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Setting Up Your Own Pond

Setting Up Your Own Pond

Are you drooling over photos of glorious pond escapes? Can you feel the cozy Muskoka chairs and hear the trickling water cascading down the rocks?

Creating your own water feature does take some planning, but it doesn’t have to be daunting!

Basic Steps to Setting up Your Pond


• Choose a location for your pond. Your pond should be placed in an area that receives a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day. This will allow you to plant many varieties of water plants. If possible, place your pond away from trees and shrubs to prevent unwanted leaves from clogging any filtration system you are using. You will want your new pond to be visible from your most used outdoor space and/or from within your home. And don’t forget, you will need to have easy access to both a garden hose and electricity.

• Outline its shape and size with a rope or garden hose.

• Dig a hole to match the depth and size of the pond.

• Remove any stones or rocks that may affect the pond base.

• Add an underlay and/or a 1″ layer of sand to support your pond.

Constructing a pond

• If you are installing a preformed pond, place the pond in the hole and check to ensure the pond is level. The pond must be level in all directions. Backfill around the edges, making sure the soil is well packed under any shelves in the pond. Once complete, your preformed pond can be filled with water.

• Should you choose to install a flexible pond liner, drape the liner loosely over the hole and hold it in place with bricks or large rocks. Slowly add water to the pond. As the pond fills, continually smooth the liner to minimize creases. As the liner is weighted down by the water it will conform to the design of your pond.

Learn more about popular Water Garden plants.

Just add water?

  • Once your pond is filled with water, place decorative edging stones around the edge of the liner. Leave room for pump cables and hoses.
  • Calculate the volume of water in your pond. Once you have established this, you can determine what size of pump and filter you will need. The volume of your pond also determines the number of fish and plants your pond will be able to hold.

Constructing a pondConstructing a pondSquare and Rectangle Ponds

Length x Width x Average Depth = Volume of Pond

Example: 9’L x 6’W x 2’D= a pond volume of 108 cubic feet

Round Ponds

Top Diameter x Bottom Diameter x Height x 0.785 = Volume of Pond

Example: 3’TD x 3’BD x 2’H x 0.785 = a pond volume of 14.13 cubic feet

To convert volume to gallons: Cubic feet x 7.48 = Gallons

Example: 108 cubic feet x 7.48 = 807 Gallons

How to calculate the size pump you need for a waterfall

A waterfall pump should circulate 100 gallons per hour for every 1″ wide of waterfall face plus the lift of the water (approx. 50 gallons per foot) from where the pump sits on the bottom of the pond to the top of the waterfall.

Example: 6″ wide waterfall x 100 gallons = 600 gallons

Pump is 10′ from top of waterfall or 10 x 50 gallons = 500 gallons

600 gallons + 500 gallons = 1100 gallons per hour

Garden waterfall

The waterfall pump should be circulating at least 1100 gallons per hour.

• Once your pond is in place and you have determined the volume of the pond, you need to choose a pump and filter system. There are many brands and types of pumps and filters available. See your Pond Specialist at our Garden Centre for any assistance.

• Once your pump and filter system are installed, you are ready to add plants, fish and the appropriate chemicals to your pond.