A fish pond is a fantastic addition to any garden. Here are the steps to making a pond under $100.
Step 1: Preparation
Identify the area where you want to build your pond. Consider shape, size and water source. Visit a local garden center to view the types of rubber pool liners available by price and size and begin building ideas from that point of reference, to keep in within budget. The average cost of liners range from 38 to 45 cents a square foot.
You will need to find a spot in your garden that receives a mix of sun and shade. A pond dug near trees is not a good location. The roots will be a problem when it's time to dig. The seasonal leaf falling will require a major clean up each year.
Lay out your pond outline using sand or household flour.
Step 2: Start Digging
Using a garden shovel, begin following your lay out by digging at an inward angle around the perimeter. Determine the depth you want. 1 to 2 feet is a good standard pond depth. Once the outline and depth have been established begin working inward to remove all the dirt, rocks and stones within the perimeter. Remove all sharp roots or rocks as you dig to prevent puncturing the liner when the water is added.
To provide a layer of greater protection, pour 2" of sand over the entire bottom of the pond which will act as an extra cushion.
Once you have finished layering the sand, spray water over the surface while tapping with the shovel to compact the sand.
Step 4: Install Pond Liner
Unwrap the liner and pull it over the pond hole similar to the way you would cover a pool with a pool cover. It will need to overlap the hole evenly on all sides, 4 to 5 inches beyond the perimeter of the pond. Secure the edge of the liner with the rocks, bricks, slate slabs or whatever you have decided to use to keep your liner in place once the water is added.
Work on smoothing out any creases, folds or wrinkles so the surface is smooth.
Step 5: Fill The Pond With Water
Position your hose toward the center of the pond liner. As the water builds, the weight of that water will begin to stretch and dip the liner. As the water continues to weight down the liner, the pressure will cause it to conform to the shape of your pond. Supervise the pond filling to watch for wrinkles, tears or weakly weighted down rim areas.
Step 6: Add Fish and Aquatic Plant Life
Now that your pond is ready, its time to add fish and plants which will help to provide a balanced ecosystem. The best plants to add are Water Hyacinth, Parrot's Feather, and Anacharis which will slow down the growth of algae. Fish should be added a few at a time to give the water, plants and fish time to acclimate to each other.
Step 7: Regular Cleaning and Maintenance
Adding a packaged bacteria to maintain a healthy pond is an important final step. Talk to your local garden store personnel to establish what would be best for your specific pond design and size. Cleaning surface debris on a regular basis will also help to keep your fish pond healthy and beautiful.