How to build a goldfish pond in 12 easy steps

How to build a goldfish pond
This is the fifth post in our Goldfish Pond Series. Check out the full series of posts to learn all about building and maintaining a goldfish pond.

Goldfish Ponds Part 5: How to build a goldfish pond

Exactly how you go about setting up and building your goldfish pond will depend upon what type of pond you have chosen to construct; however, the order in which you go about things will be roughly the same regardless.

Once you have decided upon your pond’s location, size and type, follow our step-by-step guide to building a goldfish pond!

1. Mark out the surface area that your goldfish pond will take up with rope or string, and secure this in place with pegs to give you a guideline to follow.

2. Carefully dig up any turf or surface grass that can be preserved for use around the edges of the pond when it is completed, if you wish.

3. Start digging! Remove any rocks or obstructions that you come across on the way down, and keep them separate to your piles of earth.

Remember that if you are using a pre-formed pond, you will need to graduate the shape of your hole to match the dimensions of the mold.

4. The topsoil and the subsoil of the area that you are digging are rather different in both appearance and quality; topsoil is darker and more fertile, while subsoil is lighter and not so fertile. You may wish to keep the topsoil separate to use for planting after your pond is complete.

5. Measure the depth of your pond using a plumb line, and ensure that your hole is neither too shallow nor too deep for your pond.

6. Make sure that there are no sharp edges or rocks protruding into the area that your pond will occupy, as these may compromise the liner or sides of preformed and lined ponds.

7.  Ensure that the sides of the pond are even and not sloped at ground level. Use a spirit level to check this.

8. If you are using a pond liner or a preformed pond mold, protect the material from direct contact with the hard ground by laying down a substrate of either sand, thick newspaper or old carpet. This is not necessary for concrete ponds.

9. The next step will depend on what type of goldfish pond you are building:

a. Concrete ponds

If you are building a concrete pond, now is the time to get down to the tricky part; laying the concrete and building the internal structure of your pond. Once the concrete has set and been checked, you can place in your inner liner or paint the concrete to make it fish-safe.

b. Preformed moulds

If you are using a pre-formed pond, now is the time to place it into the hole, and make any alterations to the shape of the hole to fit it snugly.

c. Pond liners

If you are using a liner as the base for your pond then lay this over the hole, with at least 40cm overlap at the sides.

Push the liner into the hole, weighing down the edges with rocks to keep it even, and arrange the liner to fill the hole and make good contact with the sides.

When you have filled the pond with water, you can trim off any excess edges of the liner that are left above the sides of the pond.

10. When you have got this far, let your pond settle for a day or two in order to check for any problems, or allow paint within concrete ponds to dry.

11. Fill your pond with water! You will still need to wait a couple of weeks before you can add any plants or fish, in order to allow the water to settle, oxygenate and reach a stable temperature.

12. During the initial week or so after you fill the pond the water will undergo a range of changes. It may turn brown, green or both before settling; do not worry about this, this is perfectly normal and your water should settle down within a week or so.#

NEXT >> we look at adding plants and fixtures to a goldfish pond, in part 6 of our Goldfish Pond Series!

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