Pond Construction FAQ

Pond Construction FAQ image by Ewen&Donabel/everystockphoto.com, LilyKaderine07
Pond Construction FAQ image by Ewen&Donabel/everystockphoto.com, LilyKaderine07


Whether you're planning a deluxe pond with a cascading waterfall or dreaming of a wildlife pond that birds drink from, you have many decisions to make.

Should I Choose a Fish Pond?

A garden pond or garden pool welcomes fish and plants, creating a delicate cycle of life. The Reader's Digest All New Illustrated Guide to Gardening suggests, "Fish not only enhance the appearance of a water garden but they keep down the mosquito population by feeding on the larvae."

This waterlily is winter hardy.

What is a Wildlife Pond?

A wildlife pond does not include fish. According to Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, "Don't invite fish to a wildlife pond--they will upset the natural ecosystem." Meanwhile your wildlife pond will draw attention from bats, swallows, frogs, newts, diving beetles, dragonflies and more.

When is the Best Time to Build a Pond?

Early spring allows for plants to develop and wildlife to locate your pond before colder weather settles in and winter arrives.

What Types of Liners are There?

Rodale states that your choices are ready-made plastic molds, concrete, a butyl sheet liner or bentonite clay. The butyl sheet is flexible and easy to deal with, yet clay will last longer. In comparison, Reader's Digest warns that concrete develops leaks and cracks thanks to freezing and thawing.

How Do I Actually Create a Pond?

Reader's Digest suggests that you measure the maximum length and width of the pool you'd like to build then add double the maximum depth to each figure. After digging the hole, remove sharp rocks and add sand, using a level to ensure it's even. Unfold the liner, using bricks or pavers to hold it in place. Fill the pond and then begin to add plants in pots.

What If I'd Like a Fountain?

The two types of pumps, submersible and surface, both must be installed by a licensed electrician. Warning: you cannot grow rooted plants with a waterfall, as the moving water will wash away the soil.


  • Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening; Pauline Pears, Editor; 2002
  • Reader's Digest The All New Illustrated Guide to Gardening; Fern Marshall Bradley and Trevor Cole; 2009
Keywords: garden pond, wildlife pool, fish pond

About this Author

Michelle Bermas has been a freelance writer since 1994. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the "Boston Globe Sunday Magazine," "2008 Writer's Market," "The Social Cause Diet" anthology, "South Shore Living Magazine," "Hudson Valley Life," "The Boston Globe," "The Patriot Ledger Newspaper" and more. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Pace University, New York.

Photo by: Ewen&Donabel/everystockphoto.com, LilyKaderine07