how to set up a garden fish pond

how to set up a garden fish pond

Whether or not you wish to set up a preformed pond or add one other kind of small yard pond, it will stroll you thru the way it works and what it’s good to think about first.

In case you are searching for design concepts, take a look on the yard pond thought gallery right here.

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Recommendation for Beginning a Backyard Pond

I’ve had a number of several types of ponds over time and it doesn’t matter what measurement or model, the fundamental upkeep and care is all the identical.

I’ll stroll you thru all the pieces it would be best to think about earlier than constructing your yard pond. The following tips will aid you keep away from some frequent errors which might be very arduous to repair as soon as a pond is constructed, and show you what’s concerned in caring for a pond so you’ll be able to resolve if it’s best for you.


  1. Authorized Concerns
  2. Security
  3. Location
  4. Entry to Sources
  5. In-ground or Above-ground
  6. Pond Provides
  7. Water
  8. Water Pump
  9. Aquatic Vegetation
  10. Pond Fish
  11. Each day Upkeep
  12. Winter Upkeep
  13. Incessantly-Requested Questions
    1. How a lot does it price to place in a pond?
    2. Do it’s a must to have a pump in a pond?
    3. How deep does a fish pond have to be?
    4. How does a pond water pump work?
    5. How a lot daylight does a pond want?
Link to save digital file.

Ideas Earlier than You Construct a Pond

1Legal Concerns

Examine native bylaws to be sure you are certainly allowed to have a pond. And make good together with your neighbors in order that they don’t try to throw a wrench in your plans.

I constructed the pond you see right here for our yard.

Watch how I did it right here:



If there are younger kids round or pets that don’t swim, ponds are usually not well worth the danger. It’s a beautiful addition to a backyard however solely if you’re sure it’s protected.


Ponds are finest located within the open, away from timber. Tree roots might be tough to take away and might develop proper again into your pond. Fall leaves will rot within the water, fall to the underside, and create muck.

One large mistake many gardeners say they made was placing a pond in the back of a backyard, removed from the home.

If potential, situate your pond the place you’ll be able to take pleasure in it both from the home or patio.

Additionally, you will take higher care of it whether it is at all times in view.

And, this actually pays off in winter when it’s a must to ensure the pond is just not icing over and killing your fish.

4Access to Sources

Until you’re creating an all-natural, pump-free pond, you have to an outside GFCI (Floor Fault Circuit Interrupter) electrical outlet accessible to the pond space.

This needs to be put in by a licensed electrician to make sure it’s protected and meets native codes.

Entry to out of doors faucet water can be wanted, first to fill the pond, after which high it up on sizzling days when some water will evaporate.

A water outlet can be useful for routine upkeep like cleansing filters.

I’ve answered Incessantly Requested Pond Questions right here.

5In-Floor or Above Floor

The subsequent large resolution is selecting whether or not you need an in-ground pond or to construct one above floor in a container.

In-ground ponds might be extra pure wanting and are normally made by excavating the soil and putting in a pond liner made particularly for this function.

Above-ground ponds might be in-built any water-tight massive container. These galvanized water troughs are a preferred selection proper now. This pond was in-built an previous sizzling tub.

I made my above-ground pond by constructing a raised backyard mattress and inserting a prefabricated pond type (just like the one pictured above), additionally referred to as a inflexible pond liner.

You can even use pre-fab pond types as in-ground ponds.

6Pond Provides

These are the fundamentals:

  • Pond liner (rubber liner and gentle underlay) or preformed pond container
  • Recirculating pump with (optionally available) fountain spout

Bigger pond kits could include:

  • Skimmer field
  • Tubing to attach skimmer to waterfall
  • Spillway field (to create a waterfall)
  • Cowl for spillway field

You may additionally want:

  • Rocks to line pond
  • Leaf skimmer
  • Floor Fault Circuit Interrupter) electrical outlet
  • Outside water faucet

That is the pond package I received for constructing my massive pond:

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The place to Get Offers

  • Low season on-line labeled advertisements
  • Finish of season gross sales
  • Search for kits as an alternative of shopping for elements individually
  • Yard gross sales
  • Trash
  • Individuals eliminating their pond – you uninstall it and it’s all yours!


