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Helpful tips on design
Also see our range of books covering all aspects of ponds & fountains

 
  • Council laws & safety
  • Step by step DIY construction photo's
  • Location of the pond
  • Pond design considerations
  • Materials Including pond liner
  • Pond maintenance
  • Pond installation ..... also on another page How to install your pond liner
  • Edge design considerations
  • Pond / waterfall / stream photos.... Maybe get some good ideas
  • Placing your pond using the Feng Shui principles
  • Frogs in the pond
     

    Disclaimer

    The following material is provided as a service to our customers, for the purpose of sharing our knowledge of ponds and water gardens with other enthusiasts.
    We recommend that you treat this material as a guideline and general information only and obtain paid professional advice to look at your individual circumstances and evaluate whether the material presented on this website is accurate and applicable to your situation.

     Council laws & Safety

    Before you consider installing a pond or any other water feature we recommend to consult your council's Zoning Department for possible water depth restrictions, as well as fencing, and/or building permit requirements for your particular area.

    This is a very important issue. Council rules differ from city to city and may even be different from one suburb to the next. A 2-meter deep fishpond in the front yard may not pose a problem in a rural setting but may well be a danger spot in a city location or next to your local school.

    The best approach is to first make a sketch of your property, showing the proposed location, shape, size and depth of your water feature. Then go down to the council in person, present your plan to the Zoning Department, and ask them to approve it in writing. This way, you have complete peace of mind knowing that your pond falls within your council’s guidelines and will not become a legal concern later

    Even if a rule do not exist in your community, use your common sense and exercise caution where children are involved.

    Before you get the shovel out of the shed you might want to make a few more inquiries. Think of underground services like sewers, gas and power lines, cable TV, telephone, etc. Be safe and call before you dig.

    Don't forget to inform your insurance company about your new pond. They always like to know what's going on in and around your property.

    If you plan to operate electrical equipment in your pond, such as a fountain pump or underwater lighting, make sure that you use only approved equipment and connect it to a properly grounded and Ground Fault Circuit protected outlet only.

    Most outdoor power points on newer homes are already protected. When in doubt, ask your electrician for assistance.

    Carefully read all instructions supplied before operating any equipment. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations and guidelines.
    Do not run extension cords across your lawn. Not only are they not approved for use around the pond but also your lawn mower could damage them, and you risk getting electrocuted.

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    Location

    The best placement for your water feature is the location that will provide you with the most pleasure. Your water feature should be close enough to be seen, heard and enjoyed.
    Water can produce a variety of sounds depending upon the layout of the feature. A gurgling brook, the light spray from a fountainhead the splashes from a bathing bird or the crash from a waterfall. Even if the pond is not immediately visible the sound will be there to relax, soothe and act as a drawing feature.

    It is also important to consider your water feature from the perspective from inside your home. You probably spend more time inside your home than out in your yard, and if you have a view of the pond from the breakfast nook or your favourite reading chair you can enjoy its beauty at any time and might be privy to a lot of animal activity that you would otherwise miss.

    This same idea goes for sound. Your neighbours may not share your views on this but perhaps your idea of heaven is being lulled to sleep by the croaking of frogs. Then, be sure to put the pond close enough to your bedroom window so you have a concert every night. If you don't get along with your neighbours and plan to keep it that way you may want to consider moving the pond a little closer to their bedroom window.

    Other determining factors are sunlight, the existing landscape and the elements within it, as well as accessibility of utilities.

    Sunlight is very important for growing most water plants and also gives the pond a magical reflective quality. Sometimes a shady location is the only location available for your pond. Do, however, be warned that, if this shade is provided by trees, their falling leaves or needles will become an endless source of debris in your pond. A lot of decaying material is harmful to other life within your pond and should be removed on a regular basis. A little shade is fine but ideally, for most gardening purposes your pond should have six or more hours of direct sunlight per day. If water lilies are your passion then, the more sun the better.

    Another thing to consider is the existing landscape, its architectural style and size, as well as the elements within it. For example, a natural slope may work to your advantage as the basis for a waterfall, cascading steps or a meandering stream. Also consider the existing locations of trees, not only because of their leaves as previously mentioned but because their roots may cause a problem during excavation. They can be cut but you may harm the tree in the process.

