Do Ponds Need to be Fenced? (Need Waterfall?)


Ponds are one of the best ways to add the beauty of nature and elegance to your property. It is fun to enjoy watching and caring for the fish and other creatures in a more natural environment than in a fish Aquarium. In addition, it creates a new ecosystem that encourages frogs and other species to become part of their natural habitat.

Ponds can be a great teaching tool for your kids to know about the pond’s fish and plants. But here, you certainly have to consider the requirement of fencing around the pond. Ultimately, deciding whether to fence in your pond will bring you to the safety aspect of life. 

Do You Need a Fence Around a Pond?

First, you must ask yourself, are there children coming by frequently? Do fish in the pond susceptible to predators? Is the pond deep and has slippery edges? If the answer is yes, you have to consider fencing the pond.

If you have small children at home, it requires you to take measures for your children’s safety from the possibility of falling in the water and drowning as they can be near the pond anytime, and it is only a matter of seconds for something wrong to happen.

Fencing is an excellent way to keep children and your fish and other creatures safe from predators. Besides, pool fencing will keep raccoons and other four-legged animals away from your pond. Your dog may try drinking the water, or your cat may be interested in eating Koi fish from the pond. 

Fencing can be an attractive part of your pond and reap its protective rewards.

How Deep Can a Pond be Without a Fence?

Every region may have varying regulations regarding the construction of the fence. Generally, any large water body exceeding 18 inches in depth must be surrounded by a fence on its side. Therefore, a pond with a depth of fewer than 18 inches may not require a fence.

If a fence is necessary, it generally must be at least 6 feet high with no foot holds to prevent climbing and locking gates from keeping unsupervised children out.

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Does a Pond Need a Waterfall?

Built close to the house, the pond creates a refreshing, relaxing backdrop. Though not mandatory, the rock waterfall creates a soothing vision and makes a pleasing sound as it oxygenates the water.

The pond needs oxygen to be supplied continuously to your pond to keep the beneficial bacteria active. In addition, plants around it soften the stone edges and provide cover for fish.

Should You Put Rocks in the Pond?

Adding rocks to the pond adds a more natural look to it as if mother nature put it there herself.

In addition, stones used in ponds provide the following benefits:

Adding rocks allows the aerobic bacteria (beneficial bacteria) to colonize in your pond and start filtering out debris like fish waste and plant debris. Aerobic bacteria need ammonia and oxygen to sustain themselves. Ammonia is generated from fish waste, decaying plant material, and oxygen keeps the bacteria alive.

Rocks and gravel may help to protect pond liners from UV light degradation and extend the liner membrane’s lifetime. UV light can break down your liner over time, making it less durable and more susceptible to leaking. Blocking the UV light brings many years out of a high-quality pond liner.

Rocks can also help protect fish by including fish caves for them to hide at the time when a predator comes along looking for a meal.

However, disadvantages of a rock bottom pond include the problem that it may become too toxic for fish life if it is left to sit without maintenance for years. In addition, adding rocks is expensive due to the cost of rocks and gravel.

What is a Good Size For the Pond?

Ponds can be seen in all shapes and sizes, from small and simple to large and complex. The more water in a pond, the more stable the biology and water temperatures are. Stable temperatures help regulate the pond’s ecosystem, keeping fish and plants happy and algae in check.

Mainly, the average size of ponds is required to be 10′ x 15′ (roughly 150 square feet), with the 24″ highest depth for an average ecosystem pond. If ponds have underwater shelves for plants, they usually go 12 inches down. 

If space is limited for a pond, increasing the depth can substantially increase its volume. For example, increasing depth from 24″ to 36″ will increase the volume of water by 50%. In Japan, koi ponds are small in length and width due to limited space, but those ponds have good depth to have the water volume needed for Koi.

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You can also plan to have an area in the pond that is deeper than the rest, like a shallow area at one end, then a second level that steps down to 24″ deep, and the third level to 36″. Deeper water allows the fish to escape predators if necessary. 

