Is that aqua one fish tank in your kitchen too small? Fancy something more challenging and rewarding? Garden ponds are an attractive feature that with a little thought and planning can be a haven for wildlife. Understandably this may not be the first thing on your mind when planning a garden pond but with 70% of natural ponds during the past century having been lost from the UK countryside, it is hopefully something that more people will consider.
Gardens of all sizes can accommodate water features and ponds, they certainly do not have to be large. And with water being essential to wildlife it is almost certain that a plethora of creatures will make use of yours.
Frogs, toads and newts are the usual suspects when it comes to ponds but many are also frequented by damsel, caddis, and dragon and may flies. If you look closer to the surface and just under it you may also find pond skaters, snails and water beetles. If you are lucky you may also attract waterfowl, mallard ducks, moorhens and coots.
Visitors because of your pond and its wildlife will include swallows and house martins who love to feed on the aforementioned insects. You may also if you are lucky attract grey heron and grass snakes who will hunt at your pond.
In order to achieve a pond that is rich in wildlife you will need to plant it well. The best time to do this is in mid-spring to early summer. Plant it with native plants that provide a good habitat and also dense vegetation that will provide good cover.
Pond maintenance should be carried out in autumn and if you are just building your pond it is best to do it in autumn or winter. Construction can be as simple or as complicated as you wish to make it. Ready to place ponds can be bought with the only work needed a hole to put them in. We would recommend looking at fiberglass ponds as they can withstand the harsh UK weather and all the usual wear and tear expected with an outdoor pond.
If you have the skills it is also possible to design and build your own fiberglass pond – we would recommend watching a few youtube videos to learn how to best build a pond for your garden.
If you are working on a budget you could consider using an old bath, sink or trough to use as a pond. These are extremely attractive and also suited to gardens that have less space, are smaller. If you have a boggy garden you could also just pick a particular wet spot and transform it by lining it and filling it with more water.
There is nothing quite like relaxing in your garden and been able to hear the running water from your garden pond and appreciate the wild life it attracts
Garden Pond Kits
Are you considering installing a pond in your garden or back yard? If so, you have two basic options, you can dig your own hole and design the pond yourself, or use a preformed fibreglass pond. While both options have their pros and cons, fibreglass ponds are definitely easier to use and work well in areas with loose soil, where building your own pond may be nearly impossible.
Fibreglass ponds are molded with durable plastic into a wide range of shapes and sizes. These hard shell liners are perfect for any type of pond and they will support most types of plants and fish.
Choose a Space in Your Yard
The first step is to find a location in your yard that is best suited for a pond. You want to steer away from any trees in the yard because the falling leaves can wreak havoc in your pond. You also want to avoid placing your pond at the bottom of a hill because it could make it more susceptible to flooding. If you are planning to use a pump or filtration system or install a fountain in your pond, you will also want to consider placing your pond near a source of electricity.
If possible, use the most level area of land in your yard. This will make installation of the pond quicker and easier. Once a location has been determined, measure your space so you know exactly how much room you have for your pond. This will help you select a pond that best fits your space.
Installing your Pond
Once you are ready to install your pond, you will want to start by digging a hole that is about two inches deeper than your fibreglass pond and just slightly wider. It is very important that the hole be as level as possible before installing your pond. You may have to check the ground with a level several times and then readjust the soil until it is perfectly level. You will want to save the ground you dig up to use as fill later.
Although only optional, it is a good idea to add one or two inches of sand to the bottom of the hole prior to installing the pond. This will help to ensure the pond remains firmly in place once installed. After adding the sand, be sure to level the area again. Once everything is in place, you can put the fibreglass pond into the hole.
Start by adding just a few inches of water to the bottom of the pond and then level the pond again and make adjustments as necessary. This may seem like a lot of leveling, but if you want until the pond is full of water, it will be too late. If everything looks good, you can fill the pond about half full and then fill in all the edges with the reserved ground. Once the ground is packed firmly around the pond, you can fill the rest of it with water.
Installing a fibreglass pond is very easy to do and should take just a few hours to complete. You should let the ground settle for a few days before adding the desired fish and plants. Be sure to keep a good balance of fish and plants because this will keep your pond healthy and make it easier to maintain.
