On giving your backyard the fishpond treat.
Step 1: choose a location for your pond
If you’re gonna have a pool in your house; then it better be where you can view it often. Consider placing it where you can take a view from the room you spend most of your time. Do not locate it where runoff water from the rain flows into the pond during the rainy seasons cos this will contaminate the pond.
Sunlight is good for your pond. The plants need it for photosynthesis and the fishes too need it as it somehow serves as food for them. But too much sunlight will be harmful especially if plan spending some time by this pond so think of placing it where the sunlight is not much nor too little to kill life in the pond. Place it where it will receive four to five hours of direct sunlight.
Please avoid using trees as shade. Aside the leaves falling into the pool; the roots might make digging very difficult and annoying.
Step 2: design your pond
You get to choose the shape of your pond. It could be rectangular, circular or any regular shape but a natural pond shape is usually recommended. Also remember, the bigger the pond, the better for the fish. Make it at least 30 square feet with a minimum depth of 18 inches.
Step 3: layout your pond
To retain the shape of the pond while digging; use a strong rope and stake and outline the shape of the pond. You can place them at one foot interval away from each other. Use the rope to form the shape of the pond to know where to cut through while digging.
Step 4: start digging
Excavate the earth from the ground. You may need your pond in tiers, three tiers is enough. One for rock edging and the other two are for plant shelves. Carefully excavate round the stakes. After excavation, remove all the rocks, stones, gravels, roots and all the debris you might see on the surface of the pond hole.
Step 5: install a pump
Install a pump to re-circulate water in your pump for at least twice an hour. This is to obtain hygiene and oxygenation. The water containing capacity of the pond determines the size of the pump to be used. You should use 11/2 inches for ponds up to 1500 gallons i.e. 5678.1L of water. Use 2 inches for ponds over 1500 gallons, and 3-4 inches for ponds over 2500 gallons i.e. 9463.5L. Install with a flex hose or PVC, whichever you choose.
Step 6: install a drainage pipe
This should be at the bottom of the pipe close to the center. Cover the drain with netting else your fish will get sucked in. The drain must be properly fixed to avoid leakage. It should be permanently sealed through the pond liner and underlayment else it will cause leakage which will make the pond to fail.
Step 7: underlayment and padding:
Dress the pond with one to two and half inches sand particles and make sure it even out on the pond on a smooth level. Afterwards, use a tetra pond underliner to protect the main underliner from ruptures.
Step 8: install your liner
Unfold the liner on any flat surface. With at least 3 people’s help; pick the liner and drop it in the pond. Make sure it spreads evenly and into all corners and edges. Let the liner extend beyond the pond perimeter on the flat earth surface, use some rocks to hold it in place, if possible add more rocks to completely cover the sight of the liner on the ground surface; to give it a more natural look. These rocks will act as rock edging on the surface of the water. Pour water into the liner to conform it to the shape of the pond. Drain the water to continue the rest of the installations
Step 9: install eduction jets and skimmer
Eduction jets create underwater current and push the water to avoid areas of stagnation. The skimmer is a fish safe bucket that allows the system to automatically rake fallen leaves and debris off the surface of the water.
Step 10: install your bead filter and UV clarifier
The bead filter traps the sand and debris while housing the good bacteria. UV clarifier gets rid of the algae bloom to enable you have a clear and clean water. Another way to get rid of algae bloom is to have gravel and rocks in the water
Pour water in and your fishpond is ready. Add plants and wait a few days to add your fish one at a time for over 30 days; to make sure your pond and filter are biologically ready to support aquatic life. You can let in water through a stream or a free falling waterfall constructed to support the pond.
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