Logically, the first question you should ask is WHERE? Do you have a huge yard with a lot of trees and shrubs and flowerbeds? In other words what is the present landscape like? Would you prefer your pond in a sunny spot or in the shade? That may not seem too important, but if you should decide to surround your pond with flowers, it becomes very important. It seems (to me at least) that there are many more varieties of flowers that are sun lovers rather than ones that prefer shade. Another consideration also is that if you place your pond too near to trees, then falling leaves become a cleanup problem.
Once you’ve decided on a location, then the next question is HOW BIG? Do you want a small pond that will only need a few hundred gallons to fill, or something more like what you see in the pictures that accompany this text that holds around three thousand gallons? Do you have a water spigot close enough to your pond location so that you don’t need three hundred feet of hose to fill it?
If you are going to have a pond with a pump and filter to re-circulate the water, then you will need an electrical source nearby. (More about electrical work later). Are you thinking of having a water fall or fountain? Do you think that you are going to want fish or other aquatic life in your pond?
Will you need a fence? Does your city or township require fences or any other kind of safeguards around ponds? If there are no local ordinances in this regard, then how about your own personal feelings about keeping such an area safe for small children, who all seem to love water and gravitate to it like bees to honey?
Where is the one really good spot in your yard where you love to sit and commune with nature? If you have a spot like that, then that is probably the perfect place for your pond. Just sitting and watching a waterfall or fountain is very relaxing, and if you’ve decided to liven up your private little lake, then choose fish like Koi, Comets, and Shubunkins which seem to be quite hardy specimens. They winter well, even here in northern Ohio. We haven’t lost one fish to the weather in the almost twenty years we had our pond.
Now, as to the basic “hardware” needs. Set your mind to having a strong liner, even if it’s more expensive. This is the key to a trouble free pond. Firestone makes a liner material called EPDM PondGuard that is tough and very puncture resistant. (Holes in the liner are a real pain in the neck!). Besides the liner, you’ll need a submersible water pump, a pond filter, a UV light (sometimes called a UV filter), and a few pond plants. I’ll go over these items in more detail shortly.