How to Make a Outdoor Mini Pond

Mini ponds allow you to add a tranquil water feature to your backyard or patio.
You can create a miniature version of an outdoor pond.You can create a miniature version of an outdoor pond.
You can set one up without filters or aerators. A water change once a month is the main maintenance required. Your garden can benefit from the fish water's fertilizer.

Step 1

Select a vessel to serve as the mini pond, ranging from a bucket as small as 5 gallons to a bathtub. A rope tub containing 18 gallons can work well. Pick an item durable enough for outdoor use.

Step 2

Select a spot that is not too sunny to avoid algae growth. An area that only gets a few hours of sun each day or a shady area is best.

Step 3

Put aquarium gravel or more decorative glass rocks in the bottom of the tub or bucket.

Step 4

Fill the tub with water from a garden hose leaving at least 6 inches of room at the top. This helps keep neighborhood animals from getting at your fish.

Step 5

Allow water designated for the mini pond to sit for 48 hours so that its chlorine evaporates or apply a water conditioner to neutralize the chlorine and other chemicals in tap water. Follow the directions on the bottle to add the right amount of conditioner to the tub.

Step 6

Bury the roots of live aquarium plants in the gravel or rocks. Live plants help keep the water clean and breathable for your fish.

Step 7

Add other decorations such as a hiding place for the fish. Regular aquarium hideouts such as castles and fake logs are fine. If you have larger live plants, they also serve as good hiding places.

Step 8

Add guppies, platys, mollies or gambezi -- which eat mosquitoes -- after waiting for four weeks for the plants to become established. Don't put koi or comets in a mini pond, as they get large and outgrow your tub. Guppies are small but they eat mosquito larvae and the larvae of other insects. Add snails to balance the mini-ecosystem. Add artificial water lilies if you like.

Things You Will Need

  • Container
  • Gravel or glass rocks
  • Water conditioner
  • Live aquarium plants
  • Fish hiding places
  • Fish
  • Snails
  • Plastic floating water lilies


  • Send me a message if you want to hear all my fish keeping tips.
  • Don't just discard old fish tank water-your garden plants will love it!


  • Please be safe handling large amounts of water. If you must carry buckets full of water use a small one and make several trips. It's not worth hurting your back.