A lot of people like having water in their yard, and the reasons are many. Some people like the look of the reflective surface. Others like the sound of splashing water. Still others like the idea of having a pond with fish.
All of these things are good reasons, and the sound of running water can certainly be relaxing. It can also help mask other, unwanted sounds.
While water features such as fountains are fairly easy to install and straightforward to maintain, you might be tempted to install a pond instead. Ponds can be lovely, and they give you the opportunity to add plants and fish to your water feature, which aren’t possible with a fountain.
There are a few things that you should consider before installing a pond, however. Keeping these things in mind will simplify your maintenance and give you a better overall experience.
- Don’t overdo the fish. A good rule of thumb is one square inch of mature fish for every one square foot of pond. If you have too many fish, the pond will get crowded, and the excessive amount of waste can lead to cloudy water as well as harmful algae.
- Live in an area with harsh winters? You should consult with an expert to see if your fish will be able to survive the winter. Some fish can survive if the water freezes over, but others cannot. You’d best be sure ahead of time, or you’ll have a huge mess to clean in the spring.
- Protect the fish with plants. Plants near or in the water can protect the fish from predators by giving them a place to hide. Otherwise, birds might pluck them right out of the water. Plants also act as sort of a natural filtration system that helps keep your water clean. Keep in mind that some plants can eventually overwhelm your pond, covering the entire surface. If you are in doubt regarding suitable plants for your backyard pond, you may wish to consult with a local nursery.
- Keep the water running. Adding a fountain, waterfall, or other feature to your pond to keep the water moving will not only provide pleasing sounds, it will help prevent the breeding of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes like to lay eggs in still water, and that will lead to unpleasant results for both you and your neighbors. The solution to that is water that is never still.
- Be sure you have enough water. Depending on where you live, evaporation can be a problem. If that’s the case, you’ll need to be sure that you add water regularly in order to keep sufficient water levels. Keep in mind that culinary water, which contains trace amounts of chlorine, may not be suitable if your pond has fish.
A backyard pond is a nice feature to have, as you can incorporate fish, plants and a fountain or waterfall to create a park-like atmosphere in your back yard. Keep in mind, however, that you will have to engage in more maintenance than you would if you had a simple recirculating fountain.