Problem Solving Guide For Fish Pond Keepers and Water Gardeners
HOW MANY FISH CAN I STOCK IN MY POND?
First of all decide what sort of fish you want to stock You can put more
goldfish than koi in the same size pond. The reason is koi eat much more and
grow much faster.
If you stock goldfish work on 50cm in total length per square metre of water
surface. Work on half of this, you want to keep koi. With excellent
biofiltration you can stock about 50% more than this. So in a pond with 2 square
metres surface you can stock up to 20 goldfish 5cm long. This allows for the
fish to grow. If you want to stock more add 1 to 2 litres of Alfagrog to your
biofilter for each 4,000 litres of pond water. It is best to stock goldfish in
I WANT A POND BUT I AM NOT SURE OF MANY THINGS. WHAT DO I DO?
Nothing until you have spoken to a reliable source of information and
If you are not sure ask someone who can give you good
basic pond advice. If the advice is
sound and makes sense and can be backed up by example or published information
then it is probably good advice. However if something does not make good sense
to you maybe seek further advice and certainly probe the advice given. A bad
installation is expensive to fix.
WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO LOOK OUT FOR IN INSTALLING A POND?
The pond installation is the most cumbersome and therefore the most
difficult part of the total project so do your best to get this right. Seek help
if you do not feel comfortable with doing the job yourself. Most important do
not rush it - take your time, get it to fit well into the hole, create good back
fill and edging support where necessary.
For pre formed pond installation TAKE trouble to get the
pond levelled. If you
do not the pond will certainly appear lopsided once the water has been filled
into it. Use a spirit level. For larger ponds use a black plastic or rubber liner designed
for pond building. Look for a 15 year or more guarantee and get the surround
WHAT DOES A COMPLETE POND COST?
This is an impossible question to be answered
easily. As a general rule
however rather spend more on a small pond than go for a larger pond and skimp on
A very beautiful pond including all
necessary equipment can be created within a day by unskilled people
choosing the DIY approach for a small cost . Such ponds will incur
minimum running costs and will involve very little maintenance if
the ideas in this site are understood and followed.
WHAT PRECAUTIONS MUST I TAKE IF I INSTALL A LINER POND?
The fundamental potential problem lies with the fact that a liner is
relatively thin at between 300 and 500 microns. Avoid complex shapes. Do not
worry about the liner pleats that will inevitably remain in the pond.
If you are going to build a liner pond before placing the liner in the
excavated hole it is important to line the hole with old carpet, underlay,
newspapers or something like this to prevent stones finding their way to the
interface with the liner and possibly puncturing it. If you have dogs that like
swimming then a liner pond can be bad idea since clawing the liner will
inevitably damage it.
WHAT IS BEST TYPE OF POND?
The best type of pond is the one that suits your idea in terms of size and
appearance. The choices are black plastic liner, and rocklike fibreglass ponds
and concrete ponds.
Unless you want a really big pond to keep and grow big koi avoid concrete,
ponds are expensive to do properly. For smaller ponds of up to 500 litres choose
pre formed fibreglass. These are simplest to install and also low cost. Plastic
liners are cheapest of all and are very suitable for designs of your choice.
HOW DO I KNOW HOW MUCH WATER IS IN THE POND?
Record how much water your pond holds - you will need this information to
specify a number of products and also for future reference. Store the
information safely unless you can recalculate the volume yourself.
If your pond is square or rectangular and is the same depth throughout it is
very simple. All that is required is to multiply the length by the width by the
depth. To calculate the volume of water in the pond in litres use metres to
measure the dimensions and multiply the result by 1,000. For example for a pond
of 3 m length * 2 m width * 0.5 m deep the volume of water it can hold is
3,000 litres of water. If your pond is not a simple rectangle or square then you
have to approximate.
WHERE IS THE BEST LOCATION FOR MY POND?
Your pond should be sited so you can enjoy it, you should be able to see it
easily, be able to sit close to it.
