Having a water feature in your yard can be so enjoyable and soothing. Of course, you'll have some hard work ahead of you before you finish installing that new pond, but once you're done, you'll be glad you took the time to add a pond to your garden.
If you are planning on setting up a pond, there are several things you should consider. However, just like in real estate, the most important thing about a pond is location, location, location. Ponds are best located in sunny areas away from trees so that leaves don't fall into them and create a slimy mess in the bottom or clog up your expensive filtration system. You really don't want to have to clean 6 inches of smelly muck out of your pond several times a year. If you can't find a spot for your pond away from trees, you should consider covering it with netting in early autumn to keep falling leaves out of the water.
Your chosen location should also be close to a garden hose to fill the pond and an electrical line to connect the filters. Ponds should also be located where they can be easily viewed or accessed so you can enjoy the view and easily maintain the pond. The best time to setup a pond is probably during spring, as wildlife will have enough time to settle in by winter.
The size of the pond depends on the number and what kind of fish you want in it, the kind of wildlife you'd like to attract to the pond and the types of plants you'd like to have in and around your water feature. Buy the largest pond you can afford to buy, because you will more than likely wish it was larger in the future.
Your pond will likely contain three different areas, a marshy zone around the perimeter, a shallow zone and a deep-water area. Setting up a pond in a dry, arid environment will require more planning and more equipment than the same pond would require in a tropical or temperate environment. The colder the weather is in your area, the deeper your pond should be so the fish, plants and other animals in the pond are not harmed by the weather due to overexposure.
The cost of setting up your water feature will depend on the size, depth and shape of your desired pond. Round-shaped ponds are the most budget friendly, while kidney shaped ponds are a bit more expensive. You may want to add streams to your pond to make it more beautiful, but be aware that this will be much more expensive and will take up more space.
To set up the pond, you'll need to dig a hole that is as wide and deep as your chosen dimensions. Remember, if you plan to have fish, you will need to be sure you dig down deep enough for them to live through the winter. Just don't forget to leave a shallower spot so marginal plants can grow in the pond.
You will need to remove all sharp objects, including stones, from the hole to avoid puncturing the liner. Placing a protective underlay in the pond before laying out the liner will help provide protection from any additional stones that work their way to the surface. The pond edges should be leveled so the water level in the finished pond doesn't look odd.
Finally, don't forget to add a few of the extras that can make future pond maintenance easier. You should install an overflow pipe to allow for drainage during heavy rain. Also, before adding plants or fish you will need to install a pump and filter system.