Common Backyard Pond Questions And Answers That’ll Surprise You

The only Master Aquascape Certified Contractors in Iowa

Common Backyard Pond Questions And Answers That’ll Surprise You

Find The Answers To Almost All Of Your Backyard Pond Questions For Des Moines Pond Owners

There are many questions people have about backyard ponds and this article can answer them! Installing a backyard pond is a big commitment and you’ll want to be sure it’s the right move for you to make. We want to relieve you of some of your concerns by answering questions such as:

  • Are mosquitoes are a problem
  • What to do with fish in the winter
  • Do you need to regularly test the water
  • Are there any safety concerns
  • And more!

We get questions all the time concerning ponds and these are the ones we hear the most:

You can learn more about ecosystem ponds >>

1. Will Having A Pond Decrease The Value Of My Home?

Actually, having a backyard pond can increase the value of 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 grow too.

2. What Safety Concerns Come With Owning A Pond?

Like with any body of water there are concerns about people falling in, especially young children. There are several ways to address this issue:

  • Our ponds are usually only 2′ at the deepest part
  • Shelves in the pond that act like stairs for getting into or out of the pond
  • Stepper edges to keep people from falling in
  • A beach edge to make getting in and out easy
  • A small fence around the pond
  • LED lights so it can be seen at night

We do recommend that you make your neighbors aware of the water garden and educate your own children and friends on safety measures.

If safety is a true concern, check out pondless water features

3. Can I Have A Pond If There Are A Lot Of Trees?

Yes, and it is both a blessing and a curse. Trees provide shade for lounging under and keeping the pond cool to minimize algae blooms in the summer. But trees also means leaves falling into your pond and they can clog up your pond. Thankfully fall maintenance includes installing a net to catch all the leaves.

4. Won’t A Pond Bring A Lot Of Mosquitoes?

Not if the pond is built correctly. Mosquitoes will generally only lay their eggs in still, stagnant water. Streams and waterfalls move the water around and help prevent them from laying their eggs. If you have any fish they will eat any eggs or larvae with great enthusiasm.

5. Do I Need To Test My Water On A Daily Basis?

Mother Nature never tests her water and her ecosystems do just fine. This is why we model our ponds after her and make them a living ecosystem that can take care of itself. This means you don’t have to constantly check to see if your water is balanced. If you notice your fish or plants don’t look well, then is the time to test the water.

6. Is It Necessary To Drain And Clean My Pond Regularly?

Since our ponds are built like an ecosystem they mostly take care of themselves, including cleaning. Aquatic plants, beneficial bacteria, fish, filters, and other parts of the pond work together to keep the pond clean. This doesn’t mean it never needs cleaning though.

We do recommend doing a clean-out on your pond once a year, start with an exploratory clean

7. Do You Need To Bring Fish Inside During Winter?

Like with bears, fish do fine during winter because they enter a state of hibernation. The only things they need is 2′ of water, a hole in the ice, and oxygenated water. You can bring the fish inside if you wish.

You can get answers to more fish questions >>

8. Will Predators Eat My Fish?

They will unless you protect them. The biggest threat to your pond fish are blue herons, and thankfully there are ways to keep them from gulping down your fish. You can use fish caves, floating plants, and other means of protection.

9. Does A Pond Need To Be At Least 3′ Deep To Have Koi?

It needs to be 2′ deep at the least to be able to support koi fish. Don’t worry about freezing, ponds generally freeze to only 8″ below the surface, leaving plenty of room for your fish to live.

10. Can You Keep Koi Fish With Plants?

In fact, it is encouraged to have plants and fish together. Fish feed on the plants, produce waste which is broken down by beneficial bacteria, which is then used to fertilize the plants. An ecosystem pond works together to balance and take care of itself.

11. Do Rocks & Gravel Make It Difficult To Clean A Pond?

Not really no. All you need to do to clean them is use a power washer, but don’t hold the hose too close to the rocks as it will wash away all the beneficial bacteria living there. These beneficial bacteria are part of the pond cleaning system so you don’t want to wash them all away.

12. Can I Use A Timer On My Pond?

Using a timer to shut down your pond is not the best idea. Ponds need constant oxygen and running water so the fish can breathe, the plants can eat, and the pond can take care of itself. Pondless water features can be shut down because they don’t have these issues.

13. Should My Pond Be At The Lowest Point Of My Yard?

This is as bad as using a timer to shut off a pond. If your pond is at the lowest point, all the rain runoff will drain into your pond and negatively impact the ecosystem. The best location is near your house where you can take in the beauty and tranquility of your pond.

Answering Your Backyard Fish Pond Questions

There are many backyard fish pond questions we couldn’t cover here, it would be longer than a novel! That’s why we’ve broken it up into separate blog posts for you to look through at your convenience. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, just ask us.

Read more for help with your new pond >>

Who We Are

Just Add Water is a locally-owned company that serves the state of Iowa for over 17 years. Our team is very enthusiastic about upgrading the yards and properties for all of our fellow Iowans, and we have the experienced crew to do so!

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I’ve worked with Just Add Water for two water features. They have always been good listeners and eager to get the work up to my specs. The Just Add Water Team is very creative and loves what they do! They take on any challenge, find a solution and get it done!

If you are looking for a professional approach to beautify your yard, I highly recommend Chris, Will, and their team for the project!

John Olsen


The crew & office staff at Just Add Water make the perfect team to create a water feature that enhances your life. If you are just looking for advice, or if you need repairs to an existing water feature, or if you want something totally new for your landscape… Just Add Water is the place to go.

They removed our old pond and invented a beautiful fresh look with a pondless system of 3 waterfalls. We’re very pleased and truly impressed with their artistry and sincere demeanor. Give them a chance. You’ll be glad you did!

John Gray


We hired Just Add Water to create a waterfall feature in our backyard. What we didn’t expect was the overwhelming beauty that happened when they were finished! Chris came to our house on a Sunday, no less, to plan our design, and his crew worked on a Saturday after a long week to do our project.

Amazing, stunning, and much more than we ever dreamed! Professional, and over-the-top design, you won’t be disappointed!!

Joan Campbell