How To Plan For Building A Pond

What kind of pond is best for your property? Water features are a gorgeous addition to any home, but there are several factors to consider when planning in order to choose the best kind of pond or other water feature for your lifestyle and desires. 

At Castle Aquatics, we live for helping homeowners design and maintain breathtaking aquatic environments on their properties. We offer top of the line pond equipment, and a vast network of partner stores across the nation to connect you with the tools and experts nearest you that you need to enjoy creating and maintaining a pond. In today’s blog, we’ll be discussing some of the most important considerations that should be a part of your thinking when planning for a pond on your property. 

Pond Maintenance

How much time are you willing to spend constructing and maintaining your pond or water feature? This is an important question to answer first because it will help you hone in on the scale and ambition of your project. Would you like a wonderful backyard hobby, or simply a gorgeous decorative element for your property? Many elements of your pond will impact the overall time required for construction and maintenance, including its size, depth, location, fish and plant life, and the pond pumps and filters you choose for it. 

Tip: If you want to enjoy a backyard pond, but don’t have the time for regular maintenance, check out our store locator! You can search by zip code for pond shops and contractors in your area to find experts that can take on the work for you. 


Where will your pond be located on your property? Do you want to add an elegant waterfall feature to your front entryway, or a backyard pond you can admire from the window? Pick a location for your pond that maximizes the kinds of enjoyment you’re looking for out of a pond. Small ponds are often best constructed near a patio or deck, so you and your guests can enjoy the sights and sounds of your pond as you relax. That way you can enjoy your pond indoors as well as outdoors! 

Streams can also serve as natural dividers. If you have multiple outdoor areas on your property, you might consider placing a stream between two of them and connecting the spaces with a small bridge. 

Tip: Don’t forget that you’ll need electricity to run your pond pump. Be sure to consider your electrical access points when planning your pond’s location. 


Do you want your pond to be a life-sustaining ecosystem, complete with plants and fish? Or would you prefer a simple, pondless water feature, such as a waterfall, that cycles water around without supporting life?

This is a particularly important factor to decide because of the additional considerations required for ponds that sustain fish and plants. 

There are pluses and minuses to both types of water features: pondless systems require less maintenance, but can feel empty to some people without the presence of life. Fish ponds, on the other hand, are fun, colorful, and exciting with all of the life they contain, but require more monitoring initially as you learn how to balance the chemicals and environmental factors in your pond to keep the water clean and healthy for your fish. However, it is important to note that neither fish ponds nor pondless water features require as much maintenance once you’ve gotten the hang of the balancing act that is pond water care. 

Tip: For more information on how to care for a fish pond, check out our 7 Steps For Maintaining A Clean Pond!


What’s the climate like in your area? Ponds are their own delicate ecosystems, and are particularly sensitive to temperature. Planning for winter is simple enough, but if you live in an area that regularly gets hot in the summer, you’ll want to account for that if you plan to have fish in your pond. 

As we mentioned in a previous blog, fish require certain levels of dissolved oxygen in the water in order to breathe. Pond water struggles to maintain the necessary amounts of dissolved oxygen when water temperatures rise above 75°F,  so if you live in an area that gets lots of sunshine and heat, you’ll want to protect your pond water by planting more trees and plants around it for shade. 

Tip: In most climates, it’s best to plant enough foliage to cover or shade 40 to 60% of the water in your pond. 


What kind of look are you hoping to achieve by adding a pond or water feature? Do you want to create a natural-looking aquatic ecosystem, a tropical water garden, or simply a clean, elegant water feature? Your intended aesthetic will help guide your choice of plants and materials as you create a water feature that becomes an integral part of your property, no matter the style of your home. 

Tip: Check out our Projects page for examples of our partners’ work and inspiration for your next water feature project!


When designing a pond for your property, keep in mind that whatever kind of pond or aesthetic you choose, you want to incorporate it correctly into your property so that it looks like it could be there naturally. The water in your pond should flow like it would if your pond was a natural part of your landscape. For example: if you plan to include a stream that travels to your pond, make sure to make the stream long enough to appear realistic. Don’t have a stream appear like it’s flowing uphill, or a waterfall feature comes out of nowhere. Incorporate your water features naturally into your property. 


Beautiful ponds come in all sizes and depths, but we’ve found that the most common regret that our customers have is not making their ponds bigger. Strange as it may sound, large ponds are typically easier to maintain than small ponds. You should especially consider a large pond if you want to have fish in your pond, as fish waste builds up much more quickly in small ponds than large ponds. 

However, not all properties are large enough for a decent pond. If you’d have to lose patio seating space to enjoy a pond, a pondless waterfall or fountain would be a better idea.

Beautify & Balance Your Property

Regardless of the size and aesthetics of the pond or water feature you’re planning for your property, be sure to visit Castle Aquatics! We’ve got all the equipment, pond products, and knowledge resources you need to become a pond expert and handle your project with ease. Browse our site today for more from the authority on ponds!

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