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Building decorative ponds

The decorative pond is the center of the house garden and completes the natural look of the backyard. A big or small pond brings the garden to life. The combination of water, water plants and decorative fish dramatically upgrades the backyard. During the last few years the building of water ponds is becoming more common, accessible and also easier to build. The products related to the decorative ponds like water highlighting, fountains, waterfalls and similar became accessible and cheap.

There are a few options when building a decorative pond:

  • A ready-made decorative pond
  •  A decorative pond using pond liners
  • A pre-cast decorative pond
  • A pebble’s pond

First of all we should choose the location of the decorative pond, its size and shape. The advantage of a decorative pond is having different choices of sizes and depth. A good location for the pond is one that allows you to see the whole pond and that is located in a partially shaded place. It is possible to add to the pond waterfalls, water fountains, and a creek with aqua vegetation. Every decorative pond must have an external filtration system, a water pump and all the appropriate equipment.

Ready-made decorative ponds:

You can find ready-made decorative ponds in a wide range of models and sizes. The main manufactures are German companies that supply these ponds. After choosing the model from one of the following companies: HESSNER OR OASE, you should place it in the assigned spot. Afterward you should mark the space with sand or gravel and dig a hole in the ground the size of the pond plus 5 extra cm. In order for the pond to keep its shape you should pour water in it and at the same time to place soil between the hole and the pond edges. It is recommended that you fill the gap with wet soil and press it around the pond edges with a stick or a piece of wood. At the end of the process it’s recommended to leave the pond full of water for a few days until it stabilizes. It is customary to add decorative stones at the ponds edges to complete the look. At this point it is possible to add a creek or a waterfall to the decorative pond. Now it’s time to place the water pump to the pond bottom and to connect it with a tube to the biological filter and from there back to the pond or to the waterfall. Water lighting is recommended to complete the effect and of course you should make sure that all the systems are properly working.

Decorative pond using pond liners:

Building a pond with this system allows you to shape it any way you like it. It is done by digging the size and shape of the pond using pond liners at the bottom. There are different kinds of liners that are used to build this kind of pond and the main ones are the ones from:

Firestone EPDM – German. These sheets are made of rubber and can reach 1.0 millimeters thickness, and are considered the best quality. They are extremely elastic with up to 300% expansion and great durability especially for tough underground conditions. These are designed for long-lasting without cracking or drying out. In addition these adjust to the underlying contours. They do not require special equipment to install.

OASE  PVC – USA  These come in sizes of 4.3 and 6 meters and should be used for small and medium ponds where not exposed to continuous sunlight since it  decomposes in a few years, and may also cause damage to the environment when decomposed.

Geotextile fabric is used between the pond liner and the actual ground. It acts as a cushion and protects the pond liner from sharp contours.

Building the pond: Using pond liners allows maximum freedom of design of the size and shape of the pond. It is still a good idea to take into account the width of the pond liners when calculating the total size required. It is best to try to avoid the need of combining 2 pond linings together by welding, glue or other methods. The maximum size is determined by the length, width and depth maximums for the pond.

For example: A pond that is 1.5 x 2 meters and 50 cm deep, will require a liner  that is 3×4 meters ( 1.5 + 0.5 + 0.5 + 2 + 0.5 + 0.5 ) and an additional 20- 50 cm for the fold on the sides of the pond and the decorative stones. After digging out the pond area, the geotextile fabric is laid on the pond area, and entire bottom and sides should be covered with it.

Tip: After placing the geotextile fabric it is a good idea to moisten it with water from a hose to insure that it hugs the ground and will not move when the pond liner is placed over it. When the pond liners are in place, it is best to fill the pond up to the 50% point, with water, so that it contacts the geotextile fabric at all points. Only after this is completed, the decorative stones are placed on the sides. Similar to a ready-made pond, it is important to fill the pond and let it settle for a few days to insure there are no leaks or water loss. Afterwards the installation of the water pump, biological filter, waterfall, plants and fish can be accomplished.

Cast decorative pond:

There are two main ways to build a cast decorative pond:

  • Using a mold
  • Casting concrete over sheets

Using a mold of wood or metal with reinforced corners and bottom using building quality steel to prevent cracks. After removing the mold, the pond can be sealed using an appropriate sealant or gluing a pond liner on top.

The casting method is similar to the pond liner method, with the addition of adding about 3 cm of concrete on top of the pond liner. A thin fiberglass or metal net should be used to strengthen the concrete layer. The advantage of this type of pool is for when it will be entered multiple times, such as when you have animals that will go into the pond or a wading pond or a pond in a public location. The concrete layer protects the pond liner.

Pebble pond:

A pebble pond is different from the rest of the ponds described. It is designed to provide in the garden an element of water like a fountain rock waterfall without a visible pond.  To build this, use a pond that has a cover. The pond is built into the earth up the level of the cover, and on the cover the stone is placed along with pebbles. Lastly the water pump is placed into the pond along with a tube foe the fountain spout.

Good luck!

We will be glad to assist you with any questions that you may have.

Written by Oren Ben Shimshon


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