But keep in mind the more water volume, the larger the skimmer, pump and filter will be required, and electricity cost will be more.

Do Pond Plants Clean the Water?

Aquatic plants with high nutrient uptake are beneficial for keeping the water clear and healthy. This is because they grow underwater, assimilate nutrients from the water through their leaves, and release oxygen. In addition, pond plants filter sediments and pollution from your pond removing carbon from the air we breathe to produce oxygen.

Incorporating the higher order of plants into the pond outcompete the nuisance algae. Algae require sunlight, water and nutrients such as nitrates & phosphates to prosper.

Water plants create shade and consume nitrates from pond water, restricting the necessary supply for algae growth. They form necessary conditions for the natural equilibrium in a pond.

Does a Pond Need a Filter?

Yes, ponds do require a filter. Filters that are available in the market are usually of two types.

First, a mechanical filter, also known as the skimmer, keeps surface water debris-free from your pond water, such as leaves and small sticks, so the pump won’t clog.

The biological filter, or BioFalls filter, removes chemicals that harm fish. This filter uses bacteria to break down pond wastes, converting them into less harmful compounds that can be absorbed as fertilizer by your aquatic plants. However, both types or a single product with both utilities can be used to sustain fish.

How Deep Should a Pond be for Swimming?

Ideally, “swimming ponds” should have enough space to create a distinct swim zone and plant zone. It should have a depth of at least 5.5 feet and 25 – 30 feet long. Anything smaller than this is simply considered a natural “plunge pool.”

Larger-sized ponds are, of course, better as they would provide a bounty of space for free movement and reduce the chances of collisions and entanglements.

However, it is wise to create an additional area between 24 to 32 cm deep destined for oxygen-producing plants that contribute considerably to a good quality of swimming water.

How to Keep Pond Water Clean For Swimming?

The decomposing matter(muck) in the pond makes the pond dirty and unhealthy for swimming. This muck is made up of plant waste, fish waste and other materials that build up along the bottom of your pond. Muck not only reduces water clarity and reduces oxygen levels but can also create some unpleasant odors. Here are some ways to keep the water clean.

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1. Aerating Pond

You may have a small decorative pond or a larger pond. Aerating the water definitely helps keep ponds clean. If your pond water becomes stagnant, the contained oxygen floats to the pond’s surface, and the bottom water layer loses oxygen. When you aerate the pond water, this adds oxygen to the bottom layer and ensures that all the water has a proper amount of oxygen. 

Low oxygen levels often lead to fish death, and aerating can prevent this. In addition, aerating can prohibit algae overgrowth and even prevent the muck from building up.

2. A Pond Rake

Raking your pond can be a great way to remove algae and debris and remove the muck. If you have a larger pond, consider heading out with your rake once per week and removing the waste. A pond rake is inexpensive. It needn’t take excessive time to remove debris if you make time once per week.

Spending a few minutes each day removing dead leaves, twigs, and other debris can go a long way to keeping your pond water clean and healthy. A skimmer might be all you need to get out the waste.

3. The Right Plants

Adding plants can be beneficial for any pond. Plants can help keep water temperatures cooler and provide much-needed shade for fish and other aquatic life during the hotter months of the year.

Not only are these beautiful, but they also restrict the growth of algae and eat up some of the nutrients that algae need to grow. Some plant varieties can even add extra oxygen to pond water. 

4. Add Colorant

Adding colorant to the water might seem like adding dye to your pond water, but it can be very beneficial for a pond. Colors are typically made from the same dyes used in our food, so they are safe for your fish, livestock, and humans.

Just ensure that you purchase food-grade and veterinarian-approved dye. In addition, colorants enhance the color of pond water and can lower the pond’s temperature while maintaining oxygen levels.

5. Beneficial Bacteria

Add beneficial bacteria to your pond. The bacteria consume green organic material and sludge that helps maintain water quality and clarity. Add biodegradable bacteria regularly to keep the water clean and healthy. Also, keep in mind not to overfeed fish which mostly create waste.

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