how to build a small pond in your backyard

7 Steps on How to Build a Small Pond in Your Backyard

Looking for a simple, easy to understand tutorial on how to build a small pond in your backyard? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

The sound of running water is known for its soothing qualities, its ability to refresh and calm the soul. Close your eyes and imagine the sounds of a creek, sitting on the shore with your toes tickling the water as it rushes by… This is an image of tranquillity and peacefulness that is stimulated by the familiarly of the sounds of water. Building a backyard pond in your own backyard can make this type of serenity a part of your everyday life.

There are landscape companies that specialize in building ponds, but if you’re a DIY junkie, you can build a small pond on your own with the right guidance. But before I dive into the ‘how-to’, check out some of the benefits.

Why You Should Learn How to Build a Small Pond in Your Backyard

Enjoy the outdoors

As the weather turns warmer, people are drawn to their backyard more. At first, it is to clean up after a long winter’s hibernation, preparing the yard for the warmth and joys of summer. Then it is the family barbeques, picnics and various parties that are hosted throughout the summer months.

If you are looking for something new to add to your backyard, consider building a backyard pond. With a little planning and preparation, you can create a backyard pond in only a few hours.

A backyard pond will improve your garden. The good news is that you don’t need to go to the park for the full effects of an outdoor experience.

Improve your landscape

Aside from the pleasure it brings, ponds also improve the landscape of your garden and make your yard more attractive to people and the local wildlife.

Increases the value of your property

One thing often overlooked by new pond keepers who want to know how to build a small pond for fish is the value a pond brings to their property. It will make it much more desirable to the buying public if you were to put your home on the market in the future.

Imagine someone walking into the backyard of a potential new home and seeing a beautiful water feature. They may not have considered it a benefit before, but when they see it, they will want one!

Attract some local wildlife

In addition to the emotional balance that your backyard pond will provide, the wonders of nature will also be yours for the viewing. Backyard ponds are not only an oasis for humans but animals enjoy them as well.

Do not be surprised if your backyard pond becomes a home for frogs, songbirds, turtles and other amphibians. It is also a beautiful addition to stock your pond with a selection of ornamental koi or goldfish.

Here’s a Step by Step Guide on How to Build a Small Pond

When deciding on the type of pond that would be most appropriate for your space, take the time to consider a few points. How big of a pond is going to work for your space and what type of pond do you want to build?

When building ponds, it may be beneficial to spend some time researching the options. But once you’re done, follow the below steps on how to build your pond.

Step 1 – Choose a location

One of the things to consider before you start digging that hole is the placement. Remember that any overhanging trees, even evergreens, are going to drop leaves or needles into the water and will need to be cleared out frequently to protect the ecology of the pond.

Also, don’t place a pond where runoff from rain will flow into the pond. This can carry dirt, fertilizer and other debris into the pond. If there is aquatic life or plants, water run-off can damage the environment and kill the fish and plants.

If you are going to install any powered equipment in the water, steps to provide power and to help secure the equipment once installed should be part of the plans made during the planning stage.

Step 2 – Pick a size

What size do you want? A small pond can be lined with a plastic lining and a big one can be as elaborate as having a surface area of several hundred square feet. The size you choose will depend on the size of your yard, how much space you are willing to devote to the pond and the amount of money that is in your budget for building the pond.

Once you’ve chosen a size, make sure you have the right size lining to cover the hole.

Step 3 – Dig a hole

Your pond can be as small as 3-4 feet in diameter and about 2 feet deep. If you plan to keep some plants in the pond, dig a shelf around the perimeter of the pond that’s about one foot deep and 1-2 feet wide.

Step 4 – Line the pond

You can now line the hole with a waterproof material or tarp. These Pond liners can be bought at a hardware store or from a local farm supply store. Place the lining in the hole and make sure it rests firmly at the bottom and sides of the hole. You can cut any extras with scissors or a utility knife.

Step 5 – Put a filter or fountain (optional)

Before filling the pond with water, you should put the filter in the right position – this also applies to water fountains too. Pond Filters are not really important for pond keepers who don’t plan to have fish. But if you do, a filter will keep your fish healthy, prevent bad odors and much more. 

Solar Pond Pumps are often used as an environmentally friendly solution for constant water flow around a pond, with them also saving the pond owner on electrical energy costs.

Step 6 – Fill the pond with water

Now it’s time to fill the pond. Fill it up with water by switching on the filter or fountain. If you plan to keep fish in the water, add some chlorine before introducing any fish.

Let your new pond sit for about a week before adding fish or plants so that the chlorine in the water would have evaporated.

Step 7 – Add plants and fish

Decorate the pond as you see fit. With stones, pebbles, colorful plants and fish. There are a lot of options available.

Colorful fish are beautiful to watch and add a sense of movement and vitality to your pond. The brilliantly colored fish in the colors of gold, yellow and white are a breathtaking contrast to the deep greens of plants and the dark water of the pond.

They’ll grow to fit the size of the pond so even if you choose your regular size goldfish, it’ll grow bigger than what you’d normally expect from a small aquarium.

