to setup a new pond is probably going to be during the Spring, so that plants, fish, and even the neighbor's cat all have enough time to settle in by winter.
While the size of the pond depends on your wishes, available space, and wallet, you really need to consider the number and kind of fish you want in it, the kind of wildlife you might want to attract to the pond (besides your neighbor's cat), and the types of plants you'd like to have in and around your water feature.
Take one more look in the wallet, and, once you've decided to go ahead with the project, buy the biggest pond you can afford to buy, because you will almost certainly wish it was larger in the future. If you don't, your spouse will. That's an immutable law of the Universe. Ask Captain Kirk, or Spock, or somebody...
Most ponds will generally contain three different areas, a marshy zone around the perimeter, a shallow zone and a deep-water area. If you are setting up a pond in a dry, arid environment (i.e. Arizona) prepare for more planning and equipment than the same pond would require in a tropical or temperate environment (i.e. Florida or even Georgia). The colder the Winter normally is in your area, the deeper your pond should be so fish, plants and other animals which may inhabit the pond are not harmed by the weather conditions due to overexposure.
The cost of setting up your pond, or water feature, will depend upon the size, depth and shape of your pond.
Round-shaped ponds are generally the simplest to construct and therefore the most budget friendly. Kidney shaped ponds, or other, non-symmetrical shapes, are going to be a bit more expensive, all other aspects being equal. You may want to add streams, falls, or other running water features to your pond to make it more beautiful, but be aware that these, while certainly beautiful and charming, will add more expense to pond construction and will require more space, planning, and equipment.
As you have probably begun to suspect from earlier remarks, in order to construct the pond, you will first need to dig a hole at your intended location which is the basic size, shape, and depth of your chosen dimensions. Remember, if you plan to have pet fish in this pond, you will need to be sure you dig down deep enough for them to survive through the winter. Different species may have different requirements, so get advice from your supplier. Don't just run down to WalMart and pick up some pretty fish in plastic bags!
Even though you need depth for the fish, don't forget to leave shallow areas where marginal plants can grow in the pond.
All stones and other sharp objects should be removed from the hole to avoid puncturing the liner. Placing a protective under layer of dirt or other material in the pond bed before laying out the liner will help provide additional protection from any stones that work their way to the surface. The edges of the pond should be leveled so the water level in the finished pond doesn't look strange...unless you want the effect created by a sloping landscape.
While all of this is good advice, unless you are an experienced pond builder, (And, if you are, why are you reading this?) you will need more specific instructions and diagrams for each step. While you can find many books which can help you set up a pond, you might want to look at "How to Build an Easy Koi Pond" for some great ideas.
Whatever route you take to set up the pond of your dreams, don't forget to
add a few of the extras that can make future pond maintenance easier. You should install an overflow pipe for drainage during heavy rain. Also, before adding plants or fish, you will need to install a pump and pond filtration system. These can easily be found at various local stores or ordered online from sites such as GregRobert Pet Supplies.
Caring for Pet Fish
How to Build an Easy Koi Fish Pond
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