Water Garden FAQs
- How do I decide where to install my new pond?
- What do I need to keep in mind about the placement of my pond?
- How deep does the pond need to be?
- What types of pond construction are there?
- What do I do about water runoff?
- What do I do about excessive algae?
- Why is my water brown and cloudy?
- Why are there leaves and debris in my pond?
- My floating plants seem unhealthy. What should I do?
- My fish are unhealthy and dying. Why?
- The top of my pond is frozen over, and I have fish in the pond. What do I do?
- My plants are all matted together at the bottom of my pond. Help!
- My water level gets really low in the summer. Why?
- How do I build a pond?
Take a good look at your yard and make sure that the location of the pond can be enjoyed from any decks and windows. Pull out the garden hose and create the shape of your pond right on the lawn. Experiment with it for a few days and observe how both the sun and slope of your yard will effect the space you have chosen.
- Plan your pond so that you can easily add a waterfall or a second pond in years to come. Most new pond keepers continue to improve and grow the size of their ponds from year to year.
- A pond deeper than 18" is considered a pool in many municipalities. This will require the yard to be fenced.
- Place the pond away from where run-off flows. Run-off could deliver fertilizers and other toxins to your fish.
- Install a GFI outlet near the pond to avoid cords across the lawn and electrocution.
- If you want fish, you need a deep spot that is just below the frost line. This deep section only needs to be large enough to accomodate the fish and plants you keep in the pond in the winter. Contact local sources to determind the frost depth in your area.
- If you live in a warm part of the country, deeper ponds will help keep water temperature down during the hot days of summer. Very shallow water can heat up quickly in the hot sun and this could kill your fish.
Prevent Runoff by using plants that cover the entire ground surface. Runoff can carry harmful chemicals, pesticides and excessive amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen into waterways.
- Preformed ponds come in a variety of shapes, usually with plant shelves built in. They are ideal for first-time pond builders because they are extremely durable, and less susceptible to tears and punctures. Preformed ponds are easy to install and clean, but require more skill to fit the hole in the ground with the shape of the pond. Also, when properly supported, preformed ponds are ideal for above-ground, indoor, and patio setups.
- Pond liners are ideal for the more experienced water gardeners. They allow for easy and very forgiving installations, which consequently promotes greater creativity. Because you can create various shapes with pond liners, it is possible to construct larger, and deeper configurations (when compared to preformed ponds).
- Skimmer (liner) pond kits are for the professional pond installers. These are the types of pond kits that landscapers usually install. The installation of a skimmer and a bio waterfall filter requires extra planning because additional external cavities need to be dug beside the pond. The installation of a skimmer also involves seaming the liner to the opening of the skimmer. Tubing considerations are paramount to proper skimmer and biofalls installation.
- Concrete installations usually require a professional installation. Concrete is a medium that tends to crack as the ground freezes and thaws.
- The easiest way to avoid runnoff is to install your pond in a location that is not at the bottom of a slope or hill
- It is a good idea not to install your pond underneath your rain gutters - leaky eavestroughs may also prevent a rainwater runoff problem
- If you install your pond on sloping ground, insall run-off routes around your pond to help prevent rainwater and melting snow from getting into your pond.
- Install your pond liner in a soil that is more clay-like than sand-like. Sandlike soil will move very easily when it is wet.
|Too little competition||Introduce other plants|
|Too much sunlight||Add floating plants to shade the bottom of the pond|
|Too many nutrients||Use soil made for aquatic gardens rather than normal potting soil|
This could be a result of you pump and filter not working efficiently. If this is the case, start regularly cleaning you filter and record how often cleaning is requird. To clean the filter, rinse it out with pond water. If filtration is still an issue, clean inside the piping with a small brush or snake.
Possible Cause: Dead leaves from nearby trees.
Solution: Skim the pond surface regularly with a net. If this persists, consider catching leaves with garden netting across the pond surface.
Possible Cause: Dead leaves from pond plants
Solution: Frequently examine pond plants and remove any yellow or dying leaves.
This could be a result of your plants outgrowing the container they are in. In this case, remove the plant from the container and split it. This will give the plant adequate nutrients.
Make your garden larger. Grass needs more water than most other plants. Why not try adding a paved area to your yard, or a mulch bed around your trees to help reduce grassed areas?
The easiest way to do this is to invest in a pond heater. This will keep the water from freezing over in a specific area. Alternatively, leave a large plastic ball on the surface of the pond, as the ball's constant movement will prevent the water from freezing.
|Lack of Oxygen||Add more underwater oxygenating plants like duckweed. Also, reduce the amount of algae.|
|Overpopulation||Rule of Thumb: There should be no more than 1 fish for every 2 square feet of pond. (example: 60 sq. ft pond = no more than 30 fish)|
|To much chlorine/chloramine||Visit your local pool store and purchase a water testing kit. If the chlorine/chloramine level is high, invest in some chemicals to reduce this.|
A common cause of this is simply the overgrowth of your aquatic plants. The best way to deal with this is to unmat the plants, and then divide them. Moving the plants away from each other offers them a chance to continue growing without become a mess at the bottom of the pond.
Generally this occurs because of direct contact with sunlight. When your water level is being affected only in the summer, this means that your water is evaporating due to the heat. To counteract this, keep an eye on your pond, and top up your pond as needed with a hose.
If your water level is changing all year round, this is probably caused by a leak in your pond. If you have a liner pond, a good solution is to figure out where the leak is, and purchase a repair kit. If you are dealing with a cement or fibreglass pond, other measures will need to be taken to repair this.
- Choose your liner, or select a preformed pond.
- Determine the proper filtration for your pond.
- Select the right size of pond pump.
- Add fountains, accents, and accessories to suit your tastes.