When I was younger, it seemed that all of my friend’s grandparents, including mine, had a pond in their backyard. It just seemed like the normal thing for well, old people. Overgrown garden – check. Roses – check. Pond at the back of the yard filled with gunk, fish, and frogs – check. I was fascinated and would watch for what seemed like hours at all the colourful fish swimming around avoiding my hands as I attempted to touch one. Now they seem to be a thing of the past as block sizes have reduced and mosquitos are abundant, I had basically forgotten about them existing at all. It was only recently when I visited a friend who had had their garden redesigned, right in front of my eyes was a feature pond commanding my every attention. The light danced off the water, koi fish darted around in a flash of colour, water lilies bloomed, and water lightly trickled onto the surface creating a soothing sound. This was nothing like the dirty puddle of mud at my grandparents that was for sure!
I was sold. I didn’t even need all the added information my friend was spieling to me about the Koi fish eating the mosquito larvae helping reduce their numbers at night. Or the fact that when they had their bi-fold doors open to the backyard, the wind would hit the surface of the pond and cool their house down in summer. Or the fact that water has a calming effect subliminally and is a great relaxant. All of this was irrelevant to me, I wanted one, and that’s it. But how do I get one without breaking the budget? The answer is D.I.Y.
Unlike my friends home I am limited for space, I want something that is quick, easy and modern that can fit into my backyard but not overcrowd it. With much research, I have decided the following way in which I will build my pond. Firstly, the frame. I want a rectangular pond and have chosen to use steel as it’s strong, creates a thin profile and is easy to manoeuvre. Essentially I will get 5 pieces of steel cut, a base plate and 4 sides at 300mm high. I will then weld the sides together with a D.I.Y. MIG welder (this is easier than it sounds, just follow the instructions and you will be a gun welder in no time). Third step (and the most important) sealing. Firstly I will silicon the corners and any joints to ensure that there are no disastrous water leaks. Next, I will use a brush to seal the surrounds of the steel using a waterbased bitumen membrane. When this is dried, I will seal the interior of the steel with a biodegradable, fish friendly waterbased product. This is extremely important as added toxins will harm any fish you add to the pond or even your family pets. I find the best product to use is PondTite by Bondall which is tough, easy to clean, with high resistance against algal and fungal growth and won’t harm the delicate environment of the fish.
So there it is, simple enough. 5 pieces of steel and some appropriate sealer and I have a durable pond ready for fish, lights plants and water feature that costs a fraction of the price!