tips for building & maintainance of a garden pond

* * * * * * I'm well into "ponds & aquariums", so if anyone out there is thinking about setting up either one or the other, then below are a few of my thoughts & experiences of creating & running both a successful pond & aquarium for the last 19 years. * * * * * * * *

Welcome to"The Garden Pond", a place of beauty & tranquility. There's nothing more relaxing than the sound of running water, & it's so easy to achieve, with just a little hard work of course, depending on how large a pond you envisage having.

TOP TIP "for crystal clear water without chemicals"

If you have the green water syndrome,place thick woolly jumpers in a plastic bin. Redirect flow from pump into top of bin down through your best woolly jumpers and out of a hole cut near the bottom and, hence, back into the pond, with less of the green soup than went in at the top. Incidently don't confuse "blanket weed" with "greenwater". I have a problem with blanket weed, but my water is perfectly clear, but I always have a woolly jumper layed across the foam in my box filter. Blanket weed can be wound on to a cane like candyfloss.

First of all, if you want to have a pond in your garden or on the patio, you've come to the right spot. You must though sit down and plan it before you commence digging. Of course there are different types of pond. They are as follows:-

We're going to concentrate on the pond I made and have been running for the past few years and is probably the most common, the sunken fish / wild life pond, lined with a "Butyl" rubber liner. My first pond was in Burnley, then before we moved up to the N/East, after I'd constructed the pond up here & let it run for a few weeks to mature, the "Golden Orfe" came up, & have been growing ever since.


This is particularly important because (A) the pond must not be sited under a tree, otherwise it will have leaves falling into it, dropping to the bottom & causing toxins. (B) You don't want it sited in the full glare of the sun all day long, as this will cause algea bloom, & your water will become mirky & consequently you will only see your fish at feeding time. Once you've chosen the site, map it out with a hose-pipe or rope, noting where the waterfall will be, as the soil dug out will go to give the fall into the pond.

Now the hard work begins


Now you should proceed to dig out the shape, making sure to leave a shelf & a slope or beach at one end for marginald plants & for frogs etc to access the pond easily. Once excavation has ceased, check for any sharp protrusions which could puncture the liner.then line the sides & base with carpet or similar material before laying the butyl liner over the hole. Now add the water & fold the liner neatly as the weight of the water forces the liner into the shape of the hole you dug.


If you intend putting fish in, a biological filter is a must. I personaly use a box filter with plastic mouldings in the lower half where the bacteria do their work & above that 2 layers of foam, one course, one fine. I then place an old woolly jumper on the top of that, under the spray-bar. To run your filter & waterfall, or simply to return the pond water from the filter, you will of course need a pump. The size of pump will depend on how high the lift is to the filter.


In my pond I have eight golden orfe, one blue orfe, & two multi coloured orfe (orange, red, blue & white). They are approximately sixteen years old, and about 14 inches plus in length. Last March we were awoken in the middle of the night by the orfe going absolutely berserk, throwing themselves on the plants and trying to climb the waterfall. They were obviously spawning as after three days when they calmed down, I found eggs on the liner at one end in the plants, but the day after they dissappeared under a cover of green algea, so I let them be. But six weeks later I spied two baby orfe about an inch long. They grew to a couple of inches but now seem to have dissapeared.I didn't take them out as I thought they wouldn't get eaten after all this time, so who knows, watch this space. There are also three goldfish in my pond from my aquarium. My pond pump, filter and waterfall I keep running all year round, even when it's thick snow and ice. We did get some snow last winter so I posted a photo on this site, it really does make a beautiful picture. I've also seen one of the baby Orfes from last years spawning, about 2 inches long and always near the bottom. There are also many frogs in the pond,and they come out nearly every night, wandering round the pond , then jumping into the midst of the creeping jenny, which looks well at the side of the waterfall.


These days one needs some kind of security. I personally use cameras, with instant playback, recording 24hrs. a day, plus of course you obviously require flood lighting with Pir so your cameras can see what's going on at night.

dedicated gardener

dedicated gardener
Caught this lady enjoying a little spot of weeding one very rare summers afternoon July2012 I was just going round to mow the grass when i saw the carrier bags, at first i couldn't see her, then i did & immediately took this pic with my phone. I think it's a lovely photo, with some nice color.