    The existing soil and site conditions are also very important. The pond should be situated on level terrain. This helps ensure a uniform water level around the entire circumference. Avoid the lowest point in the landscape because of potential run-off and drainage problems. A high water table or very rocky soil may make raised water feature more feasible than an in-ground pond.

    It goes without saying that the style of the water feature should be in harmony with the rest of the landscape and the buildings. A natural shaped pond edged in fieldstone will look out of place in a formal English rose garden.
    The size of the water feature must also harmonize with its surroundings. A very large water feature in a small residential yard will be out of scale, as would a relatively tiny pond in the middle of a six-acre lot. Its environment, its purpose, and the amount of money you are prepared to part with ultimately determine the size of your pond.

    Is it meant to be the focal point of your yard or do you wish to place it discretely within the landscape where it will provide an element of surprise upon its discovery? Is it meant mainly for gardening purposes or are you interested solely in the acoustical quality of the water? The most successful water gardens are those that were thoroughly thought out and planned before the shovel and the wheelbarrow were ever removed from the shed.

    Another important item to consider is the accessibility of both water and electricity.
    Your pond may need to be topped up from time to time and should be within easy reach of your garden hose, unless you are planning to incorporate an automatic filling system which will require some plumbing work.
    Electricity is needed if you plan on using a recirculating pump or underwater lighting for example. It is very important that the electrical receptacles be close to the pond (consult your electrician for current regulations regarding minimum distance requirements from electrical outlet to pond). Some cords use a paper wrapping around individual wires, which absorbs water, acts as a wick and draws water right into your pump motor. Make sure that your receptacles are properly grounded and Ground Fault Circuit protected. Contact your electrician for assistance. Exposed power cords are also dangerous when mowing lawns, and they can be tripped over. Extension cords are not a good idea around the pond.

    The last consideration is wind. If you are planning a large spraying fountain, a fleur-de-lis, for example, and wind is a problem in your area, consider either lowering the height of the display or increasing the surface area of the pond. Unless you have an automatic top-up system it is crucial that the water returns to the pond and does not end up in your flowerbeds. You might want to think of a more sheltered location for a feature of this type.

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     Pond Design Considerations

    The design of your pond will be determined by many factors, the most important of which are its surroundings and its purpose.
    There are two basic design types, formal and informal.
    A formal design is characterized by geometric shapes and is clearly man-made.
    An informal design is free-form in shape and has the appearance of being part of the natural landscape.

    Consider the architectural style of the surrounding buildings, as well as the existing landscape when selecting between a formal and informal design.

    The edging materials you choose and the way you assemble them will also determine the design type.
    A border of loose and irregular field stone, grass or plants cascading and tumbling into the water will look informal, whereas paving stones or other permanently assembled materials help reinforce the geometric shape of a formal pond.

    When it comes to determining the size of your pond, both the scale of the existing landscape and the pond's desired use must be considered. Avid gardeners will no doubt require a larger surface area to accommodate a large variety of plants, whereas a less devoted gardener who only wants to have a waterlily and a few fish will not require that much space. Keep in mind that at least 60 to 75 % of the pond's surface area should be covered by plant material.

    The depth of the pond is almost solely determined by its purpose, taking into account safety considerations. Different varieties of water plants require different water depths. For example, a potted waterlily prefers to have 30 cm between the soil surface and the water line, whereas a bulrush prefers to have only its roots in water. If you wish to cultivate a variety of water plants then planting ledges at different depths should be incorporated within the pond. The pond should also provide enough depth so that plants and fish can be protected during winter's cold.

    Planting ledges have the added advantage of acting as access steps when you have to enter the pond for any reason. A pond with straight or sloped sides will be very dangerous to walk into plus the plant baskets or pots will have nowhere stable to sit. Even with several ledges in place you still have to be careful when entering or stepping out of the pond because the soil below may not be stable enough to support the weight of a person. Another thing to consider is the pond liner itself, which will be very slippery.

    A water garden can also be accommodated without expanses of open water, either because of safety concerns or by choice.

    A bog garden is an ideal environment for moisture-loving plants and is very easy to construct. Simply dig out a 30 to 45 cm deep area, waterproof it with a pond liner, fill with soil and plant with reeds, rushes, ferns and irises. To support bog plants the soil should be moist at all times. Perhaps you already have a natural low lying wet spot in your garden. This might just be the solution.

