One of the requirements of pond ownership is a willingness to see to the safety of the pond’s inhabitants – especially the fish, which can represent a substantial investment in any pond, no matter its size.
That’s why, in every project we install, we include an appropriately sized fish cave (or two or three): These give the pond’s residents places to hide in the event a predator appears at the water’s edge or lands on the water’s surface. It doesn’t take much to provide one: just a big piece of drainage pipe will do the trick.
They key is thinking about these features from the planning stage forward: There are few miseries with pond installation that are as gruesome as rearranging things after pond’s been rocked in and filled with water than going back to accommodate a cave!
Consider the fact that predators come in all shapes, sizes and species, from herons and eagles to raccoons and housecats. And I can imagine that, in some cases, the fish might occasionally feel a need to hide from rambunctious children as well!
One point we stress visually at the very end of the video can use some verbal reinforcement here: It’s just as important to break out the plate compactor after preparing the niche for the cave and dress up the disturbed soil before moving on to the project’s next phase. Our goal, always, is to make certain the foundation for our ponds is sturdy and can support the burden of rock and water we’ll be placing on it.
To get a look at cave preparation, click here.
Eric Triplett is founder and chief executive officer at The Pond Digger Waterscape Design & Construction in Yucaipa, Calif. He may be reached at eric@the ponddigger.com.