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There is nothing like sipping lemonade while sitting next to a peaceful pond in your own backyard on a sunny afternoon. Okay, so you can make the lemonade but you've been holding off on the pond because you think it'll be an overwhelming project.

That's just not so. Dave Garcia, the sales manager at KRC Rock, says these days the entire process from digging the hole to filling the pond with water can take as few as three days.

The trick is to use pre-packaged kits especially designed for homeowners.

Many different systems are available on the internet. Garcia likes the MicroPond kits.

The top things to consider when purchasing a kit and putting in a pond are:

  1. Location
  2. Style: Pond or Pondless Waterfall
  3. Appropriate system
  4. Amount of time
  5. Amount of money
  6. Plants
  7. Pond Depth

Garcia says that often, homeowners put their ponds in the wrong place which later makes the pond less useful.

"The biggest mistake people make is they put it somewhere that they can never enjoy it, unless they go way out of their way to get to it... Put the pond somewhere you can enjoy it from the most vantage points of your house. Don't put it way back in the corner where you won't hear it or see it," explains Garcia.

Also, be sure to put the pond in an area that won't be susceptible to run-off. Groundwater run-off from your yard or your neighbors can contain chemicals which can trickle into the pond and damage the plants and fish.

As far as style goes, Garcia said decide if you want to have a pond with a pump running 24 hours a day with fish in it or if you want a pondless waterfall. "The reality is you're going to have to run the pump 24 hours a day for the pond. You're going to have low maintenance, but not zero maintenance for the pond," says Garcia.

But if you go with a style known as a pondless waterfall, you can turn the pump off at any time because there is no pond where fish are depending on oxygen from the pump. Instead the water cascades down rocks and into a stream or rock bed.

If you decide to go with a pond, the kits will guide you through the process. They come complete with fish-safe liner, mechanical filter unit, waterfall pump, plumbing assembly, kink-free pipe, installation hardware, and an installation guide.

Another important consideration is to make sure that you pick the appropriate system to install.

Garcia suggests the Aqua Design/Nursery Pro MicroPond kits. "I highly recommend the system because all the guesswork has been taken out of the assembling and building it. There's just no having to piece-meal it and then ending up without some of the components."

For smaller ponds you can expect to spend anywhere from $600 to $900 dollars for a complete kit. Large ponds can run upwards of several thousand dollars.

Putting in a pond can basically be a weekend project. The turn-around is quick and relatively easy.

"The point is it's really a fast instant gratification. That's really one of the first things my wife got out of it when I built our [pond]. She really didn't know anything about building ponds and I said 'Honey we're building a pond... And we're going to have it running and enjoying it with wine by tomorrow,'" says Garcia.

Adding plants and boulders around the perimeter of the pond is a nice way to make the pond look extra lush and natural. Just remember that if you put lilies or aquatic plants in the pond, the pond will need to be located in an area that receives four to six hours of sunlight per day.

As far as pond depth is concerned, this is critical if you live in a very cold area where you experience winter freeze and you plan to have fish in your pond. If so, you'll want to make sure that your pond is deep enough for the fish to survive. Make sure there is one foot of clear water under the ice. So if you have two feet of frozen ice on the pond, you'll need to have a three-feet-deep pond.

A pond can add a touch of serenity that creates an oasis right in your own backyard.

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