It’s assumed you might have a clear water supply to fill your pond.

In case your faucet water contains chlorine and fluoride it takes a day or so for the chlorine to off-gas earlier than safely including residing issues to the pond.

After getting fish, vegetation, and different wild issues like frogs in your pond, including chlorinated faucet water shall be two-step course of: first you fill a big tub and go away it for a day, then you’ll be able to add the water to your pond. You can even velocity it up with dechlorinating tablets.

If the water has chloramine, you’ll additionally want an appropriate dechlorinator earlier than including fish.

Examine together with your municipality to know what’s in your water or get it examined. There’s extra data right here.

8Water Pump

One of many keys to protecting a pond wholesome with clear water is to have recirculating pump operating always.

These pumps are made particularly for ponds. The motorized pump is submerged within the water, drawing water in and sending water out.

Some even have filters to assist take away gunk from the water. Others are merely pushing the water round, to assist hold It oxygenated.

See pond pump on

It is very important use a pump that meets the wants of your pond.

Pumps are made in several strengths, measured in gallons per hour (gph).

You desire a pump that strikes your complete water capability each hour, plus additional energy to elevate the water by any waterfalls or fountains as properly.

Instance: a 2000-gallon pond with a waterfall three ft above the floor would wish a pump that’s a minimum of 2200 gph or maybe 2500 gph. A pond skilled might help you select what’s proper to your particular setup.

I additionally at all times have a spare pump available in case my present one fails for any motive. This isn’t horrible within the hotter months however might be tragic in winter. You must hold the water circulating to make sure fish and frogs survive. If the water freezes, they’re toast.

9Aquatic Vegetation

Relying on the place you reside, there shall be totally different decisions for pond vegetation.

Identical to any backyard, invasive pond vegetation might be a problem. There are many fast-growing pond vegetation that can take over whereas your again is turned.

I’ve had some that I believed had been doing nice till I went to maneuver their root baskets (sitting a ledge within the pond) and found they’d taken over like beasts, snarled with different vegetation within the pond and utterly wrapped round rocks within the backside.

Ultimately, there’s such a quantity of plant roots down there that there’s no room for fish or water circulation.

So, nothing invasive, however from there, you’ll wish to resolve whether or not you need annual or hardy perennial water vegetation.

I decide this by funds: annuals might be beautiful, however they won’t survive the winter. We’ve fewer choices for hardy perennials past water lilies, however they final for years.

Some aquatic vegetation float on the floor, others have roots and develop in rocks or aquatic potting medium in baskets beneath the water floor.

A pond skilled at a backyard nursery is usually a nice useful resource for selecting the best vegetation.

A giant a part of the choice shall be how a lot you’re prepared or in a position to preserve the vegetation to make sure they don’t mess up your pond.

This articles exhibiting how I constructed my inground pond shares the names of a few of my aquatic vegetation.

10Pond Fish

When you dwell in a chilly local weather like I do, you have to cold-water fish to your pond. Koi and goldfish are well-liked decisions however there are many issues to think about first.

Huge fish will—generally—eat smaller fish, so there’s that. And a few differing types is not going to get together with others.

Additionally, the variety of fish you select will depend upon what their measurement shall be maturity and the amount of water in your pond. A normal rule is, permit 2 cubic ft minimal per goldfish to make sure their well being and happiness. Koi require extra space. This has a formulation for what number of fish so as to add to your pond.

Until you retain your pond unnaturally clear, your fish may also breed, supplying you with extra fish, so go away room for infants as properly.

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It’s finest to discover a native pond retailer that sells pond fish to get good recommendation on what to decide on to your pond. And don’t add them till your pond has been established for a minimum of few weeks or extra.

Some pond house owners feed their fish store-bought fish meals. Mine dwell solely off the pond itself.

