Mirror Pond

Looking for the perfect sleek mirror pond?

With our expert advice following our 6-step plan, you can build your sleek pond yourself.

Avoid mistakes and save at least $1,000 with Simons Pond Advice Book.

All water plants and products for natural appearance of your reflection pond can be easily ordered through our webshop and quickly delivered to your home.

Sleek mirror pond
Simons pond advice book
Mirror pond construction
Simon van der Velde

A mirror pond combines sleek design the natural benefits of aquatic plants keeping your garden pond low maintenance and promoting biodiversity.

Simon van der VeldePond specialist and aquatic plant breeder

Others bought this for their mirror pond

Mirror pond garden pond tight pond

Tight pond

A mirror pond is a pond where aquatic plants are only below the water surface, making the appearance of the pond smooth which creates a perfect reflection, as if you were looking into a mirror. This is where the pond gets its name.

But just because you like a clean water surface does not mean you have to resort to expensive and environmentally harmful pumps and filters. For there are plenty of pond plants that do not grow above the water surface, but still perform their filtering and oxygen enriching task.

If you choose a tight pond it means that the water surface can heat up faster in the warmer months because you don't have floating aquatic plants keeping the sun out of the water. It is therefore important to make the right choice in plants, read on and find out through our step-by-step plan how to set up your reflection pond so that it balances itself perfectly naturally.

Natural mirror pond vs unnatural mirror pond

Mirror Pond with Plants Mirror Pond without Plants

Mirror Pond with Plants

Mirror Pond without Plants

✅ Naturally self-sustaining ❌ Regular maintenance required
✅ Remains free of algae ❌ Algae arise faster
✅ No pumps or filters required ❌ Pumps and filters required.
✅ Promotes biodiversity ❌ Does not promote biodiversity
✅ Low to no cost ❌ Higher costs
✅ Little to no effort ❌ Regular cleaning of pump/filter
Tight pond mirror pond

Build your own mirror pond in 5 steps

A mirror pond is a stylish addition to your garden because it looks sleek and modern while promoting biodiversity. If you choose the right materials and underwater plants, you can build such a beautiful pond yourself. In our easy-to-follow manual we show you step by step how to do it. This way you will soon be able to enjoy a beautiful pond that brings peace and beauty to your garden.

1. Planning and design

  • Goal Setting: Decide whether to go for a natural mirror pond with plants or an unnatural mirror pond with pumps and filters.
  • Size and location: Choose a location with adequate light. Consider the shape: rectangular, square, circular. Draw a sketch of your yard with the desired pond design.

2. Digging the pond

  • Dig according to your design. Depth depends on your preference, but a mirror pond is usually shallower than traditional ponds.
  • Provide solid walls to prevent collapse and groundwater problems.

3. Pond liner installation

  • Choose quality film with a long lifespan, such as black EPDM, for the best mirror effect. This film is strong and elastic, preventing leaks.
  • Finish the edges neatly for a clean look.

4. furnishings and plant selection

  • Place a layer of 8 to 10 cm of pond substrate on the bottom of your pond.
  • If you choose plants, go for underwater plants that do not disturb the tight surface, such as oxygen plants.
  • Also consider water lilies for a colorful touch and protection from algae.

5. Maintenance

  • Keep the water surface clean and free of leaves and other debris to maintain mirror quality.
  • If you place enough oxygen plants you will have virtually no pond maintenance.
Mirror pond decorating tight pond planting

Mirror pond design in 6 steps

We inform you about the ideal plantings for a mirror pond, without the need for pumps, filters or water improvers. You can choose a completely sleek, natural mirror pond or a natural mirror pond with some beautiful water lilies floating on the water's surface. By following our step-by-step plan, you'll provide yourself with a maintenance-free mirror pond that promotes biodiversity.

1. Pond substrate

Pond substrate

A layer of pond substrate of 8 to 10 cm in the pond actually offers a warm welcome to the right pond bacteria, which attach themselves to the stone grains or lava rocks. These bacteria have a water-purifying effect, keeping the water naturally clear. A filter or pump is therefore not necessary, which saves costs. Immediately after construction, you can add these good bacteria. In addition, a layer of pond substrate at the bottom gives plant roots of pond plants the opportunity to firmly establish themselves without rotting. So if you are in doubt about whether to use pond substrate or not; for a natural filter it is indispensable.

Simon's advice for a pond substrate

Use 40 liters of substrate (2 bags) per m2, leaving a layer of 8-10 cm of substrate on the pond bottom

POND SUBSTRATE Pond substrate - 40 liters

- 40 L covers 1 m² ↥ 10 cm
- Heavy duty quality for the best filtration
- Extra porous: optimal plant growth

Original price was: 45.00.Current price is: 39.95.

