How to Make a Pond for Fish? Everything to Know!

Building a pond for your fish isn’t a difficult task. However, it does require some careful planning along with a fair bit of trial and error.

Read on to find out how to make a pond for your fish.

Selecting the Location for the Fish Pond

The first thing you will need to do is select the location for your pond. When doing this, you will want to consider a few things.

You will need to make sure that the location you choose is large enough to accommodate the size of the pond you want to build.

Also, check that the location gets enough sunlight. Sunlight can play a huge role in the survival of fish, like facilitating plant growth and regulating water temperature.

You should also ensure that the location is away from any trees or shrubs. This is because roots from these plants can damage your pond liner.

Naturally, the location you have chosen should be easily accessible when you need to clean it or do other maintenance tasks. While this particular aspect is not necessary, it is still worth considering.

Once you have selected the location for your pond, the next thing you will need to do is mark off the area. You can do this by using string and stakes.

Simply tie the string around the stakes and place them around the perimeter of the area where you want your pond to be located.

Ideal Depth of a Fish Pond

Now you will need to determine the ideal depth of your pond.

The average depth of a fish pond is between two and four feet. However, the depth of your pond depends on a few things.

For starters, consider the type of fish you want to put in it.

If you want to put large fish in your pond, you will obviously need to make it deeper so that they have enough room to swim around.

Do consider the climate you live in. If you live in an area with a lot of snow, you will need to make your pond deeper so that the snow doesn’t completely cover it and kill your fish.

Ideal Size of a Fish Pond

Once you have determined the ideal depth of your pond, you will need to determine the ideal size.

The average pond is between 1,000 and 4,000 gallons.

However, just like the depth, the size of the pond also depends on similar factors.

Dig the Pond and Remove Rocks

Once you have found the perfect spot and have determined the correct dimensions, you will need to dig out a hole based on the chosen depth.

Once done, make sure you have removed any rocks or roots that are in the way. This is important because these things can damage your pond liner.

Do You Require a Pump for Fish Pond?

If you have fish in your pond, then you will need to install a pump in order to keep the water circulating and aerated.

This is essential for the health of your fish, as it helps to oxygenate the water and prevents the build-up of harmful toxins.

Installing a pond pump is not difficult, but there are a few things you need to bear in mind. First of all, make sure that you choose a pump that is powerful enough to circulate all of the water in your pond.

Secondly, ensure that the pump is situated in an area where it will not be obstructed by plants or other objects.

Once you have chosen an appropriate location for your pond pump, simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing it.

In most cases, you will simply need to attach the pump to a power source and then place it in the pond. However, it is always a good idea to consult with a professional if you are unsure about anything.

Adding Plants and Decorations in Fish Pond

Now that your pond structure is built, it is time to add some plants and decorations. Plants are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they also play an important role in keeping your pond clean.

There are many good options when deciding what plants you want to keep.

Water Lilies will add a splash of color to your pond. Not to mention, they help to keep the water cool and can also help to filter out impurities.

Cattails, on the other hand, are perfect for adding privacy to your pond. Like water lilies, they can also remove any impurities from the water.

Decorations such as rocks and sculptures can also be added to your pond. Just be sure not to use anything that could potentially harm the fish.

Installing the Bottom Drain

Adding a bottom drain to your pond is not required, but it can be highly beneficial. A bottom drain helps to keep the water clean by allowing debris and sediment to be removed from the pond.

You must remember that since your pond will have fish in it, there must be an anti-vortex cover in the bottom drain. Otherwise, the bottom drain can suck your fish into the grating.

Don’t forget that the bottom drain should be fitted perfectly in the pond. It also needs to be sealed properly through the underlayment and the pond liner to prevent any leaks.

Type of Liners For Fish Pond

You will also have to choose the right liner for your pond. The liner is what is going to hold all of the water in your pond, so it is important to make sure it is secure.

There are two options for creating a pond liner:

  • Pre-formed Pond Liner is the easiest option for creating a pond liner. All you have to do is place the pre-formed liner in the hole and fill it up with water.
  • The other option is Flexible Pond Liner which is a bit more difficult, but it will give you more flexibility when it comes to the shape of your pond. To create a flexible pond liner, you will need to use a material such as PVC or EPDM rubber.

Once you have chosen the type of liner you want to use, it is time to install it. A pre-formed liner will need to be placed in the hole and filled up with water.

A flexible liner needs to be secured to the sides of the hole using rocks or bricks.

Installing Skimmers and Eductor Jets

Skimmers and eductor jets are not mandatory, but they can help keep your pond clean.

You will need to install skimmers and eductor jets in your pond in order to help keep the water clean and free of debris.

The skimmers will collect leaves and other organic matter from the surface of the pond, while the eductor jets will help remove sediment and other debris from the bottom of the pond.

Installing a UV Water Clarifier and a Bead Filter

Skimmers and eductor jets are useful for removing visible amounts of contaminants from the pond water.

But for the smaller-sized ones, you should have a bead filter and a UV water clarifier.

The bead filters essentially trap the debris and sand. However, the useful bacteria in the water remains untouched. This bacteria is good for the overall health of your pond, including the fish.

The UV water clarifier is excellent for removing the tiny algae blooms, hence keeping the water clean constantly. You can also use rocks and gravel to further reduce algae growth.

Water Return

At this stage, your pond is almost ready. With everything in place, you now have to add water to it. There are many options that you can explore, like a gentle stream or a waterfall.

It is totally up to you.

Do note that, should there be any power outage in your area, the continuous stream or waterfall won’t stop until it runs out.

Your pond should be capable of holding the extra water, which will most probably be a significant amount.

Do You Need to Have Water Agitators?

If the pond water remains stagnant for a long time, it will soon be filled with algae. To prevent this, you can install water agitators.

Three of the most common water agitators are waterfalls, fountains, and bubblers.

Waterfalls can be of different intensities. You can have a trickle of continuous water, a sheet of water, or if you prefer a close resemblance to the name, you can have heavy waterfalls.

Each option requires a different GPH (gallons per hour) for your pump.

Fountains are another popular option to install in your pond. You can have a fountain shoot up from the pond surface or from a man-made structure. Fountains add a lot of visual and auditory appeal.

Bubblers are basically air pumps that function independently from the pond pump. Bubblers are used to create bubbles that will ripple throughout the pond’s surface.

Adding Fish to the Pond

Now that your pond is built and installed, it is time to add some fish.

Adding fish to your pond can help to keep it clean and can also add a splash of color. Some good fish to consider adding to your pond are:

Goldfish are a favorite for pond owners because they are relatively easy to care for. They also come in a variety of colors; hence you can choose the perfect fish for your pond.

Koi fish are another popular choice for ponds. They are beautiful fish that come in a wide variety of colors.

Koi fish are also known to be very hardy, as they can withstand almost any type of weather condition.

Plecos are a type of fish that helps to keep the pond clean by eating algae.


Building a pond for your fish can be an exciting project.

It adds a lot of aesthetics to your property and is a fun project overall. Just make sure everything you do is properly executed.

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