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The Perfect Pond Starter Kits
Preformed pond "tubs" are the most popular style on the market today, mostly because of their reasonable price. With costs ranging from $50 to $100, most homeowners can afford the basic component needed to start a backyard pond project.
Preformed ponds are also simpler to install than using a pond liner for a custom pond. The only drawback to using a preformed pond tub is that you can't.
However, with the right decoration, like rocks around the outside to hide the tub's edges, it can look just as natural as a custom pond. Another disadvantage is preformed ponds aren't generally over 100 gallons in size, so you have to winterize your fish, some aquatic plants cannot root properly and both are easy prey for predators.
Preformed ponds are usually made of fiberglass and come with a pump and a filter. Due to recent popularity, manufacturers are now making different shapes, sizes and configurations to enhance the look and creativity of your yard. The main advice is to shop around before you make your purchase. Some pond supply retailers charge a larger mark-up, especially if you live in smaller, inaccessible towns. Do your homework and look online first.
The key to installing preformed ponds is to dig a hole the same size and shape of the tub, so that it can be placed in the ground snugly. You should allow the top rim of the preformed tub to sit several inches above ground level when it is unfilled. When you fill it with water, it will sink into the soil and become level with the ground. To mark the area, use a garden hose or spray paint. It is advised to dig the hole immediately before installation because it could rain, raccoons could wreak havoc with the area or kids could fall into the hole.
These types of ponds are good as starter ponds and they are not wasted later if you decide to upgrade to a larger or liner-based pond. You can always use the preforms as a holder for fish when cleaning, use it as an indoor place to winterize your pond fish or use the frame as an addition to your new pond. The preformed ponds are great additions for multi-level, waterfall ponds as well.
When installing your pond liner, you need to make sure you have enough liner to cover the depth and enough to cover the sides, reaching up and over of the top of your pond. Here's how to determine how much liner you will need:
Choosing a Pond Liner
Custom ponds require liners, just like swimming pools. They allow you to dig the shape of the pond any way you want it. The liner sits in the hole, holds the water in the pond and keeps it from leaking and losing water.
Pond liners are very flexible and are designed to conform to any hole, regardless of its shape. They are built to withstand serious punishment, remain flexible through extreme temperatures and are UV resistant. Most liners are made of polyethylene and come with a 20-year warranty which guarantees a solid and leak-proof pond.
•Measure the pond's width, length and depth and make sure all measurements are taken at the deepest, longest and widest parts of the pond.
•Length of Pond Depth X 2 2 extra feet = Total Length of Liner
•Width of Pond Depth X 2 2 extra feet = Total Width of Liner
Chances are the basic liner will not be wide or long enough if you have a very large pond, so you will need to attach two or more pieces together with adhesive silicon or another splice kit method. However, this method is not recommended. You may be able to get a larger liner from a roofing company. If you do this, remember to put the algaecide-side down on the earth and not where the water will go.
Pond liners vary in price depending on the size and weight. The smallest liners, about 8' x 10', will cost around $30, while the largest, usually 40' x 40', can cost up to $670. They are also available in rolls, ranging from 5.5' x 100' at $220, up to 50' x 100' at $2,000.