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     Materials

    You have several choices when it comes to selecting the proper materials for building a garden pond.
    The most popular and versatile waterproofing material is a flexible pond liner. It allows you to design the pond to your requirements and personal taste and gives you the option of completing the entire project by yourself without the need for a knowledgeable landscape contractor.

    Flexible pond liners are made from PVC, EPDMDuPont Xavan, etc. and range in thicknesses from 0.35 to 1.4mm. The most popular and easy-to-work-with thickness is .35 to .50mm. For small-scale projects on a limited budget you may be able to get away with thinner liners but, because they are more susceptible to tearing and puncturing, you have to be more careful.

    Make sure that the liner you purchase is non-toxic. This is imperative for growing water plants and keeping fish in your pond. Do some homework and select a pond liner with a proven track record and a good manufacturer's warranty. Look for things like UV-resistance and non-toxicity, as well as resistance to extreme temperatures.

    These features become extremely significant when the material cost and labour for the liner installation is put in relation to the overall cost of the entire project. Liner plus installation cost represent only a fraction of the investment in the completed project. However, if the liner has to be replaced due to a product failure, the above cost relation reverses. The replacement of a pond liner necessitates the removal of all components, such as edging materials, plants, fish, pumps and fountain equipment, and most importantly, a very smelly liner. For that reason alone it becomes imperative to select a product with a proven track record of trouble-free performance.

    Do not use old swimming pool liners. They are bad news due to their colour they look artificial which you may be able to live with but over the years, they may have absorbed quite a bit of chlorine and other pool chemicals that could leach back into your pond and destroy all life within it.

    Once you have selected a suitable pond liner you have to decide whether you can use a standard size liner or whether you have to get one custom made to fit your pond's particular size and shape. Most companies offer several choices of standard sizes that are usually a little cheaper than a custom size and are also more readily available.

    To figure out exactly what size of liner you will require you can either take the measurements off your plan or wait until you have the excavation completed.

    Use the following formula to calculate your liner requirements from a plan:
    Length of liner required = Max. Length of pond + (2 x max. depth of pond) + minimum  60 cm overlap
    Width of liner required = Max. Width of pond + (2 x max. depth of pond) + minimum 60 cm overlap

    If you are measuring a completed excavation use a flexible measuring tape or a rope that completely conforms to the contours of the excavation. To determine the full length of liner required run the tape or rope down into the pond, exactly following the contours of the excavation, across all the ledges, to the bottom of the pond, and back out the other side. Then add at least 60 cm per side to allow for sufficient liner overlap outside of the pond. Use the same method to determine the width of the liner. Be sure to measure across the maximum length and width and at right angles to each other.

    Another very popular choice are pre-formed ponds these are heavy-duty pools, usually made from high-density polyethylene, fibreglass reinforced polyester, fibreglass, etc. They stand up very well to the elements, are hard to destroy and come with a long-term manufacturer's warranty. The average homeowner can easily accomplish the installation.

    Pre-formed ponds are, however, not nearly as versatile as flexible pond liners. Most of them are relatively small and usually have only one, maybe two, planting ledges. You have no input into the design, shape and depth and are limited to whatever is commercially available.

    Another factor is cost. You will find that a flexible pond liner that covers the same area as the pre-formed pond is usually quite a bit cheaper.

    The other two materials suitable for waterproofing a pond are clay and concrete. Most of us would require the help of a specialized contractor to apply any of the above, and they are therefore not the materials of choice for the do-it-yourselfer.

    In addition to a pond liner or pre-formed pond you will also need some sand and/or a non-rotting polyester felt to act as a cushion and protection layer between the liner and the soil underneath it. When using heavy boulders as edging materials or when placing heavy objects within the pond we recommend using heavy-duty rubber mats as a protection layer between the boulders and the pond liner. This is explained in more detail in the installation section.

    Unless you plant them in a bog garden, water plants are best planted in pots. This facilitates future changes and moving them to other locations within the pond, as well as moving them to a deeper spot or indoor for over winter. Contact a water plant specialist or grower for advice on plants that thrive in your particular area and climate zone.

