What Should I Put In My Pond?
Pond keeping is a meticulous hobby that needs to be given undivided attention. It could also look like a minefield because you have to ensure that it is algae-free with nothing but crystal clear water and healthy plants in it. Since motionless and still waters can be very attractive to bacteria, pond keepers are an excellent deal to look at it carefully.
What should I put in my pond? To create a perfect pond, you’ll have to put a flexible liner, electricity and water, rocks or gravel, fountain or waterfalls, filtration system, and green plants.
Learn about the best things you can put in the pond in this article. The “Do’s and Don’ts” and how to properly maintain the pond will be discussed and the most frequently asked questions.
Things That You Should Put In The Pond
Constructing a pond can be an excellent investment, and it would add the beauty of your home, especially if the water is clean and many colorful fishes are swimming in it. To create a good-looking pond, you should consider adding these things:
Flexible Liner is an excellent addition to the pond because it’s cheaper and easier to install. Unlike some pre-made ponds, you can shape the line however you desire, and it usually has a 20-25 year warranty.
The flexible liner should go together with 45 mL EPDM and PVC, which is safe to the gish. Also, one great thing about the flexible liner is the cost it projects to the local market.
To prevent the flexible liner from damaging, you have to remove all the sharp objects, such as nails, rocks, and twigs. Properly align the entire pond with about three inches of sand, then place them to protect the mainliner from these sharp objects.
You should also choose what kind of underlying materials you could use for further protection, such as newspapers or carpet padding.
Electricity And Water
Ensure that the pond is being positioned strategically around your house. For example, the pond should be nearer to the garden hose, so you can easily clean the pond when needed.
The pond should also be closer to a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) or any electrical source, because there you should plug in some pool equipment, such as the filtration system and lightings.
Rocks Or Gravel
It has to be optional because of the disadvantages of having rocks or gravel at the bottom of the pond outweigh the advantages. What made it look great is it can create a natural biological environment for the fish and the beneficial bacteria, while serving as an outlet for aquatic plants to attach their roots.
Unfortunately, many aquatic plants can grow faster than expected, and every aquatic plant tends to anchor their roots to the gravel. Another disadvantage is for the colorful fishes because they seem to be unnoticeable when they are placed in a black-bottom pond.
Fountain Or Waterfall
If you have an extensive budget, it wouldn’t be bad if you’ll add some decoration in the pond, like an elegant fountain or a stunning waterfall. As for the rule of thumb, the pond volume should be at least 50% when circulated per hour.
These additional designs are made to beautify the pond and achieve an ideal circulation in a visually pleasing manner. Another option is to add a spitter, a decorative statue, such as the Cupid, that shoots the water back to the pond.
Be sure to find an architect who’s skilled enough to design an elegant one while uncompromising its main function to shoot back the water into the pond. It is to save water consumption.
Like in a swimming pool, the pond also has its filtration system, where its primary purpose is to filter all the unnecessary debris and dirt in the water. Without the filtration system, the pond will easily lose its balance and get dirty.
The filtration’s ideal usage is 24/7 to ensure that the water is pure and safe for the fish. The installation of the filtration system would depend on the pond’s design, but some are installing it at the pond bottom, where they can easily drain the dirt.
Green Plants are what keeps the pool looking attractive. At the same time, plants are the reason why the oxygen and carbon dioxide process is being regularized. There are varieties of plants that you can choose from.
For example, the evergreen plants will give a majestic color to the pond, especially during the winter season. Some examples are Azaleas and Ivy. Also, you can add as many water lilies, which the fishes can freely eat.
When putting plants on the pond, make sure it’s not obstructive enough to cover the view.
The pond will lose its essence if there are no fish in it. There’s a lot of colorful fishes that you can display out of the pond. Such fishes include Koi Fish and GoldFish, which are known to be very delightful to the eyes.
These fishes are being placed in ponds for many reasons, and one of them is their tolerance to cold temperature.
