As a little kid, I always loved to look at koi ponds, swamps, marshes, and any other teeming, shallow bodies of water. It seems like there were several fish ponds at our usual destinations. There was a restaurant we would go to on Sunday which had a pond filled with turtles and koi. There was the park we would go to take walks in which had a natural fish pond, filled with catfish, bass, and all kinds of other species. I loved to catch frogs there, chasing them around all afternoon as my parents watched and smiled. My sister and I would do our best, but we would always end up getting muddy. After a while, our parents realize that we couldn't stop us from that particular excess. They would dress us in our play clothes and set us loose. I still remember how much fun it was.
I guess it is no wonder that I became a professional fishpond designer when I grew up. By the time I was 13, I knew all about native pond fish from the area, and had developed a keen sense of environmental awareness. Although a cement fish pond is certainly not as much a part of the natural environment as the lakes we liked to frequent as kids, it still can serve its purpose. When they are properly designed and properly built, fish ponds not only beautify a yard, but also provide a valuable habitat for migrating waterbirds and native species. With more and more houses being built over wetlands, including even a small fish pond in your backyard can help to offset some of the damage done.
Of course, the main reason that people install a backyard fish pond is for the beauty of having a source of rippling water to contemplate. Fish pond waterfalls, garden paths, and other ornaments can do wonders for your mental well-being and health. It may sound strange, but just sitting by the water is one of the most therapeutic activities that I know. Watching the little pond raised fish swim back and forth under the clear water clears my mind out extraneous thoughts and brings me back to the moment. Although stocking a fish pond and properly maintaining it can be a little bit difficult, it is well worth the effort. It may take many hours to maintain, but you will get many more hours of enjoyment out of it.