In stock

2. Oxygen Plants

oxygen plant category

Oxygen plants in a mirror pond where you don't want to use a pump or filter are crucial. Normally the rule is 2 pond baskets with at least 8 plants and 10 to 12 loose oxygen plants per 1m2. This rule applies to a pond that uses oxygen plants, Sumpfpflanzen, water plants and a water lily. If you want to decorate the pond in a tight way, you only use oxygen-rich underwater plants and possibly a beautiful water lily to maintain the authentic mirror effect. Because you do not use the other types of aquatic plants, you need double the number of oxygenated plants.

Simon's advice for an oxygen plant

Per 1000 gallons of water: 4 baskets (16 plants total) and 24 individual oxygen plants.

Combi Oxygen Plants Set

- For 1,500 - 3,000 L
- 28 plants
- Placement: -1 to -80 cm

Original price was: 110.00.Current price is: 99.95.

In stock

3. Pond bacteria

Bacta clear for a clear pond

To keep the pond clean and clear, use pond bacteria in addition to aquatic plants. Our uniquely formulated formula "Bacta Clear" consists of two types of beneficial pond bacteria developed by pond specialist Simon. Our product helps break down drab residues that form on the bottom of the pond due to excess, for example, fish food, decaying leaves and dead algae. The recommended dosage is 1 liter of Bacta Clear per 1000 to 20,000 liters of pond water, because our formula is composed 100% natural it is not harmful to humans, plants and animals.

Simon's advice for a pond bacteria

1 bottle of Bacta Clear from 1 to 20 m³ (1,000 to 20,000 liters of water).


- For 1,000 to 20,000 L
- 100% eco: clear water fast
- Safe for humans, plants & animals


In stock

4. Optional: flowering aquatic plants & water lily

Swimming pond water lilies

If you don't want to have your pond decorated completely straight because a little color in the pond appeals to you dan you can add flowering water plants or a water lily to the pond. White and red water lilies are the most popular and can grow up to -100 cm deep.

Simon's advice for water lilies

At least 1 water lily per 0.5 to 3 m²

White Water Lily - Nymphaea Albatross

- Large water lily
- Full-grown height: 10 cm
- Placement: -10 to -100 cm


In stock

5. Tip for when you have a deep pond

Pond Crate

Mirror ponds often do not distinguish between different depth zones. Are you missing a zone of -40 cm for plants? Then use pond crates. By stacking them, you can easily create a shallow zone for plants. One pond crate fits 1 to 6 baskets of 19x19x10 cm with pond plants.

Simons advice for pond crates and pond plants

With 3 stacked pond crates you create a -80cm deep pond in a -40cm zone for various pond plants. For example, put 3 baskets of oxygen plants such as needleweed together with 3 baskets of irises to place a crate full of water purifying plants in your mirror pond

Pond crate - 3 pieces

- Dimensions: 60x40x20 cm
- For deep ponds
- Sturdy stackable


In stock

3 tips from Simon for implementing the roadmap

Planting plan for a pond without pump and filter
  1. Unfortunately, a common mistake: the pond is already filled with water while the pond plants have yet to be placed. This makes it difficult or even impossible to place all the plants in a good, sturdy spot. Simon therefore recommends starting first with a thin layer of pond substrate in an empty pond, after which you only allow a small layer of water into the pond. You can now step through the pond with boots on to place the aquatic plants in place in the substrate. Then top up with substrate. Is everything set and firm? Only then fill the entire pond with water.
  2. If you have a somewhat larger pond, it is smart to work from the inside out. So you start in the lowest zone and work outward step-by-step. You end in the shallowest zone (swamp zone).
  3. When placing the aquatic plants, also pay attention to what depth is best for optimal growth. This is indicated on the packaging of our pond plants. Do you like a lot of plants? Then place the baskets or crates against each other.
pond advice book

Want more helpful tips?

Learn about common mistakes and get a handy planting plan, along with plenty of valuable tips in Simon's Pond Advice Book.

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Simon van der Velde

Simon van der Velde: Expert on ponds and an advocate of biodiversity and sustainability

Simon van der Velde is an expert in ponds with more than 35 years of experience in designing dream ponds. He is the founder of "Van der Velde Aquatic Plants," a company focused on creating biodiverse and natural ponds without the use of pumping systems and filters. Simon's vision goes beyond creating beautiful ponds; he also wants to contribute to the restoration of biodiversity in the Netherlands, Europe and the rest of the world. In addition to his work as a pond specialist, Simon is a passionate nature lover and is committed to preserving nature and the environment. He inspires people to take a sustainable approach to their gardens and the natural environment. Simon's passion for biodiversity and natural lifestyle makes him an advocate for sustainability and a key player in restoring the natural balance in our world.

