Liners and Underlayment
Liners can be made of PVC or EPDM rubber, both are great materials. The rubber liners tend to be heavier but more flexible where the PVC liners are still great and usually cost less.
Underlayment is used under the liner to protect it from sharp objects. Commercial underlayment is available or old carpet and carpet padding work just as well.
Energy Efficient Pumps
Energy efficient pumps are the only way to go. Pond pumps run continuously and most pumps bought at your local retail stores are not energy efficient. They maybe iniitially cheaper than the energy efficient pumps, but you give it a month and you will wish you had bought an energy efficient model. Your electric bill could be several dollars more per month, depending on the pump you choose.
We only install energy efficient pumps, Oase and the Pondmaster Supreme are two of our favorite brands. The Pondmaster Supreme Mag Drive Pump can be used either inline or submerged. This pump has a powerful long life ceramic magnetic impeller, as it's only moving part, which makes the pump extremely energy efficient. Uses 1/2 the power of equivalent pumps using older technology and comes with a 3 year limited warranty.
Filters and Skimmers
Biological filters contain "media" which good bacteria and organisms grow on and keep pond water clear. Media can be commercial plastic pieces or even lava rock. Place lava rock in mesh bags for easy removal.
Pond skimmers do just that, skim the surface of the water and keep it clean. Skimmers need a net to catch large leaves and other objects and filter matting material to keep the pump from getting clogged.
Fish and Other Animals
Goldfish and Koi are the most common animals kept in back-yard ponds, however in the fish category catfish and minnows also do well. Goldfish and Koi need pond water to be at least three feet deep, so they can escape the heat in the summer, ice in the winter and critters that may try to get at them.
Catfish are fun, but large ones will eat any smaller fish and you can forget about having any minnows with catfish around.
Minnows, especially "Gambusia" or "Mosquito fish" are really great additions to the back-yard pond, they eat mosquito larve.
Water turtles are really interesting, but forget about having any water lillies or most other plants, they will eat them.
There are lots of other fun animals that will do well in your pond, snails, salamanders and crayfish are just a few, some may be eaten by others so check that out prior to adding to your pond.
Pond Plants for the Desert Southwest
Pond plants vary between shallow water varieties and deeper water varieties. Lillies require deeper water than say cattails.
Special pond containers are available for pond plants, or you can make your own out of plastic tubs. Add a layer of rocks on top to hold the soil and plant down.
Other Pond Stuff
• Cleaning supplies
• Filter media
• Fish food
• Fountain kits
• Mosquito dunks
• Pumps and replacement parts