The Art of Pond Building in Iowa: Transforming Your Backyard Oasis

The only Master Aquascape Certified Contractors in Iowa

If you’ve ever gazed out at your garden and imagined the tranquil sounds of water, the shimmering reflections of light, and the gentle movement of fish, then you’re in the right place. Pond building is an art, and in Iowa, it’s an art we’ve mastered. Let’s dive into the world of pond creation and discover how you can transform your backyard into a serene oasis.

1. Planning is Key

Before you even pick up a shovel, it’s essential to plan. Consider the size, shape, and location of your pond. Do you want a sunlit pond or one shaded by trees? Remember, the location can influence the pond’s temperature, which in turn affects the types of plants and fish you can introduce.

2. Depth Matters

In Iowa, we have to consider the frost line when building a pond. If you’re planning to have fish, especially koi, you’ll need a pond that’s deep enough to protect them during the colder months. Typically, a depth of at least 3-4 feet is recommended.

3. Filtration Fundamentals

A good filtration system is the heart of a healthy pond. It keeps the water clear, removes debris, and ensures a balanced ecosystem. There are various filters available, from submersible to external, so do your research or consult with a pond builder to find the best fit.

4. The Beauty of Natural Stone

One of the hallmarks of a beautifully crafted pond is the use of natural stone. Stones and boulders can be used to create natural-looking edges, waterfalls, and other features. They not only add aesthetic appeal but also provide habitats for beneficial pond critters.

5. Planting for Success

Plants play a vital role in pond ecosystems. They oxygenate the water, provide shelter for fish, and help balance the pond’s nutrients. From floating water lilies to submerged grasses and marginal plants, there’s a plethora of options to beautify your pond.

6. Adding the Finishing Touches

Once your pond is built, consider adding features like a waterfall, fountain, or even a bridge. These elements can enhance the visual appeal of your pond and create a more dynamic and interactive space.

7. Professional Pond Builders: Why They’re Worth It

While some homeowners opt for DIY pond building, there’s undeniable value in hiring professionals. Expert pond builders have the experience, tools, and knowledge to ensure your pond is built to last. They can address challenges, provide advice on maintenance, and ensure your pond is a true reflection of your vision.

At Just Add Water, we’re passionate about bringing your pond dreams to life. As experienced pond builders serving Des Moines, Ames, Indianola, Johnston, and beyond, we pride ourselves on crafting ponds that stand the test of time. If you’re ready to embark on your pond-building journey, reach out to us. Let’s create something magical together!

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