DIY with Marcel: how to build your own pond!

A pond creates beautiful fauna & flora in your garden. But how do you go about it?
We clear it up for you with our simple five-step plan & answer your questions like "when do I build a pond?" and "which plants belong in the pond?".

Step 1: the right location & pond design!

When do I build the pond? 

You can build a pond all year round, but spring (March/April) is still the best time! This allows the pond to find a good biological balance, and gives the pond plants enough time to grow & bloom. 

Where should I build the pond?

A pond needs sunlight (preferably 6 to 8 hours). This allows the plants to grow wonderfully & do their (purifying) work. Do you dig a pond in a shady spot? Then the plants will struggle and algae will triumph. We also advise you not to dig the pond too close to a tree. This prevents the strong tree roots from damaging the liner & your pond from being covered with a layer of falling leaves in autumn. 

The pond design

A pond is beautiful to look at but requires some preparatory work. Hold your spade and don't start digging enthusiastically & thoughtlessly, but make a drawing of how you want to lay out your pond. The ideal pond is divided into different zones; after all, every plant & animal has different needs. Is your pond not deep enough? Then the fish will have nowhere to go during the harsh winter & algae will quickly take over your pond. Is your pond too deep? Then the water won't warm up enough for your aquatic plants during spring. 

The 3 zones of the pond:

• a deep-water zone (80cm-1m deep): this is where the fish hibernate but where they also hide in the event of imminent danger (bye bye heron!). Floating water lilies add colour to your pond & are ideal for this zone.

• a low-water zone (30-50cm deep): this zone is the fish's daily habitat.

Tip from Marcel: want to fill your pond with industrious fish? Then be sure to install a filter pump! Fish pollute the pond with their faeces. These are broken down by the bacteria in the pond, but the filter pump also helps. In addition, it provides more oxygen in the water.

• a swamp zone (20-30 cm deep): this zone is often filled with swamp plants, which not only looks good but also purifies your pond water & prevents algae growth. Marsh plants should always have their feet in the water. Some top performers are water mint (Mentha aquatica) and variegated cattail (Typha latifolia 'Variegata'). A marsh zone not only provides flora but also benefits fauna. Goldfish do not enter the marsh zone, making it a haven for frogs, dragonflies, salamanders, etc.

Besides determining the perimeter & depths of the pond zones, it is wise to already start thinking about the planting. Which pond, marsh, and bank plants do you definitely want to give a place in & around your pond? 
Mentha aquatica - Biopot ø7 cm
From €1.69
Typha latifolia 'Variegata' - water basket ø18 cm
From €7.85
Temporarily unavailable
Nymphaea alba - pot 11x11 cm
From €10.90

Step 2: get that spade out

Pond plan ready? Dig away!

A sturdy rope and some stakes make it easy to mark the contours of the pond. Drive the stakes into the ground & tie the string around them. Keep your spade perpendicular to stake out the outline of the pond. Dig out the soil layer by layer (work from the outside in) and make sure the pond edge is always level!

Tip from Marcel:
keep in mind that the pond zones will still be covered with 10cm of gravel or pond substrate.

Step 3: protective underlay

Remove all roots & stones from the ground so they cannot damage the liner. Fill the pond pit with a layer of sand (± 10cm) and cover it with safety fleece to protect the pond liner. Working with pond liner is the easiest way to build your own pond. It leaves you free to shape the pond yourself, but requires some extra protection from sharp objects.
Ubbink Veiligheidsvlies 5x2m 200g/m² wit
€28.95
Ubbink vijversubstraat 21kg
€20.75

Step 4: time for the liner

Pull the liner over the pond pit, making sure there is a 50cm overlap around the hole (you can bury the liner later so it is not visible). At the pond edge, do not lay the liner flat but guide it straight, and cut the liner slightly above the ground. The upper edge of the liner should always be higher than the highest water level. As soon as you fill the pond with water, the liner will gradually assume the correct shape. First fill the pond with a layer of substrate before filling the pond!

Step 5: finish the bank

You can finish off the edges of the pond with decorative gravel liner. This can easily be glued to the pond liner, and has a fine layer of gravel on the outside. You can also finish the pond edges with Ecolat edging strips. These durable slats are made of recycled plastic, and a perfect & sturdy alternative to wood. After that, let the pond find its biological balance & flourish. And don't forget to maintain your pond especially well, that way you avoid green water with a foul odour!
Ubbink AquaLiner PVC 4x5m - sterkte 0,5mm
€90.20 €89.00
-23%
ECO
ECO
-23%
Ecolat brown roll 25m x 14cm
€129.00 €98.99

Must-haves for your pond!

-12%
-12%
Ubbink Xtra 900 fonteinpomp
€39.95 €34.99
-18%
-18%
Ubbink AlgClear 2500 - met UV-C lamp - 1250-2500l
€73.50 €59.99

How to ensure a clean & healthy pond? We clear it up for you! 💦

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