Fish ponds are beautiful bodies of water that can hold many varieties of fish such as koi and goldfish. Fish ponds can add an attractive accent to many different environments and make your patio or garden look livelier.

Fish ponds not only allow you to extend your love for fish and aquatics outside of your home but the appearance and calming vibes that fish ponds bring are worth it.

Not everyone wants to spend a ton of money installing a fish pond, so that’s where the benefits of creating a fish pond yourself with minimal tools, materials, and not tearing up your patio or garden come in.

There are endless options when it comes to designing a fish pond, but there are very few designs that can be done yourself without much help from professionals. So, if you want to create your fish pond without spending too much, then we have compiled a list of some great DIY fish ponds that you can easily build.


The 15 DIY Fish Ponds That You Can Build

1. DIY Pond In A Pot by HGTV

DIY Fish Ponds
Image Credit: HGTV
Tools:Not required
Materials:Shallow ceramic or plastic plant pot

This is a simple DIY pond idea that can be placed on a patio, balcony, or in a garden bed. The pond itself is created inside of a large, shallow pot made from ceramic or strong plastic. A pump system will need to be placed inside the pond to create an ideal environment for the fish and you can line the bottom of the pot with substrate and plant semi-aquatic plants into it to create a natural environment for the fish.

The overall stocking rate this pond allows will depend on the size of the pot, but it should be able to hold a couple of small common goldfish.

2. DIY Tire Pond by Instructables

DIY Fish Pond
Image Credit: Instructables
Tools:Shovel, hand tamper, wheelbarrow, hand tamper
Materials:Large tire, cement, rocks

This is a slightly more difficult DIY fish pond plan; however, it can be simple if you have the correct materials and time to create the pond. This fish pond design includes a large tire that is placed into a hole dug into the ground.

Cement should then be poured into the tire in a thin layer and cover the exposed areas of the tire to prevent water from leaking out. You should also place cement on the outside of the tire and place small rocks into the cement before it dries to give it a rocky appearance. The surrounding area can be refilled with dirt, and you have the option of growing plants around the tire.

3. DIY Garden Bed Pond by A Piece of Rainbow

DIY Fish Pond
Image Credit: A Piece of Rainbow
Tools:Shovel, wheelbarrow, hand tamper
Materials:Plastic container, rocks, cement

If you want to create a large pond to keep bigger fish in such as koi, then this may be the perfect design for you. You will need to create hold the same shape and size as the container and place the container into the hole while leaving the surrounding area with dirt.

You can then shovel the dirt tightly against the container which will be the pond and use cement to line large stones where you can place a waterfall system. The dirt should be a few inches lower than the container itself.

4. DIY Metal Garden and Patio Pond by A Piece of Rainbow

DIY Fish Pond
Image Credit: A Piece of Rainbow
Tools:Not required
Materials:Metal tub, waterproof paint, solar pump

This is a beginner-friendly DIY fish pond that is created from a large metal container. Since most metal containers will rust when exposed to water, the inside of the tub should be coated with non-toxic paint to make it waterproof.

The metal tub can be placed in gardens or on patios and the inside can be filled with stones and aquatic plants to create a good environment for your fish. This design requires no wiring because the solar pump is a quick and easy water feature that works perfectly with this easy fish pond design. These metal tubs can be found in all shapes and sizes which allows you to find one that fits your desired placement area.

5. Raised DIY Pot Garden Water Pond by DIY & Crafts

DIY Fish Pond
Image Credit: DIY N Crafts
Tools:Not required
Materials:Waterproof sealant
Difficulty:Very Easy

This is one of the simplest and most minimal effort DIY fish ponds you can make. The design includes a large garden plot with a raised base which makes it perfect to be placed on patios and in flower beds where you can get a better view of the pond. The inside of the pot should be coated with an aquarium-safe sealant so that the paint does not flake off into the water.

The bottom of the pot can be layered with stones and a plastic plant pot with rocks and soil can be placed in the middle. You also have the choice of adding floating pond plants or plants that will grow down to the base of the pot.

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6. DIY Pond Box by Better Homes and Gardens

Image Credit: Better Homes and Gardens

Materials:Cedar boards, wood screws, scrap wood, water sealant, plastic liner, water plants, potting soil, pea gravel or landscape rocks, gazing ball
Tools:Hand saw or circular saw, drill

This DIY pond is perfect for those who do not have the space for an in-ground fish pond. This box is small enough to fit on a small balcony, and it adds a nice décor touch to any outdoor space, such as a deck or patio. You do not need much material and tools to make this pond, and it’s fairly easy for the beginner DIYer. The instructions are laid out nicely, complete with photos to help you build it in no time.

7. DIY Fountain Pond by The Family Handyman

Image Credit: The Family Handyman
Materials:3-foot diameter preformed pond, large ceramic pond with drain hole, sand, submersible pond pump, black tubing, threaded PVC shutoff, threaded coupling, concrete block, flagstones, aquatic plants, urethane foam, silicone caulk
Tools:Diamond blade circular saw, cold chisel, hammer, level, utility knife, safety glasses, shovel, gloves

You can build this DIY fountain pond by The Family Handyman with minimal materials and tools. The instructions are elaborate, but you can simplify the project to make it easier and not as expensive to build. This DIY fountain pond is small yet elegant, and what makes it appealing is you can make it in its entirety in one day. The instructions also come with pictures to help simplify the process.