The Do’s In Keeping Ponds
Anyone who has a great interest in pond keeping knows how to handle its extensive maintenance. The most important part is to keep the water clean at all times and balance the algae growth in the water.
Treating The Pond
The pond is filled with positive aerobic bacteria. However, it could go wrong with excess bacteria. The role of aerobic bacteria is to eliminate the algae that take away the water’s nutrients.
It could also prevent the sludge from letting off toxic hydrogen sulfide into the pond and keeps the fishes away from unwanted illnesses. The pool has to be treated regularly so that the negative bacteria won’t accumulate in the water.
Use Hose Pipe When Washing the Filters
To effectively wash the filters, you have to use a hosepipe. Then, you have to put chlorine on the filters as you wash them down. The chlorine’s role has an essential effect on the pool since it also eliminates bacteria by cleaning and purifying the water.
You’ll also have to replace the pond water with tap water to kill off unnecessary contaminants in the water immediately.
Check The Water Parameter
Even though the water looks crystal clear physically, yet you may not be sure about its quality, especially for the fishes. It’s better to check the water parameters daily, such as the pH, KH, ammonia, and alkalinity level.
The water parameter could change quickly if you don’t monitor it, and the fishes would most likely suffer the consequences out of your negligence. The Pond Equaliser is one of the best equipment that you could use to stabilize the water.
Ask For Technical Advice
Not everything in the pool might be familiar to you, so there’s a lot of agencies who specialize in ponds to assist you with whatever issues you may have with the pond.
Also, take advantage of the service they’re giving, such as pond cleaning and educating you on what products to be used. They would also help you in correcting the errors you’ve committed when cleaning the pool.
Treat The Pond With Bacterial Product
Algae don’t have the tolerance to grow below 8°C temperature, that’s why ponds would look even prettier during the winter season. Bacteria also don’t have the capabilities to grow and accumulate during winter, but this setting would change drastically when spring comes. It’s best to find a good Winter Pond Treatment to maintain the pond during colder months and prepare for the spring season.
Keep The Pump And Filter Running
The filter is the heart of the pond because its purity and cleanliness depend on how well it performs. The pump is also the one responsible for maintaining the temperature level of the water.
When they get one day off, it’ll lead the pond into big troubles. The temperature will become unstable, but the fishes and plants living in it will soon die because of unfiltered waters.
To prevent this front from happening, it is better to run the pump and filter to remove debris and stabilize the water temperature.
The Don’ts In Keeping Ponds
As a pond owner, you should also be aware of the misconceptions on how to take care of it. There is also some condition that the pond is requiring that needs to be followed.
Empty Your Pond
It is one of the myths that need to be corrected. Although it sounds good to empty the pond when it struggles with algae or green water, you might remove all the beneficial bacteria in the pond.
Try to refill the pond with sterile water that contains chlorine, so it will help clear the bacteria. At the same time, the green water will slowly turn clean with the ability to fight off bad bacteria and algae.
Removing The Blanket Weed
Many people have the impression that the blanket and green weeds are dirty and a big mess in everyone’s pond. It’s normal to have the impression to pull it out the moment it grows in the pond.
However, you must wait for a few days to ensure that these weeds are dead, then you should remove it. If you remove it while it’s alive, soon enough, it will release new spores into the water.
Change The Filters
If the filters are getting dirty, then you can only clean it, but not change them. Changing it might be costly for you, and you’ll have to go back to Step 1 in installing the filter. Unnecessary debris is given to be there because that’s how the filters are working.
However, if it took you to change the whole filtration system, you might remove all the beneficial bacteria. If it’s unavoidable to change the entire filtration system, then ensure to apply a bacterial product on it.
Feed Fish During Winter
If the temperature drops down during the autumn season, consider feeding your fish with foods rich in protein, so when the winter begins, you don’t need to fish them anymore. Fish don’t need to be fed every winter season because it will only cause the algae to break down into the pond.
