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Pond Shade from Salvaged Materials

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I have a small pond made from a 280 gallon stock watering tank. It receives full sun all day, and, with roughly 10 goldfish and koi, is highly susceptible to string algae, despite weekly cleanings and a homemade filter for the pump. Having built a pond pergola for our 1800 gallon pond in the back, we had some scrap lattice laying around, so I decided to try my hand at a fewer, small scale projects, like my Potato Raised Bed, and this pond shade. 

Why build a pond shade? It cuts down on water loss from evaporation, gives your more sensitive bog plants some relief from sun exposure, and adds a conversational piece to your garden. 
 
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Step 1: Gather Up Materials and Tools

Picture of Gather Up Materials and Tools
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I'm a lazy builder/crafter. I tend to build projects around what I have on hand, and save hardware from everything I scrap. In this project, I used two wooden fence rails, an old rake handle about 49" long, leftover lattice, a solar shade a friend had pulled off his 70's double wide trailer, four L brackets, a pallet board cut to the width of the lattice, and lots of various sized screws and staples. 

For my tools, I used my 18v wireless Ryobi drill, circular saw, zip saw (not pictured), stapler, and clamps, scissors.

Step 2: Prepare the Fence Rails

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Cut the fence rails to fit the length of your lattice. Rest both boards on their long sides. 

Step 3: Cut Pallet Board

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Cut the pallet board length to match the width of the lattice. Screw pallet board lengths to fence rails, being careful to go slowly so as not to split the wood. You could pre-drill each hole, but you will be doubling the time it takes to complete this project.
flyingpuppy10 months ago
How does it cut down on the algae? I need this! My two main problems are algae and finding things the fish can hide under (else the blue heron gets them). Right now the fish use the algae to hide inside, poor things.
hherzog (author)  flyingpuppy10 months ago
More shade = less algae blooms. This kind of project would be terrific for discouraging herons and other avian predators from snacking on your pond stock. I have large rocks providing hiding spots in mine but am about to redo the whole thing again, building custom supports for the main rock so the fish gain some more space without losing shelter.
hherzog (author) 10 months ago
Anything I can do to cut down on the string algae makes the fish happy, I am sure. The first day this was up, all the fish crowded into the new shade, even though ot isn't the only shade provided. Funny how fish respind to new stimuli the same way kids do...
jessyratfink10 months ago
Great idea! I bet the fish and plants are much happier now :D
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