There are few things that make a backyard more beautiful than a pond. If you have dreams of your own DIY pond, you likely have a lot of questions. We recommend starting here to learn the basics. If you’re up for the challenge, a well-maintained backyard pond could be a striking addition to your yard.

Whether you put fish or just plants in your pond, it will be a delicate water ecosystem that needs to be tested and maintained. SAWS spends a lot of time monitoring the city’s water for safety and quality, so we understand the importance of keeping your pond clean.

How much space do I need for a backyard pond?

Generally speaking, larger ponds are easier to maintain than smaller ones. That’s because the temperature varies less and the more natural the ecosystem will operate. Also, fish need deeper ponds for room to swim, and also to avoid the water getting too hot in the summer. The Landscaping Network recommends that backyard ponds are at least two feet deep, and three feet with fish.

DIY pondWhere should I put my pond?

The most important thing you want to remember when choosing a location for your pond is accessibility. You’re going to be doing maintenance on your pond, so you want space to walk all the way around it. If it’s located too close to an edge like a fence or hedge, you won’t be able to maintain it without getting in the water. Additionally, ponds do best with sunlight in the morning and shade in the afternoon, so keep that in mind.

Do I have to put fish in my pond?

Fish, and especially koi, are very popular in backyard ponds. Other types of fish include goldfish, sturgeons, and rosettes. Fish serve all types of purposes in backyard ponds, from eating bugs to adding color. If you’re up for it, fish add an extra element to any backyard pond, but of course they’re not required.

What supplies do I need to make a pond?

According to, these are the tools you need: level, line level, spade, wheelbarrow. The materials you’ll need include EPDM liner, filter, rocks and pebbles, skimmber, submersible pump, underlayment, water plants, waterfall tank. If you had fish, you’ll need those, too.

What’s a water agitator?

You don’t want your pond to get stagnant, and thus algae-filled, do you? So you have to keep the water moving. If not with fish, you can use an agitator like a fountain, waterfall, or bubbler to keep it flowing.

What sort of maintenance can I expect?

Fish need to be fed daily and pump filters will need to be changed and cleaned on a regular basis. Various precautions will be necessary depending on the time of year, such as aeration in summer and keeping the pond from icing over in the winter. Ponds take work, but they’re worth it if you’re up to the task.