How to Create a Garden Pond
The main problems in ponds are blanket weed, algae and fallen leaves.
Algae can be avoided to some extent by siting your pond away from the full sun.
It is less of a problem when the pond is established with oxygenators and lilies.
Blanket weed is a bigger enemy as it thrives in healthy water. It can be removed
by hand or with a stick, being careful not to puncture the liner. There are other
effective methods to remove blanket weed, such as floating barley straw on the
surface. You could also use chemicals, but the best method of cutting down on
blanket weed is to keep the water moving. If you have a fountain and/or
waterfall, keep it running at all times to aerate the pond. This will also keep ice
from forming across all the surface of the pond in the winter
Leaves are a menace and if your pond is near trees, then the only way to keep
the leaves out is to net the pond.
Ice rarely freezes in water beyond a depth of 18” in the UK and providing there
are no rotting leaves giving off poisonous gas in the bottom of the pond and there
is a hole in the ice to allow in oxygen, the fish will survive quite well for several
months during the winter.
A rubber ball floating on the surface of the pond in winter can usually move
around sufficiently enough to leave a hole in the ice thus allowing oxygen to get
through, or use hot water from a kettle to make a hole in the ice. Never break the
ice as this will affect the fish’s nervous systems and can kill them.
If you have a pump, a filter fixed to it, will remove algae and other particles from
the water, although the filter will need cleaning on a regular basis.
With a larger pond, you can pump the water through a tank containing some kind
of filtration product, although clean gravel will also do the trick and a tank full of
hair curlers acts as an excellent filter. A central heating header tank for a small
pond or a cold water storage tank for a larger pond is ideal. Bacteria that remove
toxic waste will grow on the filters, thus keeping the pond clean and healthy.
If pollution remains a major problem, you can run the hose from the pump
through an ultraviolet light to kill the algae and totally eliminate green water.
If your pond springs a leak it may mean draining it down to where the hole is, or
draining it completely to affect a repair. If the latter is the case, move the fish and
plants to a temporary tank.
You can purchase pond puncture kits to repair plastic liners form a garden centre
that has an aquatics department.
A crack in a pre-formed pond is best fixed using a car body repair kit.
If you have a concrete pond, it’s probably better to drain it and add a plastic liner,
rather than point up with cement, which rarely works.