    You also need the proper edging materials to complement your pond's appearance. Popular choices are river rocks, pebbles, patio slabs, irregular rocks and boulders, etc. Avoid anything with sharp or rough edges that could puncture the liner or provide a suitable protection layer of polyester felt or rubber mats. You can find more information on this subject in the edge design and installation section.

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    Pond installation

    Tools Required

    Now that you have found the perfect spot for your new pond and have determined the size and general shape of it you can start assembling some tools.
    Here is a list of what you will need:

    A rope, long enough to follow the entire outline of your pond,
    a wheelbarrow,
    a shovel,
    a spade,
    a mattock
    a flexible measuring tape,
    a level,
    a straight board or beam, long enough to reach across the pond,
    a few friends who would love to spend their weekend digging a hole in your yard,
    and enough pizza and beer to keep them motivated.

    Pond Installation
      
    also see..... How to install your pond liner (photos and advise)

    Building a pond is not quite as easy as it looks. It requires careful planning and awareness of safety regulations and local bylaws, as well as the locations of underground services.
    Once that has all been taken care of you can assemble your tools and get started. We will tell you all you need to know, and more, about installing flexible pond liners and pre-formed ponds.

    If you are planning a concrete pond than this section will be of little help to you. This is not something that the average person should attempt by themselves, and we suggest you get in touch with a contractor specializing in concrete pond construction.

    After you have determined the location, size and shape of your pond mark the proposed water area using a rope outline. Take a few steps back, or better yet, have another look from inside your house. Now is the time to make some changes, assuming of course that you are using a flexible pond liner that you have not yet ordered or already purchased. Once you are satisfied with your choice you can continue.

    If you are installing your pond over an existing lawn and you might want to re-use the grass somewhere else on your property, carefully remove it to a depth of approx. 10 to 15 cm. Use your spade to get underneath and try to cut it into equally sized pieces.

    Begin to dig the hole as per your plan. You can save the excavated soil for future landscaping. Good topsoil can always be used somewhere, and the rest will come in handy in case you decide to add a small waterfall to your pond later.

    If you are using a preformed pond excavate the hole to the exact contours, depth and dimensions of the insert you have purchased, allowing for a layer of sand to be put between the soil and the insert to act as a cushion. The sand layer will also allow minor adjustments and levelling of the insert.

    Once you are satisfied with your excavation, remove all roots, stones and all other sharp objects from the soil. Roots that cannot be removed should be cut back as far as possible. Consult a tree specialist before digging near trees or disturbing their root system.

    Then, put down a 5 to 10 cm layer of sand, making sure to achieve uniform coverage. Drop the pre-formed pond into the excavated and properly prepared hole, lay your beam across and check the level all the way around. Then fill the pond with water.

    If you are using a flexible pond liner to waterproof your pond, put in the first ledge as planned, making sure that it is level and wide enough to hold things like plant baskets and edging stones or boulders. It goes without saying that the edge of the pond must also be level around the entire circumference. To check, put a beam across the excavation in several spots and use your level.

    Continue down to the required depth, constructing as many ledges as desired. Instead of digging straight down we recommend to taper the sides down. This will provide more stability and help prevent the sides from caving in.

    Once you are satisfied with your excavation, remove all roots, stones and all other sharp objects from the soil. Roots that cannot be removed should be cut back as far as possible. Consult a tree specialist before digging near trees or disturbing their root system.

    Then, put down a 5 to 10 cm layer of sand, making sure to achieve uniform coverage. In lieu of sand, you can also use a non rotting polyester felt. The cushion layer should also be applied to the sloped sides. Polyester felt will work better than sand in those areas. Do not use cardboard or newspaper as a cushion. They will both rot and eventually disappear.

    As there will be quite a bit of foot traffic on the liner during installation we recommend wearing soft bottom shoes or running shoes during the actual liner installation.

    Warning: Pond liners are extremely slippery when wet.

    Pick a nice, warm and sunny day for installing your liner. As the liner might be a bit stiff in cold temperatures it will be harder to unfold and will not conform to the substrate as easily.

    Carry the folded or rolled-up pond liner into the excavation and unfold or unroll it.

    Smaller liners can also be unfolded outside of the pond. Do not leave it unfolded outside of the pond for too long, though. The sun will heat up the liner quickly, and your beautiful lawn will be damaged.

