What type of Pond should I have in my Garden?

Choosing the perfect pond for your garden can quite a tough choice.  Location, shape, size, fish and cost are all influencing ideas when settling on the perfect garden pond.  You also need to decide what type of fish you want to keep in your future pond as this can influence the type of pond required.  For example, a pond designed for Koi requires not only a larger pond, but will require more costly filtration and upkeep.

Wildlife ponds do not require as much upkeep, can be smaller and will not require expensive filtration – however keeping fish in these smaller ponds is not a good idea.

Many new pond owners will make early costly mistakes early on by not preparing for the type of fish / plants they want to keep so have a read through this post to ensure you consider all available options.

Best Location for your Pond

The first decision you will have to make is where you are going to place your garden pond. Do you want it in the front or back of your property? If in the back, would you like it on a raised platform or tucked away beneath trees and bushes? The location is just one factor to consider when choosing a garden pond.

In general, larger ponds are more suited for larger gardens and smaller ponds can be placed closer to an entranceway or other focal point in the garden without taking too much of your garden.

What is the best shape for your Pond?

Do you want a rectangular-shaped pond with straight edges or do you want something more kidney bean shaped with a curved edge? Rectangular ponds can be easier to maintain, but round / curved tend to look nicer.   The shape should compliment your garden style, for example if your garden has an oriental design, a wooden raised pond would look fantastic.

How big should my pond be?

Now that you know where you would like your pond placed, it’s time to decide how large it should be. Ponds range in size from 1 metre by 1 metre up to huge tennis court sizes!   When deciding on the size of pond you want, you need to appreciate the costs associated with size.  Smaller ponds will require less liner, smaller filtration and pumps, less materials to build.  Large ponds will require the exact opposite.

How much does a pond cost to build?

Your budget plays a huge part when deciding on your pond.  As previously mentioned, smaller ponds will cost less to build compared to larger ponds.  Raised ponds using sleepers will cost more in materials than just digging a hole.

Running costs for your pond should also be taken into account when deciding on the type of pond you want to add to your garden.  Larger ponds require a higher powered pump to circulate the water compared to smaller ponds.

What are the different types of ponds?

Now that you know what size and shape of pond you want, it’s time to decide on the type of pond. There are several types of pond you can add to your outdoor space.

  • Pre-Made / Pre-Built Ponds
  • Dug out liner ponds
  • Concrete Ponds
  • Raised Pond

Pre-Made Ponds

Photo of a Pre-Made Garden Pond
Pre-Made Garden Pond

Pre-Made plastic ponds generally made using hard wearing ABS plastic or fibreglass mould.  This a great starting pond and requires only a hole to be dug to drop in.  One of the main advantages of this type of pond is the durability especially when placing in areas where tree roots could potentially damage a liner only pond.

Dug out / Sunken Ponds

Photo of a sunken garden pond with lilies
Dig a hole, pop in a pond liner, fill with water!

Dug out / Sunken Ponds are definitely the most popular styles of pond, but they do require significant work to prepare the ground and to actually dig the hole.  The liner is generally much cheaper than a pre-fabricated plastic pond, but in heavy rooted areas will require either a high quality liner underlay, or a heavy duty rubber liner (which increases the initial cost).   The major advantage of dug/sunken ponds is the shape and size is completely your choice.

Concrete Ponds

Photo of a concrete pond being built
Make a bold modern statement with a Concrete Garden Pond

Concrete ponds are made from large round or kidney bean shaped tubs that are either poured into a hole in the ground or placed on a platform above ground. They come in various colours and can be decorated with plants, stones, ornaments, fish tanks etc.. An advantage to using concrete is its longevity; once your pond is complete it will seldom need attention other than

Raised Ponds

Photo of a raised sleeper pond
Raised Sleeper Pond (my pond)

Raised Ponds are ponds which sit above the surface of your garden and are more often than not built using timber.  Railway sleepers are a perfect material choice to build your raised pond.  Raised ponds not only can be made at any size you desire, but also offer safety for pets and children.  The disadvantage of raised ponds is the initial costs in building your pond – timber costs have increased quite dramatically over the past several years.

How will the choice fish affect the type of Pond?

There are many types of fish that can be kept in a garden pond, from small goldfish to large Koi carp.  Goldfish and other small fish (Orfe, Shubunkins etc) will require much less filtration than Koi.  Koi as beautiful as they are require much more maintenance due to their destructive tendencies.  In addition, Koi require a large pond (over 50 gallons) to swim in, while smaller goldfish and other fish can be kept in much smaller ponds.

A big mistake for many new pond owners is choosing a small pond then stocking too many fish, or fish that will end up being too large.  Always research how large your future fish will grow – living creatures should not be cramped.


In conclusion, there are many different options when it comes to building a garden pond, so take the time to consider what is best for you and your family.