Fish will come. Beautiful water lilies and hyacinths will come. Frogs will come and you can look forward to many pleasant hours sitting beside your goldfish pond. That is, if you build it. We did, obviously, and I’d like to share our experiences just in case you’d like to put in a pond in your yard.
The hole is the hardest part. If you or a neighbor have a small backhoe, then you’re in like Flynn. If not, you can either provide or pay for the sweat equity. But how big a hole should you dig? We started out with a 35 gallon urethane tub. The pond expert said I needed much more for 8 growing goldfish. We wanted about 300 to 400 gallons. The formula for a cubic gallon is length x width x depth x 7.5 = volume (in gallons). Our pond is about 10 feet long by 4 feet wide. One end is about 18-inches deep and the other is a foot deep. I multiplied 10 x 4 x1.25 x 7.5 which equals 375 (Cubic Gallons). Since it is bean shaped, it’s less than 375 gallons, probably about 325 gallons, but way more than we had and plenty large for many goldfish. You can make yours as large or small as you wish.
Once the hole is dug, the next hardest part is getting rid of the dirt. If you can move it to another place in your yard, that makes it really easy. Otherwise, you’d be surprised how much dirt comes from a 4 x 10 hole.
Hole dug? Dirt removed? You’re home free. Buy a liner from Lowe’s or a water garden supplier such as Springdale Gardens in Greenville. Make sure the liner completely covers the hole and sides or you have problems. Once the liner is in place, add some gravel, but be sure to rinse the gravel thoroughly or your new pond will look like a mud hole. You’ll need a pump and a filter. They run about $100. Put a border of medium stones around your pond. We used about a half-ton, and that was twice as many as we needed. Order a quarter-ton of medium stones which will cost you about $175 including delivery. Next, fill your pond and pray it doesn’t leak. Let it settle, then introduce your fish. We used ordinary goldfish. My original cost was one-dollar for a dozen minnows. I recommend them over expensive Koi fish. My goldfish are really lovely with sweeping white tails and the babies that have already hatched come in a variety of colors – which I don’t completely understand, but they are attractive. Next, add some pond greenery. We have a lily pad plant, several hyacinths and numerous water lettuce plants. Start off with just a few, they expand like crazy, We have had to give and toss enough plants to fill five ponds. Trust me, they expand almost immediately. Finally, add a few tadpoles if you don’t live near water. If you do, the frogs will find you.
Not counting the labor to dig the hole, I think we have about $500 invested, and I’m sure the addition of the pond to improve the property’s landscape will be value added
Fall is a great time for such a project. Why now get started?