How to Make a Container Pond


A container pond is a easy way to try your hand at water gardening. It's also a much less expensive proposition than building an entire backyard pond to find out that you don't really like it that much. A container pond is exactly what the name implies - a complete, functioning pond ecosystem built inside a container such as a ceramic pot or old whiskey barrel. Because of their small size, they're also perfect for apartment dwellers who don't have the room for a traditional in-ground pond. Making a container pond is a project simple enough to complete in one afternoon, yet it will brighten your garden spot for months to come.

Step 1

Get a container. What you use is only limited by your imagination. Popular choices for container ponds are whiskey barrels sawed in half and oversized plant pots. Remember that if you plan on stocking your container pond with fish, you will need to ensure that you have a large enough container for them to move around and for water to circulate. For that purpose, the whiskey barrels work well.

Step 2

Line the container with the pond liner, making sure you press it down against the bottom and sides. Trim off the excess at the edge of the container, leaving about six inches. Remove the liner.

Step 3

Apply waterproof glue to the sides and bottom of your container. This will help to secure the liner. If you're constructing the pond in a wooden container, you can use a staple gun and heavy duty staples to secure the edges along the rim of the barrel. Trim off any excess liner.

Step 4

Fill the container pond with water. Add a decholorinator.

Step 5

Add plants. Remember that you're planting a container pond and don't have as much room as you would with a full-sized pond. Thus, water lillies are probably not a good option. Stick with tall grasses and smaller plants.

Step 6

Add a fountain or water feature. Adjust the spray so that water isn't leaking outside of the container.

Step 7

Add any fish. Remember that space is limited, so larger-sized koi will quickly outgrow your pond. Try smaller goldfish or lionfish. Snails are also good pond residents because they eat the algae that grows on the sides.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always use a GFCI outlet when working with water and electricity.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Scissors
  • Pond liner
  • Water
  • Dechlorinator
  • Plants
  • Fish
  • Fountain or water feature
  • GFCI outlet


  • Building a Container Pond

Who Can Help

  • Building a Container Pond
  • Kentucky Whiskey Barrels
  • Container Ponds
Keywords: container pond, water garden, container garden

About this Author

Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He is also a filmmaker whose documentary films have shown at the Sundance Film Festival and Rotterdam Film Festival, among others. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Make a Container Pond