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About Garden Ponds

By Kenneth Black ; Updated September 21, 2017

A serene pond is often the crown jewel of a well-landscaped garden. Although the plants around the garden all add to its ambiance, nothing commands attention quite like a pond, especially if it has striking features like an unusual shape or a waterfall. Still, while these ponds are a source of pride for gardeners, they are also require the most effort in terms of installation and maintenance. Here are just a few factors to consider when planning a garden pond.


Many gardeners choose to focus on cultivating either fish or plants. Of course, it's possible to have both plants and fish in a garden pond, but you must make sure your choices are compatible. For example, as vegetarians, koi will find many of your expensive water plants quite tasty. Therefore, although koi are a very popular garden pond fish, you may do better with goldfish if you plan to have some plants in the water.


There are a number of different types of ponds, each with varying costs, benefits and drawbacks. Pre-formed pond shapes are made from rigid plastic or fiberglass and are the most inexpensive option. Pond liners, which are often flexible pieces of PVC or butyl, allow the gardener to create more free-flowing pond shapes.


Many first-time landscapers purchase pond kits that come with everything needed to make a pond, including the pump and filtration equipment, as well as the liner or pre-formed basin. While many may not like the limitations that kits impose, for those just getting into pond design and maintenance, a kit may be the best option. You don't have to worry about whether or not you have the right kind of filter or the right-sized pump. If it is included in the package, it should be appropriate for your needs.

Pond Pumps

Choosing a pond pump is one of the most important decisions you'll make when starting a garden pond, especially if your intention is to keep fish. A typical garden pump can cost up to $150 per year to run. Regarding size, it is recommended that the water in your pond circulate every two hours. In other words, if you have a 1,000-gallon pond, you'll need a pond pump that is capable of moving 500 gallons per hour.


If you live in a colder climate and you have fish, using a de-icer of some type may be a good idea. This will prevent ice from forming on the surface of the pond, thus allowing the fish to breathe, and dangerous gasses, such as methane, to escape harmlessly into the atmosphere. The size of the de-icer will be determined by the the size of the pond and the winter weather in a particular region.


One thing you should understand is that the pond itself is not enough. The landscaping around the pond will help provide it with an accent and draw attention to the pond. Many use a combination of stones and vegetation to accomplish that task.


About the Author


Kenneth Black has been a freelance writer since 2008. He currently works as a staff writer for "The Times Republican" in Central Iowa. He has written extensively on a variety of topics, including business, politics, family life and travel. Black holds a bachelor's degree in business marketing from the University of Phoenix.