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8 DIY Pond Projects (That can be completed in a weekend!)

toucan spitter spilling into pond

While we anticipate the arrival of spring, we’ve been dreaming about projects that can be prepped for now. In this post we’re sharing 8 fairly easy pond projects that can be completed in a weekend once spring arrives (or now if you’re lucky to be in a warmer climate). Of course any project can be expanded or elaborated upon, so if you’re up for a bigger challenge don’t hesitate to go all in. At the minimum though, one weekend of working and you could be looking at a wonderful upgrade.

1. Introduce a waterfall for sound and beauty

It’s not hard to introduce a small waterfall to a pond—especially for smaller ponds (around 500-1000 gallons). If making a waterfall with height, you will first need a mound of tamped dirt next to the pond. Then, gently cut out a stair step design while making sure side walls are in place to help channel the flow of water back down. Cover with a piece of pond liner (likely a 5’ x 5’ liner will work depending on your cut out), then add a small plastic spillway at the top of your waterfall. The spillway will provide a nice smooth even flow to start things off. Bring the tubing up from the pump and connect it to the spillway. Make certain to overhang the liner into the pond - no need for seaming as water will not travel uphill. In some situations, If you don’t want height, you could simply place the spillway next to the pond, eliminating a mound of dirt. Depending on prior set-up and size of the new waterfall, you may need to upgrade to a stronger pump. So, before design and build, please call us to discuss.

zen waterfall

You too can have a zen waterfall like this St. Louis pond owner.

2. Illuminate your pond with lighting

Enjoy your pond in the evening hours after the sun goes down with lighting. Adding lighting is a breeze these days! Most options are plug and play and super easy to install—we even offer color-changing and landscape lighting! Decide on the mood you want, and pick out the lights that will help you achieve that look. If installed underwater, you can avoid koi knocking them over by placing stones snuggly around them. Landscape lighting will include ground stakes. For the most part, you’ll only have to work on hiding cables. All lights can be run to a single transformer thanks to extension cables and splitters. Photocells and timers can even be added so the lights turn on and off at desired times.

pond lit with blue lights

Thanks to Bob W. for sharing this cool night photo of his pond.

3. Add some personality with a decorative spitter or fountain

The easiest way to add the sound of falling water is with a decorative spitter or fountain. Spitting turtles, frogs, birds and bamboo accent fountains are just some of the choices. Add one at the edge of your pond or even directly in the pond. If you decide to add one in the pond make certain to add some risers underneath, so it’s not totally submerged. Something as simple as ceramic clay pots turned over can do the job. If you wanted to add a spraying fountainhead—we carry pumps, nozzles and all-in-ones that are basically just drop in and go. Not only will these displays add personality, but they’ll also add more circulation and aeration to your pond water. Most spitters and decorative fountains come with tubing. So, after you find a good spot for your new decor you would simply just need to buy a small pump. It’s generally a good idea to oversize on the pump, as most fountain pumps have a built in flow control.


pond with shooting fountain

We love the added touch of beauty that Paul K.'s spraying fountainhead adds.

4. Install a diffused aeration system for great water quality

Aeration is instrumental for pond health, bringing many benefits. It increases dissolved oxygen levels which improves the efficiency of how bacteria accelerates the breakdown of bottom organics—decreasing muck and algae. It adds more water movement which helps decrease the mosquito population. And it helps eliminate the thermocline of the pond. The thermocline is the border between the surface water and deeper water. Since the surface is exposed to more sunlight it is consistently warmer. And alternatively, since the deeper water has less sunlight exposure it is generally colder and more stagnant. This makes the temperature inconsistent. Aeration helps even out these zones making the pond more consistent in temperature. Our complete aeration kits come with everything you need to reap all of these benefits—pump, tubing and diffuser(s). With quick and easy set-up, you’ll see positive results in just a couple of weeks!

2 outlet aeration kit

Adding diffused aeration is easy. Aquascape 2-Outlet Aeration Kit pictured.

5. Increase shade with floating plants

The addition of floating plants to your pond gives immediate surface coverage and creates much needed shade in a pond. Shade is key. It helps keep your pond cooler, thwarts algae blooms (since direct sunlight is a catalyst) and protects your fish from predators and getting sunburnt. Hyacinth and water lettuce are easy and inexpensive plants to get started with. They will multiply rapidly, so you only need a couple (over time you’ll want to thin them out). Fish will nibble on their hanging roots for a light snack.

beautiful backyard pond

Use floating plants to introduce shade to your pond like Karin K.

6. Trim plants and repot as needed for beautiful blooms and healthy water

This one’s a maintenance project, but it’s so important for the health of your plants and pond. If you already have plants, spend a weekend giving them extra TLC. First, get in the pond to trim them back as needed and remove any dead plant matter. If unattended to, dead plant matter will fuel algae blooms and lower the clarity of your pond. Next, assess if any of your plants have outgrown their homes and need to be repotted. Remove any that need to be repotted, divide, repot and then place back in the pond. This will prevent them from becoming root bound which can stunt their growth. Add some fertilizer for an added kick of health.

small pond with lots of aquatic plants

Keep your plants looking gorgeous like Donna B.!

7. Introduce playful areas for your fish

Watching your fish have fun is incredibly enjoyable. Take a weekend to introduce some playful spots in your pond for your fish to swim in and through. The Aquascape fish cave makes this project super easy. Just unbox and find the perfect place in your pond to set it. You can also buy stone and dry stack little underwater tunnels and bridges if you’re up for more of a challenge. Or do both!

small pond with lots of aquatic plants

Fish love the Aquascape Fish Cave.

8. Add a seating area to enjoy the fruits of your labor

Now that your fish are having fun, you’ll want a spot to sit and watch them. Add a resting area that you and yours can use to sit around and enjoy your water garden. Start with a small table and chairs set, a bench, or go all out and create an outdoor living/dining space. The options here are limitless. Once you have a space setup, take time to enjoy your morning coffee or tea in front of your oasis, or grab a glass of wine and head out to the pond in the evening for the perfect wind down. You created this wonderful slice of nature—you deserve to soak it up.

couches by pond

Create a place you'll love sitting to enjoy your oasis like this St. Louis pond owner.

Article Posted: 02/06/2023 11:30:26 PM

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