How To: Set A Pre-Formed Pond In Your Yard In 10 Easy Steps

img 1841 1024x768 How To: Set A Pre Formed Pond In Your Yard In 10 Easy Steps

The beauty of pre-formed pond liners is their sturdy construction, and pre-determined shape. Setting a pond in your yard requires few tools, and only a few hours to complete.


What You Need:

  1. Measuring tape
  2. 2 or more 50-60 lb. bags of contractor grade sand. (For a 20 gallon pond 2-3 bags will be sufficient)
  3. A shovel
  4. A pre-formed pond liner
  5. One 50lb. bag of pond pebbles

How To Set Your Pond:

  1. Choose where you want your pond to go and set the pond upside down to trace out the size hole you need to dig.
  2. Measure the depth of the pond.
  3. Dig out an area slightly larger than your pond, leaving at least a one inch gap around the entire pond between the pond walls and the soil. Dig the depth of the pond’s setting two inches deeper than the depth of the pond.
  4. Place your pond in the hole lightly and check to see that the liner fits in the hole you have dug without bulging.
  5. Remove your pond and fill the base of the hole with a 1-2 inch layer of sand to create a bed for your liner.
  6. Place the liner into the hole.
  7. Fill the pond with one inch of water and observe the water line to see if it is level.  Grasp the sides of the pond, and  rotate it in the sand bed slowly to adjust the level of the pond.
  8. Once the pond is level pour sand slowly into the gap around your pond to cushion and secure your pond in place.  Ensure that the sand does not cause any bulges in the liner, as these will cause the liner to crack over time, and break in the cold weather.
  9. Adjust the soil and sand around the finished pond gently, and fill the pond with water slowly to allow the sand and the liner to adjust properly in place. The pond will move slightly in this process as the weight of the water causes settling.  If your pond doesn’t end up being 100% level it absolutely fine.
  10. Add bagged river pebbles to the bottom of your pond about one or two inches deep if you are planning on adding fish. Rinse the pebbles thoroughly before you dump them in the pond or they will cloud up your water completely.

That’s it!  In a relatively short time you have a pond ready to be prepped as a fish pond, or a simple water garden! Before adding fish make sure to purchase products at your local pet store to make the water safe, and control algae levels.  Leave the pond to sit for a few days to allow the chemicals to make the water safe for fish and plants before adding them, and then get creative personalizing your newest garden feature.

I look forward to hearing from you, and seeing your own water gardens this year! Leave your comments and links to your pictures in the section below for everyone to enjoy, it will be great to see everyone’s original take on this old theme.  Happy Gardening!

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  1. judy says:

    I have a liner just like the one in the picture. However it is sitting above ground. What can I do to make it look better. I have a few goldfish and several plants in it. I would like to have an inground pond, but running the electricity for the pumps would be a problem.

  2. Amy says:


    If it’s just the lip of the liner showing try disguising it with rock that you can cement in place with outdoor caulk. For a completely above ground pond, you can build a small wall around the pond with paving stones. Soften the edges around the wall with containers and trailing plants, and you’ll have a beautiful and tranquil place to visit.

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