Determining the right fish pond liners to use for your pond is an important step to making an enjoyable pond. Liners ensure your pond stays healthy, your fish stay healthy and the water level is maintained. Fish pond liners come in a variety of materials including:
- plastic sheets of different plastic types
- preformed liners made with heavy molded plastic
- rubber or fiberglass
- natural liners made by using rocks, clay and dirt
Preformed fish pond liners have many benefits including that the fact that they are relatively easy to install, they are fairly cost effective, they have very few problems with leaks and they come with the edging already completed. The preformed pond liners can be made of fiberglass, rubber or plastic. It is important to purchase a preformed pond liner that will be resistant to UV rays, such as the material similar used for pools, so it does not deteriorate rapidly.
To install them in your pond area a hole needs to be dug to the same general size and contour of the preformed liner. A one inch gap around the pond is ideal and should be filled in with sand; this will give the liner stability and allow the liner to settle easily without putting unnecessary strain on one or two spots on the liner. The drawbacks to the preformed liners are they are usually on the smaller side, by using a preformed liner you are tied to a certain shape and size and filtration must be done artificially to maintain a healthy pond.
Plastic sheet liners are another method used for fish pond liners. Plastic sheet liners are made of PVC plastic or Polyethylene plastic and they comes in different thicknesses. Plastic sheet liners offer the ability to have various sizes of ponds and enable water to be retained relatively easily. Thicker liners will tear less, but there are patches available for a thinner liner if it tears. Installing a plastic sheet liner is relatively simple; the ground should be dug out for the desired size and depth of the pond.
Sand, newspaper or other specially designed under lays should cover the pond area and then the plastic sheet liner can be installed. After laying down the plastic sheet liner an edging will need to be installed using rock or other materials to build up around the pond.
The benefits to using plastic sheet liners are the creativity it allows the designer and that it will hold water well. The drawbacks to using plastic sheet liners are the cost of installation, potential tearing problems and filtration costs needed to maintain a well balanced ecosystem in the pond.
Natural fish pond liners use the current ground to retain water. The benefits to using a natural liner are a reduced material cost, the ability to have any size pond and the ability to maintain a natural filtration system within the pond. Determining if the ground in the area you would like to have your pond would be ideal for a natural pond requires that you find out the type of ground you have.
Some land will retain water well, whereas other types will retain water for a short amount of time and overnight drain your pond and kill your fish. A soil analysis can be done to determine the feasibility of a natural pond liner. Additional soils can be added to make a more secure pond or a clay coated liner can be used.
Seeking professional help can save on the expense of errors in planning when building a natural pond and are highly recommended for this type of project. The drawbacks to a natural pond liner are the uncertainties of the soil and the added costs if the pond does not retain water.
Fish pond liners will either enhance your pond area or will create a difficult pond maintaining experience. Taking the time to decide what type of liner will work best for your situation will bring you the peace of mind that sitting around a pond should.