A Fish Pond Could be a Relaxing Addition to Your Yard

fish pond

My mother used to have an amazing fish pond at her previous house which had a waterfall at one end, then a 20 foot stream into a small pond at the other end. It was extremely relaxing to sit outside by it while reading a book - the sound of the waterfall and stream were more calming than I can put into words.

I will soon be going to my brother's country property in Queensland, Australia to spend some time there over Christmas. He's thinking about adding a fish pond to his small organic farm and he sent me some videos to look at.

I thought that building a fish pond wouldn't be a terribly complex procedure, however after watching a few videos I quickly realized there's a lot more to it than I had imagined.

Here are just a few of the things I learned from watching the videos:

  • Waterfalls aren't just decorative - in larger ponds they aerate the water to ensure the fish are getting enough oxygen.
  • Plants aren't just decorative either - aquatic plants help to filter the water and provide nutrients as well as providing additional oxygen which in turn helps suppress algae.
  • You need an underlayment to go under the pond liner to prevent the liner from being damaged.
  • Avoid using too much sandstone - it breaks down over time and can clog your filters.
  • Make sure you include a hiding cave so your fish will be able to escape predators.
  • While you can glue multiple liners together, it's far better to make sure you calculate the size of liner you need accurately because a single piece of liner is less work to install and better at preventing leaks - I found a pond liner size calculator here.
  • If your pond is less than 36" deep then you need a UV resistant liner to avoid it being broken down by sunlight, or you need to cover the bottom of the pond with gravel or cobble, which can be a great addition anyway because they provide a surface for good bacteria to grow on which helps support the health of the pond.
  • Internal pumps (ones which sit on the bottom of the pond) are cheaper up front and easier to install, but external pumps typically last longer and are easier to maintain.
  • If you have a waterfall you also need a one-way valve on the output side of the external pump so you can do maintenance on the pump without water flowing back in from the waterfall.
  • To maintain the best health of your pond you'll want to cycle the water about once per hour - so if you have a 1,000 gallon pond you want a pump which can handle 1,000 GPH (gallons per hour).

I watched a lot of pond building videos and one of my favorites which I thoroughly recommend you watch is the following excellent and incredibly detailed 23 part video series by The Pond Digger:

If you're building a fish pond for the first time then it might be better to start with a complete pond kit. Just search for fish pond shops in your local area - they will be able to advise you on the best kind of kit to start off with based on your skills and what you're aiming to achieve - most shops offer installation services or can recommend a good local pond builder if you need help.

Before you jump in and start digging a hole for your pond, make sure you do some thorough research and plan everything out carefully before you begin - by the time you have the liner in and you're rocks and plumbing are in place it's too late to realize you need to make major changes.

Bye the way -this time I'll make sure I bring back pictures from my brother's property and share them here. The fish pond won't be finished on the terraced garden area by the time I leave but I'll bring back photos of the progress we've made and the shed we built last time I was there.

You might also like to read:
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Some of the Tools we used last time I was at my brother's remote property