Welcome to the back garden of my little home in sunny Cleethorpes on the east coast of England.
At the time of writing this I have 7 Goldfish, 2 Comets,2 Shubunkins, 2 Orfe, 1 Tench, 1 Roach and a few baby fish swimming around in approximately 190 gallons of water.It was back in 1985 I decided to build a pond as I was getting earache from my son to have one..... no regrets though.
When I had finished building it, I did have a problem of when it rained a lot the pond overflowed, so as you can see from the pics I went around the edge with ordinary broken paving slabs which I then painted with "step paint" (looked better after it had weathered a bit.) The original liner was a bright blue inexpensive one, so before doing the edge slabs I decided to get a quality black butyl rubber liner.
The planted area at each end of the pond was created by laying chunks of Limestone (approx 12"x12") on the bottom of the pond and building up with smaller pieces until it broke the surface by a few inches, keeping the gaps between the rocks to a minimum. I then placed sheets of Hessian against the rocks to cover over all the gaps. I then filled these end section with soil from digging out the pond.
I did find out at a later date that using Limestone was not a good idea as it altered the PH of the water to a level that would/could be detrimental to the fish. Well..... all I can say is it has not caused any problems in over 20 years of having the pond. The odd fish I have lost, mainly in the depths of winter but I have just about all the fish still in the pond from the begining. They seem to be happy, contented fish. I have not had any problems of fungus, fishrot or any other disease.
I did once lose a few of the bigger fish.... and the reason was lack of oxygen. I keep the pump / filter going 24/7 during the spring and summer. One evening on a hot, heavy sunny day I switched off the pump just to see the little chaps swimming about, the water was thick green which was a rare thing for my pond to have and what I did was I forgot to switch it back on again. The following morning I had casualties due to lack of oxygen. I now keep fish to a minimum and not be too reliant on keeping the oxygen level up by the need to use a pump. I don't use Dechlorinator when I top up the pond but I do let water stand in a water butt for a few days to disperse the Chlorine.
I have quite a few plants in the pond which seem to do well and the pond lillie displays fabulous flowers every year even though I have never used any of the plant fertilizer for ponds you can get.
It is a rare thing to have a proper clean out, but when the occasion arrives it's a quick transfer to the bath for the fish, filling it beforehand with the pond water.
There is normally a thick layer of sediment in the pond which is good for the oxygenators to anchor into and the Tench I have likes to bury himself in to it.
I do get the temptation to buy a few more fish from time to time but will keep to just a few. Less fish = less waste = less water pollution =less stress for my little chappies.
The pond water is pumped through a conventional external boxed foam filter which has a UV light built into th lid. The water in the pond is normally crystal clear, but on occasion turns green, sometimes thick pea green for a week or so but then can and does turn magically to crystal clear overnite.
With regards to the filter box..... the kind I have anyway, you would have thought the makers would have put some sort of device in them so that when you come to take out the top gunged up filter you don't get a lot of the muck falling back in onto foam filter number 2........ I just put that coz here it is, Steve's anti-gunge spill device. Quite a peice of technical engineering, don't you think.
Thoughts when building a Pond.>> Keep digging. Make sure you have a decent depth. At least 24 inches I would say. I know it gets a bit boring, forever digging and wandering what you are going to do with all thet soil.... you only have to do it once.
>> Consider burying a pipe to an outside tap, so you don't have to keep dragging the hose pipe out for topping the pond up... you'll be doing it a lot if the pond is heavily planted.
>> Do make sure you get an exact level of the pond when you build otherwise when completed you will have a lot of liner showing one end not much the other side. Here is a way to get an exactpond levelwithout using spirit levels.
>> You may not want a pump and / or fountain but suggest you bury an armoured cable should you in the future change your mind. If the area around the pond is to be paved or concreted you will have the trouble of breakin through and you probably will end up with scars and markings where you placed it.
>> If you don't like the idea of potted plants in and around the pond. Think about what I did and Dam off one or both ends with rocks, line with hessian and fill with soil. It looks good and you can plants in as you would plant up your garden. Think about using ordinary garden soil, as long as no chemicals have been added to it.... shoud be fine, and a lot cheaper.
>> If you are having a fountain, see if you can get hold of a cheap camera tripod and atatch it to the pump. That way you can adjust the height to just where you need it and alter it so you get the fountain to go straight up and not any slight angle. I remember all the trouble I had trying to balance the pump on bricks and forever tweaking it till I got the spray exact.
>> Fountains look nice, but no mater how much you clean the pre filter the jet holes block up. Consider taking off the fountain head, discarding the pre filter on the pump if it has one and have the outlet just below the surface of the water. It looks very effective and if you have a small pond it stops the lillie pads getting soaked by the spray from the fountain.... they don't like that.
>> Once established, don't get too carried away with all the test kits you can get .... feed 'em moderately and enjoy.
>> Pond plants are expensive. Pinch cuttings from someone else who has a pond, dead easy to grow. also try plants you wouldn't normally see in a pond.... some of them grow very well in a pond. Hostas do very well in my pond and I find Impatiens (Busy Lizzies) work.
>> If your water level goes down don't assume you have a leak. Apart from evaporation the more plants you have the quicker the level will go down. Mine can go down an inch a day in the summer.
>> If you have a water meter fitted to the household water supply, you can use it to make a note of how much water to fill the pond. Useful to know for dosage of medicines should you need to use any. Don't run the bath though at the same time as filling your pond.... the gallonage figure will be sligtly wrong.
>> You're probably bored now if you have managed to read this far. Here is a not so boring page, all about Algae. How it works and how to cure green water.
>> Thanks for the visit. Please note I am not a pond expert. This page is just my experience in building / maintaing a small garden pond. Feel free to ask a question or make a comment.
An excellent read by a fellow ponder.... Bob Dorrance