New (mini/raised) Pond Construction idea

Apr 12, 2023
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Hardiness Zone


Hi Everyone! This is my very first post on the forum, even though i have been reading some posts here and there for about a year. I currently own a three years old medium sized pond in my garden. It's approximately 7000 liters (1850 gallons), in there I have 6 koi and one goldfish, and uncountable babies which i'll have to do something about at some point...
Anyway, the focus of this post is to illustrate and discuss a new pond i want to make, since the days are getting longer and the weather is getting nicer where I live (northern Italy), as it happens to most of us pond enthusiasts, new pond ideas and designs start to pop into mind... My new design will be limited by the little available space and weird conformation of my garden, but also by the weather, since I live in hardiness zone 9a (-6.7°C to -3.9°C) I have to also take that into consideration; even though winters are less and less cold, a few years back i woke up one morning with approximately 15cm (6") of ice in my pond... So, let me present my process and design, let me know your impressions and thoughts:


The main inspiration came from watching YouTube videos and Reddit posts about mini-ponds and raised-ponds. At first I considered making a half barrel pond, in which to keep medaka fish (also known as Japanese rice fish), but then I actually considered making a personalized bigger mini-pond to let them have more living space and more water stability... The main inspiration for the design was an article I found by randomly searching on Google, it's a raised pond by SebElliott on Autodesk Instructables. I really liked both the design and the compact size, so I adapted it to my space.



As said before, the space is very limited, and so is the resulting design. The right part would be the actual pond, and the left one a small bog filter and water feature. The front seating area would be topped by two thin marble slabs i have lying around, and underneath them I would hide the piping and a small pump.
My bigger pond also has a bog filter and a small waterfall, which falls into the pond, and takes water from an underground cistern containing about 2000 liters (520 gallons), said cistern gets water from the pond overflow, and from the house gutters. That way the pond is kept at it's designed level even in summer despite evaporation, and also has more water volume overall, i'm not sure if i should connect the new pond to the same cistern, or just keep it isolated but without any water tank, hence having to deal with evaporation and maintaining the desired water level... let me know your opinions.

Technical Details

The dimensions of the pond are 120x45x65cm, for a volume of around 270 liters (47"x18"x25", 72 gallons). The part on the left is a small bog filter, with a size of 40x45x80cm, for a volume of a little less than 100 liters (16"x18"x30", 96 gallons). That means that the bog would end up being 30% of the pond surface, and 36% of the volume. It seems a little overkill considering the small water volume and the small fishes I would be keeping in there, which aren't as messy as adult koi get... but to ensure the best water quality I can provide, and the best life for the fish, I thought of adding it anyway, which also gives me an excuse to keep even more plants. The pond itself would be a bare liner pond, maybe with some gravel at the bottom, and the depth (too deep for medaka?) would allow me to keep them outside even in winter, and in case it's needed i may add a heater just to make sure the whole thing doesn't freeze solid. The right part of the pond may be somewhat shelved, possibly by making a hollow elevated area to plant shallow water plants and provide both shelter, and a shallow swimming area to the fish (I was thinking around 10-20cm (4" / 8") possibly...


That was pretty much all i think... I hope i haven't forgotten anything, and that it wasn't too long to read. I'd also like to apologize in advance for any grammatical or typing errors, and i hope i didn't mess up the thread or the section in which to post this.
I can't wait to hear your thoughts and ideas about this, and feel free to ask any questions, i'll try to answer as soon as possible.
Thanks for the attention. Wish you all a great day!
Last edited:


I Love my Goldies
Feb 1, 2010
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Arlington, Washington
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United States
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I don't have koi but I do know they like a lot of room to survive. I think some people have extra strong filters where they can keep more but that's not usually the case for most. Bog is good!

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