Waterfalls are not only pretty but also a great way to aerate your pond. The shallower depths of a waterfall allow oxygen to penetrate to the water's surface more easily. Obviously, the higher and broader the waterfall, the more opportunity for oxygenation, but even the smallest waterfalls can make a difference in the oxygen content of your pond.
As with the ponds themselves, you have two choices for building pond waterfalls: using preformed waterfall molds or creating your own waterfall with rocks. Again, preformed molds will be easier to set up, but rocks will give you more control over the size and shape of your waterfall.
Elaborate pond waterfalls will probably require major landscaping to ensure that the structure is stable and the water flows correctly. However, smaller pond waterfalls make a fairly easy and inexpensive project for do-it-yourselfers. All you need is a preformed waterfall mold or several large, flat rocks; a submersible pond pump; and flexible tubing. You can even purchase these items together in a pond waterfall kit, many of which are available online.
A few things to keep in mind when constructing your pond waterfall are:
Even people who don't have – and don't want – fish ponds or garden ponds can still have the beauty and ambience of a backyard waterfall. Landscape waterfalls allow homeowners to add the drama of a waterfall to their property without the additional hassle of caring for fish or aquatic plants. Like pond waterfalls, landscape waterfalls are generally made from large, flat rocks, supported by a natural rise in the property. If you have a flat backyard, you can create an artificial rise to house the waterfall.
Creating a landscape waterfall is much the same as making a pond waterfall, with the added step of digging a small pond or pool in which the water can collect before being pumped back through the waterfall. This pond will have to be lined, but need not contain any fish or plants. Usually, edging this pond with rocks similar to those used for the spillway is decoration enough.
For those who want an even easier way to add a waterfall to their landscape design, many companies now offer completely self-contained garden waterfalls. These units are constructed of everything from plastic to stone to marble and require no digging or building on the part of the homeowner; the bottom level acts as the pool in which the water is collected. All you have to do is decide where you want the waterfall located.
The one drawback to these units is that you have absolutely no control over the look and style of the waterfall. However, with the vast number of designs available – ranging from small, simple, single-level waterfalls to elaborate, multi-level waterfalls with additional features such as statues or whirligigs – you're sure to find something to suit your yard and garden decor.