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Building a Koi Pond (Page 3 of 4)



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3) Away from roots and falling leaves.  Many ponds have been torn asunder by the unstoppable roots of giant trees.  To prevent this from happening to you, you should locate your pond away from trees, or you should choose the trees around your pond.  In our local setting, I prefer palm trees around my pond - they're beautiful, sturdy, not messy, shady, and most of all, their roots can't damage your pond.  Beware of trees that shed a lot of leaves as well.  Leaves that drop on the pond must be netted out of the water at once. Otherwise, they add to the decomposing organic matter in the pond, and takes a heavy toll on your filters. 



Figure 4.  Keeping your pond away from

destructive trees is a good idea


4)  Availability of Utilities.  Another reason why you want your pond close to your home is the availability of utilities.  A pond that is beyond a water hose's reach from the faucet or away from electrical outlets will be a source of headache early on.   If you still prefer to have a pond away from the house, then be prepared to shell out a few extra bucks for additional piping and electrical works.


Materials and Construction


The pond concept, location, and size have been established.  It's time to make actual designs of your pond. Look at as many ponds as you can, so you'll have a sizeable idea of what can be done.  Slowly turn your ideas into a real design on paper.   Investing time and effort to design your pond up-front will make your pond project much easier.


There are many materials available for constructing ponds.  Among the most popular ones for the purpose are PVC pond liners, butyl rubber pond liners, concrete, and fiberglass. 


Pond liners are the easiest to use, but they're not as long-lasting as well-prepared concrete or fiberglass.   They're also relatively expensive, with the butyl rubber liner being more expensive than the PVC liner because of its higher strength than the latter.  Liners are prone to tearing, so an underlay is put under the liner itself to protect it from rocks and other sharp objects.  Constructing a pond using a liner is very easy:  1) dig a hole to the required shape and size; 2) remove sharp rocks and objects from the hole; 3) put the underlay over the hole; 4) put the liner over the underlay; and 5) straighten out the creases of the liner as the pond is filled with water.


Concrete probably offers the lowest initial building cost, but its maintenance may turn out to be expensive in the long run if it is improperly prepared.   If you're not adept with using concrete, hire a professional to make sure that the pond will not be prone to cracking.  Be sure to reinforce your concrete pond with deformed bars and to install a center drain at the bottom of the pond.  Good waterproofing is a basic requirement of concrete ponds.  Aside from mixing in some water-proofing powder in the concrete during construction, it would also be a good idea to paint the finished pond over with water-proofing material.  Pay extra attention to joints and crevices, which are the most common leakage points in a concrete pond.


Fiberglass is more expensive than concrete, but it has an indefinite lifetime.  Just beware of its tendency to crack if subjected to excessive stress or impact force.  For example, you can not step inside a fiberglass pond if you are not sure if its bottom surface is evenly supported by the ground underneath.    Fiberglass can be easily shaped into any form and is inherently water-proof as long as its coating has no imperfections.  There are many off-the-shelf fiberglass ponds in the market today, so this is for you if you want to spare yourself from the effort of constructing a pond using concrete or liners.  Unfortunately, the sizes of the preformed fiberglass ponds are limited, with the larger ones naturally commanding very hefty prices.



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