Garden Pond Designs

Garden Pond Koi

Planning For Pond Fish

Planning for pond fish should be an important part of your garden pond designs. Fish have special needs that should be taken into consideration in the construction of your water garden.

Fill 'er Up!

Your pond should not overheat or dry out in summer months, nor freeze solid in colder months. Building your pond to a sufficient volume should prevent this from being a problem, but pond heaters and automatic water level controllers can be installed as a preventative measure.

Fish Need Clean Water

Fish will need relatively clean water, so you may need to consider filtering the pond with a pond pump and biological filter. Hardier fish, such as goldfish can handle a more strenuous environment than others, like koi or fancy goldfish.

Water Garden KoiGreater quantities of fish or larger fish will have a bigger impact on your water quality, so extra filtration and/or a larger pond may be necessary if this is a concern for you.

Let Them Breathe

Fish require oxygen to breathe just like we do. If you keep small quantities of common goldfish with plenty of space, you shouldn't have a problem. In a densely stocked pond, however, it would be best to provide aeration by using a fountain or waterfall and pond pump.

If you plan to keep koi, it is pretty much a given that you should have proper filtration and aeration. Koi grow so large and produce so much waste that a good pump and filter really are a necessity.

Make it Deep Enough

The absolute minimum depth you can reasonably get away with and still have healthy fish would be about 16 inches. This would be for hardier fish such as common goldfish and only in very temperate climates.

A typical depth to aim for in a goldfish pond would be 24 inches, deeper if you live in areas with extreme temperatures. Deeper ponds have more stable water temperatures and result in less stress on pond fish during season changes.

If your pond is very large, or you plan to have koi (which get quite large) you should include an area in the center of the pond that is 36-48 inches deep. This is especially important if your water garden will be situated in a large open area that is subject to winds.

Shallows Are Important, Too

Some shallow areas are also necessary so that your fish will have basking areas where the water is warmer in spring and summer. Planting shelves may serve this purpose. Make them large enough for the size your fish plan to have.


JEBAO Single 12-led Submersible Light for Water Garden, Fish Pond, Fountain
Home (JEBAO)
  • Submersible light kit for ponds and water gardens
  • 4 color lenses illuminate in blue, yellow, red, green
  • Low voltage design for water safety; UL listed
  • Includes a transformer, adapter

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Nature abhors a straight line. When designing

Walls and planters, try to introduce curves, ovals and circles... If planning a new bed or feature, take your garden hose and lay it on the line you think you want a wall or bed edge to be. move it in and out, change, stand back and look, leave it there for a few days, whatever. Nothing will look less natural than a four foot wide straight border on the three sides of a small backyard with spotty plantings here and there and two trees planted symmetrically in the lawn. Loosen up. the most attractive gardens have curved, relaxed lines, asymmetrical designs and dry stone walls. Unless of course you're designing your own little Versailles, in which case all bets are off

Fun salvias at big garden show

Checked out the big annual garden show at the Cow Palace today. The usual fun of seeing the big demonstration gardens (tho' I was a bit disappointed that there were fewer "walk-thru" designs... and not as many truly amazing ones overall) ...
Came across a nursery that I was unfamiliar with: Morning Sun Herb Farm from Vacaville. They had a great selection of scented geraniums and of salvias. (A friend sparked my interest in salvias some yrs ago)... I came across two varieties of salvias that I don't recall seeing at nurseries in my area (SF's Richmond District)... one was a Costa Rican salvia (a blue variety that can apparently reach 4 feet and that apparently tolerates or even likes shade!) and the other was a forsythia salvia, which is yellow and according to that nursery and...

Quality Model Invests $3 Million To Expand Its Orangeburg County, South ..  — Area Development Online
The company specializes in serving the power sports, industrial, automotive and aftermarket, and lawn and garden industries with leading value-added products and services such as design, tool building, manufacturing, secondary assembly and painting.

VILLAGE SPORTS  — Garden City News
During the Christmas Break, the Garden City Recreation Department will offer a gym program for children in the St.Paul's Fieldhouse on December 26, 27, 30 and January 2 and 3. This program is open to youngsters of the Inc.

API Allied Precision 7521 Floating 1,500-Watt Pond De-Icer/Heater
Lawn & Patio (API)
  • Floating pond de-icer/heater; perfect for garden ponds
  • Keeps portion of pond surface free of ice; releases gases that might otherwise harm fish
  • 1,500-watt motor; 6-foot power cord; requires standard 110-volt household electricity
  • Thermostatically-controlled; automatic shutoff; rugged, plastic housing; patented design
  • Full, 1-year warranty
My small fish pond in my back garden …
My small fish pond in my back garden …
Garden deck with Fish Pond
Garden deck with Fish Pond
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform The EZ Guide to Building a Koi Pond: Welcome to the Wonderful World of Koi
Book (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)
Ani Mate - Lawn & Garden Fish Mate 600 Pond Pump
Lawn & Patio (Ani Mate - Lawn & Garden)
  • This 600 gallon pump features pond life friendly anti-clog filter designs and very low running costs.
Farm Innovators, Inc. Farm Innovators PS-200 Pond Di-Icer Heated Saucer, 200-Watt
Lawn & Patio (Farm Innovators, Inc.)
  • Thermostatically controlled pond de-icer maintains a vent hole in the ice to allow harmful gasses to escape
  • Low profile design minimizes wind resistance and remains virtually unnoticed in your pond
  • Fish and plant-friendly heater is for use in any size pond
  • Fully grounded 10 foot supply cord; 200 watts
  • Measures 2 by 13 by 13 inches

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  • Avatar Richard E How do I stop tree roots puncturing my pond liner without killing the tree?
    May 12, 2007 by Richard E | Posted in Garden & Landscape

    I have seen references to root barrirers, but what are they? the root of a tree keeps making holes in my fish pond liner, any ideas how to stop it please?

    • I know that copper retards root growth. You might be able to get some sort of copper mesh that would stop them.

      There are root barriers, but generally they are designed to stop shallow roots from spreading … so if you have a tree that seeks out water like that, you probably are going to have to get rid of it.

      Switching to concrete is an option, but you'd best be really happy with having the pond where it is.