Building a pond in your backyard is one of the best ways to attract wildlife.
Not only this, but ponds also have the benefit of offering a tranquil spot to relax by, and can add aesthetic appeal to your yard.
However, when it comes to building or installing a pond in your backyard, several questions may come to mind. For example - should it be raised or level, and how deep should it be?
In this article, we’ll be covering all of these questions so that you know everything there is to know about creating a thriving environment for wildlife.
What is a raised pond?
Raised ponds are elevated above ground level, and these types of ponds have become popular because they work well in small gardens and offer a child safety element.
What are the benefits of a raised pond?
If you have kids, safety is always going to be at the top of your priority list, and rightly so.
A raised pond has a border around it and is elevated, which automatically makes it harder for toddlers to fall in.
What’s more, it has a definitive edge to which you can easily attach strong mesh. This will make it impossible for your child to fall in should they get a little too over-excited by the fish and wildlife.
Easy to Build
Raised ponds require very little digging, or if you’re lucky, none at all! You can even get pond kits that are easy to build and are delivered straight to your door so you don’t have to go to the trouble of sourcing the materials.
Another benefit of raised ponds is that their taller height means you have to do less bending down. This is great for the elderly or those with mobility issues who can’t bend down easily.
The elevated height also makes raised ponds easier to maintain, as they can easily be drained without the need for a pump. A simple syphon is a cheap and effective method of removing the waste that tends to accumulate at the bottom of ponds and will allow you to ensure optimal water quality, which is key for maintaining healthy fish and plants.
Raised ponds also facilitate regular and close contact with fish, which allows you to easily see and feed them. How fish respond to feeding times is also a good indicator of the water quality - if they’re enthusiastic, the water quality is likely to be good.
Raised ponds usually require minimal digging, and, as a result, they don’t require the disposal of a significant amount of soil, plus they can easily be recycled or removed when you no longer need your pond.
Better still, you may even be able to take it with you if you move house! While they’re not that cheap to buy, raised ponds pay off in the long run because you have the versatility of being able to easily remove - or move - them.
Are they good for attracting wildlife?
A raised pond can be great for attracting wildlife, and they’re frequently used to provide an environment for both plants and wildlife to thrive together.
That said, to attract the maximum amount of wildlife, ponds should always be level with the ground, so if you go for a raised pond, ensure you provide a large area of rocks and wood both in and out of the pond to allow wildlife to get in and out easily.
Are tadpoles bad for ponds?
Some experts say that it’s good to keep a small population of tadpoles in any pond, even a small one. They play an important role in the food chain, eating algae, mosquito larvae, and other vegetation, and they can also provide a food source for fish, particularly koi.
They contain a healthy supply of protein which will enable your koi to grow into healthy fish. Tadpoles can also be beneficial once they grow up to be frogs and toads. As amphibians, frogs and toads provide optimal pest control for slugs, flies, and other creepy crawlies that wreak havoc in your garden.
How deep should a pond be for frogs?
A pond does not need to be deep in order to provide a good habitat for frogs. The ideal depth is no deeper than 3 ft (0.91 m) deep, which is deep enough for frogs in colder climates to safely hibernate during the winter.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that amphibians are attracted to ponds by the size of their reflective surface. If the pond surface is too small (i.e. less than 3 x 2 meters) it will be difficult for frogs to notice.
Smaller ponds are also prone to temperature fluctuations and take longer to become settled and balanced. They need bacteria and algae on the bottom to feed tadpoles, and sufficient aquatic insect production to cater to the adult frogs or toads.
The pond should also be big and deep enough to protect frogs from predators such as crows, garter snakes, and raccoons - as these creatures shouldn’t have access to the center of the pond. While frogs may rest or bask along the edges of the pond, they will retreat to deeper water when frightened or threatened.
A pond is a perfect way to attract wildlife into your backyard, while also providing an environment for aquatic life and plants to thrive.
If you’re concerned about safety, a raised pond will enable you to install further child safety measures such as mesh netting. If you want to attract wildlife into your raised pond, you’ll need to pile up rocks, wood, or bricks to ensure small creatures can still get in and out easily.