    Carefully carry the liner, with one of your friends or friendly neighbours holding it on each corner, into the pond. Do not pull the liner into the pond. First of all, it is heavy, and secondly, you might damage it by scraping it over the soil or getting caught on a sharp rock.

    Once the liner is in place allow it, and yourself, to relax. Depending on your chosen shape the pond liner will show wrinkles in some areas. These wrinkles are caused by the fact that the liner is not pre-formed to your excavation but is merely a flat sheet. These wrinkles have no effect on the performance of the pond liner and will later be pressed onto the substrate and sides by the water pressure. You can also eliminate some of the wrinkles by pulling some of them together into one and making a fold in the liner instead.

    Make sure that you have sufficient overlap (minimum 30 cm on all sides) around the perimeter of the pond to allow for anchoring of the liner.

    Now comes the fun part. You can finally begin to fill the pond with water. It is best to put the garden hose into the deepest spot and fill the pond slowly.

    As the pond fills with water you can still manipulate the liner to some degree and smooth out any remaining wrinkles.

    Once the pond has been filled to the top we recommend to wait two or three days for the water pressure to fully compress the sand and soil underneath and press the liner into all crevices and corners of your excavation. Only after this period of time can you be relatively sure that the liner is in its final position and will not move or pull on the sides. In the meantime, put some bricks or other semi-heavy objects on the liner overlap. This will prevent it from being blown into the water.

    After the liner has settled into its final position you can start burying the excess overlap. To prevent run-off from entering the pond and possibly washing lawn fertilizer into the water, make a small mound of soil all the way around the pond, drape the liner over it and then bury the rest.

    If you are planning to use edging materials that are rough or have sharp edges or corners use a cushion layer between the pond liner and your edging materials. A non-rotting polyester felt is suitable for most applications. If you are worried about puncturing your pond liner you can always use two or three layers of felt. The same goes for heavy edging materials, such as boulders, for example. In this case we recommend using a heavy-duty rubber mat in lieu of felt.

    To prevent capillary action and inadvertently draining the pond, terminate the felt or other cushioning materials below the water line or, if extended past the water line, make sure that the pond liner is high enough all the way around to keep the water within the pond.

    Make sure you use an appropriate cushion/protection layer if you use concrete blocks or other sharp-edged or heavy materials to raise planter pots.

    Pond liner repair kits are available in case your pond liner does get damaged or punctured during installation or afterwards.

    Please allow your pond to stabilize for two to three weeks before adding plants and fish. You can, however, add a pump or lighting, etc. at any time.

    A second approach
    How to install your pond liner (photos and advise)

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    Pond Maintenance

    A well-balanced water garden requires relatively little maintenance. Occasional cleaning and frequent checks on its equipment and water level are about all that is needed.
    Unless there is a lot of accumulated debris that cannot be removed by other means there is no need to drain the pond on a regular basis and disturb the ecological balance within it. Instead, use a net or pond skimmer to remove falling leaves and other plant debris, i.e. dead waterlily blossoms and leaves, free-floating algae, etc. Dead plant material that has accumulated at the bottom of the pond must be removed. Not only does a clean pond look better but it is also healthier for it and its occupants. Decomposing plant material can smell and it pollutes the water for all the other aquatic life.

    If you do drain the pond, refill it immediately after cleaning but allow the water to warm up before adding your plants. Cold water may shock some tender plants. Allow the pond to re-establish for two to three weeks before adding fish.

    A major clean-up requiring draining of the pond is the only time when it becomes advisable to add a large quantity of fresh water to your pond. At all other times we recommend adding small amounts of fresh water only. Keep an eye on the water level and top up the pond when needed, being careful not to alter the water temperature by more than a few degrees. Some people prefer to collect rainwater. The rainwater can then be added to the pond as required. This is especially useful if you are on municipal water that is chemically treated.

