You must be having dreams of building a fish pond, which is why you found this article. Well, being the first time, it might sound like a complex process. That’s because you have no idea where to start, which tools to use or where to get the fish. However, you shouldn’t worry because as long as you have a good space in your backyard, you should be on your way to getting into fish farming. Here is how to build a fish pond in the backyard.
First though, you should know which type of fish you want to keep in your backyard. The most common species that people keep for both commercial and domestic consumption are salmon, carp, tilapia, catfish and so forth.
Then you must prepare to embrace the thrill that comes with keeping fish in a pond somewhere in your backyard. And who knows, maybe you could even trade your fish for a small income later.
1) Identify a Suitable Location
Not all space in your backyard is good for fish farming. So you must select an ideal location for your pond. This spot should be generally low, and should be able to collect water naturally.
You may need to draw a sketch on a piece of paper — very important because you’ll need the dimensions to build a good pond. Knowing the actual size and shape of your pond is also good because it determines how many fish you can keep, plus whether or not the fish pond will sit well in your backyard.
Finally, if you live in an area with both hot summer and cold winter seasons, you may want to make your pond 8-12 feet deep so that fish can build their shelter during these seasons.
Your plan should also include plants that fish love. Plants provide good air circulation in the water, plus they act as food and shelter for fish.
Make sure you include a waterfall in your pond to make it attractive.
2) Digging Plan
You will need materials to dig the pond. However, before the actual digging process can begin, ensure you mark the outline of the pond so you can dig according to the dimensions. You can use extension cords or ropes to mark the area you want to dig.
The final layout of the pond should be able to accommodate lots of plants in the surroundings too. And just in case you plan to put up a large pond in your backyard, you may want to hire a bobcat for this purpose. But you have to contact the local authority to establish whether they allow such landscaping activities.
Again, ensure nothing in the form of gas lines, electric lines, water or sewerage is buried under the area you want to dig.
3) The actual Digging
Whether you plan to build a small or a large pond, you’ll need a shovel or a bobcat. The best practice for digging is to dig at 16 inch depths at a time, while placing the soil near the area you want to build your water fall or fountain (which should be on the sides of the pond).
Once you reach the center, make sure you dig deeper because this spot will host your water fountain pump. Dig in steps, then plan how you will grow water plants in various depths of the pond.
You must hand-dig the edge of the steps so that they can look chiseled. You will use this to serve as plant shelves. The center of this pond should be at least 6 feet deep.
The moment you’ve dug your hole, fill it up with masons sand and rake it. Lay a geo textile fabric on top of the sand to protect the rubber lining which you will later place on top of the material itself.
Put the liner firmly in place, spreading it with your hands and filling the hole with water to ensure that it’s secured in one position.
4) Time to Put Stones
Your stones should be laid in stacks, from the center of the pit, to the plant shelves and the sides. You can put the water pump and hose at the center of the pond (on top of a flat rock). Then your waterfall should be built on the sides. You should have electric outlets at a reachable distance because you’ll want to connect the hose and power cord accordingly.
5) Your choice of Fish
Ensure you choose the right type of fish. For example, if you choose trout, they will need plenty of oxygenated water, plus the water must remain cool throughout the seasons.
On the other hand, Blue gills and Pumpkinseed will do very well in all types of environment, because they’re flexible and they also grow faster.
Lastly, predatory fish such as bass or perch will need more food and space. Also, remember that some types of fish such as bass have a tendency of eating all their relatives in the same pond.
And when you order fish, they will be delivered in a small polythene bag. Ensure you add this water into your pond so the fish can adapt quickly. Your pond must be ready by now.