Full shade should be avoided, whilst partial shade is a good idea from the
fishes point of view. Do not put the pond close to deciduous trees if you can
avoid it because of falling leaves in autumn. Your pond should be sited so you
can enjoy it but don't put it outside the bedroom window unless you like the
sound of running water to get you to sleep. The reason is because your biofilter
needs running water 24 hours a day and the gurgling/splashing sound might just
annoy you as you lie in your bed.
THE BEST ADVICE YOU CAN GET BEFORE GOING AHEAD WITH
BUILDING A POND?
You presumably want to keep fish and have a feature in
your garden you
would prefer to enjoy than grumble about.
Without a doubt install a good biofilter and Ultra Violet lamp system. It goes
without saying that you need a pump correctly specified.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY 97% DIGESTIBLE FOR KOI FOOD?
As far as koi food is concerned the digestibility is governed by the type of
raw material used. If you use high grade raw materials in formulating fish foods
then you get high protein and low ash
97% digestible quite simply means such koi food is an extremely high purity food
made from the best raw materials making all the contents of the bag with the
exception of the ash and moisture available for the fish's benefit.
WHAT TYPE OF FOOD IS BEST FOR MY FISH?
Always buy the best food you can afford. This will give you good water
quality and fish will grow to their optimum in your pond. Koi Sticks and Pond
Sticks can be a waste of money. It is far more economical and better to feed
floating pellets. Just look at the analysis and you will understand why.
The best foods are those with ash levels of about 5% and moisture levels of
about 5-8%. Never buy food which does not give this type of information on the
packet. Ash and moisture are a total waste of money. Some foods have a total of
ash and moisture = 25%. This means you are only getting 3/4 of a bag of food the
rest is rubbish. The type of raw materials used is also very important. Look for
herring meal or whole fish meal as the best ingredient and protein levels of 35%
ARE LIGHTS IN A POND DANGEROUS?
For superb night time effects install a lighting system in the pond.
Underwater lights are very safe since they use low voltage (24V) systems. They
are quite low in cost also
You can have floating globes, underwater spotlights, in ground spotlights,
coloured lenses and so on.
WHAT PIPE AND FITTINGS ARE BEST TO USE?
Until recently it was only possible to get clear hose or normal hose pipe or
to use rigid PVC hose. All these suffered from major disadvantages. Transparent
hose and garden hose pipe kink easily. Rigid pipes need expert fitting and are
difficult from maintenance viewpoint. It is now possible to buy ribbed hose.
Ribbed hose pipe does not kink and is easy to use and very versatile if used
with Polyex connections. Do spend a bit more on
fittings and hose to reduce
your pond keeping hassles. Avoid using jubilee clips which rust and become
difficult to remove for maintenance. If you do use clear hose make sure you do
not have kinks in the line. This will severely restrict flow from your pump.
Avoid sharp bends and minimise the number of connections in the lines.
WHAT PIPE SIZES DO I USE IN CONNECTING PUMPS, BIOFILTERS AND UV SYSTEMS?
Always use the largest diameter pipe you can consistent with fittings on the
pump or other piece of equipment. The reason is that larger diameter pipe
interferes less with flow rate from pump.
If a pump is supplied with a 20mm outlet then use 20mm pipe. If the pipe is to
be very long, say 10 metres then it would be useful to install a reducer to
increase the pipe size from 20mm to say 25mm. What is important is to reduce
pipe length and increase pipe diameter to get the best out of your pump. Do not
use 13mm fittings and pipe except on very smalls pumps.
WHAT CHEMICALS SHOULD I PUT IN MY POND?
None in most cases unless absolutely necessary and you know what you are
doing. The absence of a filter is more often than not the reason people add
When the situation is reached that chemicals are to be added to a pond then this
should only be done under guidance. It is rarely necessary to treat pond water.
Some exceptions are when it is important to start up a filter from scratch then
a bio starter can be used. These are non chemical and are perfectly safe to add.
Another time is if you get blanketweed. One remedy for this is
Goodbye Blanket Weed. This is a natural product which can do no damage.