Gardening, Guest Posts, Water Features

The Most Common Pond Building Mistakes

Many people who own a bit of land would love to build a pond on it. What could be more soothing than the sight of a body of water stocked with koi or other animal life or the sound of a pond with a little waterfall or fountain? What’s more beautiful than a pond ringed with or floating beautiful flowers? Then, when the person builds a pond the water is turbid, the fish die, the plants die. Essentially, they end up with a hole full of mud. What went wrong?

pond building mistakes

Poor Location

There are places on every property where a pond simply can’t be built because it either, interferes with the sewer drain or utility lines, or it’s not shaded properly. The pond should also not be built in a low spot because it will collect pollutants, flood during rainstorms and be hard to clean. Not only this, the location needs to have the right soil. It should not be sandy or gravelly because that sort of soil drains too quickly. Clay soil is ideal for a pond because it holds on to water.

Lack of Ledges

Ledges are needed for semi-aquatic plants whose roots need be submerged while the rest of them are above water. Ledges can even be resting places for frogs and basking places for turtles. Also, the gravel in a pond that’s dug without ledges will simply slide to the deepest part of the pond, and boulders will crowd the space.

Too Shallow

The water in a pond that’s too shallow will either become too hot, or evaporate out during the summer. In the winter, the water needs to be deep enough so the fish won’t freeze to death. If you have fish, a shallow pond can leave them more susceptible to predators.

Too Deep

A pond that’s too deep is hard to take care of, but it is better to have a pond that is deeper than the owner is comfortable with than one that is too shallow. If you are stocking your pond with fish, a pond that is too deep can hurt the population due to lack of oxygen.

pond lilies

The Wrong Stones/Lining

A natural looking pond should support rocks of several sizes. In the end, the pond owner should have a few tons of different sized rocks, from gravel to boulders. The pond liner has to be large enough to easily cover the area. Pond liners are expensive, but the owner’s best bet is to buy a bit more than they think they need.

Improper Filtration

Though there are some people who have ponds that do not need artificial filters, these ponds are a bit tricky to install and maintain. Chances are they are natural bodies of water anyway. Improper filtration leaves water dirty and unable to sustain the sort of life that the pond owner wants. It may only be able to sustain life such as algae and mosquitoes.

Underestimating the Labour

Anyone who has even planted a sapling in their landscape knows that it can be a job of work, especially if the soil is heavy. Excavating a pond is most likely not a job for one person if they wish to finish it in a reasonable amount of time. Renting a professional with a backhoe is always an option.

Building a pond may be a lot of work, but the end result is more than worth it. Especially if you can do it the right way, by planning ahead and being aware of potential oversights before they can occur. You will certainly enjoy your new water feature a lot more if aren’t worrying about mistakes you made during the build.

Drew BishopDrew Bishop is a contributing writer for Trophy Pond. In his spare time he enjoys camping and spending time on the lake.