Ponds and water features come in all shapes, sizes and styles and the desire to create your own water garden is, understandably, very strong. If you’ve never had a pond before, there are one or two things you need to know before rushing to the garden shed for your spade.


Part of your preparations involve choosing a site and several factors must be taken into consideration.  The most important is correct orientation for sunlight. This is essential where a biological balance is to be maintained, the energy of the sun being vital both to fish, in activating them by warm water temperatures and to plants for correct growth. It can also be just as important a consideration for other forms of water feature as the interaction of sunlight and water is often the main attraction.


From a practical point of view you must consider the best position in relation to the water and electricity supplies as it could be very expensive to lead supplies over long distances. When installing electrics always use an appropriate R.C.D (trip switch). If in doubt please consult an electrician.


If there are young children in the family it would be wiser to position the pond where it can be easily seen from the house for safety reasons.

Pond Capacity

To avoid over-dosing when adding any medication or treatment to your pond, it is vital for you to know the water capacity. When installing a pre-formed pond the water capacity will be shown on the packaging but it is always a good idea to make a note of the details. For rectangular or circular shaped ponds there are a few simple calculations to work out the capacity.

Here are a few final tips for a successful pond

  • Prepare a list of everything you need
  • Find the best position for your pond, level site away from overhanging trees
  • Make sure the sun reaches your pond for at least half the day
  • Remember fish are living creatures, treat them with care
  • Water quality is vital!
  • Always use a circuit breaker when using electrics
  • Don’t stock with fish that are too big for the pond
  • Don’t plant more than 2-3 plants per square metre
  • Good planning at the beginning will pay dividends when you want to enjoy your pond

Rectangular Example

Length x Width x Depth          10ft x 8ft x 3ft = 240ft3

Conversion to gallons 240 x 6.25 = 1500 gals

Conversion to litres     1500 gals x 4.546 = 6820 litres

Circular Example

3.142 x 6ft x 6ft x 4ft = 452ft3

Conversion to gallons 452 x 6.25 = 2847 gals

Conversion to litres     2847 gals x 4.546 = 12942 litres


Gallons to Litres         Gallons x 4.546

Litres to Gallons         Litres divided by 4.546

Feet to Metres            Feet x 0.305

Metres to Feet            Metres divided by 0.305