How do you build a goldfish pond outdoors?
The tools you will need are a shovel, pond liner and underlayment, a long enough rope, coping stones and decorations, plants, a pump (you will need a pump to run a filter, fountain, or waterfall and it will keep the water circulating and the plants healthy), a filter system and some cooperative friends or family members. Now you can get started.
Time to choose
Several options are available and you could actually build a goldfish pond in a day, depending on the size you want it to be. Begin by deciding where in the garden you would like a goldfish pond.
* It should be near your house, as that would make it more accessible to power supply sockets.
* It should not be at the end of a sloping garden because when it rains all the water along with the chemicals from the garden would run into the pond.
* It should not be under too much of shade, as a pond needs at least four hours of sunlight.
* It shouldn’t be very near trees as the falling leaves and debris would fall in and clog the pond. You would be cleaning up all the time.
Time to dig
* Decide on the shape and size of the pond. Use the rope to outline the shape you want and then begin digging. That’s why you need a couple of helping hands so that the work gets done faster!
* Do not go for a small pond for goldfish because they need space. Also try and keep different levels of depth, as in a swimming pool. Mark out the shallow areas and the deeper areas. This would give the pool a natural variety.
* Usually ponds in moderate climates should be at least 2 feet deep while in more colder climates, you would need to make sure that the pond is deep enough to allow for at least 12″ to 16″ of water below the freeze zone.
* Dig according to the shape you want and dig a shelf-like level around the perimeter of the pond, which is about one foot deep and one foot wide. Also make provisions for a waterfall by digging a slight slope to one end.
* Time now to position the external pond filters. If you have pond skimmers as well, then you would need to place and level these in the proper places. Also dig a ditch to the external pond pump from the skimmer and from the pump to the external pond filter or waterfall.
Time to line
* Now you have to line the pond with what is called as Pond Underlayment. This is a lining that can be cut according to the shape needed and can be taped together. This underlayment will help the pond lining to stay in place.
* You can now put the rubber pond liner into pond and spread it out.
* Make sure you smoothen the folds and position it evenly. Some folds will still be there but the water will take care of that.
Time for filters and waterfalls
* As the lining is in place, you must now get the Pond waterfalls and streams positioned. Place them to spill directly into the pond and put the pond liner against the pond filter.
* You can use a stone and secure it to the liner with mortar or expandable foam. This will hold back the water allow it to spill over the stone creating the waterfall.
Time to connect
Now you will have to do all the connections as in connect the pond liner to the skimmer and position all the pipes and tubing according to the instructions given.
Time to decorate
* You’re almost done. Use the copingstones to edge the outline the pond by arranging them around the pond folding the pond liner up behind the stone, slightly above the water level. (Use the mortar to if you feel the stones are not heavy enough to be stable). Add some shrubs around the edges too.
* You can create a cobblestone beach edging with gravel and cobbles.
* Make it look as natural as possible and keep a lot of plants to add on later, once the water is in.
Fill it up!
* Open the tap and fill it up with water till it is a few inches from the top and then make corrections if necessary to ensure that the pond is level. As the pond is filling remove wrinkles and make folds as necessary.
* Add dechlorinator to the pond to remove any chlorine or chloramines.
* Put in the gravel and plant the root plants into the gravel or with some soil still attached into the gravel. Plants should be added immediately after the pond is ready. Make sure you plant enough of Anacharis, as this plant helps to fight the algae and is like a natural filter. Put in water lilies as they help to shade the fish.
* Also add packaged bacteria to seed the pond filter and pond.
Point to note: Do not add the goldfish right after you build the tank. You must allow the pond to cycle and create the bacteria and other sustenance needed to support the fish. Introduce you goldfish into the pond after several weeks.
By Dane Stanton
Dane Stanton is an expert on goldfish health care. To visit his website visit http://www.goldfish-secrets.com for more information on Goldfish care and other aquarium related topics.