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I’m considering digging a pond but I hear they are a lot of work, is it worth it? | Ponds & Lakes Q&A


I’m considering digging a pond but I hear they are a lot of work, is it worth it?

Q: I’m considering digging a pond but I hear they are a lot of work, is it worth it?

Peter – Stoughton, WI

A: Let’s be honest: pond maintenance can be a drag. Going out to your lake or pond over and over to clean up dead vegetation, fill the fish feeder, add your beneficial bacteria and check on your aeration system (not to mention all the seasonal chores) takes precious time and energy—so why bother?

Here’s some inspiration: Think about why you wanted a pond in the first place. Check out these four fabulous benefits of having a pond. They’ll remind you why all that maintenance is worth your effort.

A Cool Place to Relax

Your pond or lake is a scenic, peaceful place to snooze in a hammock or Adirondack chair, sip some cool lemonade, take in the views and just relax. It’s also a great place to hang out with family and friends and let the warm days of summer pass by. Enjoying the tranquil beauty of a pond—enhanced by Pond Logic® Pond Dye, which shades and protects the pond while adding to its color and beauty—is one of the top reasons why people have one in the first place, so it’s in your interest to keep it looking its best.

Sport Fishing

Having a lake stocked with game fish, like trout and bass, is another benefit to keeping and maintaining your pond. Any time you’d like, you can grab your fishing pole, head down to the lake and hook some tasty dinner. You can invite the kids (or grandkids) down for some catch-and-release fun. Maintaining you pond or lake—and feeding your finned friends some extra grub—will ensure a big catch every time.

Water Recreation

Do you enjoy swimming in your lake? How about boating or kayaking around—or even just floating on an inner tube? Your pond or lake is an ideal place to keep cool (and get away from your lengthy to-do list!) all summer long. When you keep your pond of lake in tip-top shape, it’ll be an inviting place to get wet, stay cool and forget about the outside world.

Support Local Wildlife

Deer, frogs, birds, dragonflies, raccoon, opossum—lots of critters (besides you and your family, of course!) make use of your pond or lake. They’ll visit for a drink of water. They’ll use it for shade and protection. They’ll even nibble at the bugs, plants and fish food, giving them sustenance throughout the year. By maintaining your pond, you’ll help support the local wildlife. And what land owner doesn’t want to do that?

Yes, maintenance can be a chore. But when you remember these four benefits to keeping a pond, you’ll (hopefully!) see those chores as a way of keeping and improving your property—and your peace of mind!

Pond Talk: What was the No. 1 reason why you decided to add (or restore) a lake or pond on your property?

Pond Logic® Pond Dye - Shade & Protect Your Pond

17 Responses

  1. I dug a koi pond, definitely worth it. My suggestion is to make sure the bottom is level. If you have to get in it, the liner is very slippery, particulary in the uneven spots in my pond.

    • That is great advice. When creating water gardens we also encourage the implementation of plant shelves. Not only do these shelves create a great space for bog plants, they also create a “stairway” for animals or people to exit the water garden if they ever find themselves inside it (purposefully or otherwise).

      • I put plant shelves on my Koi pond and they do help you get in and out. also put small gravel in the bottom of my pond and that keeps you from sliding. And this also helps build good bacteria in your pond.

  2. Yes in today’s world it’s worth it!

  3. I built my first pond from a gift that my wife gave me for fathers day! Oh what a joy and conversation piece! The maintenance is exercise and the appreciation is well rewarded in thought and presence!!!!

  4. i put one in at the beginning of summer it is four foot by seven foot by two foot deep.put in cheap gold fish and watched them get larger and fatter. I am glad that i put it in

  5. 15 Years ago I started with a small Stocktank on my Patio added Plants and Fish and listened to the Waterfall that I created with big Rocks.As the Years went by and the Fish grew and had babies I got bigger Socktanks.The work was hard and I was fighting Algee every Year and almost gave up.I desided one more upgrade so I got a 9′ stocktank and patrially burried it in the ground digging the Hole myself.I got River Rocks washed them added Plants and my Golldfish who by then were Grandparents and most of them have Names I added a triangle shadecloth over my Pond and only add Algee remover and Clearefier 3times a year when I clean the filter.I am 73 Years old but couldn’t think of my mornings and evenings without them and the Relaxation they provide me.

