What is a Complete Pond Kit?
Complete Pond Kits include all the necessary components to build a backyard pond, koi/fish pond, or water garden. It can be quite difficult to research and compare prices of each component. Components purchased from different suppliers sometimes won’t be compatible or will be best suited for different pond sizes.
Selecting the Right Pond Kit
Our goal is to offer a wide selection of pond kits based on budget, brand, size, and features. However it can be quite overwhelming to know where to begin looking for a first-time buyer.
The important thing to figure out first is the correct pond size. If money is a decision-making factor, then you could check out the price ranges between offered brands. Most pond kits come in either EPDM or PVC which will be explained below.
Do You Want a Fish Pond?
A healthy fish pond should have a great filtration system. It should be 3’ deep or deeper if you intend to keep fish in there during the winter months. This is so the fish don’t freeze when winter arrives.
We offer a variety of kits but we don’t have one-size-fits-all koi pond kits. There’s different variables depending on each customer’s desires. Our expert customer service staff can help you figure out the best fish pond solution based on your desired pond size, budget, and level of filtration.
Do You Want Fish Year Round or Moved to a Tank during the winter months?
It is ideal to keep fish in your pond or water garden year round. As previously mentioned, we recommend a pond depth of at least 3’ to prevent your fish from freezing during the winter. This kills the fish.
Do you want aquatic plants or just a waterfall and small stream?
If your goal is to just have a waterfall or small stream without the maintenance of a pond, then Pond Free Kits are the best choice. The term “Pond Free” is sometimes used interchangeably with “Pondless” or “Waterfall Spillway”. Pond Free Kits include waterfall spillways, spillway basins, pumps, and any necessary tubing. We offer a variety of Pond Free options.
Which Size Pond Kit Do You Need?
Knowing which size pond kit to get for your backyard is crucial, yet the dimensions are often miscalculated. We have a useful pond size calculator here.
A common calculation mistake is to only take width and length into account while neglecting to factor in depth. Another mistake is to not factor in at least 1.5 feet of extra liner for the edges of the pond. This creates a liner 'lip' that stones will weigh down and hide.
What is the Correct Flow Rate?
A rule of thumb for determining the flow rate is GPH should equal the total gallons in a pond. So a 5,000 gallon pond should have a flow rate of 5,000. Each gallon should be in transit at least once an hour.
Each Pump will have the GPH in its name. For example, a Monsoon 4,000 Pump will have 4,000 GPH and thus will be perfect for a 4,000 gallon pond.
What is Included in a Pond Kit?
Not all pond kits are created equal. The components listed below are the most common although it is worth noting that some of these components may differ depending on the brand or size.
Pond Kit Item #1: Liner and Geotextile Underlayment
Pond Liner is an important part of any pond; it is the foundation that lines the excavation hole. It is also the most difficult item to replace in the case of a puncture. Punctures and tears lead to drainage of pond water into the surrounding soil.
There are two materials of liner included in our pond kits: EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) and PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride). Both come in the color black although the EPDM can sometimes look like a shade of dark gray depending on the lighting.
EPDM is the more durable option, which is less likely to have rips or tears. PVC however, is the cheaper option. While still durable, it isn’t quite as strong.
Geotextile Underlayment prevents unstable soil conditions which are one of the most common failures ponds face. Nonwoven geotextile fabrics are perfect for stabilizing soil, preventing rocks and roots from penetrating pond liner and for creating ‘rock pads’ to cushion large rocks and boulders placed in the pond on top of the liner.
EPDM costs about 40 cents more per square foot. We offer a five year warranty on EPDM liners when properly installed with geotextile underlayment.
For a long-term solution, we recommend using EPDM because PVC breaks down faster from sunlight, weather, and general wear and tear. EPDM isn’t much more expensive and the increased durability could help you avoid a costly liner replacement down the line.
Pond Kit Item #2: Submersible Pump
Pond pumps may not be seen often (as they are kept underwater or in the skimmer), but they are the driving force of a pond. Pumps circulate the water to prevent stagnant water.
Water stagnation can lead to a bunch of problems like algae, mosquitoes, murkiness, and low oxygen levels. Circulation and oxygen are two of the most crucial elements in maintaining a healthy pond.
Pond pumps are offered in various GPHs (Gallons Per Hour). Larger ponds, lakes, and water features require more powerful pumps to circulate water more efficiently and in greater volumes. Pumps are easy to install and can be connected to floating fountains, waterfalls, spillways, and more.
Pond Kit Item #3: Waterfalls
Waterfall Weirs are what give waterfalls their shape. The submersible pump cycles pond water through tubing so it flows from the waterfall weir. Waterfalls are not only beautiful, but they provide surface aeration. The extra oxygenation is important in creating a healthy fish pond.
Some of the Waterfall Weirs can be modified to provide additional filtration. Bio Balls and Bio Media can be added to Weirs to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and to collect floating debris. Some waterfall weirs such as the F050 come equipped with filters to ensure crystal clear waterfalls.
Pond Kit Item #4: Skimmer
On the most fundamental level, skimmers (also called “skimmerfilters”) ‘skim’ the surface of the water. Leaves and other surface debris get collected in the skimmer. This helps keep the surface clean and clear and prevents surface debris from sinking to the bottom.
Some skimmers have added features for extra filtration. An example is that some offer a UV option. That means they are compatible with special filtration bulbs that simulate the UV rays of the sun to kill off harmful microscopic bacteria that would otherwise be ignored by other filtration methods.
Pond Kit Item #5: Filters
Ponds should have clean and healthy water for koi and other types of fish. A pressure filter or waterfall filter such as the F100 or F200 can help create a clean fish pond. Waterfall filters simulate the natural dynamics of moving water to prevent pond stagnation.
Pond Kit Item #6: The Extras
Some pond kits contain waterfall foam, beneficial bacteria, teflon tape, and necessary plumbing fixtures. These are included with the hopes of preventing trips to the hardware store for missing items.
Waterfall foam fills the gaps between the rocks placed along waterfalls to prevent the falling water from vanishing into the rocks. It also stabilizes rockwork to keep everything where it should be.
Beneficial bacteria is one of our specially formulated water treatments. It is included with some of our pond kits because the beneficial bacteria helps break down organic matter and bottom solids which would otherwise release toxic gasses and make the water cloudy.
There are additional tools, plumbing, and water chemicals that can be very helpful for pond building and maintenance. Some examples are spray foam guns, liner seam tape, pond vacuums, extra filtration, fish food, deicers, fountains, lights, and much more.