Building a Pond

A pond or water garden can transform your outdoor living space from ordinary to extraordinary. It can enhance the look and feel of your yard. Most people associate the soothing sounds of waterfalls and streams with relaxation and calm.  There is nothing more peaceful than gazing out to a beautiful landscape with the sounds of nature surrounding you.   You can easily bring that feeling of serenity  into your own home or office by incorporating a water garden into your landscape design.

The easiest way to build a pond and waterfall is to purchase a complete water garden kit.  The kits are available in a variety of sizes and specifications, include a waterfall,  and come with instructions and all of the equipment you need to create an exciting water feature indoors or out.   You can install them yourself or hire a professional landscape company. Custom kits and sizes can be created, please  talk to our pond building expert for specific needs.

There are 3 types of water garden kits to choose from:

Water gardens with Waterfalls


Rick Bartel

Rick Bartel


Water gardens are typically small and relatively shallow, around 18-24 inches deep, and have a gravel base.  Watergarden with waterfall kits usually come in three sizes:  small, medium, and large.

Small  water garden kits are great starter ponds and typically 100 square feet (approx. 1000 gallons) and 18-24 inches deep.  They can be built quickly and used as a lead in to a larger pond later if desired.  If you want fish in your small garden pond, note that it will not sustain large fish or large quantities of fish.    

Medium water garden kits are typically 180 square feet (approx. 2,500 gal) and 24-30 inches deep.  They support  larger goldfish populations and a few small koi.   The greater surface area provides more room for plants and creativity, making the design more flexible.  You can have a medium pond  professionally installed in 2-3 days for less than $5,500, making it the most popular size pond kits .  

Large water garden kits can typically be up to 550 square feet (approx. 7,500 gal) and 3-6 feet in depth.  The greater  water volume promotes a healthier pond ecosystem, and the depth offers more protection to fish from predators. 

Large water gardens require more of an investment of time  and dollars for installation.  They can be professionally installed in 2 or more days, depending on how large and intricate you want your pond design.  

Pondless Waterfalls (A waterfall without a pond)

Rick Bartel

Rick Bartel

These waterfalls have re-circulating water that cascades over natural rock formations and disappears into a hidden water reservoir, similar to a water fountain.  You can set the pump on a timer so it only runs at certain times of the day.  They are perfect for homeowners who want the sights and sounds of a waterfall without the maintenance of a pond.

These cascading waterfalls can vary in size depending on the amount of space you have available. You can purchase pond-less waterfall kits with all of the equipment you need for easy installation.

Retaining Wall Waterfalls


A beautiful yet simple way to add the aesthetics of water to your surroundings is to build a retaining wall waterfall.   The water flows out from the stone in a nice, smooth sheet and into a basin below.  These wall waterfalls can be easily added to any block wall structure and are a great alternative to fountains.  They can be used to adorn a garden, pool, outdoor living area, or even a home or business foyer!

Plan Ahead

Taking the time to make a plan will make the process go more smoothly throughout the entire project. The first thing you will want to consider is budget- how much money do you have to spend on liners, pumps, filters, lights, labour, plants, etc. Having a set budget in mind will help to control costs in the long run. After you have decided on your budget, a style or kit can be selected. Sizing and installation questions can  directed to our pond experts at 204-745-6898

Bubbling Rocks


Small features such as a bubbling rock or vase is easy to incorporate into any landscape.  Kits are available and simple to install in an afternoon.  

Steps to installing a water feature:

Choose a Location

Not everywhere in your yard will be a suitable location for a pond. Make sure that you don’t plan to put a pond where there are underground power, cable, natural gas, water, or sewer lines. Call your utility companies to have them mark where these are located. Choose a spot that receives at least half a day of sun. If there is a spot that always stays wet in your yard, you may think this is an ideal spot for a pond, but it is not. Water runoff will enter your pond causing contamination. Don’t choose a spot directly under a tree- the roots will make it hard to dig and falling leaves will pollute your water. Choose somewhere close to the electrical source and make sure a circuit breaker or a Ground Fault Interrupter is in place. Most important place the water feature where you will see it and have an opportunity to sit beside it. The water feature can reduce stress and will provide endless enjoyment.

Outline and Dig

Once you have decided on a location, it is time to dig the hole.  Remove any sharp stones or roots from the bottom of the hole. Lay a 6- 8 oz geotextile underlay to protect the pond liner. (Myths: carpet, sand or newspaper make good underlay. This couldn’t be further from the truth! ) Shelves can be part of the design for addition of water plants. Small culverts make great caves for fish to hide in especially if they have an unwanted predator after them such as raccoon or Blue Herons. 

Add Accessories

If you have chosen to add a waterfall , you would do it at this point. For advice on this area   please speak to our water gardening expert at 204-745-6898

Add Pump and Filter

Water gardens and ponds will require a pump and a filter to keep the water healthy, clean, and clear. Pumps circulate the water, while filters remove impurities that cause the water to become cloudy and toxic. If the water is not circulated and filtered, the water will become low in oxygen and high in impurities. Fish and plant life will thrive in a clean pond that is high in oxygen. A general rule of thumb is that water should be circulated once every 1/2 hours to keep it healthy. For example, a 400 gallon pond should use a pump that can generate a flow of 600 gallons/hr. If you have a fountain or a waterfall, you will need a pump that can generate more flow. Aeration in the bottom of the pond is one of the most beneficial items you can add to keep your pond healthy. Speak to one of our water gardening experts to ensure you are choosing the right pump for your needs.

Add Plants and Fish

Once all of the essential components are added, you can then add plants and fish.

The three main types of water plants are 1) floating, 2) marginal, and 3) deep water. Floating plants, as the name suggests, are plants that float on top of the water and do not root in soil. Marginal plants are plants that grow in soil that is covered by several inches of water. Deep water plants are plants that are rooted in soil that is at least one foot under water. The leaves and flowers grow on or above the surface of the water.

The two types of fish that people generally add to ponds are goldfish and koi. Goldfish and koi will both thrive in a pond environment. Goldfish do not tend to grow as large and will not produce as much waste. Koi can grow as large as 3 feet, and the size of the pond will not inhibit their growth. As koi grow larger they love to eat water plants and will produce more waste. A desirable trait with koi is that they are more sociable. As koi get to recognize their environment, they will swim to the edge of the pond as people approach.          

Add Beneficial Bacteria

Beneficial bacteria consumes the excess nutrients in the water which ultimately starves the algae. With the addition of beneficial bacteria your pond will be well on its way to being a balanced beautiful water feature.


Add Pond Dye

Algae requires sunlight to grow and thrive. Pond Dye provides much needed shade that helps to reduce the algae. If started early enough if will help to prevent the algae from starting.


For more information about constructing a pond, waterfall or small water feature please call 204-745-6898. We are happy to help you with any of your pond or pond treatment needs!

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