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Build A Preformed Liner Pond


You will need the following supplies:

Rigid or preformed liner

Line level
2' level
Mason's string line

Chalk or marking paint

This type of garden pond liner offers the least flexibility in terms of shape, size and depth and the greatest ease of installation. If this is the type you decide to use, choose one that is larger than the body of water you want, if you intend to lay stones in the interior to simulate a natural pond. Beware that some rigid, plastic liners in cold climates as they tend to crack. Ask the seller and ascertain if the liner is plastic, fiberglass or another material and what temperatures it can withstand.

Flip the pool upside down where you want it to be and mark it's outline with chalk or paint or lime. Flip it back and keep it to the side. Measure about two inches out from the line you’ve marked to allow for the sand you will place inside, draw a new line and begin excavation. Note the slant of the rigid liner walls and try to reproduce that in your excavation.

preformed liner pond

Measure inside the preformed pond liner to determine how deep the shelf is and at various points around the liner, measure the width of the shelf. Transfer these measurements to the excavation and dig out for the shelf, adding two inches for sand. Measure the liner again for the shape and total depth of the bottom portion of the pool and excavate for this, again, adding two inches. The hole should roughly match the liner.

Check for level across all sides of the top of the excavation with the line and line level and check level of the bottom and of the shelves with the 2' level. Make any adjustments. Remove any rocks or roots from the excavation. Drop the liner in and see how it fits. It should be about two inches below grade and should be fairly level along all sides. Make any adjustments necessary. Remove the liner and add two inches of sand to the bottom and to the shelves of the excavation and place the liner in. Move it around to settle it into place. When level, go all around the sides and pour sand between the liner and the excavation anywhere there is space.

Begin filling the liner with water to settle the liner firmly into place and occasionally water the sand in along the sides as you go and refill any holes with sand between the liner and the excavation. Pump out the dirty water. Attach the tubing to the pump and the pump to the filter (see Filtration and Pumps) and place the pump in the liner with the tubing running to where you want the inflow or waterfall. Place in planted pots and refill. Plug in the pump and adjust the outflow and your backyard pond is essentially up and running. You now have a functional preformed liner pond.

Wait several days before adding fish, then add them slowly, one or two at a time with several days between more additions. Water pH must stabilize before fish will survive. If you want the pond to look more natural you will need to place stones in the pond, before you fill it with water. See Stoning The Pond in the Backyard Liner Pond article.

preformed liner pond
A small backyard pond made from a preformed liner

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