Well the time has come to look at replacing your pond liner. It has been in there almost a decade and is really starting to show its age.
You probably have a few patches that you’ve put on it. Some may have worked, while others only sort of did their job.
So what are you going to do in order to replace this beast without having to break your neck doing it? Without the right forethought, you might find yourself in the middle of a great big mess. Certainly you have better things to do with your time. I know I would!
Ok, let’s evaluate this. How many fish do you have in your pond? Do you have a place to put them while you replace your pond liner? Keep in mind this might take longer than a day to complete. In fact, you may expect items you need to arrive on time and they might not.
Then you will find yourself storing all of your Koi a lot longer than they should be stored. This can effect their health so you have to be on your toes. So let’s talk about storage.
Number one, storing your Koi can be tricky, but as long as you follow some simple rules for doing so, they should survive the temporary time they are in a holding tank. Aerate the water. You need to supply them with air. This is essential! Filter the water. This is also essential. Just because they are in a holding tank does not mean they do not need filtration.
Change a portion of the water regularly to assist in filtration. Cut down on feeding your fish. A few days without food will be ok for the fish. They will survive. The extra waste they would create in a smaller environment would only serve to over work the filtration system.
If the tank you are holding the fish in is shallow, put a net over it. This will keep stressed out fish from jumping as well as keep predators out of the water in search of a free meal.
Secondly, take pictures of your pond before you start disassembling anything. You probably have a lot of rocks and plants all around the pond that give it that natural look. The last thing you want to do is try and remember what it looked like before. You know how it goes right? You take something apart and put it back together again, only to have a handful of extra parts. That is no fun.
Third, now is the time to evaluate any plumbing issues you might have. Remember when you first put the pond in? You got everything done, filled it with water, put your fish in and you saw that one darned pipe! Yep, that one darned pipe that should have been there instead of here. Now is the time to do something about that.
You will also want to inspect all of the plumbing for any sort of wear and tear. It is amazing what freeze/thaw cycles can do to plastic pipes. Check all of the visible joints and repair if necessary.
Number four, check that underlayment. You may find that you not only need a new liner, but the underlayment is deteriorated as well. Since you’re replacing the pond liner, you might as well replace the underlayment too. Avoid using old carpet as u8nderlayment. Not only is it not the right product for the job, but it’s messy and unprofessional.
Finally number five, do not shortcut anything. For instance, the rock that holds the outer edge of the liner in place should be removed so that the new liner can be installed properly. A task like this is not done all that often, but if you cheat yourself and the pond by shortcutting or skipping steps, you will soon find yourself back out in the yard fixing what you should have done properly in the first place.
Take pride in your work and know that it will be something that you enjoy day to day. Doing it right now will keep you in that lawn chair longer, instead of toting a shovel later.
I would also advise that you enlist the help of a friend or two. Any time you need to haul liner material around, it’s always much easier to do with help. Not to mention friends are just fun to have around.