How to Create a Garden Pond
Looking after your fish
When you buy fish, they are normally in half filled plastic bags. Float the bag in
the pond for at least 30 minutes to allow the water temperatures to equalize
before releasing the fish.
Feed your fish daily with a proprietary fish food. You can feed fish twice a day
during the summer months, supplying them with only enough food that can be
eaten in 10 minutes. Do not feed them after October, or before April. Fish
metabolism slows down in cold water and they do not feed, or move around
much during the winter months, merely surviving in a state of dormancy. Any
feed will fall to the bottom of the pond and foul the water. However, on a warm
winter’s day, fish can start moving around and take in feed if it is given to them.
This is dangerous as the digestive system of the fish can’t cope if the weather
turns cold again.
Fish can suffer from a range of ailments, including parasites, fungal infections
and fin rot. You can buy proprietary preparations to treat these problems from
most reputable pet shops that deal in aquatics.
There are several distinct groups of plants you can grow in or around a garden
pond. Unfortunately, there are too many to list here, so you should ask at a
garden centre dealing in aquatics for advice on the best plants for your pond.
Oxygenators are essential for keeping the pond healthy and clear and you should
always have at least one submerged to absorb carbon dioxide and release
oxygen into the water. They can multiply fairly rapidly and outgrow their space if
not cut back. Remove the excess, which makes good garden compost when
Water lilies are planted in containers that sit on the bottom of the pond and
produce leaves and flowers on the surface in summer. They also help to shade
the pond from the sun and inhibit the growth of weed. Don’t over plant, as they
grow rapidly: one is sufficient in a small pond.
Marginals are planted in containers set in shallow water on shelves around the
Floaters are flowering plants that simply float on the pond. Marsh plants can be
planted at the edges of the pond, if the liner is extended and filled with soil to
create waterlogged bog conditions.
Don’t use garden soil as it contains too many impurities and could contaminate
the water. Your garden centre will advise on the best compost to use.
Spread gravel around the top of plant containers as fish delight in rummaging
around the bottom of plants, disturbing the compost and discolouring the water.