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8 DIY Fish Pond Plans You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Small pond filled with fish

Fish ponds are beautiful bodies of water that can hold many varieties of fish such as koi and goldfish. Fish ponds can add an attractive accent to many different environments and make your patio or garden look livelier.

Fish ponds not only allow you to extend your love for fish and aquatics outside of your home but the appearance and calming vibes that fish ponds bring are worth it.

Not everyone wants to spend a ton of money installing a fish pond, so that’s where the benefits of creating a fish pond yourself with minimal tools, materials, and not tearing up your patio or garden come in.

There are endless options when it comes to designing a fish pond, but there are very few designs that can be done yourself without much help from professionals. So, if you want to create your fish pond without spending too much, then we have compiled a list of some great DIY fish ponds that you can easily build.


8 DIY Fish Pond Plans

1. DIY Pond In A Pot by HGTV

Tools: Not required
Materials: Shallow ceramic or plastic plant pot
Difficulty: Easy

This is a simple DIY pond idea that can be placed on a patio, balcony, or in a garden bed. The pond itself is created inside of a large, shallow pot made from ceramic or strong plastic. A pump system will need to be placed inside the pond to create an ideal environment for the fish and you can line the bottom of the pot with substrate and plant semi-aquatic plants into it to create a natural environment for the fish.

The overall stocking rate this pond allows will depend on the size of the pot, but it should be able to hold a couple of small common goldfish.

2. DIY Framed Container Pond from Fishkeeping Forever

Tools: Panel saw
Materials: Wooden planks, nails, plastic container
Difficulty: Medium

This is a great way to combine a garden bed and fish pond into one simple yet attractive design. The design will consist of wooden panels that are joined together at a low height in a square design.

A shallow tub of any shape according to your preference can be placed in the middle of the wooden frame, but make sure the tub and wooden frame is at the same level. You can line the bottom of the frame with soil to grow plants in and once the container has been positioned, you can fill the empty sides with soil till it is 2 inches away from the top of the container and place plants in the soil. The container can then be filled with water, and fish, and run a filtration system.

3. DIY Tire Pond by Instructables

Tools: Shovel, hand tamper, wheelbarrow, hand tamper
Materials: Large tire, cement, rocks
Difficulty: High

This is a slightly more difficult DIY fish pond plan; however, it can be simple if you have the correct materials and time to create the pond. This fish pond design includes a large tire that is placed into a hole dug into the ground.

Cement should then be poured into the tire in a thin layer and cover the exposed areas of the tire to prevent water from leaking out. You should also place cement on the outside of the tire and place small rocks into the cement before it dries to give it a rocky appearance. The surrounding area can be refilled with dirt, and you have the option of growing plants around the tire.

4. DIY Garden Bed Pond by A Piece of Rainbow

Tools: Shovel, wheelbarrow, hand tamper
Materials: Plastic container, rocks, cement
Difficulty: Medium

If you want to create a large pond to keep bigger fish in such as koi, then this may be the perfect design for you. You will need to create hold the same shape and size as the container and place the container into the hole while leaving the surrounding area with dirt.

You can then shovel the dirt tightly against the container which will be the pond and use cement to line large stones where you can place a waterfall system. The dirt should be a few inches lower than the container itself.

5. DIY Wooden Box Pond by Fishkeeping Forever

Tools: Panel saw, hot glue gun
Materials: Wooden planks, waterproof paint, aquarium sealant
Difficulty: Easy

This is one of the simplest DIY ponds you can make for a patio or balcony. While there are no instructions available for this plan, you should be able to figure it out from the image. It consists of wooden planks that are connected by glue and then the box is coated with non-toxic waterproof paint to make it able to hold water. You will need to add at least 2 coats of waterproof paint to this design.

The size and shape of the wood can either be pre-cut or you can panel saw the wood yourself. A bonus to this design is that the size and shape of the pond are up to you.

6. DIY Barrel Water Garden Pond from Container Water Gardens

Tools: Hot glue gun
Materials: Barrel, plastic container
Difficulty: Easy

This is an easy DIY pond that is made out of a large wooden barrel. Since the barrel itself is not waterproof and has slits that water will escape from, you will need to line the inside with a plastic container of a similar size and shape as the barrel. The plastic container should be glued to the inside of the barrel to keep it sturdy.

The tall design of the barrel pond allows it to be placed on small patios while still being deep enough to hold a decent stocking rate of pond fish. If you are unable to find a container to line the inside of the barrel with, you can add a thin layer of cement to line the inside of the barrel to make it able to hold water.

7. DIY Metal Garden and Patio Pond by A Piece of Rainbow

Tools: Not required
Materials: Metal tub, waterproof paint, solar pump
Difficulty: Easy

This is a beginner-friendly DIY fish pond that is created from a large metal container. Since most metal containers will rust when exposed to water, the inside of the tub should be coated with non-toxic paint to make it waterproof.

The metal tub can be placed in gardens or on patios and the inside can be filled with stones and aquatic plants to create a good environment for your fish. This design requires no wiring because the solar pump is a quick and easy water feature that works perfectly with this easy fish pond design. These metal tubs can be found in all shapes and sizes which allows you to find one that fits your desired placement area.

8. Raised DIY Pot Garden Water Pond by DIY & Crafts

Tools: Not required
Materials: Waterproof sealant
Difficulty: Very Easy

This is one of the simplest and most minimal effort DIY fish ponds you can make. The design includes a large garden plot with a raised base which makes it perfect to be placed on patios and in flower beds where you can get a better view of the pond. The inside of the pot should be coated with an aquarium-safe sealant so that the paint does not flake off into the water.

The bottom of the pot can be layered with stones and a plastic plant pot with rocks and soil can be placed in the middle. You also have the choice of adding floating pond plants or plants that will grow down to the base of the pot.



Making your very own fish pond can be a fun and rewarding experience. By making the pond yourself, you can choose the design and shape that you want depending on the amount of pond fish and plants you want to place inside.

These fish ponds do not take up much space or require you to mess up your garden. Most of the tools and materials needed for these fish pond designs may be sitting in your garage already!

It will feel very rewarding to create your fish pond and then admire how beautiful it looks in your garden where you can raise your choice of pond fish.

Featured Image Credit: Faiz Zakiy Yamani, Shutterstock

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