Transform Your Garden by Adding a Pond and Waterfall:
Why build a pond, waterfall or water feature in your yard?
The soothing sound of water is a magical source of inspiration for young and old alike. Every garden can be enhanced by the addition of a water feature. Building a backyard pond or waterfall is like creating a self-contained world, where sounds, colors and fragrances melt together in a space of life and movement. Ponds are probably the single most important wildlife feature that can be added to a garden, attracting a host of creatures from birds, to frogs and beneficial insects. Adding a pond, with or without a waterfall, to your garden is also an investment that will enhance the curb appeal and value of your property should you ever decide to sell your home.
Common mistakes that are made when building a pond and waterfall:
Styles of backyard ponds and waterfall:
- Too Small: 80% of first-time pond builders say they built their pond / waterfall too small.
- Don’t put rocks on the bottom of the pond.
- Planting under a tree: Avoid situating your pond under shade where plant litter and lack of light will result in an unfavorable micro-climate.
- Allowing landscape runoff to drain into the pond.
- Inferior Materials: Once your pond and waterfall are finished the last thing you want to do is dig it up to replace or patch a cheap liner or to replace an inferior pump. Quality parts and materials will cost more initially, but will save you money and labor in the end.
There are two main styles of water features or ponds, formal and informal. The style of your water feature or pond, is dictated by the design of your garden and you own personal style choice.
- Formal ponds: Formal ponds or water features possess symmetry, geometric shapes and clean lines. Formal ponds are typically centered on a main architectural feature in the garden such as a pergola, patio, view, or symmetrical plantings.
- Informal ponds: Informal ponds and waterfalls are typically free-form and natural in manner. Babbling brooks, thundering waterfalls, high mountain streams and tranquil ponds are all examples of informal ponds. Informal ponds can be any size or shape and adapt well into just about any garden. By using a heavy duty, quality liner, you can design streams and waterfalls limited only by your imagination and available space.
Use the chart below to compare complete pond and waterfall packages...
FREE SHIPPING on all Savio Pond Packages!
|Savio 550 gallon pond
|Savio 800 gallon pond
|Savio 1500 gallon pond
|Savio 3000 gallon pond
|| WM Solids 1450
| WM solids 2050
| WM solids 3600
| WM solids 3600
|| 45 mil 10'x15'
| 45 mil 12'x15'
| 45 mil 15'x20'
| 45 mil 20'x25'
|| 1"x25' flex
| 1 1/2"x25' flex
| 2"x25' flex
| 2"x33' flex
|| FilterWeir 16
| FilterWeir 16
|| Check website for current pricing
| Check website for current pricing
| Check website for current pricing
| Check website for current pricing
Pond Equipment Basics:
The first crucial measurement in pond design and building is to know how many gallons of water your pond will hold. This number is critical when purchasing pumps, waterfalls and fittings. Here are some handy calculations:
Gallons in pond: Length X Width X Depth (in feet) X 7.5 = Gallons (7.5 gallons per cubic foot)
Liner Size: Width = Overall length + twice the maximum depth. Length =Overall length + twice the maximum depth. (Then add another foot!)
Choosing a Pond Pump:
For more detailed information on choosing a pond pump, click here for additional pond pump article.
The pump you choose will depend on the volume of your pond and other factors such as waterfall lift. When in doubt, go larger on your pump size. In choosing a flow rate, consider the following:
Click here to shop for quality pond pumps at great prices and FREE SHIPPING.
- Determine the number of feet the pump will have to push water upward, and use that flow rate.
- If you plan to stock your pond with several fish and just a few plants, your pond's flow rate should be greater than the pond volume.
- If you plan on creating a Koi pond the recommended flow rate should be equal to twice the pond volume.
- Check your chosen filtration system to ensure the flow you choose is within manufacturer recommendations.
- Absolute minimum pump flow rate should be ½ the pond volume. Ex: 1000 gph pump for 2000 gallon pond.
