Save Money; Build it Right the First Time - 10 Pond Mistakes To Avoid

Posted by Blue Thumb on Jun 28th 2022

Save Money; Build it Right the First Time - 10 Pond Mistakes To Avoid

When building a pond for the first time, doing a little research before you start planning is essential. Here are a few things we hear pond owners wish they knew beforehand.

Choosing the Right Location

When building a backyard pond for the first time, it's easy to make mistakes that will cause you to regret your decision for years to come. Many people forget that ponds need sunlight, so they build them in the shady corners of their yards. When the pond isn't visible, it's easily forgotten and usually overgrown in no time. It also helps if the location of your pond is in an area that receives morning sun and afternoon shade so that the water doesn't heat up too much. Finding a shady spot is significant if you live in an area with hot summer temperatures!

Tree roots and leaves falling into the pond can also be a nuisance for owners, so it's best to build your pond away from trees, especially deciduous trees. It's also best to avoid creating a pond in a low-lying spot that can flood during periods of heavy rain.

Choosing Your Plants

Plants are essential for any pond or water garden because they provide oxygen and help keep your water clear. To provide enough shade, we recommend covering 40-60% of your pond's surface area with plants to avoid excess algae blooms and nutrients and provide cover for fish. Before choosing your plants, consider the hardiness zone of your local climate, sun exposure to the pond, and the depth of your pond.

Making it Look Unnatural

Nothing is worse than a pond that looks like it doesn't naturally belong in the landscape. The key to making your pond look natural is to hide any liner, skimmers, waterfall boxes, and plumbing with plants, rocks, and other raw materials. Be sure to take advantage of gravel and stone on your stepped edges. Adding large moss-covered rocks around the edge of the pond can also help aid in a natural aesthetic.

Digging your Pond Walls Too Steep

Many first-time pond builders will make the mistake of not creating stepped sides in the pond. These ledges are vital for stacking rock and gravel to add to the natural look and organizing your pond plants. Having shallow edges will also help attract more birds and wildlife.

Forgetting about Aeration

Carbon dioxide is only dangerous when it is allowed to concentrate in a confined space. The main reason for aeration is to remove CO2 from the water, which would otherwise accumulate and cause harm to fish and plants in the pond.

You can add aeration using a mechanical device, such as an aerator, which forces air into the water.

Not Providing Enough Shade

If your pond is in full sun, it will be difficult for the fish to survive. The plants will grow too fast, and there won't be enough oxygen in the water. Too much UV will result in algae overgrowth, which can poison the water. It would be best if you considered adding shade over your pond to protect your fish from direct sunlight by adding plants, sun shade, or pond dye.

Being Reactive About Maintenance

A healthy ecosystem is necessary for a healthy pond.

Beneficial bacteria like Pond Cleaner and Muck Buster are among the most important treatments for maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Beneficial bacteria will help break down organic matter that accumulates in the water and prevent it from becoming muck. Muck busters are best at removing muck from the bottom of your pond or lake. It would be best if you used Muck Buster tablets before adding beneficial bacteria to ensure that the bacteria will not break them down.

Adding Fish Too Soon

Let the water sit for a few weeks to allow the natural ecosystem of these beneficial bacteria to grow. Adding beneficial bacteria will help get your pond off on the right foot. The pond should also have enough plants to provide food and oxygen for the bacteria.

Buying Cheap Equipment

Many pond owners will start their pond to make it as inexpensively as possible. Later to realize that they would have had better results, less frustration, and less cost by going with better products. Once you build a pond, changing anything becomes a lot more complicated. We recommend constructing your pond with a liner, skimmer box, and waterfall to create a long-lasting, sustainable ecosystem with optimum aeration and flow.

Not Testing the Water

A pond test kit is a tool that will allow you to test the water in your pond. Testing your water is a crucial step because if you do not monitor the levels of pH and nitrates. It can lead to dangerous algae growth, which can harm fish.

The kit will typically have a pH indicator and a nitrate test strip. You will dip the strip into the water and compare the color on the strip with the color chart that comes with your kit. The colors represent different pH levels or nitrates, so it's easy to tell if there's something wrong with your water so you can act quickly.

Ponds and water gardens can be enjoyable, relaxing, better for the environment, and attract wildlife. For more information on planning your water garden, be sure to download our free pond planning guide.