Adding water features – whether installing a water fountain or setting up a backyard pond – requires a fair amount of planning. Find out the three mistakes that doom your yard water features to fail before the first hole is even dug.
Backyard Water Features and Tree Roots Do Not Mix
Outdoor water features that are placed near trees may find that invading tree roots can cause ample problems to the integrity of the pond. Nature Hills explains that tree roots – by nature – seek out moisture. Yard water features that leak, spray or otherwise saturate the soil with water are a natural attractant to invading roots.
Another problem arises when installing a water fountain or a similar water feature atop soil that is surrounded by larger tree roots. The natural growth of these roots will likely cause these water features to tip or stand at an angle, which, in turn, adversely affects the functionality of water pumps and filters.
Adding Water Features with the Wrong Exposure
Installing a water fountain in an area that gets hours upon hours of full sun is usually not a problem. The moving water makes quick work of algae and mosquitoes. On the flip side, adding water features that are supposed to hold a small ecosystem – like a pond with flora and fauna – into the full sun will likely lead to increased vegetation, fish kill due to lack of oxygen, overheating and algae blooms secondary to dead and dying flora and fauna.
The opposite also holds true. A lack of direct sunlight makes it hard for plants to become established and may cool the water too much for the average decorative fish. Canadian Gardening suggests direct sun exposure of about four hours for an average-sized backyard pond.
Discounting the Presence of Predators
Outdoor water features are attractive to various forms of wildlife, some of which may prove to be predators to the fauna kept in ponds. This holds true especially in areas where summers are hot and water may become scarce. For example, in Southern California, it is not uncommon for coyotes to come down from the hills and follow the sparsely flowing rivers to backyards with pools, animal watering stations and ultimately pets themselves.
Foster and Smith Aquatics points out that raccoons, muskrats, foxes and bears are possible visitors to a pond that is stocked with fish. Herons may swoop down and empty the pond from the air. Adding water features should be done after some deliberation on the effect it can have on wildlife, especially if children or household pets are frequently using the backyard unsupervised. Overnight, protect the fish with netting or fencing.