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Pond Supplies - Pond Pumps, Pond Filters and Pond Liners

Updated on July 11, 2013

Where to Find the best Pond Supplies for your Garden Pond

If you have a pond or water garden, or you're planning to build one, you know that there are certain things you need. Whether it's a pond liner, pond pump, or a filter, this page will show you what you need and where to find it.

While you can buy ponds ready to fill with water and go, you may end up with a pond that is closer to your ideal if you do a bit more yourself. Depending on how you go about it, you might also end up spending less money, which is a good thing. If you have never owned a pond before, then a pond kit might be the way to go because it is simple and will help you avoid mistakes like buying a filter that is too small for your pond. After all, you want your pond to be a joy rather than a nuisance.

All photos used under Morguefile license

Pond pump drives this fountain
Pond pump drives this fountain

Pond pumps

Pond pumps are what drive your filter, your waterfall, your stream or your fountain. They will be on all day, every day unless you only switch them on when you want to watch the moving water, which means you want to pick equipment that is durable and energy-efficient.

For pond filtration and fountains or a waterfall of less than four feet in height, magnetic drive pumps are a good choice. They are energy efficient and durable. They are ideal for pond filtration.

For big fountains or waterfalls, direct drive pumps are much stronger. Unfortunately, they are also less energy efficient. There are also hybrid drive pumps. These are a newer product which aims to combine the best of both.

You also need to take the size of your pond into account. The larger the pond, the stronger the pump you'll need for filtration. The higher the waterfall or fountain, the stronger the pump you'll need. Fountains generally require faster water flow than filtration, so if you have a tall fountain you'll probably need two separate pumps. Excessively fast water flow can reduce the effectiveness of the filter.

Go for Quality in Pond Supplies

Pumps and liners have this in common - you don't want to have to take apart the pond to replace them! So buy quality in the first place for less hassle downstream.

Pond supplies make a beautiful pond possible
Pond supplies make a beautiful pond possible

Pond filters

Filters are useful both in keeping ponds clear and in keeping them healthy. They are especially useful in fish ponds. The more fish you have per cubic meter, and the fewer plants you have, the more important filtration is.

Obviously, wild ponds manage just fine without filtration, but many of them have water flowing in or out naturally, which provides water movement although it won't provide filtration. Wild ponds also usually have low fish loads compared with man-made ponds. There's also the fact that in wild ponds things happen that you won't want happening in your pond. With time, they fill in and become land. Before then, they may dry up in the summer or become algae-filled messes with no surviving fish.

Filtration for fish ponds should include mechanical and biological media. Often the mechanical medium serves double duty as a biological filter. Mechanical filtration involves trapping sediment, algae and other objects. This makes the pond look clear. Biological filtration involves bacteria on a substrate transforming ammonium (from fish waste) into nitrite, and then different species of bacteria turn them into nitrate, which is less harmful to fish. Nitrate is readily taken up by plants as fertilizer.

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Pond made from a preformed pond liner
Pond made from a preformed pond liner

Pond liners

You can get either preformed ponds or pond liners to build your pond. Preformed ponds are a bit easier to deal with, but pond liners are much more flexible to build the pond you want, as well as being cheaper. Whichever type you choose, you should use pond underlayment or roofing felt to protect the liner from the dirt and rocks underneath.

Flexible pond liners are also easier to find in large sizes that work better for overwintering fish. EDPM pond liners are often used and are very durable, often lasting a couple of decades. PVC doesn't stand up very well to cold climates, but it is inexpensive and easy to use.

Preformed ponds are often made of fiberglass. This is very durable, but they require a layer of compacted sand or brick dust underneath them when you put them in.

Then of course, there is concrete. This can be in any shape you desire, and will last longer than anything else. On the other hand, it is more expensive than other options.

All-in-one Pond Kits

One very simple way to get started with a pond, especially a small one, is to buy everything you need in a kit.

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