Garden Ponds &Fish Pond Ideas:
Garden Ponds - Fish Ponds & Water Garden Ponds
The sound of water increases the interest
at any garden and building a small pool
with water dripping on a rock under a rock
Garden in May and be worth your time and investment.
For an overview diagram of a small rock
garden pool. A naturalistic approach to creating a rock garden.
- Line pool with concrete painted dark sides of slopes to help prevent cracking in winter.
- Low horse power, with submersible pump connected to the earth. Water is pumped from bottom
pool to top pool.
- Flexible plastic pipes are buried underground.
- A type of toilet tank float valve can be used to control water levels.
- A check valve can be used to prevent water from flowing back into the house system.
- A drain allows overflow water which can be taken to a large hole filled with rocks where it can seep back
into the ground.
Water gardens or small garden pools
have become a popular part of small garden
landscape architecture. Water gardens are
visually soothing and seem to
connect people to the natural
aquatic world. The aesthetic value
of water gardens is enhanced by
the almost endless variety of
design and planting options that
make each one a unique and personal
Little formal research has been
conducted on the ecology and
management of water gardens, so
most of the information in this
publication was developed from
related areas of research and practical
Water garden location,
size and type
The location of the water garden
is critical to its ecology and maintenance,
as well as to your enjoyment
of it. Sunlight is needed for
plant photosynthesis. Plants are
important to the water garden’s
ecology because they produce
oxygen, remove and recycle nutrients,
and provide shade and hiding
places for fish and other
inhabitants. A water garden
should be situated to receive at
least 6 hours of sunlight each day.
However, direct sun at mid-day
during the warmest months can
cause shallow pools to overheat.
Locating the water garden so that
it can be viewed from the house
will increase your enjoyment and
allow you to supervise it. Be sure
to control access to the water
garden to ensure the safety of
children. A good view of the
water garden will also help you
spot unwanted visitors such as
Water gardens should not be
located over utility services.
Check with utility companies for
the location of underground lines.
Water gardens should not be
located directly under trees
because roots hamper excavation
and may cause structural damage
later. Also, leaves foul the water
and over-hanging branches may
exude toxic substances into the
water garden. Consider the
weight of the water before placing
a free-standing water garden on a
patio or deck. Check structural
supports; water is very heavy.
Water depth will depend upon
the garden pond design, local climate,
and over-wintering strategies.
A few tips to over winter your garden pond fish:
Many year-round outdoor water
gardens have a section at least 3
or 4 feet deep that does not freeze
in the winter and gives fish a cool
retreat during hot weather and to provide and an over winter depth when the pond freezes. Large
koi carp, in particular, tend to lose
colour and become stressed if they
do not have a cool place to stay
during hot weather. A depth of 18
to 24 inches is sufficient in the
deep south, as long as only a few
fish are stocked and plenty of
floating aquatic plants are provided
for shade. Water gardens that
are at least two-thirds below
ground level retain heat in cold
weather and are cooler in hot
weather. Those built totally above
ground may have to be drained
during the winter and fish and
plants moved indoors.
Ponds can be built of several
types of materials. Some of the
more common are earth, plastic
liners, fibreglass and concrete
Plastic liners are easy to
install and come in a variety of
shape and sizes. The lifetime of a
liner depends on the thickness
and type of plastic.
Construction of a water garden
can be simple or complex. Water
gardens built of fibreglass or concrete
take considerable construction
skill. Earthen and plastic liner
pools require less construction
skill or experience. Many
commercial firms selling water
garden equipment offer consulting
services on design, construction
and maintenance. Use available
expertise and your own creativity
to design a water garden
reflecting your imagination and
Water gardens can be relatively
expensive to build and maintain.
Cost of construction varies with
size and the materials used.
Gold Fish Ponds and Koi Carp Ponds
Fish most commonly stocked in
water gardens belong to either the
goldfish or the koi family. There
are numerous varieties of these
References to goldfish are found
in Chinese poetry as early as 1,000
A.D. The Chinese and Japanese
nobility developed many of the
varieties we see today from the
original wild form. Today there
are many varieties to choose from.
Varieties with normal body structures
are best for water gardens.
These would include common
goldfish, shubunkin (or calico),
comet, and fantail. Varieties of
fancy goldfish such as the nymph,
fringetail, veiltail, lionhead, curled
gill, and bubble-eyed goldfish are
not well suited for outdoor water
gardens because they are more
vulnerable to predators.
Koi carp are descendants of the
European common carp (Cyprinus
carpio). Koi is a Japanese word
meaning “love” and koi giving in
Japan has much the same meaning
as flower giving in the West.
Koi have been bred in Japan since
at least 300 A.D. and are a popular
ornamental fish because of their
wide variety of colors and color
patterns. Each color and pattern
combination is given a distinctive
Prized koi have
bright, intense colors, sharp color
definitions, and distinctive
arrangements of markings. Koi
with exceptional coloration and
patterning can be valued at thousands
Koi can grow
quite large and sometimes live for
60 or 70 years. These fish can truly
be lifelong pets.