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Fish Pond Size and Shape

Bonus content from the April 2009 AFI magazine article Pond Planner.

By Miller Morgan |

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Aquarium Fish International Bonus Content August 2009
Backyards vary considerably in size and shape, so I can only offer general guidelines for your pond setup. The pond should be proportional to the yard. This is a design consideration that is defined by the yard’s dimensions and overall size. Many homes have smaller yards, and in some cases, they may not have space for an in-ground pond. Above-ground ponds are possible using a variety of materials to make the exterior of a liner pond look attractive, but such ponds are so small that exposure to the elements results in considerable heating in summer from sunlight and freezing in winter, except where winters are mild.

The shape of the pond should be given some thought. A round pond is basically unattractive and unnatural in appearance. On the other hand, an intricate outline, while perhaps more natural, can interfere with good water-flow patterns within the pond, resulting in stagnant areas where algae can become a problem. Most well-designed ponds have some variation of the classic kidney shape but have some irregularities in the outline that give it visual interest and a more natural look. Some people prefer a formal look, which may be reflected in the rest of the yard. In this case, an outline of straight lines and right-angle corners can be used; however, if you would like wildlife to visit your pond, this will limit access because of the lack of shallow areas along the edge.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the April 2009 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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Reader Comments

Dante    Hyde Park, MA

4/6/2014 7:55:55 PM

I will have to, or must, pass this article to a friend. She's been thinking of making a pond in an area of her yard that benefits from spring run off. It's also visited by wildlife (e.g., heron, Muscovy ducks, etc.)

Carl    Livermore, CA

5/21/2013 12:22:44 PM

AArticle covers many things that new pond builders never think of until the pond is in and then the owner has to try to work aroud the issues, GOOD article.

charlotte    buffalo, NY

2/18/2010 12:25:36 PM

we have just bought a home and we planned on putting a pond in our living room and I came about this web sight thank you for some valuable info. I do have a question, do you think it would be better to build by a window for the natural light?

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