How to Build a Pond Guide

How to Build a Pond – Infographic

Thinking of adding a pond to your yard? smartpond® makes it an easy and budget friendly DIY project, with just a trip to Lowe’s and a little elbow grease.  The hardest part will be digging the hole!

How to Build a Pond Infographic

Step 1: Dig!

You want the hole to bit a little bigger than what you want the finished pond to be.  Once you start adding the liners and rocks, it will shrink down.  You can choose and variety of shapes and sizes, from ovals to rectangles.  If you’re going to have a fish pond, you will need around one square foot of water for every inch of fish.  If you add koi, remember they can get quite large as they grow! Overcrowding can damage water quality and fish happiness.  If your winters are cold, your pond should be at least 2-1/2 feet at its deepest point.  Also, keep in mind your location. You want a spot that gets 6 or more hours of sunlight, and avoid spots directly under trees or will likely get a lot of rainwater runoff like in a low point of the yard.


Step 2: Liner

The pond liner is very important as it will allow the pond to hold water.  Lay the liner, and make sure it is at flat as possible with no large bumps or hidden creases and corners; it will make cleaning easier.  Let the liner come out of the pond about a foot or so, and then set your heaviest rocks around the perimeter to hold the liner in place.


Step 3: Pump

Pumps are the life force of a pond by keeping the water circulating. Choosing the right pump is crucial. You will need a pump for your filter and any water features you would like to add. There are many different pumps ranging in size, strength (measured in gallons per hour GPH), and function. The smartpond calculator will help you decide what pump size is best for your pond needs.  Waterfall pumps need at least 100 gph for every inch of width at the mouth of the waterfall.


Step 4: Filter

Filters are important for both water quality and clarity.  They work to remove dirty and harmful bacteria and other contaminants in the water. You can attach a filter to a pump or a floating filter that doubles as a fountain.  UV filtration will further help kill any harmful bacteria.


Step 5: Aeration

Aeration is essential for ponds with fish or other life. It also combats algae. A pond aerator diffuses oxygen directly into the pond, and the bubbles circulate the water as they rise to the surface.  A waterfall, fountain, or spitter are also great ways to incorporate aeration to your pond with a beautiful touch.


Step 6: Skim

If your pond is located in an area that is prone to leaves and other plant debris, a skimmer will help keep the water clean.  Pond skimmers filter large debris out of the water and into a skimmer basket which is easy to clean.  They are easily disguisable and great for those who don’t have the time to scoop out debris daily.


Step 7: Water

Once you have all of your pumps and water features ready, you can add water.  Do not try to run any pumps before you’ve filled the pond with water, or you could damage the pump’s motor.  


Step 8: Fish

Before adding your fish, you need to treat the pond with a chlorine remover (using one with a conditioner is an added bonus) to remove the contaminants in the water. Once the treatment is complete, keep the fish in their bags and place them on the top of the pond to adjust to the new temperature.  Use a thermometer to make sure they are the same temperature before adding them in to avoid shock and stress.


Step 9: Decorate

Ponds are more charming when all of the cords and tubes are hidden.  It gives it an air of mystery and magic.  Adding plants and stones will help disguise all of the background work that goes into the ecosystem, while adding aesthetics.  


Step 10: Enjoy!

Ponds are a lot of fun and a great way to enjoy nature.  Koi are beautiful and alluring, and will soon learn your schedule and greet you each morning.  Now you can sit back and relax next to your pond, you’ve earned it!


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