How to Build Your Own Fishing Pond

We love spending time fishing. We love the fresh air, the great fun, and the delicious fish. But we hate having to go all the way to the nearest lake. But now you don't, with this method, you can build one of you own ponds in your very own backyard!


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    Set up a space. Designate a certain part of your yard for it. This area should be large enough so that the fish can roam, but small enough so that it stays on your land (unless the neighbors are okay with it).
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    See if the dirt is suitable by making a small hole and pouring some water in it. The longer it takes for the water to be sucked up, the better. If the ground is not suitable, don't worry, check out step 4. If the ground is good, continue to step 3.
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    Dig a hole. This hole will soon be your pond. The hole should take up all or most of your designated available area.
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    If the ground is not suitable for the water, put some material such as plastic, sand, a thin layer of concrete, etc. over the dirt after you dig the hole. Make sure it looks nice and natural. If it looks sloppy or crappy, either do it over or make sure you can hide the faults with old tires, plants and rocks.
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    Put in wet land plants. Many fish eat wet land plants in their natural habitat. To anchor them without damaging their roots, take the roots in your hand and make a 'beak' with your fingers around them. Sink your hand into the bed and then open your fingers. This will make the roots spread out before the cover settles over them. (This is the same technique for planting in a tank, by the way.) Arrange them strategically so that they have good hiding places. You want your babies to be able to hide from larger predators that can and will eat them.
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    Add water. There are 2 things that you can do for this, the first is wait for rain to come and fill up your hole. Your second option is to use your hose or a bucket to fill up the hole with water. Before using your hose, make sure the water's pH and all is balanced. Most tap water has chlorine in it to kill germs, but it also kills the good bacteria needed. To keep the bottom cover (sand, gravel, etc) from being mussed, aim your hose into a bucket. Don't forget to tie a long rope to that bucket, you probably won't want to dive into muddy water for it when the pond is full.
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    Let the water settle before you put in the fish. Make sure you have species that won't kill each other right off, and that are all edible. Include cleaners such as crawdads (crayfish) to keep the bottom clean; make sure they have plenty of rocks to hide under. Before you put any fish into your pond, acclimatize them to the new water. Do this by putting them into a tub or bucket with their original water, then gradually adding your pond water until they are breathing almost pure pond water. Then net them and gently dump them into your pond.
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    Enjoy! Congratulations, you are finished, now you can go right in your yard. In addition, if you live in a area where it gets under 55 degrees you should get a bubbler.


  • Go to nearby landlocked (meaning there is no river leading to the outside) pond or lake to see what type of fish and plants are in there, chances are, those species of fish and plants are best for your pond because if it's near it should have a similar climate and such.
  • Situate pond under open sky. This way it can get rained on, and if your pond evaporates, the rain will replenish it.
  • You will also need something to keep more oxygen in the water so you might need an air filter.
  • Get several pond fish and plants from the start. More than 1 species, and more than 1 of each species. This way your pond will have diversity and your fish can reproduce and make more fish. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 3 breeding pairs (3 males, 3 females, all mature).
  • The hole should be at least 5 feet (1.5 m) deep.


  • This project will take a lot of time - don't expect it to be done in a day.
  • You will need a bubbler in winter or they will die
  • If you don't put in plants, your fish will not have much cover to protect them from predators. Also organisms that live amongst these plants will provide food for your fish.
  • If you don't have both genders, they can not reproduce, and after the first generation dies, yours are gone.
  • If you're covering the hole, use something that is nontoxic to fish or they will die.
  • If you take everything that you catch out of it, there will be no more to reproduce.

Things You'll Need

  • A lot of time
  • A yard
  • A shovel
  • Water
  • Fresh water plants
  • Fish
  • A liner
  • A bubbler if where you live it gets under 55 degrees
  • Large rocks

Article Info

Categories: Outdoor Water Features