"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Liner pond. Preformed pond. Pond fish. Pond plants. Pondless waterfall/fountain kits. Pond pump. Pond filter. Pond maintenance

A liner pond or preformed pond?
A preformed pond has few options because as the name already suggest, the pond is preformed and all you have to do is dig the hole and lower the pond. The most common preformed pond is bean shaped and has one or two built in plant shelves. On the other hand, a dug pond with a flexible pond liner has unlimited possibilities as far as size and shapes are concerned. For my own backyard my creative spirit was limited by the space I had to work with, although I had fun creating the water fall.

Pond fish and plants
Pond fish and pond plants can add reality to your pond especially for larger ponds where it is easier to create a natural setting. A good pump and filter system is a must to maintain a healthy pond. See also, pond chemicals, pond plants and pond fish for more information.

Pond pumps and pond filter systems
The main purpose for installing my backyard preformed pond was to create a place to relax and listen to the soothing sound of a small water fall. Even though I have no plants or fish in my pond I still had a filter system installed. The filter is needed to tackle blown in soil, bird droppings, algae and other contaminants. Having a top of the line pond filter system installed is even more crucial if you have pond fish and pond plants. A pond pump is needed to move the water around. The pump's capacity depends on the size of the pond, total water volume and if it has to supply water to waterfalls or fountains.

Things to consider before
you start

- Location of the pond.
- Do you want a regular or "waterless" pond?
- Do you want a liner or preformed pond?
- Shape and size which depend on the space available.
- Do you want to add a waterfall, a fountain or both? Either one is highly recommended as the sound of falling water will add beauty and create a relaxing atmosphere.
- Do you want to add pond fish and plants?
- All of the above will determine the size of your pond pump and type of filter system.
- Do you have time to look after the pond? Regular maintenance is important especially if you have pond fish and plants.

Liner pond. Preformed pond. Pond fish. Pond plants. Pondless waterfall/fountain kits. Pond pump. Pond filter. Pond maintenance


Ponds - Overview
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Liner pond. Preformed pond. Pond fish. Pond plants. Pondless waterfall/fountain kits. Pond pump. Pond filter. Pond maintenance
There is a wealth of information available on the Internet. This articles about pools is just to give you an overview of what is involved in planning, installing and maintaining a backyard pool.
Here is a short list of things you should think about before doing any actual work. Make it a D.I.Y. project or hire a landscape contractor.
*Location of the pond and pond safety.
*Standard pond or "waterless".
*Shape and size.
*Water fall or fountain
*A liner pond or preformed pond.
*Pond fish and plants.
*Pump requirements.
*Type of filters.
A D.I.Y. project
If you know what you want, have a strong back and friends who can help out, go for it. You will save a bundle by doing the work yourself instead of hiring a landscape contractor. Ideally you have other projects on the go as well so that you can use the excavated soil. When I created my pond I made a flower box as well. Instead of paying for having the soil removed from my property I used the free dirt to fill most of the the flower box and topped it with approximately six inches (150 mm) of top soil and peat moss.
Location of the pond and pond safety
Ideally your pond should be located in a spot near where you normally would spend most of your time such as a deck or patio. If there are small children in the family steps should be taken to prevent them from falling into the pond. Children are always attracted to water and even a very shallow pond could be the cause of accidental drownings. A pondless waterfall or fountain may be the best option.
Standard pond
The most common pond is the one filled with water, complete with plants, fish, water fall or fountain. However, this is not really the type of pond you want to install if there are small children in the family unless you install a safety barrier around the pond to prevent a curious child from falling in.
Pondless waterfall/fountain kit
If a water filled pond is not an option (children's safety) you may want to install a pondless waterfall or fountain.

Shape and size
You won't have many options if you want a preformed pond compared to designing your own pond. One of the handiest "tools" available to every homeowner is the common garden hose. You can move the hose around till you find the shape and size of you future pond.

Leave the hose laying a few hours in the sun. The water inside will get warm which will soften the hose material which will make it easier to position the hose. Once the size and shape of the pond has been determent, place lots of stakes next to the hose. Once this is done the hose can be removed.

Pond maintenance

There isn't much maintenance required for my small backyard pond as it has no fish and pond plants. I have to clean the filter only twice each season.
From time to time I will add some algaecide to control algae growth.

Pool with flexible impermeable membrane liner

Rigid preformed plastic or fiberglass pond "tub"

Pondless water feature
A safe environment for small children

If there is not enough rainfall I will have to add water to replace water lost through evaporation. In the fall I will remove the pump and pond filter. I do not drain the water before winter sets in but in the spring I empty the entire pond and do a thorough cleaning and remove any decomposed leafs so they will not clog the pump intake and filter system.
Larger ponds with fish and plants require regular maintenance in order to maintain life and water quality.
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