10 Common Blunders for Ponds in Phoenix
Poor Location for your pond in Phoenix
Starting with the design of the pond Phoenix homeowners plan are too often placed in an unused area of the property or in a low spot that collects water. Both of these locations cause problems. Unused areas of the landscape are unused for a reason and it's a waste to put a key feature in an area that won't be seen regularly. Out of sight, out of mind … meaning nobody will care for it. Low spots that collect water are challenging to build in (high water table) and water quality can suffer from too much runoff and pollutants entering the pond system. Rainwater harvesting and stormwater management are completely separate conversations that a simple pond in Phoenix.
Underestimating Labor for Your Pond in Phoenix
Underestimating the amount of physical work involved with a pond installation is very common. As professional pond contractors, we are regularly asked to complete ponds in Phoenix that are partially excavated by a homeowner. Unless you dig for a living, it's tougher than you think … and digging the pond is the easy part!
Creating Steep Sides for your Pond in Phoenix
Digging a deep pit with no provisions for shallow areas makes stacking stone on the inside of the pond in Phoenix very difficult. The excavation would be unstable and since there aren’t shallow areas, it is difficult and dangerous to get in and out of the pond for maintenance. Plus, there's no place or ledges for aquatic plants, the majority of which grow in less than 12" of water, even in Phoenix.
Too Shallow for a Pond in Phoenix
A shallow pond in Phoenix is obviously easier to dig than a deeper one, but if it’s not deep enough, the fish won’t be able to over-winter in the northern part of Arizona. And if you live in the central or southern area, your pond won’t stay cool if it’s too shallow. Fish don’t like hot ponds in Phoenix!
Lack of Ledges in your Phoenix Pond
A common mistake is when the pond is excavated in a bowl fashion, with gently sloping sides that get deeper towards the middle. This is difficult to disguise with rock since gravel will slide towards the deep area and boulders take up too much room.
Improper Use of Rock and Stone to Create your Pond in Phoenix
An installed pond in Phoenix is disguised with rock to give it a desired natural-looking appearance; a typical feature will use several tons of stone. That can be a lot of wear and tear on the family minivan, and it needs to be moved and placed properly. Many do-it-yourselfers will decide this is too much work and they'll choose small, manageable stones that are easy to move and place. While the work might be easier, this results in the pond falling short of aesthetics. Also, the pond loses the structural importance provided by the larger, more difficult-to-move boulders. In some cases, the novice pond installer will just eliminate the stonework altogether, which can look bad. Without rock and gravel, the system fails to function properly because stone not only lends to the aesthetics of the feature, but it also functions as a habitat for colonization by a variety of beneficial organisms from bacteria to crustaceans … all critical to the success of a natural-looking, organic pond in Phoenix.
Too Small for a Phoenix Pond
Again, a small pond is easier to construct (less digging and rock placement) but it’s actually harder to maintain. A small feature is less stable than a larger volume of water, and most people end up making the water garden larger later down the road because they not only love it, but their plants and fish outgrow a small feature.
Lack of Proper Filtration for a Phoenix Pond
Consumer thought is that real lakes, rivers, and streams function without pumps and filters, so why does their backyard pond in Phoenix need it? Well, that’s not even a close comparison because it’s completely different hydrology. Do-it-yourselfers sometimes purchase inadequate filters or will purchase components “a la carte.” It may be cheaper to purchase the items piecemeal, but it's challenging because different manufacturers use different fittings, and they need to be "McGuivered" to work together, versus having everything matched and designed to work as a unit. Efficiency and simplicity will create a better system for your pond in Phoenix.
Poor Access/Staging Area for your Phoenix Pond
Before you get started, think about where to place your rock and gravel when it’s delivered, or where you want to place the dirt during excavation. Poor planning can lead to having little to no room to get in and out of the property during the construction process.
Improper Berm Size for Waterfalls to Accompany Your Pond in Phoenix
If the mound or berm area for the waterfall is too small or too steep, then the waterfall will look out of place and more like a volcano than a waterfall. The berm and waterfall need to be scaled according to the size of the property and the feature. Many people want a big waterfall that looks and sounds great, but it can become difficult and expensive to build, and it can overpower the space you have set aside for your pond. The waterfall needs to fit with the property and lifestyle of the pond owner. And the pond needs to be large enough to contain the splash generated by the waterfall.
Now that you have our list of 10 ten pond installation mistakes, you’ll know what to avoid. So go ahead and grab your shovel and get digging! You may have to endure hours of sweat, but you’ll reap years of relaxation by your beautiful backyard oasis.
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Barbi Holdeman, co-owner of The Pond Gnome, enjoys sharing their 17+ years of education & experience with you! She writes about Phoenix Ecosystem Pond Installation, Pond Maintenance, Wildlife around the Pond, Koi and Goldfish in the Pond, and the Pond Lifestyle. If you enjoy what she writes, please share it!