Learn how to install a pond. Find out how to chlorinate water so fish survive, and how to install a water pump.
LESLIE: Melissa in West Virginia wants to install a fish pond in your backyard. How’s it going so far?
MELISSA: Hadn’t started yet.
LESLIE: That’s good.
MELISSA: I’m not so sure which route to go. I’ve seen the ponds that are like a coy pond that’s in concrete . And then versus the one that has a liner in it. I’m not sure which is going to be least expensive and less maintenance.
LESLIE: Hmm, well that’s an interesting question. With any sort of water feature or a fish pond that you might install in your yard there’s a couple of things you need to think about. Think about how large do you want it; how deep; is there a specific size; what type of water feature do you want it to be. Because some of those precast forms might not come in the exact size that you’re wanting. And there’s an easy way to do it; whether it’s with a precast form or whether you’re doing something out of just a pond liner. And the pond liner can be a little bit pricy but it’s very durable and it does stand up well and they come in sizes depending on how large you want your fish pond to be. So make sure you really plan out how big, how deep so you know exactly what size fish pond liner to get.
And what you want to do is you want to make sure that you lay out very well, either with some spray paint or some bright-colored string, the size and shape of your fish pond in your backyard. Get a good layout for it and make sure it’s got either the right amount of sunlight or shade depending on what type of fish and what type of plants you want to put in there.
Once you lay it all out and you’re happy with it, start digging away and make sure it slopes at an angle so you’re getting a shallower end and a deeper end so if you’re having any sort of water feature in there or at least it’s aerating properly so that you have your filter in there will operate properly. Dig it all out. Make sure it’s level on the surface around it so if you’re using any sort of insert liner it sits in there and sits flush on the top. Or if you’re going to use a pond liner, one of those plastic sheets, make sure you take out any sticks or rocks that might pierce that once you put the water in.
So once you’re happy with the size of the hole lay some sand down in there on the bottom so that it gives it a nice, soft bottom for that weight of the water to sit on. And when you’re laying in the liner lay it out in the sun for a few minutes before you start working with it because that helps it stay more flexible. And put it in there with the sand in the hole that you’ve dug and lay it over the sides. Make sure you have enough so that it doesn’t fall back in on itself when you fill it water. Fill it all up with water and then you can use stones or rocks or dirt to go on the outside of the liner on the top edge to cover it so it looks nice and uniform. You can cut away any excess but make sure you have enough hanging over so that you don’t – it doesn’t slip in. And keep any of that excess in case you need to patch it in the future.
And what you need to do is once it’s filled with water you have to make sure you dechlorinate the water before you put the fish and the plants in; otherwise, the fish will die.
MELISSA: Right. OK. Well there’s some of those points that you had mentioned that I hadn’t even thought about.
MELISSA: So I guess the best thing is to figure out what shape I want it and how deep I want it and where I want it.
LESLIE: Exactly. And it’s really easy. It’s not difficult to create a waterfall if you’re thinking about getting some ledge stone and stacking it up to create a water feature part of it. Those are very easy and they’re done with simple water pumps  and you’re going to need one anyway to introduce are into the water to keep it circulating properly. So if you wanted to add a water feature element they’re really easy. It’s just a matter of getting the right pump with the right pressure  to send the water up as high as you need it to go.
MELISSA: Alright. I thank you.
LESLIE: You’re welcome. Enjoy it.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.