Allowing The Pond To Freeze
Some pond owners are reckless enough to keep the water frozen through the winter. It should be avoided because it might create an airtight seal, leading to oxygen reduction in the water.
Without oxygen, toxic gases will accumulate, and this would result in fish death. Instead, treat it with bacterial products, while monitoring it daily that the water is not entirely frozen.
Overstock The Pond
What makes the pond even more attractive is the fishes in it. The fish that you have to place in the pond should depend on their sizes. If the pond contains a lot of fishes, then there’s a big tendency to go overcrowding, making it extra difficult for them to move and breathe.
Fish also excrete a lot of waste, causing the accumulation of ammonia and raising the pH level. It would harm fishes as it might cause unwanted illness and death.
Tips On How To Keep The Pond Water Clean
It’s always a big deal to keep the water clean, even though it can be challenging at times. There’ll be times when you think that the water is pure enough, yet the fishes are acting up because of a high pH level. Pursuing experience and education, you’ll soon be equipped to handle pool water maintenance easily.
Maintain A Healthy Fish Population
Some owners tend to overstock fish in one pond, without thinking that they can go overcrowded. You have to remember that you can only place less than ten fishes per 100 gallons of water because it can easily grow.
Fish produces a lot of waste, which may cause a disturbing rise in the pH and ammonia level. If this happened, the water would get cloudy and could lead to their unfortunate death.
Creating A Proper Balance For Plants
The pool isn’t complete without plants because they are responsible for the air cycle and provide cover for the fish. However, too many plants can cause overcrowding and abnormal oxygen deficiency at night because of the photosynthesis process.
As much as fishes need oxygen to live, plants need to breathe project the photosynthesis correctly.
Clean The Debris From Pond
As mentioned, the cleanliness of water is handled by the filter because it collects unnecessary dirt and debris that could create water cloudiness. One dangerous result of over-waste is the development of ammonia, which can be harmful to both plants and fishes. If you have more time to clean the pond, make sure to remove most of the debris using a pond net.
If you’ve seen heavy cloudiness in the water, try to treat the water with an ammonia neutralizer to keep the water healthy and prolong the fishes’ lifespan. You may install an Automatic Dosing System that can dispense the most beneficial bacteria while removing the bad ones to maintain the pond’s nitrogen and oxygen cycle.
Keep The Pond Cool
The pond water can only tolerate a maximum of 75º Fahrenheit, and if anything goes beyond it, the water will have a difficult time retaining dissolved oxygen.
The oxygen level is critical to every fish’s health. That is why it is essential to aid them with aquatic plants so that the oxygen process can be normalized.
Fishes need oxygen to survive, and if you found them gasping for air on the surface, you should note that they might be in a dangerous position. You can add an aerator to cool the water during the summer season.
How deep is the normal pond?
It depends on the kind of fish you are taking off and the country you are in. In most countries, the normal depth would be around 24 inches, deep enough for the pond fish to swim freely in the pond.
For very cold countries like England and Canada, the pond can go deeper to 30 inches to ensure that the water couldn’t freeze entirely to the bottom.
How can you hide the flexible liner?
For the natural water garden pond, you can create a rock border around the edges, while permitting the rocks to overhand the water. If you want a flexible liner to hide, ensure that the water should meet the rock edging. Or, backfill the liner with rocks to reinvent it into a barrier dam that holds the watertight and prevents pond drainage.
How can I lay out the pond?
Dig in the middle while working the pond area outwardly, preventing pond’s edges from breaking. Around 3 tiers for a normal pond, where the edging and other taller plants are positioned. Shallow shelves depend on the location’s climate so it’s 12 inches maximum for the shelving. The mid-shelf and third shelf should be around 18 inches deep each.
Water circulation is always important, so you have to calculate the number of water circulation per hour. The filter’s role is to prevent debris and dirt from harming the water, while the pump’s role is to circulate the water to and fro the pond.
It’s also essential to choose the correct size fitted for your pond because the pump’s capability to circulate also has its limitation.