Wildlife Pond

8 Materials
2 Weeks

We decided to create a wildlife pond in our backyard. Hoping to attract frogs and dragonflies and provide water for wildlife.

First we had to dig out the soil. We decided to go with a PVC pond liner rather than a rigid pond liner. We dug out the area which we had to ensure was level. We are on a slight slope so this was the worst part of the project. We decided to make a beach area with stones for entry/exit into the water for smaller creatures. The deepest area is around 50cm in order for tadpoles to overwinter in the pond without freezing to death.

We built ledges into the soil rather than have a slope into the lowest point of the pond. This way we could put rocks or marginal water plants on those ledges.

Once we were happy with the shape, depth and ledges, we lined the whole thing with old mattress protectors, blankets and block out curtains. This is to protect the PVC pond liner from any stones or roots that might pierce the plastic. You could use a couple of cms of sand instead or some geotextile fabric before adding the liner.

Then the pond liner went in on top. I climbed in with bare feet and moulded the plastic to fit the ledges as well as I could. At this point, you cannot avoid some creases in the pond liner. Just push it into the ledges as best you can.

We put some weighty items around the edges to hold the plastic in place while we added the water. This was rainwater from our water tanks. We used a garden hose to fill the pond.

You will see there is quite a bit of pond liner on the outside of the pond. This gets covered by rocks, stones and in this case some pavers as well. Once you have everything in place, remembering to leave a 'beach' area which is shallow for creatures to get in and out of the pond easily, you can them trim the liner. We added pavers at the front edge, some water plants in aqua baskets and two troughs of Dietes on the far ledge inside the pond. We put tiles under the two troughs so that they were not sitting in the water. Dietes doesn't like standing in water. We added some sand to the bottom of the pond (washed children's play sand) to cover the bottom of the pond/liner.

We added bush rock at one end to cover the liner, a solar water fountain and a water lily. Logs and bromeliads finished the look. A zen like frog sits at the front of the pond. Sunlight can damage a pond liner, so you need to ensure to completely cover the liner to avoid the plastic cracking and splitting due to sun damage and also because if the black plastic shows, it looks a bit ugly.

A large Cordyline plant in a pot sits behind the pond to add height and a pot of Lomandra sits on the front corner of the pond. Most of the bush rock was sourced from our own garden. The water plants used here are Pennyroyal and Milfoil. The liner was trimmed back once complete. I have also planted up some native violets around the edges of the pond, which I hope will fill in and spread to provide cover for frogs.

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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 7 questions
  • Bobbie Sherman Bobbie Sherman on Jan 11, 2021

    What about snakes? How can I keep snakes out of the pond? We have cottonmouths and copperheads here where I live.

  • Banrman Banrman on Jan 13, 2021

    Don't tadpoles turn into frogs long before winter even starts?

  • Lisa West Lisa West on Jan 17, 2021

    The animals are going to love you so much. As for skeeter and the eggs as long as the water is moving they won't lay eggs. So fountain will deter that. When all your plants fill out its going to be a very pretty and natural little oasis there in your back yard. Love it. Please if you can get some pics of all the animals that come by and take a drink and possibly nap, and share those. Even butter flies and other insects. The birds will be happy to I believe. Oh and if you can plant some butterfly flowers to attract them as well. Oh the dragon flies I can see in the future. Those also eat skeeter and other yucky insects and the all hated spiders. Speaking of spiders aren't you afraid of the funnel spider or what that poisonous mean spider that just bites every thing for no reason taking up residence near the pond?

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4 of 22 comments
  • Linda Linda on Jan 11, 2022

    I bet a bear will love the pond to cool off in too 👍😎😂

    • Carole Carole on Jan 11, 2022

      No bears in Australia! Swamp wallaby or kangaroo or parrott maybe but no bears.

  • Sharon Sharon on Jan 11, 2022

    How do I keep the water from algae building up?

    • Carole Carole on Jan 11, 2022

      Placement of y our pond is important. Ideally it should receive 70 percent shade and 30 percent sun. Too much sun will cause algae. So too will leaves and debris dropping into the pond, so don't place it under trees that shed leaves. if you want it for wildlife (no fish in the pond but allow frogs etc) then don't worry about the algae. In fact tadpoles will eat it. If you want it for goldfish (you won't get frogs if you put fish in the pond as they will eat any eggs/tadpoles) then use something like barley straw in the water or use an algae reducing sachet that you add to the pond every couple weeks. It promotes the right balance of bacteria/microbes etc to deal with the algae. Aeration in the pond if you don't want algae is also important. You need some oxygen producing water plants. You can look this information up on Google to see which plants produce oxygen. Your fish will also need some shade and hidey places and some mesh over the pond so as not to get taken by birds or cats. I had a goldfish taken from my cast iron bath tub pond as I didn't net it. Only put netting over though if you want to keep fish or else the netting could entrap wildlife and prevent birds bathing in your pond or drinking from it and other critters too. Hope this helps answer your question.