Pond advice and tips

Pond Plants

Everything for a natural pond

Pond construction step-by-step plan

Pond construction step-by-step plan

Algae control and prevention in the pond

Algae control and prevention

Water quality and water values in the pond

Water quality and water values

Frequently asked questions about mirror ponds

Pond Advice

Pond substrate provides an ideal base for pond bacteria that naturally purify the water. In addition, it helps plant roots take hold, contributing to stable and healthy plant growth.

It is recommended to use 40 liters of substrate per m² for an 8-10 cm layer on the pond bottom.

For a mirror pond, mainly underwater plants are recommended because they do not interfere with the mirror effect. The specific choice may vary depending on your aesthetic preference and local climate conditions.

If you use mostly oxygen plants, you will have low maintenance. Make sure they get enough light and regularly remove dead or diseased plant parts. A proper amount of plants also contributes to the overall well-being of the pond.

Yes, you can add flowering aquatic plants or water lilies for some color. Just make sure they don't cover the entire surface to maintain the mirror effect. White and red water lilies are especially popular and can be placed as deep as -100 cm. If you want to put plants in the pond that can go less deep then it is best to use pond crates

Mirror pond or tight pond

A sleek mirror pond is a special type of pond with a modern and minimalist design. The main feature is the shiny water surface which, as the name suggests, mimics the reflective properties of a mirror. To achieve this effect, materials such as polished concrete or smooth stones are often used for the pond edge. In addition, the goal is to make the water surface as flat as possible. These ponds can take a variety of shapes - from rectangular and square to circular. Despite their sleek design, they may or may not feature plants and fish. The aesthetic of the sleek mirror pond is especially emphasized by clear lines and symmetrical patterns, making it an ideal addition for modern gardens. They provide not only a visually appealing focal point, but also a serene place for reflection and relaxation. In terms of maintenance, these ponds generally require less care because they are often free of plant growth and do not require biological filtration. Nevertheless, regular care is necessary to keep the water surface clear and free of leaves and other debris. If you are looking for a pond with a sleek design, the mirror pond is an excellent choice.

Tight pond making

If you are going to build a mirror pond, first realize that the substrate of the pond must be stable. We recommend black EPDM liner, which lasts for decades and gives the best effect for your sleek pond thanks to its dark color. Laying it does require some expertise. A mirror pond additionally requires an extremely smooth surface, otherwise it obviously cannot mirror well. This means that the pond liner must be laid tightly. And since a reflecting pond is primarily meant to be decorative, the tighter the edges slope downward, the better. Good to know: your reflecting pond will look best when you lay out a long and a short side, with sharp corners. Hence, a rectangular model is often chosen.

The depth and design of mirror ponds

There are several options if you want to build a reflection pond. An above-ground pond is an option where you place a large tub in an area where it forms a natural separation between two parts of the garden. This is a simple and affordable option that requires little work. Another option is an excavated mirror pond with a sleek finish. This requires more work and expense because it involves soil work. The advantage is that the sleek surface can flow seamlessly into the adjacent garden, which can create a beautiful effect. When constructing a mirror pond, the depth is important. A mirror pond usually has a depth of only -50 to -70 cm. It is important to remember that with a pond that is too shallow, the water can quickly become too warm, which can lead to algae growth. Since you want a water plant pond without pumps or filters, it is crucial to plant enough oxygen plants that filter the water and maintain biological balance. This will ensure a clear and healthy pond that will not detract from the aesthetics of your garden.

Cost of a mirror pond

If you are interested in constructing a sleek mirror pond, you have to consider the cost. On average, the amount is between 1,000 and 2,000 euros. This is mainly due to the material costs for constructing the pond. Of course, the total price depends on the size of the pond and the type of pond plants and fish you choose. Also to be considered are the costs of setting up the pond.

Maintaining a mirror pond

One of the main features of a mirror pond is the reflective water surface, which must be crisp clear to maintain the desired appearance. Because this type of pond is usually quite shallow, keeping the pond clean is crucial to ensure water quality and clarity. To achieve this, you may choose to add pond bacteria twice a year to help keep the water clear. Placing pond substrate on the bottom and adding oxygen plants is another effective way to balance the water and keep it crystal clear. This combination keeps the water biologically healthy and free of algae and other debris. The advantage of this natural way of maintenance is that it is low maintenance and you can enjoy a beautiful and clear pond without the addition of chemicals.
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Tips, advice and substantial savings
I would like to share my experience with you, and advise you to solve any pond problems and reduce pond maintenance. As a result, you can easily save hundreds of dollars.
Tips, advice and substantial savings
I would like to share my experience with you, and advise you to solve any pond problems and reduce pond maintenance. As a result, you can easily save hundreds of dollars.
Tips, advice and substantial savings
I would like to share my experience with you, and advise you to solve any pond problems and reduce pond maintenance. As a result, you can easily save hundreds of dollars.
Tips, advice and substantial savings
I would like to share my experience with you, and advise you to solve any pond problems and reduce pond maintenance. As a result, you can easily save hundreds of dollars.