How to Make a Outdoor Mini Pond


Mini ponds allow you to add a tranquil water feature to your backyard or patio. You can set one up without filters or aerators. A water change once a month is the main maintenance required. Your garden can benefit from the fish water's fertilizer.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Gravel or glass rocks
  • Water conditioner
  • Live aquarium plants
  • Fish hiding places
  • Fish
  • Snails
  • Plastic floating water lilies
  • Select a vessel to serve as the mini pond, ranging from a bucket as small as 5 gallons to a bathtub. A rope tub containing 18 gallons can work well. Pick an item durable enough for outdoor use.

  • Select a spot that is not too sunny to avoid algae growth. An area that only gets a few hours of sun each day or a shady area is best.

  • Put aquarium gravel or more decorative glass rocks in the bottom of the tub or bucket.

  • Fill the tub with water from a garden hose leaving at least 6 inches of room at the top. This helps keep neighborhood animals from getting at your fish.

  • Allow water designated for the mini pond to sit for 48 hours so that its chlorine evaporates or apply a water conditioner to neutralize the chlorine and other chemicals in tap water. Follow the directions on the bottle to add the right amount of conditioner to the tub.

  • Bury the roots of live aquarium plants in the gravel or rocks. Live plants help keep the water clean and breathable for your fish.

  • Add other decorations such as a hiding place for the fish. Regular aquarium hideouts such as castles and fake logs are fine. If you have larger live plants, they also serve as good hiding places.

  • Add guppies, platys, mollies or gambezi -- which eat mosquitoes -- after waiting for four weeks for the plants to become established. Don't put koi or comets in a mini pond, as they get large and outgrow your tub. Guppies are small but they eat mosquito larvae and the larvae of other insects. Add snails to balance the mini-ecosystem. Add artificial water lilies if you like.

Tips & Warnings

  • Send me a message if you want to hear all my fish keeping tips.
  • Don't just discard old fish tank water-your garden plants will love it!
  • Please be safe handling large amounts of water. If you must carry buckets full of water use a small one and make several trips. It's not worth hurting your back.


  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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