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Common Pond Construction Conundrums

Adding a pond to your backyard is an excellent way to add natural health and beauty to your outdoor living space.  The best part? Creating a pond is a relatively easy DIY task and can be achieved at an affordable cost.  If you’re not a professional, however, there are several things you should know and consider before you get to work. Check out these tips for building a healthy, successful backyard oasis.


  1. Location, location, location. Location is imperative in building a pond that will thrive.  It’s important to avoid placing your pond in a low area because it will collect too much runoff, debris, and pollutants, making cleaning procedures difficult and frequent. You should also choose a spot that receives a good balance of sunlight and shade throughout the day.  Your pond should receive about five hours of sunlight per day.  If the pond is in the shade of a tree all day, it will collect an excessive amount of dead leaves, but if it receives too much direct sunlight, algae will grow too rapidly and the pond may become overheated.

  2. Bigger is better. Small ponds are easier to construct and require less labor, but they’re actually harder to maintain than larger ponds. Conditions are less stable in small ponds and plants and fish will inevitably outgrow its size.  Additionally, many people overestimate the size of their pond initially and by the time perimeter plants and landscaping are implemented, they find that the pond is not as large as they wish. Remember to keep realistic expectations of costs and the amount of manual labor required for the size of the pond you’re going for.

  3. Overstocking and overfeeding. Your pond can only sustain a certain amount of life depending on its size. Stocking too many fish can deplete the pond’s oxygen supply and produce more waste than it can handle. Overfeeding your fish can lead to excess algae buildup due to uneaten food particles that dissolve in the water.  You should feed your fish only what they can eat in 3 to 5 minutes just once a day. They may appear to still be hungry after feeding time, but any more food will compromise the health of your fish and the pond’s overall environment.

  4. Well-suited stones. Rocks and stones give backyard ponds a natural, aesthetically pleasing appearance, but they also serve an ecological function. Many people choose to line their pond with small stones because they’re easier to move and work with. However, larger, porous stones tend to look better and also provide the biological habitat needed for desirable bacteria to grow. These bacteria control algae growth, which maintains oxygen levels needed for fish to survive.

These are just a few of the mistakes we see do-it-yourselfers make when building a pond on their own. Stop by GE Landscape for more information, tips, and all the supplies you need to build the waterscape of your dreams!


Published: January 16, 2017