    Algae control is usually the largest maintenance problem in a pond. When setting up a new pond it is normal to have excess algae growth until an ecological balance has been achieved. This balance is achieved through the right proportion of floating, marginal and submerged plants, fish, and scavengers (snails and tadpoles). All plants provide oxygen and consume nutrients in the water. Submerged (also called oxygenating) plants are beneficial because they produce especially large quantities of oxygen and provide supplemental food for fish as well as a place to spawn. Floating plants are most beneficial for providing shade (important for keeping the water cooler - cool water holds more oxygen and is healthier for your fish), preventing water evaporation, and providing hiding places for the fish. Marginal or bog plants provide hiding places for small fish or scavengers and shade in the early morning or late afternoon. Fish excrement, once broken down, provides nutrients for the plants. Oxygen is converted to carbon dioxide by the fish. They also consume insect pests and a little algae, too.  Scavengers consume algae, decaying plant material and fish waste, thereby providing nutrients for the plants. It is a complete cycle with each element depending upon the others to provide what they need to survive.

    A little algae is natural, will always occur and is necessary for a healthy pond but too much can be detrimental. The amount of algae in your pond depends on the weather, the amount of sunlight, the temperature of the water, the amount of oxygen in the water and the number of nutrients and different kinds of plants present. It can be at its worst in spring.  This is because the algae does not have any competition yet.  The situation will most likely clear up once all the plants have started growing again. Be patient. If it doesn't clear up on its own, something is out of balance. The easiest solution is to add more plants. Both algae and water plants compete for the same sunlight and nutrients in your pond. Adding plants can make the nutrients unavailable to the algae, and increasing the amount of surface area covered by waterlilies and floating plants can decrease the amount of sunlight available for the algae. This is of particular importance if your pond is small and shallow. Having only a few plants in an open expanse of water combined with sunlight will result in warmer water and increased algae production.

    If you have a lot of plants and still have too much algae then perhaps there is an excess of nutrients in the water. This could be caused by a number of different factors or a combination of them. One of them could be a run-off problem. Check to make sure that garden or lawn fertilizers are not washing into the pond when it rains. Perhaps you are over-fertilizing your waterlilies or doing it incorrectly. Maybe you have too many fish, and their excrement is causing a nutrient increase. Maybe you are overfeeding your fish.

    The amount of oxygen in the water is also important, as Algae needs carbon dioxide to survive. The higher the oxygen levels, the lower the carbon dioxide levels will be. Oxygen is needed in the water to support aquatic life like fish, tadpoles, as well as aquatic snails, all of which eat algae.

    If your fish are coming to the surface gasping for air you have a problem in your pond, namely an oxygenshortage. You can increase the pond's oxygen levels by adding an aerating nozzle on a pump, planting more oxygenating plants or adding a bit of fresh water.

    When water is exposed to air it will pick up essential oxygen. Other than for aesthetic reasons this is why many people use a recirculating pump to run a waterfall or fountainhead Moving water is aerated water.

    Blanket weed or filamentous algae is another common problem in ponds. It has been suggested that blanket weed is the sign of a healthy pond as it removes excess ammonia from the water. A pond with blanket weed almost always has clear water. , but this is little consolation to the person whose pond has it. The most common solution is to simply pick it out. There are chemicals available, like Interpet’s pond balance that do not harm your pond and help eliminate blanket weed (you will still have to pick the old stuff out). Another way to reduce blanket weed is to install a magnet.  No one is entirely sure why this works. For best results, the pH of the pond should be between 7.0 and 7.2.

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    Edge Design Considerations

    The edging material you choose for your pond should be in harmony with the pond itself. An informal shaped pond in a natural setting surrounded by square pavers results in a conflicting effect.
    Instead, select irregular cut stone, river rock 10cm to 15Cm in diameter or larger irregular stones and/or boulders. In short, use materials that appear in nature itself. You could even have a natural landscaped border of grass, wildflowers or moisture-loving plants around your pond.

    For formal pools choose man-made materials, for example symmetrical pavers, tiles, cut concrete blocks, etc.

    No matter what materials you decide to use, the main objective is to make sure that the pond liner; pre-formed pond or concrete is not visible above the water line. To accomplish this, either blend the border into the edges of the pond or when using pavers, overhang them over the edge of the pond.

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    Where to Place Your Pond or Fountain from a Feng Shui Perspective

    By Derelle Ball

    Xuan Kong Feng Shui is an ancient science which helps us predetermine the probability factors affecting the health, relationship harmony and abundance opportunities in and around your home.   These probability factors are derived from over 6000 years of careful statistical observation of time, magnetic forces, cyclic patterns in nature and certain types of land form.