- For waterfall: 150 gph per inch width of weir
- Use flexible PVC to minimize friction loss
Filtration Basics for Ponds and Waterfalls:
When it comes to filtration, don’t be cheap! There are many options to choose from, with a direct correlation between effectiveness and price.
At the very least, your pond filter should contain biological and mechanical filtration, but you may wish to invest in one with an area for chemical filtration - this can be very helpful if you ever need to medicate (and subsequently remove medication) from your pond. You may also wish to implement an ultraviolet (UV) to help control algae.
When choosing a pond and waterfall filter system, you will need to know your total pond volume. To determine maximum pond volume, multiply length x width x depth x 7.48. Once you've determined your pond volume, choose a filter that not only fits the volume, but also the level of maintenance you are willing to provide. Typically, the more expensive the filter, the less maintenance it should require.
Check to see if your selected filter suggests maximum flow rates, so the pump you choose falls within manufacturer recommendations. Take note of the distance the pump will have to push water upward for your filter setup, and make sure your chosen pump will deliver the gph you need at that height. Also, make a note of the filter's fitting type (female pipe thread - FPT, male pipe thread - MPT, or insert) and sizes - you will need this information to select the correct plumbing pieces. Below are the three most common types of filtration systems:
- Relatively inexpensive to purchase.
- Internal filters are placed directly in pond.
- Best for small to medium ponds with a low biological and litter load.
- Easy to clean (but may prove more difficult if placed far from the edge of your pond).
- Pump output can also be connected to tubing to run a waterfall, or a diverter can be added to run both a waterfall and fountain.
- Filter is easily hidden since most parts are black and blend in with a black liner.
- A UV sterilizer can be added with additional plumbing.
- Medium priced filter system.
- Large variety of sizes and features fit nearly every budget and pond size
- Easier maintenance than internal filters because it is located outside of the pond. Also, when filter is paired with a pump that will transport large debris, you won't need to clean a prefilter.
- More plumbing and plumbing parts are involved in the assembly.
- Will require a little creative effort to disguise filter with landscaping.
- Some have built-in UV sterilizers or two outputs so half the flow can be directed to a UV unit.
Skimmer Waterfall Weir Filter System:
Click here to shop for Savio skimmerfilter systems at a great price and FREE SHIPPING.
- Best all-around filtration system regardless of pond size.
- Provides the overall best water quality since the debris is caught before it sinks into pond.
- Requires minimal maintenance - just lift lid from skimmer, dump debris out of mesh basket, then rinse mechanical media with a hose if needed.
- Installs in the ground, right next to the pond.
- Easy to disguise - cover skimmer with a large flat rock and disguise waterfall bio-filter with rocks and plants.
- More plumbing involved in assembly but some can be avoided is you purchase a pond kit by a quality manufacturer such as Savio.
- More expensive than most other filters, but the end result is well worth the cost!
- A UV sterilizer may be added with additional plumbing.
The advantages of using a pond kit:
If you are feeling overwhelmed about everything you need to know and calculate to build a pond, you are not alone. Fortunately the water feature or pond and waterfall industry has evolved in the last few years to the point where quality manufactures such as Savio have created professional pond kits that any DIY homeowner can successfully install in a weekend.
At Stargazer Perennials we have been installing and building ponds both for ourselves and clients for years. During that time we have migrated exclusively to Savio products based upon our own experience with using them in the field. Savio products really do work and last in the landscape. Stargazer Perennials are now able to offer Savio pond and waterfall packages and products directly to you.
Advantages of using a pond package include:
- All necessary parts, materials and fittings are included. This means no running out to the hardware or pond store five different times to try and get everything you need.
- Purchasing a pond kit is actually more cost effective than buying parts and equipment individually, so you SAVE MONEY!
- The pump and fittings are already correctly sized to operate the pond and waterfall properly. Properly functioning ponds and waterfalls mean a cleaner, happier pond!
- Savio Pond kits come with detailed, step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow.
Questions about installing a pond or waterfall in your yard or garden:
If you have questions about which pond kit to purchase or other questions related to building a pond or water feature, email us at email@example.com and we will be pleased to assist you with your question.