Pond Buying Advice

Pond Buying Advice

Pond design and location

Where to build your dream garden pond? It’s all about location location location. Just like your home, your pond should be located where you can enjoy it most. Ideally you should see it from the house, however you must take size, position and condition of the garden into account.

Sunlight and exposure

Partial shade is good for a pond, ideally 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day is also ideal, extended deep water zones help prevent excessive warming of the water and algae formation in areas exposed to a lot of sunlight.


The larger the better, although no pond is too small to be useful, if possible aim for 4 to 5 m² of surface area, this will allow frogs & newts to breed as well as some dragonfly species.


This is not crucial, but probably looks best kept simple. An informal curve shape works well for a wildlife pond. A bog garden of wetland plants on the pond side will greatly increase wildlife visitors.

Depth profile

It is important that the deepest point is a minimum depth of 75 cm. This is recommended to prevent complete freezing in winter, allowing hibernating amphibians and invertebrates to survive the coldest winter when the pond is frozen.

There should be a shelf about 20 to 30 cm for marginal plants also a gently sloping area for use by bathing birds which will warm quickly in sunny weather.

Trees and shrubbery

Deciduous trees and conifers, as well as plants that develop strong roots, should be far enough away from the pond. Root barriers offer protection from plants such as bamboo, which develop strong penetrating roots.

Power and water connection

Proximity of the pond to power and water connections can facilitate operation and control of the devices in and on the pond.

The right pond technology

In addition to selecting the right combination of pump, filter and UVC clarifier, the position of the pump in the pond is important.

A filter pump should be placed as deep as possible so that it can displace pond floor sediment. Fountain pumps are positioned closer to the surface for reduced maintenance.

How to calculate your pond liner size

As a guide to calculating the size of liner required:

Add twice the maximum pond death to both the length and width of the finished pond. In addition allow 0 .6 m to accommodate edging stones.

Pond liner installation guide

1 Dig the hole to the required shape for the liner, taking care to make the sides sloping rather than vertical. To create planting areas for marginal plants leave steps from 20 cm to 40 cm deep as required (as shown in the illustration). For a perfect finish, ensure that the top edge of the pool is level. This will make edging the pool easier with minimal visible liner exposed.

2 Ensure the pool area is free from sharp stones, place underlay on the base and sides of the excavation and then place the liner in position. Should you need to tread on the liner remove shoes to avoid piercing. Lightly anchor the liner in position with bricks evenly distributed around the edge of the liner, not the excavation.


3 Run water into the pool gradually, at the same time pulling and tucking the liner into shape to ensure a neat finish. You’ll notice that the liner will stretch at first, then as the weight of water increases, it will mould itself to the shape of the sides. Fill the pool completely, checking that the liner fits closely all round. Leave overnight, to ensure proper settlement of the liner. Trim off excess liner around the pool with scissors or a knife, leaving 30cm overlap for anchorage.


4 After a week you can complete your pool by edging in stone, or paving as desired, allowing for a small overhang to hide the liner from direct sunlight. For a different effect, grass turf can be used, which may overhang and touch the water.


Pre-formed pond installation

Watercourse installation

Slopes for watercourses should be no steeper than 40%

Rocks and aggregates

Do not use porous rocks in ponds or watercourses such a sandstone. Harmful elements can be leaked out. Always use hard non porous rock such as granite and slate.

New ponds

When you first fill your new garden pond, record how much water it takes to fill it, as you will need this information for future reference.

When a new garden fishpond is built, it will typically take 4 to 6 weeks for a viable healthy population of nitro bacteria to build up before the bio-filter is working efficiently.

It is therefore wise during this early period to introduce Koi or Goldfish slowly. A continuous supply of oxygen is important to enable the bacteria in the filter to live. The pond filter bacteria need oxygen to convert ammonia to nitrates. Without oxygen the bacteria die quickly within eight hours. Once dead, it takes about five weeks for the colony to reach good viability once more. For the first weeks therefore, do not overfeed fish until the bio-filter is well established.


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Barrel & Garden is a trading name of Northern Tubs Ltd.
Lady Park
Tyne & Wear
NE11 0HD

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