  6. I build my first pond 2000 and i study and learned how to take care of the Koi’s i got . Then in 2008 I opened up my pond and they loved the extra space and they made baby fish and Everyday i can go out there and relaxe and watch them and laugh and enjoy. So I think its worth it.I am 71 years old.

  7. When I was already a rickety old woman I dug (with a shovel) a little pond in the clay back yard of my rickety little old house, and lined it, planted water-plants people gave me, bought a few goldfish and began one of the most beauty-rich decades of my life. Turtles came. Frogs came in droves and sang at night. Great varied flocks of birds sang by day — including a hawk who lived in a persimmon tree that hung over the water and dined on the swarm of life all around him. Even the bugs were beautiful. When the world just became too much — like, daily — a pond-side lawn chair offered unfailing respite. Yes, the fish had to be fed, and the algae treated. But having to leave that place, when I could no longer walk and tend things, was a minor tragedy. So is it worth it? To each his own –

  8. My pond has required much less work this year as I have become more knowledgeable about maintaining it. Products from the Pond Guy including Barley Extract liquid, Japanese Black Trapdoor Snails and proper plant cover has greatly reduced the algae and is safe for my Koi and Goldfish. Each pond is different; it is important to read and experiment to find out what works for your situation. My daughter and grandchildren love the fish and it gives the little ones a nice appreciation of nature. The sound of the waterfall is so enjoyable and peaceful. Sometimes I get tired of the maintenance, but it’s a small amount of time compared to the hours of enjoyment.

    • This is exactly our thought Bev, once you learn how to balance your pond it truly is smooth sailing. Our goal is to provide that knowledge to as many pond owners as possible so they can all enjoy their pond as much as you do yours.

  9. Yes, you have to maintain it, but for me the wildlife values, the beauty, the sound of falling water are more than worth it!

    For algae I use shade, fish and occasionally chemicals.

    • I had a pond for 8 years and I love it! If you want a low maintenance pond, make a small one. Shade, plants,fish and using the “Defense PAC really helps on the maintenance up keep. I have had beautiful health Koi fish in my pond for 7 years, it is relaxing and my hobby raising the Koi, and it does attract other creatures. The right plants and proper water bring life to your yard.

  10. Joe is a little correct it will look great with little maintance for the first 5-8 years. Then it will become work. Be sure your in solid clay or you may never get enough water to keep it close to full. Dig deep, mine is 20′ in the middle, check DNR websites for information. Plan on spending about $500 each summer on maintance and your time, i don’t mind doing it. Design a run off for heavy rains when it over fills. If you have a garage or house near trench a 3/8 air line like i did. I now use a large air compressorin my barn for airatition. Lastly you will need to use copper sulphate to help control alge no matter how much bio chemicals you use, just use as little as possible. I could not live without my pond even if it does not always look great.

    • Great thoughts John. Once you dig a pond, it instantly begins accumulating organic debris. Without assistance, the balance of your pond water shifts from clean, clear, healthy water to a nutrient rich soup. Plants like cattails and algae use these nutrients to grow, animals and fish eat these plants and boom, you have a natural pond going through its natural cycle.

      The goal for pond & lake owners is to maintain and balance the incoming organic debris with the use of pond aeration, beneficial bacteria additives and pond shade. A well circulated, oxygen rich pond is full of organic-eating beneficial bacteria that keep your pond clean and clear. These bacteria limit the amount of nutrients left in the pond which prevents pond muck formation, smelly water and plant/weed growth. As John said, you will always see a little algae growth in the sunnier warm months so it never hurts to have some algaecide on hand to quickly stomp it out. Just like with anything in life, you have to dedicate a little time, money and effort into maintaining your pond, but when you do it right, your returns heavily outweigh your investments.

  11. Your question about digging a pond. If you dig one plan on selling your property before it is a muture pond. I have been fighting alage for 10 years and I manage to find another one. If I could get my pond to you, you could have it. Have a good day. Joe

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