All about the pond and different types of ponds

Ponds come in many different shapes and sizes. You are faced with the choice of choosing a pond that suits your needs and garden.

Simon is happy to tell you the most important tips & tricks for successfully creating and planting the different types of ponds:

  • Mini pond / balcony pond / patio pond
  • Biological plant pond
  • Pond
  • Koi pond
  • Nature Pond
  • Tight pond / mirror pond
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Constructing or landscaping a large pond?

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- 5 tips from Simon for choosing your pond -

1. Swim pond is win-win


A pond in the garden is popular. It is wonderful to look out from your home on a beautiful pond that attracts animal life. Any pond is also a very good contribution to biodiversity; you help many insects with it, but amphibians and birds are also happy with a watering place to find coolness or even a habitat. If you have the space and the means, choose a swimming pond, where there is room for a nice plant filter as well as for swimming. This is a very good choice if you ask Simon, because this is a win-win option: nature and you both enjoy the pond.

2. Mirror pond with aquatic plants


When you think of a mirror pond, who thinks of a rectangular, black tank of water in which nothing grows? Right. But such a garden pond won't stay clear for long if you don't provide some pond plants. This can be done modestly with oxygen plants that grow exclusively underwater. They don't touch the surface and the mirror pond remains intact. However, Simon favors dressing up even such a tight pond with the necessary pond plants. Floating plants are a good option, and water lilies can also look wonderful in the mirror pond. This does not have to be the entire length, you can also choose to use just one corner for this so that the rest of the surface remains nice and tight and you can see the passing clouds reflected in it.

3. Think carefully about your koi pond


A koi pond is the odd man out when it comes to garden ponds. Whereas almost all ponds revolve around the water feature, plant filter or the complete look, this is different with a koi pond. Eye-catchers are the beautifully colored koi, often placed in a pond with a dark background. It is advisable to think carefully and read up on this type of pond. An example are the pond plants; the koi like to eat them and so it is important to place them fish proof in your pond. This can be done with a floating plant island or simply by placing lots of plants, so it is less of a problem if your koi eat some of them.

4. Plenty of sunlight in your garden pond


Whatever garden pond you choose, the location of your pond is important. Aquatic plants and also some animals need to get enough sunlight for healthy growth. That's why Simon recommends placing a pond in a spot with at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. That way, you give the pond plants that grow both below and above water the best chance to make your garden pond a beautiful biotope that you enjoy.

5. Tasty pond plants in the garden pond


For any pond, whether large or small, it is necessary to put in enough and also varied pond plants. A mix is best, think of water lilies, oxygen plants, marsh plants and floating plants. Simon advises his customers to place at least 1 pond basket containing 4 plants for every m2. Do not place more than 4 of these baskets (i.e. 16 plants).

Van der Velde Water Plants Terrace Pond

Mini pond / balcony pond / patio pond

You don't have to have a huge garden to create a fun varied natural pond. A mini pond can already be created on a balcony. We give you tips on how to make a successful balcony pond.

An organic plant pond looks very natural.

Biological plant pond

If you prefer a virtually maintenance-free pond, then installing an organic pond in your garden is of great value. An organic pond contains many pond plants, divided into: oxygen plants, water lilies, marsh plants and aquatic plants.

Van der Velde Waterplants swimming pond

Pond

First, create an overall plan for construction and landscaping. What are the possibilities in terms of size and surface area? Is it possible to create a deeper swimming area and a shallower area for planting?

Van der Velde Waterplants koi pond

Koi pond

A koi pond is a pond especially for your koi. Special about this pond is that it has a separate section for planting, because your koi love to eat aquatic plants! Constructing a koi pond, what should you pay attention to?

natural pond with plants

Nature Pond

For a natural pond, you first need to make an overall plan for the construction and layout. What is a good spot in the garden, for example, in relation to the sun and the other furnishings in the garden?

mirror pond rectangular

Tight pond / mirror pond

If you like sleek design, then a shallow mirror pond is interesting to install in your garden. The word "mirror" actually says it all: the objects present next to the pond are reflected in the water.


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Frequently asked questions about ponds

You make a small pond by digging a hole in the ground yourself. Simon recommends creating depth zones for the various pond plants before lining the pond with pond liner. Then it's time for a bottom of pond substrate and decorating it with your chosen pond plants. See all of Simon's tips for creating a small pond in the garden.

A natural pond is also called a biological plant pond. It is constructed from depth zones for the various pond plants and is lined with pond liner. You put lots of pond plants in it, on the bottom comes a layer of pond substrate and you add pond bacteria. In this way, the pond itself can maintain a biological balance. In this blog you can read all about making this pond.

