The Different Types of Artificial Ponds: A Helpful Guide

Types of artificial ponds vary. These include fish ponds, garden ponds, waterless waterfalls, creeks leading into ponds and many others. Types of pond liners include rubber, plastic, concrete, and bentonite clay. Sometimes, if you dig deep enough to a natural spring, a pond forms on its own.

All kinds of artificial ponds

Many different types of artificial ponds exist. Some of them don’t even look like ponds. Some built with bricks are in the form of a square or rectangle. In my opinion, this doesn’t qualify as a pond. Instead, I’d call it a fountain. Still, I am outnumbered by a lot of people. So there are many different types of ponds used for many different purposes.

The Different Types of Artificial Ponds: A Helpful Guide

Some use their ponds as farms to raise tilapia or catfish. They sell them as food. Others like myself enjoy the peace and tranquility a pond offers. I also enjoy wildlife and I’m an amphibian, reptile, and fish enthusiast. Another joy of mine is building working ecosystems. Building a working ecosystem offers a great sense of accomplishment. It’s like making something from nothing. I’ve always had a great interest in these things and consider myself a naturalist.

Natural Ponds

My favorite kind of pond is in a natural setting. I hate the look of an artificial pond. I don’t like exposed pond liner. I’d like a pond to look like mother nature herself put it there. My ideal pond has lots of wildlife such as fish, frogs, turtles, and more. I’m glad I grew out of the stage of catching frogs and turtles like I did when I was a kid. Still, I enjoy observing them in nature.

A large pond 41 feet in length sits just off my patio. From my window, I can see frogs just about every single day of the year. I live in Florida so unless we have a rare hard freeze the frogs are out every single day. I love it! I don’t have a single regret in building any of my ponds. Every single one of them has been a worthy venture and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Garden Ponds

In my opinion, garden ponds are for ornamental and aesthetic value. I can understand why people enjoy garden ponds. They can really add beauty to a landscape. Garden ponds include add-ons such as filters and pumps. They also often have waterfalls and even sometimes fountains. While I do enjoy creeks that flow into ponds, that’s a very complicated process and requires occasional maintenance.

Maybe if I had the right property, I would do something like that. As it stands now, I live on a slanted hill which limits my ability to create two ponds connected by a creek. Let’s put it this way, it’s not on my list of things to do at the present time. For the time being, I’m satisfied with my six ponds although I cannot promise that I won’t build my seventh at some point. I just don’t have the idea for it now.

Pond liners

Water containment membranes. That’s the fancy way to call different kinds of pond liners. There are many pond liners to choose from. There are plastic ones such as PVC and polyethylene and there is a rubber liner called EPDM. Some people choose to line their pond with concrete with mixed results. Still, others line their pond with clay. They often use bentonite clay specifically. Such clay doesn’t work well in sandy soils. It does, however, seem to blend well with soils that already have high amounts of clay particles in them. Still, my experience with bentonite clay has not been a good one and I cannot recommend it for anyone at this time. I would hate for someone to spend hundreds of dollars on 50-pound bags of clay which doesn’t properly contain water. As I said earlier, I think this clay is sometimes used as a successful membrane but I’m certainly not making any promises or guarantees on its behalf.

Are you thinking about building a pond? Whether it’s completely natural or if you decide on electrical add-ons such as pumps and filters, I recommend using one of the following pond liners. These include PVC, EPDM, and polyethylene. Depending on the size of your project decides what liner is best for you. When I built my first pond, I was overly concerned about using a plastic or rubber pond liner because of the possibility of leaks. The idea of having a leaking pond scared the heck out of me and I wanted to avoid it completely. That’s why I chose bentonite clay for my first attempt. A supposedly bullet-proof pond membrane which turned out as a major failure. I also looked into concrete liners. With all my research, I found that the alkalinity in the concrete does not allow the necessary beneficial bacteria a pond needs to flourish. This, in turn, leads to chronic cloudy water.

Evolution of pond liners

Pond liners have come along way over the years when it comes to durability and UV resistance. This is especially the case for PVC and polyethylene which have both changed greatly over the past twenty years. While EPDM hasn’t made any changes to their formula, it’s still a very reliable pond liner. If you go with the professional pond contractor, he’ll most likely suggest using EPDM. EPDM is currently the industry standard in pond liners. This may not always be the case. Personally, I see a future in polyethylene. Only time will tell.

Are you thinking of building your own pond?

If you’re considering making your own pond, I highly suggest checking out my website from start to finish. I have all the steps laid out from beginning to end. This covers the construction of the pond and creating a functioning ecosystem. I also cover essential plants and wildlife that needs inclusion in any successful ecosystem.

You see, even with the pump and filter, you’re still going to need a powerful ecosystem with beneficial bacteria. You’ll also need proper oxygenating submerged plants in order for your pond to become clear and odorless. Don’t let any of this intimidate you. The worst thing you could do is over think things. It’s best to go in with a clear head with a plan when it comes to building your pond. Take into consideration the size of the property you have to work with and your budget.

You can build the pond yourself as I did to save money. On the other hand, you could hire a pond contractor and spend a lot of money. It really comes down to personal choice and if you are physically and mentally capable of building your own pond. Don’t worry, I didn’t think I could do it either, but I did and it came out great!


Depending on the type of pond you want determines whether you need to bring in a professional pond contractor. I have an entire page dedicated to pond contractors which you can read HERE. I highly suggest that you do research on pond construction and pond maintenance, not just from my website exclusively, but from other sources as well. It’s best to formulate your own opinion.

Still, I spent a lot of time working on this site, and it’s here to help you with your goals. Even if you choose to create a pond with an electric pump and filter, there’s still a lot of valuable information on this website that you can use to your advantage. Don’t make the same mistakes I made, and be careful when hiring a professional pond contractor.

The very best of luck to you, and your future endeavors. May you achieve success and enjoyment as I did with my ponds. 

The Different Types of Artificial Ponds: A Helpful Guide