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Which Pond Type is Right for you?

Algreen 144 Gallon Preformed Pond Kit
Algreen 144 Gallon Preformed Pond Kit


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Once you’ve made the decision that you want a garden pond, you have to determine what pond is right for you. There are many different types of ponds, and each one has its advantages and disadvantages. The challenge is to determine what type of pond speaks to you, before you decide to go ahead with your purchase.

Types of Ponds

What is a Fish Pond?

A fish pond is exactly as it sounds – a body of water that houses fish. Fish ponds can be fairly easy to install, however, they require more maintenance and care than other types of ponds. Fish can often increase the amount of ammonia and other chemicals in the water. The level of these chemicals must be monitored, as if the levels become too high, they can be deadly to fish and plants. Generally, these ponds require more filtration overall, and the water flow has to be fairly strong.

Characteristics of a fish pond:

View fish ponds

Advantages of a Fish Pond Disadvantages of a Fish Pond
  • You get to see nature up close, in detail
  • Invites other animals into your yard
  • Is interesting to watch
  • Can help teach children about nature
  • Requires a lot of maintenance
  • Can make your yard more inviting to pests

What is a Pondless Waterfall?

A pondless waterfall is a waterfall that does not run into a pond. Rather than having a pond at the bottom of the waterfall, there is a liner filled basin, including a pump vault, which the water falls into. This is where your pump is kept. The pond pump then pushes the water back up to the top of the waterfall, and the process is repeated. This is a very low maintenance feature, and is very simple to run.

Characteristics of a Pondless Waterfall:

View pondless waterfall

Advantages of a Pondless Waterfall Disadvantages of a Pondless Waterfall
  • Low Maintenance
  • Easy to keep running – easy access to pump inside vault
  • Creates running water without needing a large area
  • Can be hard to design – you need a hill to create the waterfall
  • Cannot be a home for any wildlife

What is a Water Garden?

A water garden is a pond that allows plants to grow. This is an attractive backyard feature, because it includes running water, and the bright colors and variety of plants. These gardens can be fairly easy to maintain, as long as they are in the right conditions. The hardest part of creating a water garden is finding the balance between too many plants, and not enough. If there are not enough plants, algae will begin to develop. If there are too many, the garden will not develop.

Characteristics of a Water Garden

View water gardens

Advantages of a Water Garden Disadvantages of a Water Garden
  • Allows wildlife into your yard without the maintenance of a fish pond
  • Is extremely flexible – can range in size, shape, and the plants you have in the yard
  • Requires some maintenance
  • Requires monitoring of growth levels, chemical levels, etc.

What is a Water Feature?

A water feature, similar to a pondless waterfall, is a way to bring flowing water into your yard without the maintenance of a pond. The most common type of water feature is a fountain, however, it can include other types. Again, these types of ponds are fairly easy to maintain, but cannot contain wildlife.

Characteristics of a Water Feature

View garden fountains

Advantages of a Water Feature Disadvantages of Water Features
  • Low Maintenance
  • Creates a focal point for your garden
  • Creates flowing water
  • Can take up a large space
  • Require some monitoring (to keep track of algae growth)

When deciding what type of pond is right for you, consider all the water features list above. Different types of water features appeal to different people, your pond should be something that you love.