When you build a pond it can be exciting, but deciding on what it should look like can take some time and some homework. There are many books and magazines that offer design ideas on how to build a small pond and if you are going to hire a contractor with experience in pond construction, they will undoubtedly have several design possibilities from which you can choose.


6 Tips to Keeping a Healthy Garden Pond This Spring

A garden pond is much like a natural ecosystem – requiring maintenance and care to keep all its inhabitants happy and healthy. But while filtration systems and regular spot-cleans will keep your pond’s eco-system running smoothly most of the year, at least once each Spring you should give your pond a seasonal clean out.

A full clean out of your pond is designed to re-set its environment. By removing muck buildup, attending to plants, and repairing fixtures, you’ll keep your pond, and its inhabitants, happy and healthy.

A full garden pond Spring clean can take some time and effort, but it needn’t be an overwhelming task. Here are 6 tips to keep your annual pond clean as straight-forward as possible.

1. Prepare Your Holding Tank in Advance

Properly preparing your holding tank can mean the difference between happy, stress-free fish and juggling buckets.

Your holding tank will be where your fish hang out for the duration of your Spring clean. Depending on the size of your fish, it can be anything from a large tub to a clean kiddie pool.

If you have particularly curious or athletic breeds, such as Koi, it’s also a good idea to prepare pond netting to keep the fish from jumping out.

Once you have the holding tank set up in a cool, shaded area near your pond, you can start pumping pond water from the pond into the holding tank. There’s no need to fill it up all the way. Simply giving your fish a depth they’ll be comfortable in is sufficient.

Finally, you should add a method of aeration to your fish’s temporary home. An aeration kit ensures your holding tank stays oxygen-rich and your fish will thank you for it.

2. Use a Pump Sock

A pump sock is one of the best ways to keep your pond pump from sucking up large debris that might damage or block it.

It will also keep your fish from being accidentally sucked up. Larger fish will generally stay away from the pump on their own but if you’re worried some fish are getting too curious then a pump sock can be a godsend.

3. Catch Your Fish When Your Pond Water Is Low

When your pond level is down to about one foot of water it’s time to catch your fish. Waiting until the water level is at one foot makes the task a bit easier as your fish will have less area to hide and flee.

Be gentle when catching your fish in your fish net. Once you have them in their holding talk, secure your pond netting to keep overly startled fish from escaping.

4. Use a Power Washer to Clean the Lining of Your Pond

A hose may seem sufficient for cleaning the rocks and lining of your pond, but if you want to get the task over within a fraction of the time, and ensure you remove all the muck, then a power washer is the tool for you.

More than an inch of muck on the bottom of your pond can cause issues with bacteria and water clarity so getting in there with a power washer is the best way to restore your ponds happy equilibrium.

Start by removing any heavy debris by hand – sticks, leaves, and twigs should all be cleared. Once you have access to the rocks and liner then it’s time to fire up your power washer.

You’ll want to wash from the top down. Starting with waterfalls or higher rock formations, wash muck, algae, and other buildups down toward the pump. A pond vacuum can come in handy for removing what the pump cannot, especially on the pond liner.

5. Check Your Plants, Filters, and Lights While the Pond Is Empty

The perfect time to check your plants and lighting is when your pond is drained. You’ll be able to better-spot plants that look overgrown. You’ll also be able to check the lower areas around the edge of your pond that may be tricky to get to when your pond is filled.

When checking plants, have extra pots on hand. That way you can divide and repot plants as needed.

Check your garden pond edging thoroughly. Fill in any areas where soil has washed away and adjust your pond liner if necessary.

If your pond has a waterfall filter or skimmer it’s a good idea to double check they’re level and haven’t shifted over the winter.

Run a check of all the existing lighting in your pond while it’s still empty. Do a spot-clean of lenses and swap out any non-functional bulbs. This is also the ideal time to add any extra pond lighting if you so wish.

6. Acclimatize Your Fish Before Reintroduction

Before reintroducing your fish back into your filled garden pond a few steps must be taken to acclimatize them.

First, add a de-chlorinator to remove any chlorine and detoxify any heavy metals that may be present in the newly filled pond.

Once the pond water has been treated, add some of the new, treated pond water to the holding tank. This allows your fish to get used to the new water in a gradual way so as not to stress them unduly.

Leave your fish in the mixed holding tank for about 20 minutes to allow them to fully adjust to the new water temperature and chemistry.

Once your fish have adjusted, gently catch them and move them back into the newly cleaned pond.

It’s recommended you give your fish 24 hours to fully adjust to their new environment before feeding them.

Keep Your Garden Pond Beautiful Year-Round

The best thing you can do for your pond over spring is a spring clean out. It’ll give your ponds equilibrium a much-needed re-set and ensure that its inhabitants are healthy and happy in a cleaner environment.

Employing these 6 tips will mean your annual garden pond spring clean will progress without issue. The smoother your pond clean goes, the quicker you can get back to admiring your garden as it greets the Spring.

Want to keep your pond looking its best in between its spring cleans? Check out how our recommended range of solar pond pumps which will provide an increased flow of water circulation, helping to prevent the formation of pond algae and other substances within the pond, keeping it looking healthy.