Before you begin planning your pond or water feature, consider what your budget will be. Not only must you consider the initial cost of installation (including excavation, liner, pumps, filters, materials such as stone or concrete, labor, and fish and plant costs if you'll have them), but you must also consider the cost of continual maintenance. Caring for a pond is an ongoing project. Some water pumps can be repaired by replacing failed parts, but others must be completely replaced when broken. Other equipment will also need replacing as time degrades it, such as UV bulbs, filter media, air diffusers, etc. Maintenance costs may also go up if you decide to let a professional service handle it for you. Keep all these things in mind when planning your budget.
One of the first considerations to make when planning to add water to your landscape is whether you'd rather have a full pond or a pondless water feature, such as a waterfall or fountain. There are pros and cons to both choices depending on your personal preferences. Pondless water features are often more affordable to install, require less regular maintenance, tend to use less energy, and do not require a pool of standing water. However, ponds provide options that pondless features do not, such as the proper ecosystem to support fish and water plants. Ponds also tend to attract wildlife, such as birds and amphibians.
Why choose to build a pond?
Why choose to build a pondless water feature?
Location, location, location! A lot goes into choosing the ideal spot for your pond or water feature. For example, what may seem like a great spot under a tree grove may actually increase the amount of required maintenance/cleaning because of all the tree debris that falls into the water as well as the lack of sunlight. Alternatively, a spot with too much sun may cause an increase in algae bloom and may be too much heat for certain plants. Be sure to consider the following questions before you start digging:
Pond size considerations aren't just about what looks best, although that is certainly one. You must also consider evaporation rate, fish and plant requirements, and the climate where you live. For example, a koi pond will require deeper water than a perennial water garden, but shallow ponds are more likely to attract animals like ducks and frogs. Pond size can also determine how much maintenance will be required. A larger pond may require more time spent netting debris, but a smaller pond may become more easily overrun with algae. Consider the following questions when deciding the size of your pond:
Above, we touched briefly on the costs of continual pond/water feature maintenance, but you must also consider how much of that maintenance you will be willing to do yourself. If you have no interest in any of the following tasks, perhaps consider a landscape solution that is more maintenance light:
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