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How To Build A Little Lake In Your Backyard, DIY Pond In Your Garden

on Mar 23, 2020 in DIY

If you own a house with a garden, you might like to have an artificial small lake that you may enjoy embellishing with aquatic plants, water lilies and colorful fish.

It could be wonderful having a small corner of the world only for you, a corner where you can spend your free time observing nature, relaxing and enjoying the simplest things, like colors, silence sound and soul’s quiet.

To build a little pond is not complicate, it is not too expensive, you can make it with your own hands and, above all, it is not even very tiring.

It is only necessary to have a little patience, an adequate space available in your garden, a little free time and a lot of goodwill and you will be proud of what you have done.


1. Choose the location where to make your garden pond

First, you need to find the right place where your pond will be built, taking into account the space that the pond will occupy and the space we want around it. Needless to say, we must take into account the existence of underground pipes, as well as trees and their roots.

2. Draw the perimeter of the pond.

Once the ideal place for excavation has been found, we need to draw the perimeter’s shape of the pond. An irregular shape should be certainly the most pleasant, most natural and allows you to hide any imperfections. To draw the perimeter, you can use a rope attached to small pegs spaced at 20-30 inches each other. Considering that usually, the pond walls are not vertical, it would be preferable to draw two perimeters, one internal and the other for the external edge (even if not of the same shape) of the pond. About this last point, in order to ensure better growth of the green, it would be convenient to project a different depth of the pond with a step-down or a slope of the bottom.

3. Proceed to the excavation of the pond

The excavation of the pond is, perhaps, the most challenging part of the pond construction project (and also the most tiring one). Put great attention on choosing the right tools to be used. We need a rake to prepare the ground on which to draw the pond, a hoe and a shovel to remove the soil.

Once the excavation is completed, it will be necessary to duly wet and compact the soil and then put on it at least 2-3 inches of sand which must be also well compacted to create a sort of mattress on which will be possible and easier to put in place the tub. The tub could be

rigid prefabricated plastic tub or

waterproof plastic sheet

In the first case, we will be bound to the shape of the prefabricated tank and therefore we have to find the one that is the most adaptable to our terrain. We also have to take into account a greater difficulty, along with the excavation, to follow the shape of the prefabricated tank and we must abound in the quantity of sand in order to adapt the bottom to the tank as much as possible. If we opt for this solution, we expect a higher cost compared to the waterproof sheet.

If you choose the waterproof sheet, everything is a little bit easier and cheaper. It will be advisable to spread first a sheet of textile fiber such as jute and then lay over it the plasticized sheet, making it protrude at least 10 inches from the edge of the pond. You will cut the exceeded part of the sheet, after having fixed it to the ground with nails or with putting rocks and gravel on it.

pond built with waterproof sheet

5. Fill the DIY pond with water

At this point we can proceed with the filling, slowly pouring the water into our garden pond. When the pond is full, we can move on to finish the edges of the pond by placing stones or bricks together with gravel on the edge to give a more natural look to our pond.

6. Filtering the pond water

If we have had experience with managing a home aquarium, we will have an advantage because we will already know what a pond needs to function well. The magic word is balance. Balance means having the chemical values ​​of the water within the normal limits, having an amount and quality of plants and the number and type of fish appropriate to the size of our pond.

Let’s say that a pond of this kind should be able to achieve a situation of biological balance almost autonomously. If we have worked well, our maintenance intervention should be limited to simply add water to compensate for evaporation and a possible light cleaning for the algae that can form as a result of sunlight. The biological balance, in fact, after a more or less long initial phase, should be achieved thanks to the oxygenation activity carried out by the plants which in turn derive nourishment from the nitrite and nitrate deriving from the physiological functions of the fish.

Often, especially for beginners, the installation of a filter system is recommended.

As for a swimming pool, also for our pond to ensure that the water is always clean (which is not always synonymous with an ideal condition for fish, but often only serves to meet our aesthetic needs) in the case of a an artificial garden pond may require a mechanical, chemical or biological filtering system or a combined one.

The filtering system is obtained with a pump that sucks water from the pond and pours it back into the pond after passing it through a series of filters that remove the impurities. Obviously the power of this pump must be commensurate with the size of the pond. The pump can also be used to create water games with various waterfalls and gurglings that will give our pond a lush appearance and at the same time contribute to oxygenate the water.

7. Life on the pond, plants

Now is the time to put the plants on the pond. Here you can give vent to your imagination, the important thing is to keep in mind the climatic conditions and the type of pond we want to create. Last but not least it must be carefully considered which types of fish we want to put in the pond. Plants have not only an aesthetic function, but they also provide the water with the correct oxygenation necessary for life. We could therefore also choose submerged plants which, although they are not beautiful to the eye, are often the most effective for this purpose. For the pleasure of the eyes we will then have a great variety of ornamental plants such as the water lilies I fior di Loto and many other floating plants with iridescent flowers.

8. Life in the pond, The fish

The most exciting moment in the realization of a garden pond is undoubtedly when we will insert the fish. However, in order to do this it is advisable that the pond has reached its correct biological balance which is normally obtained in a few weeks, so we must have a little patience and then we will be rewarded by a luxuriant pond with a beautiful fauna composed of happy and colorful fish. Unlike plants, fish have almost only an aesthetic function, however, they actively contribute with their life cycle to the functioning of the ecosystem of our pond and therefore when we choose them we must consider their compatibility with the environment in which we will place them.


Sustainable House, How To Save Energy

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