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All, Spring

How to Set up Your Pond

August 31, 2021

How to Set up Your Pond

How to Set up Your Pond

Water features should be located in an area that receives a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day. This will allow you to plant many varieties of water plants.

If possible, place your pond away from trees and shrubs to prevent unwanted leaves from clogging any filtration system you are using. You will want your new pond to be visible from your most used outdoor space and/or from within your home.

  • Choose a location for your pond. Outline its shape and size with a rope or garden hose.
  • Dig a hole to match the depth and size of the pond. Read our Pond Building guide for in-depth details
  • Remove any stones or rocks that may affect the pond base.
  • Add an underlay and a 1” layer of sand to support your pond.
  • If you are installing a preformed pond, place the pond in the hole and check to ensure the pond is level. The pond must be level in all directions. Backfill around the edges, making sure the soil is well packed under any shelves in the pond. Now your preformed pond can be filled with water.
  • If you have chosen to install a flexible pond liner, drape the liner loosely over the hole and hold it in place with bricks or large rocks. Slowly add water to the pond. As the pond fills, continually smooth the liner to minimize creases. As the liner is weighted down by the water, it will conform to the design of your pond.
  • Once your pond is filled with water, place decorative edging stones around the edge of the liner.
  • Leave room for pump cables and hoses.
  • Calculate the volume of water in your pond. Once you have established this, you can determine what size of pump and filter you will need. The volume of your pond also determines the number of fish and plants your pond will be able to hold.

Square and Rectangle Water Features
Length x Width x Average Depth = Volume of Pond
For example: 9’ L x 6’ W x 2’ D = a pond volume of 108 cubic feet.

Round Water Features
Top Diameter x Bottom Diameter x Height x 0.785 = Volume of Pond
Example: 3’ TD x 3’ BD x 2’ H x 0.785 = a pond volume of 14.13 cubic feet
To convert volume to gallons
Cubic feet x 7.48 = Gallons
Example: 108 cubic feet x 7.48 = 807 Gallons

  • A waterfall pump should circulate 100 gallons per hour for every 1” wide of waterfall face plus the lift of the water (approx. 50 gallons per foot) from where the pump sits on the bottom of the pond to the top of the waterfall.
  • Example: 6” wide waterfall x 100 gallons = 600 gallons
  • Pump is 10’ from top of waterfall or 10 x 50 gallons = 500 gallons
  • 600 gallons + 500 gallons = 1100 gallons per hour
  • The waterfall pump should be circulating at least 1100 gallons per hour.
  • Once your pond is in place, and you have determined the volume of the pond, you need to choose a pump and filter system. There are many brands and types of pumps and filters available. See your Pond Specialist at a Sheridan Nurseries Garden Centre near you for any assistance.
  • Once your pump and filter system are installed, you are ready to add plants, fish and the appropriate chemicals to your pond.