     Feng Shui literally translates as ‘wind/water’ and refers to chi (energy) being carried along by the wind, and attracted to water.  Once you know which form of energy you wish to attract, you can use an active outdoor water feature to bring abundance opportunities via positively charged energy to your home.  

    You can determine the positive magnetic energy flow around your home by first determining the time period in which your home was built and/or renovated into, then working out the compass orientation of the building.  These two factors provide the probability factors for every compass sector in and around your home and help you determine which areas are more conducive to positive luck for career and financial growth, potential illness, legal problems, relationship harmony, quarrelling and so on. 

    As a general guide, we are now in a 20 year time cycle called the Period of 8, which began on 4th Feb 2004 and will end on 3rd Feb 2024.  During this current time cycle, it is considered fortunate to have lower ground and/or active water (ie pond, pool or fountain) located outside in the Southwest or East sectors of your home, and higher ground and a mountain formation (ie a hill, house, shed, tall fence, boulder, rock wall etc) in the Northeast sector of your garden.

    The individual compass orientation and construction dates of your home also tell us there your home’s timely 8 Siang Sin/water Star is located and this is the absolute best place to locate an active water feature inside and outside the home in order to attract positive opportunities for your finances and career aspirations for the next 20 year period. 

    For example, if your house was built in 1989 and the front facing wall of the building faces towards 17 degrees, then it belongs to the Period of 7 and is known as a North 3/Kway Natal Chart.  The Siang Sin 8 is located in the South Sector, and this is where you would locate an active water feature, as well as a window or door along the external wall of the home within the same sector to let the positive chi that accumulates at the water feature, into the home, so that it can bring positive financial luck to all the residents in the home.  If your house was built in the same year but was facing 345 degrees, it would be known as a N1/Zen Natal Chart and the lucky Siang Sin location would be in the North.

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    Frogs        How to make a frog friendly pond

    Frogs cartoon

    Frogs face many problems in their day-to-day lives, not the least being to find somewhere to live and raise their families. Why not build a wildlife pond at your school or in the garden at home. Even if you have a pond, here are some points you need to remember to make it "Frog Friendly". But don't forget, this is a frog friendly pond so the frogs should be allowed to come and go as they please and should not be kept as pets. If conditions are right, many species will return to the same pond year after year.

     

     

    Pond help

    1. Think about what material you want your pond to be made of. Perhaps the most popular option is a suitably sized pond (at least a metre and a half across, and the depth of the middle no greater than 60-70cm). Line the hole with plastic or PVC pond liner, available from Creative Pumps. For a simple option, pre-cast fibreglass pond shells are an excellent option.

    2. Find a suitable pond location. A frog pond should be positioned so that roughly two-thirds of the surface is in shade. Some sunshine is an essential for algae growth and other aquatic vegetation. These plants are ideal food for tadpoles.

    3. There should be plants near the edge hanging over into the pond for spawn to be laid in. Local native plants are the best as they create a back yard environment closely resembling the frogs' habitat in the wild. It is best to have a diversity of plants, including; trees, shrubs, grasses, climbers, sedges, ferns, and a few aquatic species for the pond.

    4. Let the grass grow long around the edge of the pond or plant low sheltering plants because froglets will need this habitat to hide in and to call from during mating season.

    5. Choose insect attracting plants, as this will help to provide a food source for frogs and will attract other animals. Your local nursery will be able to help you out here.

    6.Place logs and rocks around the pond to provide a natural habitat and shelter for the frogs

     

    Raising tadpoles

    A tadpole's needs are fairly simple. A must is clean fresh water free of chemicals and chlorine. If you use tap water, let it stand in the sunshine for 5 or 6 days. This allows the chlorine to dissipate. The most popular food for tadpoles to eat is algae and decomposing vegetable matter. But, the best thing to feed your tadpoles would be small amounts of boiled lettuce leaves. Just be sure to wash the leaves thoroughly to remove any chemical residue. Boil the leaves in a saucepan, drain and cool, and then roll into small balls. They can be frozen for later use. Tadpoles should be fed enough so they don't start munching on each others tails but not too much that it pollutes the water

    How to choose your pump and filter

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