A small garden pond is a great way to keep some fish while keeping the cost low.
If you have a space shortage you can build one in your garden, balcony and even in the room.
Most common small pond sizes are –
- 100 gallon pond
- 150 gallon pond
- 200 gallon pond
- 300 gallon pond
In this article, I will walk you through everything you need to know about a small pond for fish.
3 Ways to Build a small gallon Pond
Using Pond Liner
Pond liner is widely used to build medium and large garden ponds. It is a rear practice to build a 100 gallon pond with pond liner. Because such small size ponds are built with preformed pond liner or stock tank.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t build a small pond with pond liner. It is still possible to build such a small pond with liner if you want. You will need a smaller size pond liner for this purpose. You can find good pond liner at amazon and eBay for 100 gallon, 150 gallon, 200, and 300 gallon pond.
Using Preformed Pond Liner
Preformed pond liners are widely used for building a small outdoor fish pond. It takes very small effort and time to build a pond with this.
Preformed pond liners are easily available. Normally the volume ranges from 30 gallons to 600 gallons. So, if you want to build a 200 gallon pond with this, it is still possible.
To build a pond with preformed pond liner, you need to dig the soil according to the size and shape of the liner and place the liner in that.
In Container or Stock Tank
If you want to build a small gallon indoor pond, the best way will be using a container or stock tank. It is also popular for balcony pond. Stock tanks are made of galvanized steel, plastic or Rubbermaid. Stock tanks are available from 50 gallon to 600 gallon size.
Making a pond with a stock tank or container is super easy. It will take you roughly 2 hours. Just place it in your preferred place, install the pump and aerator, add some plants, and you are ready to stock the fish.
A pond without plants is always incomplete. They increase the beauty of the pond and helps to keep the water clean. Plants also make a good hiding place for fish. Some fish also spawn in the roots of the plants.
You have to be careful while selecting plants for your small pond. Don’t add large plants as it will take up the place.
If it is an outdoor pond, you need to add some of the plants in the shoreline. Also, add some floating plants to your pond. It will make the pond charming and help to keep the temperature low.
You can also add some submerged pond plants. they are good for oxygenating the water.
For preformed and stock tank pond you have to use mall plastic container for plants so that plant will not fully be submerged in water.
Some good plants for small fish pond are –
- Water lettuce
- Creeping Jenny
- Cardinal Flower
- Sweet Flag
- Water Hyacinth
If your pond liner or tank bottom is visible, it looks odd. Rocks also help to culture beneficial bacteria and keep the water quality good.
Therefore, you have to add some rocks in the pond bottom. You can also build a pond retaining wall with rocks. Don’t use uniform size rocks, it looks bad. Rather use a mix of all size rocks for your pond.
Fountain and Aerator
Having a fountain in your pond will take the beauty of it to the next level. It also helps to aerate the water. Aerating is important for a pond because it adds oxygen to the water and fish can’t live without oxygen.
You don’t have to get a big fountain for your small pond. Small fountains with a built-in pump available. Just make sure it can serve enough flow for the pond.
Having a spillway in a very small size pond is very rare because there won’t be enough water to maintain the minimum flow.
But you can still have a small spillway for your pond. I saw a guy to install a small bamboo-made spillway in his stock tank pond. There is no need to buy a spillway, you can make one easily.
Lighting the Pond
Lighting your pond will increase its beauty. You can use a submersible or downlight for this purpose. Downlights are better than submersible lights as they last longer.
Normally, pond lights are LED lights. You can also use solar pond lights if you want. It will save you money in the long run.
For your indoor pond, you can install ceiling light or clamp-on lamps or LED grow lights. In indoor installing grow light is necessary because pond plants need it to thrive.
Choosing The Right Pond Filter
There are many types of pond filter available. The filter you need depends on the size of your pond.
For a small pond, you don’t need a mammoth filter. Two Spong filters are enough for filtering the water. They are easy to install and doesn’t cost much. You can power them with your pond pump.
Some people use bio-balls for filtering the water. They are good when you are super concerned about water quality.
If you notice too many algae in your pond, you can use a combo of filter and UV clarifier. This works really well for maintaining the water quality and killing the algae.
Choosing the Right Pond Pump
It is recommended that you recirculate the pond water every 2 hours. Therefore, you will need 50 gallons per hour pump for your 100 gallon pond and 100 gallons per hour pump for 200 gallon pond. For 150 gallon, the pump capacity should be in between of these two.
But the pump size may increase due to various reasons. If you stock more fish than the recommended, you will need more flow. Again if you have both spillway and fountain, the size of your pump will increase as well.
Pumps are available in two types, External and Submersible. I will advise you to use a good submersible pump. It will not create any hoise as it is kept underwater. A submersible pump also has a great runtime as it is cooled by the surrounding water.
Heating The Pond in The Winter
If you are from a cold climate and everything around freezes, you will need to heat the pond. Some of the pond fish can thrive below 0 degrees but most of them won’t.
There are a number of ways to heat a pond in winter. But for a small pond using a de-icer or immersed heater is the best practice. It saves a lot of money.
A deicer doesn’t heat the pond, rather it floats around and keeps air hole. Thus both fish and bacteria can thrive in the winter.
An immersed heater will keep the pond water temperature constant. Hence, you should use this one if you have fish that can’t thrive low temperature.
What Fish Can You Stock in Small Pond
Goldfish will be the best pond fish for this size pond. Common goldfish can live for 10-25 years in a well-maintained pond. Although fancy goldfish are also available, I don’t recommend you stock them in your pond. They are good in the aquarium, not in a pond.
If your pond is at outdoor, don’t stock very little goldfish, they may die soon. Goldfish are very friendly and you can stock them with other pond fish like koi.
When we say garden pond, we mean Koi pond. Koi’s are favorite to garden pond owner for centuries.
As the depth of your pond is less, you shouldn’t stock large koi in it. Again large koi are expensive too. It is recommended that you don’t stock koi larger than 10 inches in a small pond. If you want to stock large adult size koi, our pond depth should be at least 3 feet.
You can buy small koi fish in amazon or PetSmart cheap.
As koi grows quickly, you may need to transfer them to a larger size pond within a year.
Other Small Fish
Apart from koi and goldfish, there are other small fish that you can stock in your pond. Some of the good small pond fish are –
- Red Shiners
- Siamese Algae Eater
- Pond Loach
How Many Fish You Can Stock in Small Pond?
The number of fish you can stock in a 100 gallon pond depends on the species and size of the fish. If you stock Mollies and Guppies the number will be higher than the Koi.
- You can stock up to 3-4 medium size koi in 100 gallon water. Anything more of that will make it overcrowded.
- If you stock baby koi of 2-3 inches long, then the number will be 60-80. But you should stock less as they grow quickly
- One Goldfish requires 20 gallon water. Therefore you can stock 5 of them in 100 gallons.
- You should never stock an adult koi in a 100 gallon pond.
It is better to stock a blend of fish. Stock 15-20 small baby koi, 3-4 goldfish, and 20 other smaller size fish in 100 gallon. For a 150 and 200 gallon pond, the number will be 1.5 and 2 times of 100 gallons or less.