Tips for adding a pond to your yard

June 4, 2011 7:33:19 AM PDT
Are you pondering the idea of a pond in your yard? It might not be as hard to put together as you think.

Jennifer Brennan, horticulturist at Chalet Nursery was in our ABC7 studio to show us how to do that.

    Proper Location
  • 5 - 6 hours of sunlight but more sun raises the potential for more algae growth.
  • If your pond is small, it can warm excessively and harm your fish.
  • Protection from wind
  • Avoid low areas of your yard (run-off)
  • Avoid locating close to trees (roots)
  • Close to grounded exterior electrical outlet
  • Level site

Pump Requirement
Move at least half of the total water volume every hour.

    Volume formula:
  • Length x Width x Depth = Cubic Feet
  • Cubic feet x 7.5 = Total gallons
  • Example: Our 8' x 10' x 3' pond will hold 1800 gallons.

  • Mechanical: trap large particles of suspended matter such as fish waste, food, and decaying organic matter
  • Biological: harbor massive amounts of beneficial bacteria
  • Pre-filters: placed on inlet side of pump; protect impeller from damage and reduce clogging

    Balancing The Pond
  • Water: no ammonia or other toxins, ph 6.5-8.5, good movement
  • Plants: surface-covering water lilies, submerged oxygenators, marginals, bog and floaters
  • Fish, frogs, snails, etc.

    Purpose Of Plants
  • Provide shade for the water surface to protect fish and shade out the algae
  • Cover ½ the surface with foliage
  • Water Lilies: ornamental, roots submerged, leaves on surface, flowers on or above the surface
  • Hardy: flowers on surface of water, not harmed by winter unless water is frozen solid
  • Tropical: flowers held above surface of water, leaves notched or ruffled, night bloomers.
  • Deepwater aquatics: Lotus, water poppy, floating hearts; roots submerged 6-24", leaves on water surface, flowers on or above the surface
  • Floaters: roots submerged, leaves & stems free-floating on or just below the surface, flowers on or above the surface
  • Oxygenators: keep water clear, provide food and spawning area for fish, underwater leaves absorb minerals and carbon dioxide
  • Marginals: shallow-water plants, grow close to the edge of the pond, purely ornamental
  • Bog plants: roots in moist soil, not permanently suspended in water, leaves and flowers above surface
  • Planting zones of the pond: margin, shelf, deep water
  • Planting technique: use mesh pots, soil with no organic matter, top-dress with gravel

    Seasons of the Pond
  • Winter: use floating heater to keep an area of ice open for gaseous exchange
  • Spring: introduce beneficial bacteria early and regularly to control algae; do not feed fish until water temperatures are above 55 degrees F; introduce floating plants to cover the water surface
  • Summer: monitor plants for pests; enjoy flowers; continue beneficial bacteria applications; clean pump filter regularly
  • Fall: remove fallen leaves and decaying plant material from the water; wait until after the first frost to move hardy plants into the deep parts of the pond; clean out excess slug and any built-up string algae before winter

    Pond Care
  • Accuclear: pond clarifier
  • Algaefix: controls 3 types of algae: green, string, hair & blanketweed
  • Ecofix: bacterial pond clarifier
  • Aquatic Plant Food Tablets
  • Spring & Autumn Premium Pellet Cool Water Koi & Goldfish Food
  • Summer Staple Premium Pellet Warm Water Koi & Goldfish Food