Last Updated:

Backyard Pond Myths

Your pond should be at the lowest part of your yard.

When it rains all the runoff from your house and yard go to that lowest spot. This makes that spot a very poor option because the runoff will go into your pond and have negative effects on your pond’s ecosystem. The best location for your pond is near your house, you can take in the beauty and tranquility of your pond when entertaining friends or lounging on your deck.

You can use a timer on your pond!

Bad idea! Your pond is an ecosystem that needs constant oxygen, just like you do. If you shut your system down at night, then you can never have sufficient growth of beneficial bacteria to fight algae blooms, and your finned friends will have a hard time breathing. You can shut down a Pondless Waterfall system or a fountain because plants and fish are not depending on the circulation for oxygen and nutrients.

It’s necessary to drain and clean your pond regularly.

Because our ponds are complete ecosystem ponds they take care of themselves. We do recommend doing a clean-out on your pond but only once a year. We perform all of our clean-outs in the spring, before the weather gets warm and the bacteria has an opportunity to set up.

Predators will be attracted to your pond and eat your fish!

Raccoons generally won’t swim. That’s not to say they never swim, or couldn’t stand on the side of your pond and take a paw swipe or two at your fish. Fortunately, most fish will swim to a deeper, more protected part of the pond when a predator is threatening them. The biggest predator is the blue heron. Plenty of lily pads give them some protection and will work to minimize attracting a heron in the first place. Other protection measures include a cave-like structure we install in all our ponds we are building them. If you already have a pond, they can be added with a little pond remodeling. Crevices, or miniature caves, can also be created within the rock walls of your pond.

Rocks and gravel make it difficult to clean your pond.

Rocks and gravel offer a natural place for aerobic bacteria to colonize and set up housekeeping. This bacteria breaks down the fish waste and debris that would otherwise accumulate in the pond and turn into sludge. Even if your pond is close to trees and loads of leaves, or how many fish you have in it, you’ll find that having rocks and gravel in your pond not only makes it look better, but it makes it healthier as well. So contrary to the myth, having rocks and gravel on the bottom of your pond actually allows Mother Nature to clean up after herself.

Ponds must be at least three feet deep in order to keep koi.

There are thousands of two-foot deep ponds around the country, full of happy and healthy koi. The water in a two-foot deep pond will generally only freeze eight inches down, even in the coldest of climates, because of the insulating qualities of the earth that surrounds the pond.

Koi can’t be kept in a pond that also contains plants.

In a naturally balanced ecosystem, koi and plants complement and need one another. In nature, fish feed on plants. As a result, the fish produce waste, which is broken down by aerobic bacteria on the bottom of your pond, which, in turn, is used as fertilizer by the plants to grow and produce more natural fish food.

You have to bring your fish inside for the winter.

Fish do fine during the coldest of winters as long as you give them two feet of water to swim in, oxygenate the water, and keep a hole in the ice with a de-icer, allowing the naturally produced gasses to escape from under the ice. These are all services Just Add Water provides.

Your pond water must be tested on a daily basis.

Mother Nature never tests her water, and her ecosystem does just fine. All the ponds that we build are complete ecosystem ponds. Naturally balanced water garden normally requires no testing either.

A pond in your backyard means you will have a lot of mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes will generally only lay their eggs in still, stagnant water. If the mosquitoes happen to lay eggs in your pond and the mosquito larvae hatch, the fish in your pond will consider them a treat and will pick them off the water’s surface with great enthusiasm.

You cannot have a pond in an area where there are a lot of trees.

Yes, you will have more leaves in your pond in the fall but there is a bonus to the trees. The shade provided by the trees will help minimize the algae bloom in the summer. If you have a skimmer sucking the top quarter inch of water off the top of your pond, it will pull most of the leaves and related debris into the skimmer net.

Having a pond may decrease the value of your home!

A backyard pond is not the same as having a swimming pool on your property! Some real estate agents believe that ponds can be a great addition to your home that might even pay dividends. With water features becoming more and more popular, you can bet that the demand for them will get even bigger!

I have liability or safety concerns!

Safety concerns are a normal thing to have, but the way that Just Add Water builds ponds makes it so if you can walk up stairs you can walk out of pond. The first shelf is only ankle high once the gravel is laid down. The next shelf is up to your knee, while the smallest area in the bottom is just above your knee, so it is not constructed like a swimming pool. We do recommend that you make your neighbors aware of the water garden and educate your own children and friends about the safety of any body of water. If liability is a true concern, consider the option of a Pondless Waterfall. A pondless waterfall has no standing body of water only the waterfall so it is child safe.


Keep up with all our work by liking us on facebook at

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @JustAddWaterIA

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to follow the crew all season long!