Ready to take the plunge into the pond owner’s lifestyle? If not, you may want to read this post about ownership myths that could be preventing you from your best back yard life!
But if you’re already convinced of the joys and benefits of owning a pond, put down your shovel for a moment and read this instead. Today we’re sharing some myths that can really ruin a good thing – myths that lead to mistakes that you can avoid with just a little bit of planning and know-how.
Building A Pond Just Because
Before you build a pond, it helps to know why. We’re not talking deep, existential whys here, just a realistic understanding of what you expect from a pond. Knowing that will guide many decisions – from the size, to the location, to how you’ll landscape around it.
If you want a koi pond, for example, you’ll need to be sure it’s deep enough to over-winter fish. If you plan to enjoy a cup of morning coffee while pond gazing, you’ll need to plan seating. And what about those cold winter days when you can’t get out to enjoy it? Wouldn’t it be great to enjoy the view from a window?
A pond doesn’t have to be just a pond, either. It can be used for wading and swimming, too!
Decide what you want from your pond and how you might want to enjoy it, and you’re bound to be more successful.
Putting It “Out Of The Way”
It may ben tempting to relegate your pond to that unused corner of your yard where nothing seems to grow. Perhaps you think that a desolate spot would get more attention if it contained a beautiful pond.
Sadly, the opposite is most often true. Building a pond off the beaten path likely means it will go as unused and unenjoyed as the spot it’s in.
If you’re concerned that a pond will displace the patio or flower gardens outside your back door, don’t be! A pond can be integrated into your landscape so that it fits in perfectly with every other element you enjoy. And the blooms surrounding and floating on a pond will not only be as beautiful as any land garden, but they’ll invite wildlife like birds and butterflies for you to enjoy, too.
Of course you have to work with the space you have, so a twenty-foot pond is probably not the best choice for a tiny yard. But don’t be afraid to think bigger than you might be.
It’s not uncommon for pond owners to go through several upgrades once they experience the pleasure that a pond brings. Sure, you can always increase the size of your pond or add a whole new one, but you’ll probably enjoy it more – and save money, too – if you go bigger right out of the gate.
If you’ve never owned a pond before, you might be nervous about delegating so much space to a water feature. But think about it this way: you never have to mow or fertilize a pond, and there is a lot you can do with it, from wading spots and waterfalls, to seating areas and foot bridges.
You may also be concerned about the amount of work it will take to maintain. A bigger pond is no more difficult to maintain than a smaller one – that is, if it is built correctly. Yes, you will need to take the proper steps to care for your pond, but a naturally balanced ecosystem will do most of the work for you.
Going For The “Smooth Glass” Effect
If you’re imagining a pond with that fairytale reflective mirror surface, it’s time to change your thinking! A pond should never be still. In fact, if you’re planning a pond, you should be planning a waterfall, bubbler or fountain, too.
Moving water means oxygen is circulating, which is necessary to support fish and a healthy ecosystem. Conversely, still water invites mosquitos and algae – two things nobody wants in their yard!
That’s not to say your pond should be a churning whitewater river. But movement is necessary to keep your pond and its inhabitants healthy.
Choosing The Wrong Location
We already warned about locating your pond in that out-of-the-way spot in hopes that it will transform a disused space into something else. But there are other ways you could derail your experience.
It may seem counterintuitive to locate a pond on a raised or higher area of your yard – after all, water flows downhill. So it might seem logical to place a pond at a low spot. The problem with low spots is that all water flows downhill, and that includes runoff from your lawn, which can bring debris, fertilizers and other pollutants that can wreck havoc when they enter your pond.
As you choose a location, consider the amount of sun exposure, too. A healthy pond needs a good amount of shade to protect it from overheating, evaporation and algae. If you have the option, consider placing a pond where it will get some shade during the day, whether from the shadow of the house or nearby trees.
And for your own enjoyment, locate your pond as close to your house as possible, so you can enjoy it from inside and out.
Dropping Fish Right Into A New Pond
We know, you’re excited! Your new pond is ready and you can’t wait to see those gorgeous koi swimming around. But adding fish too quickly can be deadly. For starters, your pond is probably filled with tap water right from a garden hose. That water can contain additives and chemicals like Fluoride, which is poisonous to fish.
Before adding fish, the pond ecosystem needs to be established. You’ll need to add beneficial bacteria to start colonizing the pond, which will eliminate toxins and be ready to break down fish waste once the fish are added.
Be patient – it typically takes about two weeks for the water to be healthy for fish. After that you can fully enter your new life as an enthusiastic and happy pond owner!
If you’re ready to dive into pond ownership, book a consultation with us and we’ll plan the aquatic lifestyle of your dreams. Bring your ideas and your questions, and let’s enjoy the journey together.