Tips for adding a pond to your yard

June 4, 2011 (CHICAGO)

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

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