Types of Ponds & Waterfalls


Ponds can be constructed in all shapes and sizes. Various types of ponds exist and each is constructed to meet the specific needs the pond is intended for. You will need to decide which best suits your desires and needs. Below are examples of different types of ponds and their unique characteristics.

 Lily Pond

A lily pond is a tranquil and reflective body of water covered with water lilies and other floating aquatic plants. Water lilies enjoy plenty of sun. The site chosen should receive at least 5-8 hours of direct sun. Lily ponds usually do not include large or turbulent waterfalls. Water lilies do not do well in splashing, moving water. Think of the places you may have seen water lilies in the wild. On lakes and ponds you will find them in a calm, protected, sun baked bay, and this is what a lily pond attempts to achieve.

Rock Water Garden

This is the # 1 type of pond being installed in landscapes across the country. A rock water garden usually incorporates a waterfall or series of waterfalls and pools before entering the pond. When water flows over the earth, it strips the soil, exposes the rock and gravel below and creates waterfalls. This type of pond attempts to recreate this natural landscape. This design looks very natural if constructed on an existing hillside. Even without a hill, some type of waterfall or cascades can usually be created to achieve the sights and sound of falling water in the majority of landscapes. The pond usually contains many plant shelves for aquatic plants and can be constructed deep enough to over winter plants and fish.

Koi Ponds

True Koi ponds are designed with the rapid removal of waste in mind. Large fish produce large amounts of waste. Koi also enjoy rooting around, stirring up the water. Koi ponds often include drains and larger filtration systems. The pond is constructed with steeper sides, depths of 36 and more and a pitched bottom for waste removal. Koi and goldfish are completely different fish and if you are serious about Koi you should read and research their special requirements. If you are serious about keeping a lot of Koi, and most people with Koi do, we recommend a custom designed Koi pond for you.

Formal Ponds

Architects have used formal ponds and fountains for centuries to provide focus and tranquility in public and private gardens. Formal ponds can be constructed with a raised wall allowing people a place to sit or with a flush edge of natural stone or other material creating an open atmosphere in the garden or room. Plants and fish are optional. Some type of fountain or statuary is a must.

"Pondless" or "Disappearing" Waterfalls

A "pondless" or "disappearing" waterfall is just that; a waterfall or stream without a pond! A pump vault is installed into a lined gravel reservoir and the water is circulated up to the start of the waterfall and it flows back down to the reservoir where it continues the cycle. This design looks very natural and works best if constructed on an existing hillside. Even without a hill, some type of waterfall or cascades can usually be created to achieve the sights and sound of falling water in the majority of landscapes. These are a great choice for people with kids, front yard features or if you want the tranquil sound of water without the maintenance of a pond. Cost is usually slightly less than a waterfall with a pond.

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