Add Features to your Home
Building a pond in your front or backyard will not only increase the outward appearance but the value of your home. If well designed it will make it look and feel like a cool place on a hot day to sit, watch the fish and relax.
It is amazing the difference that a well-positioned and designed pond can make to your back yard. If you have one with a waterfall the sound alone will be relaxing.
Attract Birds to your Garden
Water and plants will attract birds, insects and butterflies into your back yard. Birds are beautiful to watch and they will appreciate the extra water to drink and bathe in.
Planning and Designing your Garden Pond
There are many ideas and designs for building a pond. Decide roughly on the best place and how large you want your pond. When looking for the best place, look for an area with a little shade. Not right under a tree as if you have a deciduous tree it will drop leaves into the pond causing a big cleaning problem. A non-deciduous tree will give shade throughout the year reducing the amount of algae forming on ponds in the open sun.
Building a pond in the front garden creates problems that need care and planning. Our neighbour brought her little two-year-old over while we were in the process of building ours. She told him that fish would be in there soon. That was when we realised we had a problem. We felt compelled to put a steel pig mesh frame over the top. It spoilt the effect, although I have seen kids climbing on it and their parents never attempted to stop them. So think about the dangers: children can drown in a bucket of water. Because ours is over a metre deep, it needed extra vigilance.
A pond looks beautiful, although a protective cover detracts from the beauty of it.
Remember to be aware of the dangers of children and water at all times.
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Style and Design
Decide if you would like a waterfall feature on one end or simple plain pond. The size of your pond will decide whether you need an aerator or filter to keep your pond clean. The bigger the pond the more expensive they are to run.
For instance, you could buy two different size fiberglass shells. Sink the larger one into the ground and have the smaller one lifted and overlapping the sunken one. This allows the water to overflow from the top, forming a spillway.
How to make a cheap pond with a plastic liner
What you will need
- Plastic for a liner (measure correct)
- River or any natural Rocks
- Aerator or filter (depending on size of pond)
Create the Pond
Buy enough thick PVC plastic to cover the area of the pond; this comes in green, blue, brown or black. (Dark colours do not show up as much as lighter colours). When buying, make sure you allow for the length plus twice its depth, plus at least fifteen to twenty cm on both ends to prevent leakage and seal with a rock edge. Allow the same for side measurements.
Once you have decided on the place, mark out the shape you want on the ground, whether it is kidney, round, oblong, or a square pond. You could use a hose or piece of rope to show design on the ground. Dig a hole about twelve to eighteen inches deep (45 cms). Once you have the required shape lay the black plastic into the hole, ease the plastic in avoiding creases and folds where possible. Push plastic flat on the floor and against the side walls, leaving at least 20cms all around the top edge.
Use the excess sand that you dug out to put a layer around the edge of the overhanging plastic to prevent it falling back into the hole. Slowly start to fill the hole with water. Once full place the rocks around the top edge fitting them snug together leaving no gaps. Make sure they fit together with no movement. Where possible have the larger ones overhanging in a couple of areas. This will create shade underneath and give protection for fish to hide.
You could concrete the stones in place although if the liner needs replacing for any reason it is easier to remove the loose stones.
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You can buy these for a variety of sized ponds. Make sure you buy the right one for your amount of water.
You do not have to limit yourself to having a pond for fish only. We have a separate plant filter pond that filters our water from the large pond. We keep our Yabbies in this one. Friends come and get small ones from us to put in their fish tanks or ponds. The trouble is we often find yabbies on our neighbor’s lawn or even in the backyard swimming pool, as they love to crawl out.
If you want to keep yabbies in your pond then I suggest you have it covered.
Gravel and sand filter
If you have a small pond you could build a gravel and sand filter.
Use layers of large stones down to small ones and then sand. This will filter all the water with the use of a small pump. Set it up hidden behind the plants around your pond. The water will have to be pumped from the pond through the filter.
Caught this Baby and larger Yabbie
You will need
- Clean washed rocks
I prefer to plant pots without any soil. This will reduce the risk of contamination from any fertilizers. Before placing, any plants into the pond wash all rocks and sand from the root of the plants.
Place a plant in a pot then put a washed rock over the roots to hold the plant in the bottom of the pot to prevent it from floating up to the top.
Yabbie escaping from our pond
Suitable plants for your pond
- Water lilies grow in pot submerged in pond
- Iris these will grow both in and around pond
- Triangular Rush Hardy rush frogs love this.
- Water Poppy Quick growing yellow flower
- Elephant ears Plant in and around pond, large green leaf
Conclusion - Creating a pond will not only be entertaining it will increase the value of your property to a potential buyer. There are many other ways to increase the value of your home by investing in solar energy, adding a swimming pool or landscaping and improving your yard with new flowering plants and mulching.