8. Rock Lined Tire Pond by All Created

Image Credit: All Created
Materials:Old tire, tarp or plastic pond lining, pond filter, rocks, plants, sand, gravel
Tools:Shovel, slab of wood or something similar for leveling

This DIY tire pond uses old tires to create, and it’s simple and easy with step-by-step instructions. Tractor-trailer tires work exceptionally well for this project, but a car tire will work just as well. If you’re feeling particularly crafty, you can use more than one tire to create a small oasis for multiple fish—you can even get creative and paint the tires a groovy color or stack them.

9. Contemporary Backyard Rectangular Water Pond by The Garden Glove

Image Credit: The Garden Glove
Materials:Rubbermaid storage container, fountain pump, concrete pavers, decorative rocks, stones of various sizes, aquatic plants, algae inhibitor (optional)
Tools:Shovel, gloves

The hardest part of this DIY fish pond is choosing the right location in your yard. This pond looks elegant but with minimal work, and it will give your yard’s décor a boost or makeover. Have any old Rubbermaid storage containers lying around? Why not put them to use with this beautiful pond?

10. DIY Koi Fish Pond by Fish Lab

Image Credit: Fish Lab
Materials:Pump, filters, skimmer, PVC flex pipe, underlayment, liner, lap sealant, stone, rocks, skimmer net, pond thermometer, water test kit
Tools:Marking paint, shovel

This DIY Koi fish pond by Fish Lab is much more involved and more suitable for the advanced DIYer, but if you’ve ever dreamed of having a Koi pond in your yard, give this one a try. However, having a Koi pond requires much more maintenance to keep your Koi fish happy and healthy.

11. DIY Intermediate Fish Pond by Angi

Image Credit: Angi
Materials:Flexible pond liner, underlayment, pond kit with pump, stones, mulch, plastic landscape edging, pond plant, gravel
Tools:Rope, shovel, wheel barrel, garden hose

If you’re handy, this  DIY pond doesn’t take many materials and tools to make, and it can be built in 24 hours. This pond will transform your backyard into a natural oasis by using a simple and basic design. Keep in mind that you’ll need plumbing and electrical outlets to maintain the pond properly for the life of your fish.

12. DIY Backyard Fish Pond by Lovesown

Image Credit: Lovesown
Materials:300-gallon tub, paver stones, pebbles, water fountain, pump aquatic plants
Tools:Shovel, wheel barrel, leveler

This Backyard DIY Pond is relatively easy to construct and build. You only need a few materials and tools, but the hardest part will be doing the digging to place the 300-gallon tub evenly. You can also get creative with colored pebbles and stones to make it your own, and you can build this pond inexpensively.

13. No-Dig Backyard Pond by Hawk Hill

Image Credit: Hawk Hill

Materials:2 x 6’s pressure-treated wood, furring strips, pond liner, aquatic plants
Tools:Cordless drill, leveler, galvanized screws, raised bed corner brackets

This no-dig backyard pond can be built for under $70, and you don’t even have to dig! You need just minimal tools and materials to make this sturdy pond, and the instructions are easy to follow and simple—the instructions also come with pictures so you get a detailed view of the project for smooth sailing. The instructions also give you excellent tips on how to take care of your pond.

14. Above-Ground Fish Pond by The Family Handyman

Image Credit: The Family Handyman

Materials:Treated wood or cement board siding, rough-sawn cedar for trellis and trim, liner, pump
Tools:Chalk line, circular saw, drill/driver, gloves, hammer, jigsaw, leveler, miter saw, safety glasses, scissors, shovel, speed square, staple gun, tape measure

Not all fish ponds need to be in-ground, and with this DIY above-ground pond, you’ll add a splash of style to your yard without having to dig, which can be exhausting. You can build this pond in a weekend, and you don’t need much materials, just treated wood or cement board siding.

Above-ground ponds are also safer for pets and children, as it decreases the chances of them falling into the pond. The instructions also give you helpful tips and tricks on how to save money building your pond, as well as maintenance.

15. DIY Miniature Fish Pond by Gardening Know How

Image Credit: Gardening Know How

Materials:Waterproof plastic, filter or fountain, aquatic plants

This DIY fish pond allows you to decide how big or small you want the size and shape of your pond. Once you decide, dig the hole accordingly and place the waterproof liner (you can use pond liners) in the hole to rest against the edges. The pond should be at least 3 feet deep to make it suitable for adding fish. You can customize this pond however you’d like by placing stones around the edges.



Making your very own fish pond can be a fun and rewarding experience. By making the pond yourself, you can choose the design and shape that you want depending on the amount of pond fish and plants you want to place inside.

These fish ponds do not take up much space or require you to mess up your garden. Most of the tools and materials needed for these fish pond designs may be sitting in your garage already!

It will feel very rewarding to create your fish pond and then admire how beautiful it looks in your garden where you can raise your choice of pond fish.

Featured Image Credit: Faiz Zakiy Yamani, Shutterstock