Planning to Build that Water Feature of your Dreams? Learn How with the Experts at Water X Scapes!

Posted by Bill Hoffman on Feb 12th 2020

Planning to Build that Water Feature of your Dreams? Learn How with the Experts at Water X Scapes!

“I’ve Always Dreamed of Having a Water Feature…”

Let us help you turn that dream into a reality. Hoffman’s Water X Scapes has the know-how and the resources for you to be successful from the beginning. So, let’s get started and plan the right feature together.

6 Questions to Ask Yourself While Planning your Water Feature Build:

1. What type of water feature do you desire?
2. Do you have time for a little maintenance throughout the year?
3. What kind of budget do you have?
4. Where do you want it located?
5. How much space is available?
6. Do you want fish and water lilies and other aquatic plants?

*These questions will overlap when making the final decision.

1. Types of Water Features

  • Pond/Water Garden: An open water eco-system with filtration, plants and sometimes pond fish, including koi.
  • Fountain: A piece of statuary/yard fountain, outdoor pottery or drilled stone that recirculates water from a basin for the enjoyment of both sight and sound of the water.
  • Pond-less: Gives you the benefits of a waterfall and/or a stream but without the open pond at the bottom. Water will recirculate from a lined reservoir filled with gravel and eco-blox, to give you the illusion of the water returning to the earth.

There are many types of Water Features like: Pond/Water Garden, Pondless Waterfall, Yard Fountains, Drilled Bubbling Stone, Bubbling Outdoor Pottery and much more!

2. Location

The location of your water feature is important for many reasons:

  • Low lying areas in the yard, that already collect water, can cause water to build up under your pond liner and push it up out of the ground.
  • Underground utilities may also be a restriction.
  • You do not want your water feature to be “out of sight, out of mind.” A pond offers many benefits and is best located where you will be spending the majority of your leisure time.
  • Visuals from inside of your home will be a benefit in extending the season - as well as allow you to keep an eye on your pond fish during the winter.
  • Yard fountains located in the front of your home will add curb appeal.
  • Having waterfalls leading away from your home or patio will direct the sound away as well as making it so that you cannot enjoy the visual effects.

3. Size & Cost

  • Pond/Water Garden - In numerous surveys of successful water garden/pond owners, what was the number one complaint? “I built it too small. I need a bigger pond for more fish, water lilies and other aquatic plants.” Having a larger pond (more than 500 gallons or at least 6’ x 8’ x 24”) is also much easier to maintain and keep balanced than a small one. Being a successful pond owner is not difficult to accomplish if the water garden is built and maintained properly.
    • Be sure your budget allows for all the proper pond filtration and pond equipment needed to keep maintenance minimal.
    • Don’t forget to factor in the pond fish (if desired), aquatic plants and pond water treatments that will be needed once it is built
  • Pond-less or Pond Free - A small space at the bottom of a hill will lend itself to a pond-less water feature where there may not be room for a pond.
    • Depending on size, a pond-less water feature may cost less than a pond to build, but also does not require as much maintenance after it is built
  • Fountains/Bubbling Pot or Boulder - A fountain built with pottery, bubbling rocks or statuary will fit nicely in a flower bed and those smaller backyard spaces.
    • A basin is usually used to catch the water and hold the pump with the fountain piece sitting on top of it. This basin can be anything from a small bowl to a large in-ground basin.
    • These fountains can be small, self-contained, taking up very little space on a deck or patio or be very large, being a magnificent focal point in a large area.

5. Do you want to have Pond Fish, Water Lilies and other Aquatic Plants?

  • If your answer is yes, be sure you have enough space to build a pond adequate in size for the type and number of fish that you want.
    • We are always happy to help you calculate a “good size.”
    • Koi fish require much more space than goldfish to thrive year-round, especially in Ohio’s climate.
  • If your answer is no, you can still enjoy water in your garden with a fountain or pond-less water feature or a pond without fish.

Life in a pond - pond fish, water lilies and other aquatic pond plants.

6. Maintenance

  • Pond/Water Garden - Unfortunately,there is no such thing as no maintenance. Do not let that statement scare you. If your pond/water garden is built with sufficient filtration, circulation, and plants are used correctly, it can be very low maintenance.
    • Plan to do a bit of routine maintenance once a week (5-10 mins) to keep the eco-system in balance and things looking good. This includes, but not limited to, putting in water treatments, cleaning a filter and trimming back some pond plants.
    • Spring start-up and fall shut down will take a couple to several hours depending on the size of your pond, how many fish you have and a few other factors.
  • A pond-less water feature may need some attention occasionally to treat algae growth.
    • Algae or moss that builds up in a stream is actually filtering the water, but care needs to be taken so that too much does not build up and dam the water. Shutting the pump off in a pond-less water feature at night or while you are at work will also help control algae.
    • Fallen leaves may also dam the water causing overflow on the sides of the liner.
    • Weekly maintenance should not take more than 5 to 10 minutes every week or two. Add water and check for debris build up from trees, etc. Fall shut down does take more that 5 to 10 minutes.
    • It is recommended to clean out the in-ground basin out every spring. This will take a couple of hours.
  • A fountain is most likely to need water added on a regular basis due to evaporation.
    • Out of the 3 types of water features, a fountain has the least volume of water to keep it going.
    • An occasional cleaning will be needed depending on the water quality being added.
    • Spring start-up and shut down will depend on the type and size of your fountain.

All types of water features will add tranquility to your landscape and become an attraction to many types of wildlife; adding to the joy and relaxation you find in your yard and at your home.

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Still need help when it comes to deciding what type of water feature you want in your backyard space? Come take a walk around Hoffman’s Water X Scapes where we have ALL examples discussed installed around the property.

We also have many free educational water feature and pond seminars throughout the Spring-Fall seasons for you to take advantage of and learn more. You could also take advantage of our Parade of Ponds and talk to homeowners about their personal experience with water features. Don’t want to do it yourself? We have Pond Services available too.