When getting new fish, comply with these directions for safely introducing new fish to your pond.

Fish are actually liable to shock, so that you need any modifications to be as mild and gradual as potential.

11Daily Upkeep

In case your pond is well-built in location, upkeep will most likely solely be required sometimes.

I examine my ponds day by day to verify all the pieces is operating easily, and the fish are glad.

When you feed your fish, you’ll wish to create a routine the place they get to know and belief you.

Some pond pumps have filters that can want cleansing out at any time when gunk will get in them.

A skimmer device is useful for eradicating any leaves or particles that has blown into the pond.

You may additionally have to high up the water on sizzling days as a consequence of evaporation. As talked about, chlorinated faucet water needs to be held in reserve in massive open container for a day first to let the chlorine off-gas. Or you need to use de-chlorinating tablets.

To assist hold pond water clear, there are liquid micro organism merchandise that increase the nice micro organism within the water. These are available in a squeeze pump and get added as wanted based on the directions.

The older a pond will get, the extra it’ll naturalize, and this may imply algae will construct up, particularly within the sizzling climate.

See The right way to Clear Murky Pond Water Quick—With out Any Chemical compounds for my trick to show inexperienced water clear once more.

12Winter Upkeep

Winter pond preparation contains transferring some hardy aquatic vegetation decrease down within the pond, so the roots don’t freeze.

Cleansing out filters and eradicating leaves.

Ensuring your fish shall be protected by by no means letting the water freeze. I do that by protecting the waterfall operating all year-round and including a pond heating (floating de-icer) to stop the floor from icing over. There are gases that construct up from fish waste and these turn out to be poisonous if they don’t seem to be launched into the air.

This has detailed recommendation on Caring for Your Fish Pond in Winter.

Incessantly Requested Questions

1How a lot does it price to place in a pond?

The associated fee will depend upon whether or not you’re doing it your self or hiring an organization to construct the pond.

A fundamental 1000-gallon pond package is round $1,000US plus the price of rocks and different landscaping provides.

Hiring knowledgeable pond-building firm to create a 20×40 pond might price you $20k to $100k or extra. The worth vary goes to differ vastly relying on the design, provides, and options.

2Do it’s a must to have a pump in a pond?

Until you’re particularly making an attempt to create a pure pond with no circulation or fish, sure, a pump is at all times beneficial. Bigger ponds may have a number of pumps.

Pumps assist hold the pond water clear and wholesome by oxygenating it with fixed motion. That is higher for fish, different wildlife within the pond, plant well being, reduces mosquito larvae, and prevents stagnant inexperienced water.

3How deep does a fish pond have to be?

A superb minimal is two-feet deep, and it’s superb to have areas a minimum of 4 ft deep if in case you have fish, frogs, or turtles. The higher depth retains the pond animals safer from predators. And, the deeper the water, the much less possible it’s to freeze up in winter. Conserving the water operating within the chilly seasons is important for protecting fish and frogs alive. If it freezes, they do too. These my suggestions for protecting fish and vegetation protected all winter lengthy even in freezing temperatures.

4How does a pond water pump work?

Pond pumps are designed to be submersed in pond water with {an electrical} twine that runs externally to a GFCI (Floor Fault Circuit Interrupter) electrical outlet energy outlet. These pumps attract water by a vacuum motion and ship it out once more, usually by an output hose, or to a waterfall or fountain. Some water pumps even have sponge filters to gather gunk from the water because it passes by.

5How a lot daylight does a pond want?

The best location for a pond is in partial solar, however not below timber that shed leaves. An excessive amount of solar encourages fast algae progress. Too little solar and the aquatic vegetation shall be sluggish to develop or flower.

I hope this has offered understanding of what’s concerned in constructing and caring for a yard pond.

Let me know if in case you have any questions, and ensure to join the e-newsletter for extra useful backyard suggestions.

~Melissa the Empress of Grime ♛

A pre-formed garden pond ready for installation in the yard.

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