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How To Select Products When you Build aWater Garden or Fish Pond

Whether you're building a new preformed goldfish or koi pond or renovating an existing liner pond or just looking after your well cared for pond at some stage you'll need to buy or renew water gardening equipment. Being aware of pond supplies and changes in technology will help you choose better and save money. Care for your pond will change depending upon season ... spring is busiest and most interesting, winter is slowest and is the time for special precautions. Quite often in Spring equipment is found wanting so test and be prepared for that wonderful awakening.

Pond supplies and water garden equipment selection

It does not matter whether you are building a new pond or contemplating improving your present pond. It is a sad fact of life that many retailers offering products for use in ponds recommend products that are totally unsuitable for the use intended. In fact it goes beyond that. Some retailers will sell products that should never be sold for use in ponds.

The best example of this is the selling of a pump that was designed to work in a clean water environment and indoors. This type of pump is often exemplified by having a short cable and the cable would have only 2 wires. Such pumps are fine indoors and in aquariums or concrete fountain ornaments for example. However for outdoors use not only are they unsuitable but they may be prohibited by law from being sold for use outdoors. Such pumps in a pond could be unsafe.

The only reason retailers sell such items I presume is that these pumps are cheaper than pond pumps and the retailer assumes the customer wants a cheap item.

In pond keeping cheap items have a habit of becoming expensive items quickly because they will not work and will need replacement shortly after installation in a pond. On the other hand good pond items need not be expensive at all.

When you consider purchasing items for the pond project always bear in mind that you will need to connect items together (pipes to filters is one example) and that you will need electric power at the pond to be able to run the pump and ultra violet clarifier. If you plan well for this the work of installation will go well. If not you may find yourself making frequent trips to the hardware store or garden supplies centre.

You will do yourself a favour if you make a simple plan or sketch of your intended goldfish,  Koi or water lily pond and work out the approximate positioning of the items to be installed. This will allow you to determine the lengths of hose, tubing or pipe you will need, and the number of fasteners or connectors. If you want a fountain and a waterfall buy a pump that includes the fountain as a free extra. Bought later as a separate item the fountain can be expensive. It's always a good idea to seek out a few books on how to build ponds and study the alternative ideas you'll find.

In the early stage of contemplating a pond you might find the idea of a pond kit appealing. A Liner is the preferred way to create a pond design of your choice and construction of a pond made from a rubber or plastic liner is straightforward.

Electricity and water can be dangerous take extreme care when installing electrical equipment and follow all instructions exactly. Always use waterproof connectors should you want to join cables.

  • Do NOT use tape as you might indoors.

  • Do NOT cut the pump cable - check the guarantee and the pump manufacturer information closely.

  • Always connect to an earth leakage system and check you always use an RCD device.

  • Provide an extra power connection point for later possible use - you might want to install underwater lighting for example or a spot light or a second pump and so on. Plan ahead!

  • Check that when you buy piping for the joining together of various pond items always buy pipe with the maximum internal diameter you can - do not create pipe runs with pipe or tubing of less than 25 mm internal diameter normally.

  • Manufacturers don't always make the outlet from the pump big enough and so create an automatic restriction to water flow if the pump is to be used only for a waterfall. If you find this to be the case in the pump you buy then I would suggest you buy a hose adaptor to increase the outlet diameter to 25 mm and to which you will attach the pipe. Also use the shortest length possible and do not allow the pipe to kink. Avoid using t-pieces or sharp bends if you can.

  • Be careful and be aware before buying any pond pump. It is an area where a lot of money can be wasted and I mean lots since a pump consumes money (unless your electricity is free) every day it runs.

  • Before you buy pond equipment take a few moments to read the information on the box, or on the label attached to the product. If you find the information lacking then take care and ask questions of the retailer. Install the pump slightly off the bottom of the pond to prevent excessive debris being sucked into the impellor.

  • Do not hesitate to do this if the information on the outside does not satisfy you. Be suspicious of equipment with poor information on the box or label. In particular look for and check the guarantee and also the retailers attitude to the guarantee which is often more important than the guarantee itself. This is particularly true for pond pumps. Never buy a pump for a pond that has only a 1-year guarantee. Ask the retailer what will happen if your pump breaks down and what is NOT covered by the guarantee. Few if any pump manufacturers guarantee impellors so do not expect to get one free if yours breaks.

  • Take note that most pond pumps cannot be repaired with the exception of replacing the impellor or foam strainer. The retailer must be able to check the pump for you. Do not accept the statement that the pump has to be sent away for checking - it may in the end need to be sent away but the initial responsibility is for the retailer to check the pump in your presence and advise you after this inspection. Some retailers do not like to do this and often pass the buck BEWARE.

  • You should know that most backyard pond pumps generally are designed in such a way they cannot be repaired electrically for safety reasons. Consequently if the motor is not working and all the connections to the pump are complete and correct then almost certainly the pump will have to be replaced. This is the time you will need to depend upon your retailer and his supplier offering no hassle guarantees. A ONE year guarantee means the pump is probably incapable of standing up to the rigors of an environment as difficult as that in an outdoor garden fish pond no matter what the size.


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