3 Different Types of Garden Ponds

types of garden ponds

If you want a water feature installed in your yard, it pays to know the types of garden ponds you can choose from so you can plan ahead of time. Installation costs vary depending on the type and size of water feature you’re looking to build. With that said, let’s take a look at the different garden pond types you can explore.

Different Types of Ponds

1. Pondless Waterfalls
This type of water feature is ideal for families with little children or homeowners who want to enjoy the soothing sound of running water but are not ready yet for the extra maintenance work.

A pondless waterfall can be constructed even in a limited space and can also be designed several ways depending on your preferences. The flowing water from atop the falls that seems to disappear as it falls on the ground gives this water feature a dramatic effect.

Pondless waterfalls require minimal upkeep. However, it’s important to check the basin regularly to ensure there’s enough water to keep the falls running. One sign you may need to add water is when the pump starts to produce a gurgling sound.

For pondless waterfall design ideas, check out this post.

2. Preformed Ponds
These tub-like ponds come in various sizes, depths, and shapes.

A preformed pond requires minimal investment although maintenance can turn out more challenging. When deciding which preformed pond to choose, consider the location where you want it installed. But actually, every backyard pond requires careful consideration of the space where you’re building it as it should be protected from runoff.

For maintenance, meanwhile, you will have to check the system regularly and add beneficial bacteria as needed. Talk to your pond builder which brand cleaner they recommend to get rid of waste and excess nutrients.

Note as well that once a preformed pond cracks or leaks, it will have to be replaced. That said, a preformed pond can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your yard but may not be able to offer the longevity other backyard pond types can.

3. Ecosystem Ponds
When properly maintained, this type of pond can attract wildlife right into your yard.

Several elements are needed to ensure that the ecosystem works. Mechanical and biological filters should be present as well as an effective plumbing system. You need not stress on this part though because your pond installer can take care of the heavy work for you. It’s good though to also familiarize yourself with the process.

Rocks and gravel also have to be added to the system. They are used to line the edges of the pond structure to give it a natural look that blends with the existing landscape. Of course, the pond would not be complete without the fish and aquatic plants.

Here are few more resources you can check out:

Something to Remember About Types of Ponds

Pond construction may take longer or cost more depending on the scale of the project, so be sure to inquire about the estimated cost. Choose from the garden pond types we’ve talked about ahead of time.

A professional pond builder should be able to help you design and build a water feature that works for your budget and satisfies your requirements. Don’t hesitate to request for referrals when deciding which contractor to work with.

4 Reasons Pondless Waterfalls Could Be Right For Your Yard

pondless waterfall systems los angeles california

Have you long wanted a water feature for your garden?

Maybe you’re unsure which type to install for your home. In this post, we’ve listed down four factors you can check to determine if a pondless waterfall is the right choice for you too.

But first, a little on how the system works. If you look at a pondless waterfall, you’ll think that there’s really no pond. Truth is, it sits underground.

This pond makes use of an underground basin lined with gravel. It catches and filters water from atop the falls. A pump then pushes the water up, sending it back to the falls. This creates the illusion of a flowing waterfalls minus the pond.

Like a full pond, a pondless waterfall system creates the soothing sound of moving water. It also has other advantages, which we’ll also share with you. Let’s get started.

1. No Time for Pond Maintenance

Full ponds require routine maintenance.

You’ll need to regularly monitor water quality and feed your fish when necessary. Plants, on the other hand, require care too to make sure they’re helping sustain pond life. Cleaning is also a must to keep water quality healthy. Some homeowners are amenable to all this, while some are not.

If you want a water feature but don’t think you’re ready yet for the extra work, a pondless waterfall system could make a good choice. The most that it will require from you is refilling of the reservoir every few weeks. This is to compensate for water loss to evaporation.

2. There’s Limited Space

Does your yard space hold you back from installing a water feature?

A pondless waterfall can be made small or large depending on the yard space available. But generally, this water feature doesn’t take up much room. Plus, you can have it customized.

3. You’re Concerned About Kid Safety

If you have kids or frequently welcome kid visitors in your home, you’re probably worried that installing a pond can be dangerous.

Safety issues are commonly associated with water features. But with a pondless waterfall, you will not have to worry about this. You can let kids play close to the pond with peace of mind.

4. Part of You Wants a Full Pond

Another good thing about pondless waterfall system is that it’s flexible. Should you change your mind and want a full pond instead, that’s okay. The system could be swapped.

If you wish to learn more about a pondless waterfall and how you can customize it, we can help. California Waterscapes can work with you in building a pond system that fits your every need.

Sign up for a free estimate and we’ll get in touch with you. Send those questions in about your dream water feature installation. Our consultation is free!

Koi Pond Building Tips


Interested in having your very own koi pond?

First thing to ask yourself is if you’re ready for the additional work. Fish would need regular care to survive and so a koi pond may not be for everyone. But if you’re willing to share some of your time, then you’re off to a good start.

Also, before you head on to call a pond builder near you, spend some time learning more about pond building and prepare a set of questions to ask. You can use this questionnaire to gauge whether you’re dealing with pond experts.

When built properly, a koi pond can serve as a centerpiece for your landscape. But when built poorly, it can only cause you inconveniences. It’s very important then that you choose your contractor carefully.

On this post, we’ll talk about few koi pond building tips. Let’s get started.

Right Combination of Sunlight and Shade

Sunlight is beneficial as it makes your koi fish healthier. Aquatic plants need natural sunlight too so they can produce food and oxygen.

However, exposing a pond in direct sunlight can be harmful for your fish. For one, ponds easily overheat during the summer. And when the pond temperature rises, oxygen supply depletes.

While sunlight is helpful, you need to make sure that there are shade areas in the pond as well.

