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Home > Ideas & Tips > 9 Steps to Build a Pond in Your Backyard

9 Steps to Build a Pond in Your Backyard

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Pond with Waterfall

9 Steps to Build a Pond

In your Backyard

Learn how to design, install, and decorate stunning water features
for your landscape for a one-of-a-kind outdoor oasis.

How To Build A Pond

STEP 1: Choose your pond type and size

Did you know? Water gardens require 18-in depth or more,
while Koi ponds are deeper and require 3-ft depth or more.


When choosing placement for your water feature, look for more than visual appeal. Keep in mind factors such as your need for a power source and your pond's surrounding environment. For example, sun exposure can affect maintenance required for plants and fish, and falling leaves can clog your pump.

After you've selected where you want to have your pond, start digging.

Before breaking ground, be careful and avoid buried utility lines. Use a water hose or spray paint to help you draw guidelines for the shape and size of your pond. Applying a level will also help to ensure that all sides of your pond are even.

If you plan to add a waterfall, create an elevation with a downward slope that fts your vision. For example, perhaps you would like to build a gentle, gradual stream, or maybe a three-tiered cascading waterfall. For large waterfalls, determine the location and height of the highest point or tier; use flat rocks, bricks, blocks or stone to build elevation and set each tier of your waterfall.

Use a rake or garden hoe to clear rock or debris from the base and walls of your pond before covering the bottom entirely with sand. Any excess dirt or sand can also be used to ensure your waterfall does not have any voids or uneven surface along the back and sides.

STEP 3: Choose your pond lining
to prevent leakage

Now it's time to add your pond liner. PVC (polyvinylchloride) flexible liners are lightweight, durable,
and easy to customize into any shape you desire. It is also UV protected and has a limited lifetime
warranty; if installed correctly, it can last more than 20 years.

Pond Lining

Pond liner must be applied smooth side down, with the textured side facing up, which will help with
healthy bacteria growth. Smooth the liner from creasing, adding decorative rocks on top as anchors.

When you apply decorative rocks to finish off your look, Waterfall Foam Sealant will help to
fill, insulate, and bond any gaps for a water resistant seal to keep your waterflow smooth
and uninterrupted.

STEP 4: Pick the proper pump
for your pond for water circulation

Next, you will need to choose the right pump, which provides proper flow for any water features
such as waterfalls (see next step), as well as the best water circulation for your
pond to support fish and plant life.

Pond Pumps

To begin, estimate the total volume of your pond:

For rectangular ponds, use the following formula:

Avg Length x Avg Width x Avg Depth x 7.5 = total gallons

For circular ponds, use the following formula:

Avg Length x Avg Width x Avg Depth x 5.9 = total gallons

Each gallon should circulate at least once per two hours, which means you should choose
a pump that has a GPH (gallons per hour) rating that is at least half your pond's size.
For example, if your pond is 1,000 gallons, you will need at least a 500 GPH pump.
When making your calculations, always round up; all pumps include flow control.

For large ponds, consider additional pumps if you plan to include any special water
features such as waterfalls. Water features with larger elevation will require pumps with higher GPH.

STEP 5: Find the right pond filter
to keep your pond clean and clear

Based on the volume of your pond, select the best filter for your pump.
Proper filtration helps to eliminate organic waste and keeps your water crystal clear.

Pond Filters

Mechanical filters use filter pads to reduce debris in your pond.
Pressure filters push water through the chambers, maximizing the effectiveness.

STEP 6: Connect a waterfall or water
feature for a lovely focal point
and a healthier pond

Water features such as spitters, waterfalls, and sprays not only help to create beautiful
scenery — they also come with a practical purpose. Remember that fresh water circulation and
aeration helps to keep your pond oxygenated, which in turn creates an environment that helps to
keep any fish, plant, and "good" bacteria thriving.


While making adjustments according to the size of your pond and the location of your waterfall,
attach tubing directly to a pond pump. From this connection, ensure your tubing and other cords
(such as lighting, filters, and any additional pumps) follow the same direction upwards along the
path of your planned waterfall. Trim tubing as needed, and keep it hidden along the side.

At the top of your waterfall, either conceal the end of the tube or add a spillway, both which can be
covered by decorative stones. It may take some trial and error, but once the project is complete, the finished look will be spectacular!

Fountains, Spitters, and Sprays

The simple setup gives even more reason to give it a try.
In your product packaging, an adapter will be provided that can be connected to your spitter
or nozzle on one end, then directly attached to your pond pump on the other. That's it!

STEP 7: Don't forget lighting
and accessories

Pond Lighting and Accessories
Pond Diagram

STEP 8: Keep your pond sparkling with
regular maintenance and water treatment

Make sure your beautiful backyard scenery stays that way with regular upkeep. If you have fish in
your pond, you will need to ensure that fish waste and any other water pollutants are eliminated.

All Lowe's pond water treatment products are safe for fish and plants.


STEP 9: How to Winterize Your Pond

During autumn, use pond skimmers or nets to catch falling foliage into your pond. This is a problem
to resolve before the first winter freeze so that chemicals released from decaying leaves are
not trapped in your water all winter. A pond aerator will also help to introduce dissolved oxygen
back into the pond and help to restore a balanced ecosystem.

Ensure non-hardy aquatic plants are moved into a garage, house, or green house; for more hardy
plants, make sure your pond is deep enough for the anticipated weather in your area or move
them to lower water levels if needed.

As the weather gets cooler, reduce feeding your fish to match their decelerating metabolism.
For 21°C and above, feed them as "normal"; up to four times a day. Below that temperature,
slow down a bit to one to two times a day, using wheat germ between 10°C - 15.5°C. Fish start
to fast below 10°C and should not be fed, or it can cause death. Do not start feeding until the water
starts to rise above 10°C, when the fish become active again.

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