Garden Pond Pumps / Filter
How to Choose the Right Pond Filter
Installing a pond filter to your man made pond is the perfect solution to maintaining a clean and healthy environment for your fish and plants. The filter works by removing toxins from the water that can be dangerous to your fish. However, there are many different types of pond filters available, so finding the right one for your pond may take some time and careful consideration. Below is a look at some things you should keep in mind when selecting the right pond filter.
External versus Submersible Filter
There are two basic types of pond filters available, including submersible and external. Submersible filters are placed under that water of the pond, whereas external filters are placed on the outside. While both styles work efficiently to purify the water in your pond, external filters do require some additional work to install. Since, the water will have to be removed from the pond to the filter, and then back into the pond again, piping will have to be installed. Many people select submersible filters just so they do not have to do this extra work.
Size of Filter
The size of pond filter you require will directly depend on the size of your pond. Many fish keepers use the 50% circulation rule when choosing the right size filter to use. This means that all the water in the pond will be circulated throughout the pump every two hours. Keeping with this rule, a pond that holds 1,000 gallons of water will require a filter that offers a circulation speed of at least 500 gph (gallons per hour). When in doubt always go for the larger filter.
Things to Consider
You may want to look for a filtering system that includes pre-filters. This will keep the pump of the filter from clogging up, which makes maintenance easier. You also want to keep in mind that your filter will be running 24/7, which can utilize a lot of energy. There are many energy efficient pond filters on the market today, which can help keep your energy costs to a minimum.
Many filters also come with a spitter, waterfall, fountain, or some other special feature that is designed to keep the water in the pond moving at all times. This can prevent stagnate water that can attract mosquitoes and create a prime environment for bacteria and algae growth. UV clarifiers are also included on many types of pond filters. These clarifiers use ultra violet rays to kill algae in your pond safely and efficiently.
Installing a filter will definitely make maintaining your pond easier and it can go a long way in helping you create ideal water conditions for your fish. It is important that you shop around to find the best filter to meet your specific needs and one that is large enough to handle the size of your pond. There are so many different types and styles available that you are sure to find the right one for your pond. Careful select of you filter can help save your time and money in the end.
Garden Pond Covers
A man made pond can be an attractive feature to add to your outdoor space and it can provide a tranquil setting. However, maintaining a pond does take some extra work to make sure the plants and fish are well cared for and that the pond looks great. The good news is that there are many great products on the market that can make taking care of your outdoor pond quick and easy.
A major problem that some homeowners face is keeping unwanted pests out of their pond. There are many wildlife animals, such as birds, raccoons, and cats that would love to play in your pond. Unfortunately, this can destroy your plant life and kill your fish. Another common problem people face is keeping debris, such as leaves and sticks, out of their pond area, which can leave the pond looking dirty.
An affordable solution that many pond owners find very effective is to use a pond cover over the water as an extra layer of protection.
Types of Pond Covers
The most common type of pond covering used is a special netting cover. This netting is placed over type of the water or just below the water’s surface. It is anchored down with stakes, allowing it to provide a protective shield over the water. Leaves and other types of debris will not penetrate through the water, which make collecting and disposing of these debris quite simple.
A popular option for gardens is the Hozelock mesh pond cover.
Metal pond covers are also very popular. These covers come in all shapes and sizes and they can be customized to fit your specific pond. The metal frame will have slates or openings to allow you to see into the pond clearly, but it will keep out any type of wild animal. This will protect your plants and fish, while still providing a beautiful look for your outdoor space.
Selecting the Right Pond Cover for Your Pond
The first thing you should consider when selecting the right pond cover is what the purpose for the cover is. If you simply want to keep out falling leaves and sticks, then pond netting will be sufficient. There are many types and quality of this netting available to allow you to select the type that best meets your specific needs.
If, on the other hand, wild animals or your pets are getting into your pond, or if you have small children, a metal pond cover may be the best option for you. These covers are more durable and they will eliminate the risk of an unwanted pests or a small child from gaining entry into the pond. This will also keep your plants and fish safe.
It is recommended that you use some type of pond cover for your pond. You should shop around to find a cover that best meets your specific needs. Be sure to measure your pond prior to looking for a pond cover to make sure you purchase the right size. Adding this extra feature to your man made pond will definitely make maintaining the pond, your fish, and the plants easier.