Nine Different Types of Ponds for Your Garden

Nine different types of ponds for your garden

A pond in the garden conveys peace and relaxation. You can emphasize this if you design the pond with a seating area nearby, a bridge, and various plants. Before you create your pond, you should plan it thoroughly. There are different types of ponds. Which type of pond you choose depends on your wishes and requirements on the one hand and your garden’s local conditions on the other.

Which Pond Should it Be?

Deciding on a pond type is not always easy, as there is a wide variety of pond types. Each type of pond has its charms and advantages. It also makes particular demands on maintenance. Before deciding on a kind of pond, you should consider whether there is the necessary space in your garden and whether you have enough time for maintenance. If your garden is only small, you do not have to do without a pond. There are nine options for garden ponds, which we present in more detail in this article:

  • Swimming Pond
  • Terrace pond
  • Mini pond
  • Ornamental pond
  • Plant pond
  • Fish pond
  • Koi pond
  • Pig pond
  • Natural pond

Each of these types of ponds has its design requirements, which you should consider at the planning stage.

A Piece of Quarry Pond in the Garden – The Swimming Pond

Unlike a swimming pool, a swimming pond is naturally designed. You need enough space in your garden for it. A swimming pond combines a swimming pool and garden pond. It uses less technology and chemicals than a swimming pool. However, it would help if you did not do without a circulation pump and a filter. The water plants in the swimming pond serve as biological filters and positively affect the water quality. This pond should consist of a swimming part and a filter part.

You should design your swimming pond with several zones. The filter part can be designed like a garden pond with a shore zone, shallow water zone, and deep water zone. You should divide the swimming part into a shallower area with a water depth of 24 to 32 inches (60 to 80 centimeters) and a deeper area with a water depth of 55 to 65 inches (140 to 160 centimeters). The shallower area can be planted, while you can swim comfortably in the deeper area. For the swimming pond, you will need a pond liner of the appropriate size. To get to the deeper area, you can integrate a footbridge.

No Excavation Necessary – The Terrace Pond

If you want to save yourself from the excavation or there is only a little space in your garden, you can create a terrace or raised pond. You need to excavate a little soil for this. The pond is built on a solid base and wholly or partially overhangs the ground level. If you want to make the work easier, you can buy a ready-made kit. You can beautifully design the pond with a perimeter retaining wall or a dry stone wall. Such a pond can not be divided into different zones, but it can be designed with different plants. You can also use fish in this type of pond.

For the Small Garden – The Mini Pond

If your garden is only tiny, you can choose a mini pond. Even on a balcony or terrace, you can find a place for it. All you need is a sturdy container. There are a variety of vessels that are suitable for this purpose. Even the disused bathtub, a mason bucket, or a wooden barrel is right. The container can be free-standing or buried. You can create a mini pond with pond plants that grow slowly and take up little space.

Decorative Element for the Garden – The Ornamental Pond

If you want to create an ornamental pond, you have several options regarding size and shape. You can make such a pond in a strictly geometric shape. As a rule, you don’t have fish in that type of pond. For good water quality, you should use a filter and pump. If you equip the decorative pond with a water feature, you can do without the filter system. Which plants you choose depends on the size and depth of the pond. Water lilies are suitable, and you can combine them as desired with other plants that harmonize well with them. The ornamental pond does not need to be divided into different zones.

For Plant Lovers – The Plant Pond

In the plant pond, plants are the predominant element. You can create the plant pond in different sizes. It would help if you used a pond liner to divide the pond into shore zone, shallow water zone, and deep water zone and equip each zone with the plants suitable for it. The plants should harmonize well with each other. Already when buying the plants, you should think about their space requirements. You can plant water lilies in the deepwater zone. It would help if you equipped the pond with a filter system and a pump. You can insert fish, but they should be smaller fish not to damage the plants.

Always a Feast for the Eyes – The Fish Pond

Fish dominate in the fish pond, but plants should not be missing to provide a natural habitat for the fish. You should carefully select the fish and take into account their requirements. The fish should harmonize well with each other and not fight each other. You should consider the space requirements of the fish. The deepest area should be at least three feet (one meter) deep. A base area of 65 to 82 square feet (20 to 25 square meters) is recommended. You can divide a fish pond into different zones, which you plant accordingly. Plants provide a good hiding place for the fish. However, you should pay attention to plants that are not eaten by the fish and do not plant the pond too lushly. You can ensure clean water with a filter. To supply your fish with oxygen, you always need a hole in the ice in winter.

The Koi Pond for the King Among the Pond Fishes

As the king among pond fish, the koi makes unique demands on the pond. The koi pond is no ordinary fish pond. Since koi carp like to live in groups, you should use at least ten animals and provide them with the necessary space. For one koi carp, you have to calculate 250 gallons (1,000 liters) of water. The pond should therefore be at least 5 feet (1.50 meters) deep. Likewise, a large base area is also essential. A koi can grow up to three feet+ (one meter) long. The pond walls should slope as steeply as possible.

Since koi like to rummage through the bottom for food, you should not do without a filter system. It would help if you shaded at least one-third of the pond, as the koi should not be exposed to the sun all day. A footbridge provides shade. In winter, you should think about the oxygen supply. Since koi are always hungry and will eat anything they can find, you should choose plants carefully.

Newt Pond as an Alternative to the Fish Pond

If you want to plant your pond and provide a home for animals, a newts pond is suitable. In rural areas, freshly created ponds are quickly colonized by newts. The pond should be designed as close to nature as possible. Newts need good hiding places to settle permanently. Fish should be avoided, as they eat newt spawn and newt larvae. Some fish do not even stop at young newts. The shore zone should be shallow. There should also be enough hiding places for the small animals at the water’s edge.

Furthermore, it would help if you had a shallow water zone and a deep water zone for your newt’s pond. For the deepwater zone, a depth of 23 to 31 inches (60 to 80 centimeters) is sufficient. You should choose the plants for the newt’s pond carefully. Since the newts leave the pond after spawning and also young newts overwinter at the pond perimeter, the pond can freeze over in winter. If space is limited, a prefabricated pond tank with a volume of at least 32 gallons (120 liters) is suitable. However, it limits the design of the pond zones. The solution of choice is a foil pond.

The Natural Pond as a Small Biotope

A natural pond is designed close to nature and is a habitat for many animals and plants. It should be as large as possible and have many shallow areas. The pond inhabitants use these places to rest and mate. You should pay attention to sufficiently wide banks and shallow water zones. You do not need a pond liner for the natural pond. The deeper areas should be at least 31 inches (80 centimeters) deep. Native pond plants are best for planting. To ensure that frogs, newts, and other animals can settle undisturbed and feel at home, you should do without fish.


There are many different types of ponds. Some of them are suitable even where there is little space. No matter which pond you choose, you should think about maintenance. Good planning and selecting the right location are essential before you create your pond.

Florian Egert

I am Florian Egert, the owner of I live with my wife and two children in Germany in a small village in the countryside.

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