When planning to build a water garden, first decide on which type, Koi or Goldfish pond. Koi ponds should have a depth of 2 1/2 to 3 ft. and goldfish 1 1/2 to 2 ft. to survive in moderate weather climates as ours in north Alabama. Koi are very beautiful and come in an array of colors, but consideration must be given to the size these fish grow to. Additional pond area and larger filtration is a must. They also love to eat on your plants, so plant variety and fish nutrition differ.

Once you decide the type pond, you should choose a site. Your pond should be covered 60% with plants during the summer months to both protect your fish and control algae. Choosing an area with a minimum of 4 to 6 hours of sunlight for proper plant growth is advised. Although if this is not posssible there are alternatives. Most people enjoy being able to veiw their garden from the house. Your pond will be the focal point in your garden, so the shape should blend in with the environment. The pond should not be located in low spots where rain water wash in fertilize, chemicals and etc. Even on level sites raising the pond edges a few inches will keep out runoff. A slope is not a problem as the lower side can be built up using soil excavated or in very steep areas concrete blocks, castel rocks or regular rock can be used as a retainer wall.

The next step is deciding on type of material (liner or pre-form). When considering a liner, There are several options, but chose the most flexible and durable. We carry and recommend 45 mil. fish grade rubber which is flexible enough to handle changing weather conditions. Note: roofing rubber should not be used as in most cases it has been treated with chemicals to stop mold & mildew that can kill your fish. We do offer and can order an assortment of pre-form ponds, but keep in mind these ponds are to small for Koi, do not allow for freedom of design, do not last as long and are actually harder to install.
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