diy duck pond that's self-cleaning!

how to make a...

Why build a self-cleaning backyard pond?

Make your ducks happier and healthier, plus increase biodiversity. No ducks? A pond will still make you happier.

Staying clean?

Our pond uses a simple skippy biofilter system and beneficial bacteria. It’s aerated via waterfalls and bubblers.

Financial expectations?

Making a 1,000 gal + pond isn’t easy or cheap. Expect ~75 hours of labor & $2,000 in costs (unless you have free rocks).

Check out our plans, step-by-step photos & notes, plus materials list to see exactly how to build the pond, but here are the basics:

Step 1:

Once you know WHERE you want your pond, get your utility lines marked (which is a free service), then mark out your pond.

Step 2:

Dig your tiers and level the pond foundation.

Step 3:

Cover tier floors with 1” sand, then install fabric underlayment, then install pond liner.

Step 4:

Install pebble floors and rock walls, level by level — except in the waterfall area.  (That comes last.)

Step 5:

Set your filter/bog pond, which should be at least 50 gallons for a 1,000 gallon pond (especially if you have ducks).

Step 6:

Plumb your pond, from the pond pump (we use a Laguna 2,900 Max Flo pump) up to and into the filter pond.

Step 7:

Cut and place pond biofilter pads into the filter pond. Fill up filter pond then add cold or warm weather pond bacteria.

Step 8:

Build out your waterfall. Cut out top section of your filter pond lip and make sure water can’t escape from sides or bottom of falls.

Step 9:

Test it! Fill pond (ideally use dechlorinator), plug in pump, watch for leaks.

**keep in mind**

It may take 2 weeks for the water to clear if the rocks are dirty (like ours were) - but it will clear up with time!

Step 10:

HIGH FIVE! You (and your duckies) can step back, sip some lemonade, & enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Dive over to our detailed pond guide!

Want to learn more or start planning your own pond?