Designing and building a fish pond in your backyard garden can be done yourself or you can hire a professional to do it for you.  It is not really that hard, so if you are a do-it-yourselfer, it is probably a job you can tackle.  But you should probably research out each step and acquire some knowledge about landscaping in order to do it right the first time.  You can read about it online, buy a book, get some books from the library, talk to friends who have installed their own pond, or talk to a professional.  There are lots of resources available today for the do-it-yourself type.

Locate a Spot

Find a suitable location for the pond.  The size and depth should be proportional to the size of your garden.  You will also need a liner for the pond.  You can use a prefabricated fiberglass liner, or use the PVC liners that are readily available today.  A liner is necessary to keep the water from draining out of  your pond.

If you want to breed fish in your pond, you will need to think about the depth.  What kind of fish are you going to breed?  Koi and goldfish are the two most popular for small ponds.  Check to see how much room your fish will need.  If you are in a cold climate the pond should be deeper than the frost line, and sill leave the fish room to swim around.

The pond should not be place near trees.  Falling leaves can accumulate faster and make cleaning a full time job.  They pond should not be in a low lying area, or in the way of runoff.  Rainwater will flood the pond, and may carry chemicals from fertilizers and pesticides that may harm your fish or plants.  The water will also cloud up your water, and will, again, give you extra cleaning chores.  You will also need a sunny area, as the plants need the sun to grow and the water needs to be kept warm for both fish and plants.  But you don’t want it to hot, or the heat will kill the inhabitants of your pond.


The bigger the pond or the more water that is in it, the easier the pond will handle anything that does enter the water.  But no matter how big, you will probably need some kind of filtration.  Make sure you have access to electricity in the area. 

You will want to have some kind of gravel bottom, because this will allow a bacteria bed to build up and help maintain the water quality.  You can buy both filters and gravel at your local pet store. 

You should build your pond completely, including filter and gravel, and have it running for at least two weeks before starting to add fish.  Add them one or two at ta time, just like an indoor tank or aquarium, to give the water and pond time to adjust.  The bacteria needed to maintain the water and the fish will build up slowly.  If you stick in all the fish at once, the bacteria will not be able to come with the fish waste and extra food.  Also remember your fish will grow over time, so allow room for that.

Filters will help to make sure the water is kept clean from large debris, and will keep the water in motion.  Mosquitoes will lay eggs in any still water, and you don’t want a pond in the backyard to become a breeding ground for pests.