  1. Terrace pond, balcony pond or mini pond: three names for the same idea: often a large barrel or tub filled with pond plants and water, which fits perfectly on a small terrace or balcony.
  2. Biological plant pond: this type of pond is for lovers of nature who also like to encourage biodiversity. There is no use of a pump or filter and the plant pond is designed to keep itself in biological balance. This pond has an enormous attraction to insects and (water) animals.
  3. Swim pond: a very popular pond that you see popping up more and more in backyards. It is not a pool, but a pond with a screened plant filter and a swimming area. The plant filter keeps the water balanced and clear.
  4. Koi pond: not just a pond with fish, but with real eye-catchers: colorful koi fish. This hobby, which has blown over from Japan, requires the necessary prior knowledge before you decide to build a koi pond.
  5. Natural pond: the name says it all; in a natural pond nature is allowed to take its course. There is no pond liner on the bottom and the water level is created thanks to a natural water source in the vicinity of the pond. Obviously there is no pump or filter, but this pond is full of all kinds of pond plants.
  6. Sleek pond or mirror pond: this pond is often rectangular in design and made of concrete or stone. The water surface is tight and smooth so that the surroundings are reflected in it. A mirror pond is excellent for placing pond plants without losing the reflection.
  7. Small pond: it is not so much a pond type, but one worth mentioning in this list. A pond is small once it holds no more than 10,000 gallons of water. The design often resembles what an organic plant pond looks like: nice and lots of aquatic plants that attract plenty of animal life.

The shape of your pond is a free choice and will be different for everyone. There are a number of things to consider when choosing pond shape. See how to design your own pond and think about these questions in advance:

  • What is the function of the pond? Do you want to attract insects and amphibians, do you wish for a bunch of beautiful fish to enjoy, or does a sleek pond fit well in your fashionable garden?
  • What do you like? Some like lush vegetation and a pond that blends into its natural surroundings, while others prefer a reflective water surface with clean edges.
  • How much space do you have available? An important point that also determines the possibilities of the pond type and shape. Good to know: an organic shape pond is easy to dig out yourself, but for a pond with concrete walls (like a mirror pond) you will need to get help.

A natural or plant pond with pond liner should be at least -80 cm deep. Simon often recommends making a pond -100 cm deep, so that the underwater life and also pond plants have more space. This also applies to a natural small pond. The width should be at least 120 cm.

No, a pond that consists of a hole in the ground lined with pond liner does not require a permit. Such an ornamental pond is not considered a structure and therefore does not require a permit. Of course, the pond must be built on your own property - your own yard - near a home. Depending on how big you make the pond or what construction technique you use, an environmental permit may be required. Think of excavators or other machinery that can obstruct the public space near the house during construction. Check with your municipality for this.

A pond can be low maintenance. If you want such a pond, Simon recommends creating a biological planted pond where the pond plants together with bacteria manage to keep the water clear. A pump or filter is not even necessary in this type of pond. Do you have fish in the pond, is there a tree with falling leaves next to your pond or are there too few pond plants in it, then these are all factors that affect the level of maintenance of the water feature. Read all about the maintenance of your pond.

If you're talking about a small pond in the garden, Simon recommends making it at least -80 cm, but preferably -100 cm deep. This way you'll offer pond plants and pond animals like frogs and salamanders enough room to grow and live well. In addition, a width of 120 cm or more is a good starting point. The exception to this is of course the mini pond, where you can place the container with water on the balcony or terrace.

Pond liners come in all shapes, sizes and materials. And of course the price varies. A small pond of 150 liters you have for about € 50, one of 200 liters for about € 140. If you go for a somewhat larger pond of 500 + liters, you pay a price of around € 400. For ponds between 1000 and 2000 liters you pay about € 400 to € 900. Even larger ones with more liters often cost more than € 1000 or even thousands of euros.

For a pond in the garden, it is best to choose a spot that catches four to six hours of sunlight a day so that all the pond plants can grow nicely. It is also advisable not to place a pond next to or near a deciduous tree or bush, as you will then find it full of leaves every autumn. Read more tips for building a pond in Simon's step-by-step plan.

A natural pond is often large and is constructed without a liner on the bottom. It uses a natural water source in the vicinity. See how the construction of a natural pond works. Do you want a planted pond in which you place a lot of pond plants and attract animals, but where there is pond liner on the bottom? Then we are talking about a biological plant pond. Read more about this pond type.


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With these 10 steps from Simon, anyone can build and plant a pond.

Get our free e-book.

With these 10 steps from Simon, anyone can build and plant a pond.

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