Why I use CCTV to record my Pond

I use a Wireless CCTV Camera to monitor my pond from the comfort of my living room. I can check water levels, debris, fish health at the click of a button.

Article photo for Why I use CCTV to record my Pond showing a CCTV Feed of a raised garden pond.
Pond CCTV Cameras - Why I use one, and why it makes my life much easier!

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I've spent a lot of time recently covering many more of the questions that get sent to me, and not enough time on some of the cool things that I've done with my pond which gives me complete peace of mind.

The funny thing is, when I first built my pond - CCTV wasn't really as available as it is today, and I would find myself going out to check on my fish, clear out any leaves - even when it was super cold (god bless the UK Weather!)

If you've previously read my article on Why did my fish jump out of the pond?, you will know that fish often will make a leap of faith, and more often than not will meet their maker in the process (if not caught early enough).

The Benefits of 'Pond CCTV'

Black and White image of my CCTV covering my garden pond
Live Feed from my Pond Camera

So, when I show my friends / family my lovely "Pond Cam" feed, they do seem curl their lips with a level of disgust - however, after explaining how we nearly lost a Sturgeon Fish through his athletic jumping, they seem to understand a little more.

For me personally, the benefits certainly make my Pond CCTV a viable and useful addition to my daily routine.  I don't need to venture outside when it's raining to check it's not overflowing and can do everything from the comfort of my living room, for example:

  • Check the water level
  • Check for any predators (I'll show you how later in this post)
  • Ensure my pond waterfall is working
  • Fish Checks - so amazing to watch them at night!
  • Leaf and Debris Check
  • Waterfall / Pump running check
  • Alerts for anybody trying to steal your precious fish!

CCTV Pond Cameras - Do they exist?

Technically no, unless brands like PondXpert or AllPondSolutions decide to rebrand an existing CCTV camera with their own names, any Outdoor CCTV Camera will suffice.

I think the majority of the UK now have fairly decent WiFi so using an external (must be external) CCTV WiFi camera is a must.

Power Problems - Won't fit into an outdoor plug socket!

Photo of a CCTV Transformer / Plug
Most "Plug and Play" CCTV Cameras have large plugs meaning they will NOT fit into your outdoor sockets.

The downside (for me anyway) is the power aspect.  Yes you can get Solar Powered cameras which battery backups, but all the Wireless CCTV cameras I looked at had a great huge transformer that I needed to plug into a standard 3-Pin socket (and would NOT fit inside my outdoor socket).

How do I wire up my Pond CCTV Camera

One of the coolest thing I found (specifically with my camera) was you could purchase extension cables for the power supply.  So before I decided on a permanent position I did what any other person would and ran the cable out of a window, all the way to my camera.

Once I was satisfied with the position and WiFi Signal, I looked at other ways I could power my camera where my wife wouldn't accidentally trip over the cable.

Diagram of the wiring of a pond CCTV system
How my Pond CCTV Camera is currently connected

Already having external garden sockets (just want to re-iterate that large transformers will not fit in the outdoor sockets), I purchased an outdoor waterproof box where I could take a normal plug from my garden socket to a box just below where my camera was situated.

The box I used was (link):

Outdoor Waterproof Socket Enclosure
Outdoor Waterproof Socket Enclosure

It has little sealed holes where you can feed cables - works perfectly!

How often should I check my Pond CCTV?

This is personal choice, for me - I have it open all the time - just in the background.  It's great for checking the fish - especially if the camera has night vision.

My Motion Tracking setup around the perimeters of my Garden Pond
My Motion Tracking setup around the perimeters of my Garden Pond

If you're nerd like myself, I also set up some motion tracking which gave me complete peace of mind, and was alerted if any movement was detected in the green areas (as pictured above).

It wasn't all plain sailing though, I was alerted to:

  • Leaves
  • Pigeons
  • My Dog

But, I still felt it was completely worth doing it - once again, just for "peace of mind".

With the App I have for my "Netvue" camera, I even get alerts when motion is detected - especially useful if the Heron is making it's rounds.

What should I look for when ordering a Pond CCTV Camera

If you've got this far in the article, I can tell you're super interested in getting your nerd on and watching your pond whilst drinking your warm cup of tea in bed.

I'm going to focus on an every day user scenario where you don't require things such as rtsp ports which can be used for 3rd party CCTV monitoring systems.

My first CCTV Pond Camera came with a little slot to stick a small SD Card which records all the footage and allows me to go back over the last couple of days - so I would highly recommend a camera that supports this.

Everyday user Pond CCTV Camera Checklist

For a complete "plug and play" experience with the use of a mobile phone app to keep things nice and simple:

  • Must be an outdoor camera
  • Supports WiFi
  • Has both Android and Apple apps available
  • Night Vision (Fish show up as bright white at night!)
  • Can be wall mounted
  • Internal Storage

2k Wireless Outdoor CCTV Camera

  • Strong Wifi Antenna
  • Waterproof
  • Motion Detection
  • 2k Video Feed (super cool!)
  • Android & iPhone App
  • Wall Mounted
  • Internal Storage to record several days of Pond Footage
Check Latest Price

How do I check my Pond CCTV from a Laptop

Many CCTV cameras do have a cloud login option which will allow you to check your live footage from a standard browser - however... mine didn't.

After searching the manufacturers forums, I dawned on me that I needed to use their app to watch the footage.

Android Emulation for CCTV Apps

Screenshot of Bluestacks
Using software such as Bluestacks will allow you to install your CCTV Camera app to watch on your Mac/Windows PC.

For those that don't know what emulation is, I suggest you skip over this section.  In a nutshell, it allows you to run phone apps directly on your Mac or Windows computer.

The one I used is called Bluestacks - it worked perfectly, even though it claims just to be for gaming!

Should you get CCTV for your Pond?

Yes.  It's as simple as that.  I love my Pond CCTV, I love the peace of mind it gives me, I love the fact that I can 'listen' to my pump chucking water into pond and I love the fact that I can watch my fish swim when the garden is in complete darkness.

CCTV Cameras are so cheap now, the one I linked above is less than £25 (currently has a 25% voucher).

The camera above is much better than my current one, and even supports Alexa - meaning your could set up a routine like "Alexa! Show Pond Cam!"... and your pond would be shown on your TV!

If you have any questions, comments or have installed Pond CCTV Cameras, I'd love to hear from you!

2k Wireless Outdoor CCTV Camera

  • Strong Wifi Antenna
  • Waterproof
  • Motion Detection
  • 2k Video Feed (super cool!)
  • Android & iPhone App
  • Wall Mounted
  • Internal Storage to record several days of Pond Footage
Check Latest Price