Ask any backyard pond and waterfall designers and they will tell you that adding some water to your home space is one of the best things that you can do. A pond that also has a waterfall not only adds a totally different dimension to your yard but also helps you relax and clear your head. Plus, your guests will be drawn to it like moths to a flame, so to speak.
Backyard ponds have, in fact, become hugely popular over the past years. More and more people are turning their focus towards décor pieces that replicate natural elements. Most people claim that it’s about keeping your surroundings fresh and full of life and we tend to agree. So, if you want to build a home backyard pond with waterfall, there are some things to consider. Here are the most important of them!
What are the Elements of a Home Backyard Pond?
- Pump: the pump is a vital element of any pond because it helps the water circulate through the filter and into the waterfall, in this case. Your pump can be a direct, magnetic, or hybrid drive one. The direct drive ones are the most expensive while the magnetic drive ones can be the cheapest;
- Filter: the filter does exactly what its name suggests. It cleans the water that the pump is circulating. They can be either mechanical (which are more expensive) or biological;
- Agitator: this element helps the level of oxygen in the water at a constant level. In fact, if you also want to build a waterfall in your pond, that will be your agitator;
- Liner: this element keeps the water from leaking. You can use a rubber liner (which is the best for ponds) or a plastic one;
- Underlayment: thanks to the underlayment, the liner will be protected from stretching and punctures while you are installing it to the pond;
- GFCI outlet: this outlet powers the water pump and it automatically trips in case of shocks. Make sure to get a covered one.
Should You Go for a DIY Pond or a Pro-Made One?
The answer to this question depends solely on what type of backyard pond you wish to have. In case you want a small one that is shorter than 6 feet and not very deep, a DIY kit can be for you. For example, a DIY kit for an 84-gallon one starts at $70. Obviously, you cannot expect a DIY backyard pond to look as good as a professional-made one or to last as much as one.
If you want a larger backyard pond with waterfall, looking at some backyard pond and waterfall builders is your best bet. Typically, the cheapest such pond starts at around $5,000 and can even get as high as $50,000 for very large and deep ones. Thankfully, companies like Champlain Valley Sit Work can help you out with building your dream pond. Just give them a call at 1-802-453-4762 and establish what you want to be done.
What About Backyard Ponds Costs and Lifetime?
It’s important to also consider the maintenance costs for such ponds. Only the electricity bill for the pump could exceed $250 a year. If you want to hire a company to do the maintenance for your pond, you might have to pay $1,000 per year. As for the lifetime of such ponds, some of them can last from twenty to forty years. Of course, this is not the case for all of them.
Preparing for the Installation of Your Pond
Before getting to the installation of your backyard pond, make sure that you know everything about it so you don’t make a mistake. For example, check to see whether or not you are obliged to install a fence with a gate around your pond. In certain areas, this is a mandatory requirement to protect children and animals from falling in the water.
Make sure that you have a way of refilling the pond either through autofill or manually, through a hose. A dechlorinator is your ally if you also want to have fish in your pond. When it comes to powering your pond, professional backyard pond and waterfall builders recommend that the GFCI outlet should be at least ten feet away. The cable should also be buried at a safe depth of at least 18 inches. Last but not least, your outlet should be either completely covered or weatherproof.
Pond Plants and Fish
You can always add plants to your backyard pond with waterfall for a more authentic and natural look. Some of the most popular plants are lotuses, cattail, Water Hyacinth (especially if you live in colder areas), or irises.
As for types of fish that are most suitable for a backyard pond, most backyard pond and waterfall designers recommend Koi fish. They can live up to forty years and are perfect for cold areas. Golden fish are also very popular and they can live up to ten years.
How to Care for Your Backyard Pond During Wintertime
In case you live in an area that has extremely low temperatures during winter, like Chittenden County, Vermont, for example, there are things to consider when taking care of your pond. The first thing to invest in for these situations is a pond heater or deicer. This tool will keep a hole in the ice and therefore maintain a non-toxic environment for your fish and plants. During those cold winter months, it should be used 24 hours a day.
Another solution for extreme temperatures is to go for a complete winter shut down of your pond. There are situations when the cold can ruin your pond. In this case, turning it off completely and reinstalling it when spring comes can be the best idea. When it comes to your fish, most of them will adapt well even with the pump and other elements removed. They will gather at the bottom of the pond where the water is warmer. However, if you have golden fish, it’s best to care for them indoors during winter because they are more sensitive.
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