How to Build a Mini Garden Pond from a Container in 6 Steps
Whether you don’t have the time, space or resources to create a full-blown pond area in your garden, we might have the solution for you. At Pond Planet, we understand better than anyone the desire to bring a little more nature and peace into your home and life with a relaxing nature pond. This is why we are committed to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to bring this dream to life if they so wish. So, if you have found yourself contemplating a pond in your outdoor space but do not believe you have the room for such an addition, we are here to help.
Welcome to the all-you-could-need guide to building a mini garden pond from a simple container in 6 easy steps. Follow our step-by-step guide to bring your mini container pond to life today, and find all the answers to the questions you might not have known you had.
Why Create a Mini Pond from a Container?
To get things started, let’s go over the benefits of creating a mini pond from a container in your garden. After all, you may be considering whether it is worth the effort of a mini pond if you do not have the full experience you have envisioned. Not only are mini container ponds extremely satisfying to create, but they are also aesthetically pleasing and can be very beneficial.
For example, if you live in an urban setting, mini container ponds can create a boon in attracting more wildlife to your outdoor space with a number of insects and wildlife species, such as birds, dragonflies, butterflies, newts, and frogs. These species would otherwise struggle to find a suitable habitat and resources in urban settings if not for your mini pond, so it is worth putting the time and effort into creating your little sanctuary!
How to Build a Mini Garden Pond from a Container
Step 1: Find the Right Container
Of course, it goes without saying that to get started, you need to find the right container to house your mini pond. You might already have a container in mind which brought you to our guide but if not, let your imagination soar with the possibilities. However, good and safe options for a container include large bowls, buckets, plant pots, or even barrels cut in half and livestock watering troughs. Just keep in mind that the type of container you use should fit in line with the size and shape of the pond you want to create, and the larger the container, the more freedom you have with the types and amount of pond plants you can add.
Ideally when choosing a suitable container, you should look for a material which is safe for fish and other wildlife, which hasn’t had a prior use, where it may have come into contact with any harmful chemicals, such as, cleaning solutions or weed killers.
Perfect material options include non-porous stone like granite, fibreglass or plastic, as these will not break down over time. Before use, make sure that you clean the container thoroughly using hot water and add a small pond liner if the container is not entirely waterproof. Small holes, such as drainage holes in plant pots, should also be plugged using water-safe sealants.
Step 2: Position to Capture the Sunlight
Next, make sure that you position your pond so that it captures partial sunlight for at least 6 hours of the day to ensure the upkeep of plant and water quality health. For this step, you need to toe the line between full sunlight exposure and shade, as a small body of water will heat up very quickly under direct sunlight. For best results, you should consider positioning your mini pond where it will catch morning sunlight as this will be cooler than afternoon sunlight and ensure it catches the right amount of sun without overheating.
Step 3: Add Water-Safe Substrate
To the bottom of your pond container, add fish-safe substrate or an aquarium grade gravel. This will add a base layer to the pond for plants to grow and flourish. The deeper your container, the more substrate you should use. If you wish to include different depth planting zones, feel free to add a brick or two to the bottom to offer more height options.
In terms of suitable substrates, you could use aquarium gravel or alternatively you could consider utilising aquarium soil or aquatic pond compost which will provide nutrients for plants to thrive.
Step 4: Choose Suitable Pond Plants
To ensure effective water filtration and oxygenation in your mini container pond, you will want to aim to cover 25% to 75% of your pond with pond plants. This is particularly important if you do not want to add a pond pump or filter of any kind. Add a couple of inches of water to your container before planting and if you’re using tap water, make sure to dechlorinate this or leave it a couple of days so that it can neutralise.
As long as you have appropriate space, we recommend adding a mixture of submerged plants and floating plants to your mini pond. This combination of pond plants will encourage adequate water oxygenation and filtration, as well as adding an appropriate amount of shade for the water so that it does not heat up quickly in direct sunlight. Plus, this is a sure combination of pond plants to create a dynamic and vibrant aesthetic!
If your container is large enough, with at least 50 gallons of water or more, you may add small fish to the pond, and these plants will offer an ample habitat for them also.
You should only use submerged plants in your mini pond if that container is more than a foot deep, while marginal plants require at least a centimetre to several inches of standing water to thrive. Any submerged plants or marginal plants in your pond will need to have their roots secured either in the substrate or in pots, whereas floating plants can be placed atop the pond. We recommend adding water hyacinth to your pond as this floating plant will only grow to accommodate its space. For example, in mini ponds, it may only grow a couple of inches, whereas, in larger ponds, this can be much greater. Just make sure you pay close attention to your plant species’ needs and the size of your pond before purchasing them, but you can find more information on pond plants in our extensive guide online now.
Step 5: Fill the Pond
Once you have all of your desired pond plants chosen and planted, it’s time to finish filling the pond. You can do this with either tap water or collected rainwater. Many people prefer to use collected rainwater due to its relative purity. However, whichever water source you choose, you will need to treat the water as needed to reach the desired pH level, water hardness and to remove any harmful compounds.
Step 6: Create and Follow a Maintenance Routine
Finally, your mini container pond is complete, and the only thing left to do is set up a regular maintenance routine to keep it in top condition. Proper maintenance should include trimming plants where necessary, performing monthly water changes of about 25% – 50% of the water, and regularly testing water quality. You might also want to consider moving the mini pond in the colder months to more appropriate locations!Once you have your maintenance routine perfected, you can sit back and enjoy your new mini pond and the nature it attracts to your outdoor space! For more advice, don’t hesitate to explore more Pond Planet guides online now, or why not shop our full range of pond supplies and accessories available?