5 Mistakes to Avoid When Building Ponds or Water Gardens

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Building a pond or a water garden is in itself an interesting experience that will keep you outside for days and relax you. But adding a pond or a water garden to your backyard entails more than digging a hole, filling it with water, and throwing a few koi in it. Avoid the following common mistakes:

  • Making them small. Not only are small ponds or water gardens less impressive than large ones, but they are less healthy for the fish and plants in them. Because of the greater volume of water they have, large ponds tend to maintain a constant temperature, and that is one of the essential requirements for a healthy pond. Building a large pond or water garden is especially important when you want to add a lot of plants and landscaping elements. These will make it seem smaller. So build big!
  • Fostering algae. Algae are generally one of the biggest problems that keepers of ponds or water gardens have to face, together with organic debris such as leaves or twigs. Algae blooms are common, and when they occur the plants quickly take over the pond, an occurrence most detrimental to the fish. The most effective way to prevent algae from spreading is by shading your pond or water garden. Algae thrive in water that gets a lot of sunlight.
  • Don’t starve or overfeed the fish. Fish are for the most part moderately hungry, and just like us people, they want to eat every day. Feeding them once a day is normally enough, but you can also do it twice, providing lighter meals. Don’t feed them more than that because the leftover food will affect the quality of the water, and the byproducts of fish will also increase, fostering algae. Feed the fish when they are most active.
  • Don’t make a fish pond shallow. Common pond fish like koi may be small, but they need plenty of space to move. And you’ve already read about the disadvantages of maintaining a low volume of water. A good depth for a pond where plenty fish will grow is 8 feet or more. If you want to grow plants as well, make your pond not only deep, but also wide.
  • Investing in low quality aeration systems. Sometimes, building a large pond or water garden might turn out to be costlier than you expected, and since the aeration system tends to be one of the last things you buy, you might be tempted to make a compromise and settle for something cheap. Don’t. Cheap solutions break down fast, and after a year or so you may well end up paying twice in repairs and professional maintenance than you would have paid if you brought from the start a good quality solution. Good water aeration systems are not as expensive as you might think. Living Water Aeration offers excellent products for only a few hundred dollars.

In the end, a life saver: don’t try to do the electrical work required when installing aerators, pumps, or lighting effects yourself. You don’t want to be electrocuted so get professional help.

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