Have you been thinking about getting a pond? Perhaps you want a beautiful water feature in your garden, or maybe your kids have been pushing you to get a pond because they learned about it in school. Ponds might sound like a lot of work to build and maintain, but they actually come with some fantastic benefits. For instance, they look absolutely stunning when built correctly and they’re friendly to wildlife, meaning it can attract lots of different birds, insects and even frogs to your garden. They also help you use up empty space in your home and it can be an enjoyable hobby to maintain.
However, it’s important to remember that building a pond in your backyard is a huge responsibility. You’re going to need to maintain the pond to a high standard in order to keep it clean and safe. So to help you ensure that your pond doesn’t turn into a breeding ground for mosquitoes and harmful bacteria, we’ve put together this article to share some important care and maintenance tips for your garden pond.
Establishing a plan to look after your pond
When you first get involved in installing your own garden pond, it’s important to understand that it takes a lot of work to maintain. You need to ensure that your pond is kept nice and cool, you need to ensure that it has plenty of shade and you also need to consider the position of your pond. In some cases, you’ll also need to worry about things such as pond lighting and safety so that your kids don’t jump in pretending it’s a swimming pool.
First, make sure that you’re legally allowed to install a pond in your backyard. Some areas might have strict laws against installing water features and ponds in their backyards. Make sure you have enough space in your garden as well. If not, you should consider doing a bit of landscaping in your backyard to make more space for your pond.
Another important consideration is picking between an in-ground or above-ground pond. There are a couple of differences between the two and it’s important that you understand what makes the two different. If you’re unsure, consider speaking to a contractor that specializes in installing ponds. After a brief survey of your backyard, they’ll be able to tell you what the most effective and convenient way of installing a new pond is.
You’ll also want to consider the type of wildlife you want to attract to your pond. From common frogs and fish to hedgehogs and water invertebrates, there are lots of different wildlife that can be included in your pond. However, it’s a good idea to consider the overall ecology of your pond to ensure that wildlife can thrive.
Lastly, be ready to buy a lot of pond supplies and materials. This can include rocks to surround the pond and beautify it, a net to skim debris off the top, a water pump, filter, buckets and so on. There are a couple of inexpensive places to get pond supplies, such as looking for kits that have multiple items or even yard sales. In some cases, you might be able to get a huge bargain from someone who’s looking to get rid of their pond.
Keeping your pond clean
In order to keep your pond clean, you’ll need to spend a fair amount of time on maintenance and cleaning. Here are some tips to help you take care of your pond:
- Maintain the temperature of your pond. Pond water that is hotter than 75ºF can be dangerous to your fish or pond life. It’s important to keep your pond in a shaded area and to help cool it down. If you have no way to cool down your pond, you may want to consider an aerator to introduce more oxygen to the water.
- Choose a good pump. We suggest looking at quality submersible pumps that fit the size of your pond. You also need to clean out the pump now and then to ensure that there’s no buildup of debris.
- Clean debris on a regular basis. The surface of your pond is prone to collecting debris from nearby trees and plants. Sticks, stones and other objects can be blown into your pond and will decay if left alone, causing the ammonia levels in your pond to rise. Fish out this debris with a pond net to keep your pond clean and healthy.
- Proper filtration is important. Make sure your pond filter is suitable for the size of your pond. They are often rated for certain conditions and you need to ensure it’s accurate for your needs. Filters also need to be cleaned occasionally so make sure you’re maintaining the entire system.
- Don’t have too many fish in the pond. A common mistake for first-time pond owners is to have too many fish in the pond, causing an imbalance and also producing excessive fish waste. If you feel like you have too many fish, consider relocating them.
Cleaning and maintaining your pond can take some time, but it gets easier once you make a habit of it. If you find that you don’t have time to maintain the pond, consider teaching other family members what to do or hire a specialist to look after your pond during times when you aren’t at home.
Building and maintaining your pond can be a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of hard work. For many people, it can be a fantastic hobby to pick up that offers endless enjoyment and productivity. However, if you start to get tired of maintaining it, then it can quickly spiral out of control and before you know it, you’re going to have a pool of harmful bacteria and unwanted insects. As long as you put in the time to care for your pond and also teach your children how to help you maintain it, it’s a worthwhile investment to consider.