If your pond location is exposed to direct sunlight, consider adding floating plants such as water lilies. Plants help keep the temperature down and will serve as a hiding spot for your fish against predators, when it’s warm, or when the sunlight is too bright for them.

Adding Water Plants

Another important element to your koi pond are water plants.

Aquatic plants help you create a natural home for your fish. They also add beauty to your backyard pond setting.

Plants help limit algae growth by blocking excess sunlight. And they serve as a shelter for your fish and help maintain oxygen levels in the pond. Your koi can also feed on water plants.

Check this post for tips how to plant water lilies in your backyard pond.

Installing Filters

Pond filtration is essential to keeping your pond healthy and clean.

Water filters eliminate biological waste in the water such as that produced by your koi fish. While nature can help with its own filtration processes, you still need to give your pond a hand so it can maintain its beauty.

One type of filtration is mechanical filtration which makes use of skimmers and pump baskets. Another type is biological which uses beneficial bacteria that turn contaminants into safe substances.

Keeping Adequate Oxygen Supply

Your fish need oxygen to survive.

Allowing movement in the water will help oxygen circulate naturally. Installing waterfalls is one way you can aerate your pond. You can also use an aeration pump.

Note that the warmer the temperature, the less oxygen your pond can hold.

For more koi pond building tips, get in touch with us at 888.600.7224 and we’ll get back to you the soonest possible time.

DIY Pond Building Mistakes You Should Avoid

pond building tips

Are you ready for your pond project?

Every phase involved in building a water feature requires utmost attention. And it’s important to go over these details while you’re still in the planning process. You can easily apply changes in paper unlike when the construction has already began.

Check out this list to avoid unnecessary expenses and so you can build your pond successfully.

Not Testing Soil

Your pond should be able to retain water. Unfortunately, not all types of soil have this ability. Sand and gravel wouldn’t be able to hold water so a great choice would be clay.

One way you can check if the soil is fit for backyard pond installation is by going around the neighborhood. Ask actual pond owners how their soil holds up after their pond has been installed.

You can also test the soil in your yard. Dig a hole, fill it with water, and observe how long it takes for the surrounding soil to soak up the water. You can consult professional pond builders on this, and inquire as well about prefabricated pond shells.

Poor Location

Another essential factor that is often overlooked in pond building is choosing the best pond location.

It is not enough that the area is unused. It also shouldn’t be in a low spot. Otherwise, your pond will only suffer from contamination and runoff.

Also, consider installing your pond where it will enjoy traffic. You might even want to place it close to your windows where you can hear the soothing sound of water even when you’re inside your home.

Sides are Either Too Shallow or Too Deep

Your pond should be deep enough to withstand evaporation and harsh summer heat, but not too deep to give you a hard time on routine maintenance.

Also, allow for ledges or shallow areas where you can stack stones or plants. If you’d dig your pond into the shape of a bowl, it will be difficult to edge around it as stones will slide down.

Overlooking Safety Procedures

You will be working around boulders and heavy equipment so you might as well equip yourself with safety gears. Also, since this project includes digging, make sure you’re not hitting any utility lines.

More so, if you’re adding features to your pond that require dealing with electrical components, stay safe and seek assistance from a licensed electrician.

This can mean additional cost but it should be worth it considering the potential losses you can incur for a mishandled electrical job.

Improper Rock Placement

In building your pond, you need both large and small rocks that are carefully arranged to resemble a natural setting.

The larger ones shall make up your perimeter or foundation stones, and the smaller stones will complete the design. You will also need small, polished rocks at the bottom of the pond.

Ignoring Advice from Professional Pond Builders

If you’re still not sure how to get started, you can get in touch with water feature installation experts or pond builders for help. Building a pond may seem simple, but truth is, it takes a lot more than digging a hole in your yard.

At California Waterscapes, we can work with you every step of the way to make sure that the pond turns out the way you want it. We can take care of the heavy work for you so you can focus on other important matters you need done.

If you want to learn more about pond products and services that we offer, simply sign up for a no obligation, FREE estimate so we can get in touch with you at the soonest possible time.

The Making of the School Pride Ponds

This video shows the making of the School Pride ponds at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES) High School in Culver City.

This is a full video of the work California Waterscapes and its sister company Pacific Pavingstone did to completely upgrade the Quad area. This was done in conjunction with the new School Pride show. This involved two ponds, a pondless creek bed, a paver bridge over the main pond and a long and winding pavingstone path including two paver circles and walls for students to talk and relax between classes.

You will see the building of all the ponds and the pondless stream in addition to all the paving stone paths and artificial turf.


Pond Design – Pond Construction

Natural Waterfall

Pond Design

It is important to work out your pond design before beginning any construction. Overlooking any essential factor can become very costly in terms of having to redo work already completed.

Pond Construction

One essential ingredient to consider in your pond construction is the depth of the pond.

Determining Pond Depth

There are many factors to consider when choosing a pond depth. These include climate zone, fish number, size and type, sunlight conditions, winterizing options, pond size, and shape.


As a rule of thumb, California Waterscapes has experienced that a two foot deep pond can support fish and plants year round in the extreme winter and summer temperatures. With proper precautions, a two-foot deep pond can be made to support aquatic life virtually anywhere.

Of course, another consideration is the building and safety requirements. Most city municipal codes have regulations that state that once a pond is over 2 feet it must be treated as a pool and must follow the same rules and regulations of pool safety such as fences and locked gates. In some cities, this is 18 inches. So keep that fact in mind in your pond design.

Our design consultants will help you determine the appropriate depth for your pond so that it will work with your location and your other pond elements. Contact us today for your Design Consultation and receive a design consultation with one of our expert water garden professionals.

Constructing Eco-system Pond