Formal water feature, Garden in Inverleith, Edinburgh by Water Gems

Pond Tips – Top Ten Things to avoid doing…

  1. Build ponds under big trees or in deep shade, they never warm up and become anaerobic as leaves decompose.
  2. Clean ponds out too thoroughly or often. An established pond has a balance that you wreck when you strip it.
  3. Use concrete blocks or slabs in the water, particularly if you have fish. The pH levels will rocket and kill everything because of the cement content.
  4. Build ponds out of concrete. They have a tendency to crack and fail.
  5. Use a cheap pond liner. Firestone 1mm EPDM from Gordon Low is the best we know of and what we always use.
  6. Expect sand that you put under a liner to protect it from sharp stones to stay where you put it. It will be moved around by water in the ground leaving the liner vulnerable. A geotextile underlay is much better.
  7. Make the pond at the top of a stream bigger than the one at the bottom with the pump in it. When you switch the pump on the water level in the bottom pool will drop and stay there unless you top it up.
  8. Avoid buying pressurised canister filters or pond hoovers – they tend to end up in your garage.
  9. Dig a hole because you have a digger on site and then think about how you are going to edge it or line it.
  10. Try not to combine lots of water movement (a cascade or big fountain), fish that need lots of food, very few plants and a UV clarifier. The unwanted result is perfect conditions for filamentous algae (blanketweed).

Do build a pond though. You will never do a better thing in your garden. Brilliant for wildlife, sparkles in the sun and very relaxing to contemplate.

For more advice on building ponds and how to avoid common pitfalls, please get in touch.