Natural pond construction | Advice for construction and planting of a natural pond
Simon van der Velde
A natural pond is an excellent investment when you enjoy letting nature take its course. Thanks to the rich planting, this pond version blends in with the rest of the garden. The pond naturally attracts many animals, such as frogs and salamanders, as well as all kinds of birds.
All about the natural pond
- What is a natural pond?
- Natural pond construction without foil
- Aquatic plants for a natural pond
- Natural koi pond
- Maintaining and cleaning a natural pond
- Natural pond photos
What is a natural pond?
A natural pond is maintained naturally without the use of chemicals or mechanical devices such as pond filters or pond pumps. The pond can be filled with rainwater, groundwater or tap water and constructed with different materials such as rocks, stones, sand, clay and of course: many and different types of aquatic plants. A natural pond provides space for aquatic plants and pond animals to live and grow and can serve as an aesthetic addition to the garden and natural habitat for animals promoting biodiversity. Pond maintenance can vary, depending on size and conditions, and includes regular removal of dead plants and leaves, water replenishment and management of sunlight and shade. Unlike an organic plant pond, a natural pond does not require pond liner, pond substrate and pond bacteria and comes into biological balance through nature and primarily just the pond plants.
Pond plants for a natural pond
Natural pond construction without foil
When constructing a natural pond, it is important to choose a sunny spot with at least six hours of sunlight per day for pond plant growth. An existing pond or ditch is often used to supply water. After the contours of the natural pond are dug out, water can be diverted from the existing water feature to naturally maintain the water level at the proper height. The deepest part of the pond should be -1 to -2 m, and if you want pond fish to swim around in the pond, the pond should be at least -80 cm deep.
Aquatic plants for a natural pond
There are three groups of aquatic plants that add great value to any kind of pond, but especially to a natural pond. These three types of plants are: Oxygen plants, marsh plants and water lilies.
Oxygen plants are an important part of a pond's ecosystem. In addition to adding oxygen to the water, they also play a crucial role in controlling the growth of harmful bacteria and algae in the pond. Through their ability to absorb and filter nutrients from the water, they reduce the amount of nutrients available for the growth of bacteria and algae. This helps create a healthy and balanced pond environment.
Thanks to their strong roots, marsh plants grow quickly and play an important role in improving water quality in a pond. They help filter the water and reduce concentrations of harmful substances such as nitrate and nitrite. This helps create a healthy environment for all the plants and animals in the pond. In addition to their function as natural filters, marsh plants are also important for providing hiding places and creating a natural look to the pond. Because of their unique characteristics and important role in a pond's ecosystem, marsh plants are an indispensable part of a well-designed pond.
Water lilies are a valuable element in ponds and play an important role in maintaining biological balance. They help regulate the temperature in the pond and help control insects by eating them. In addition, water lilies also add aesthetic value to the pond with their beautiful flowers and leaves. They offer a natural and beautiful look to the pond and help create a soothing and relaxing environment. Thus, water lilies are not only important for the health of the pond, but also for the visual aspect of the environment.
Natural koi pond
If you have a large pond, this provides an opportunity to release large fish, such as native species like several koi carp, the sturgeon and bream. To keep the pond healthy, we also recommend putting out a large population of freshwater mussels. These mussels help filter the water and keep the bottom clean. If you want to turn your natural pond into a fish pond, it is advisable to release some predatory fish. Predatory fish play an important role in maintaining the balance of the fish population because they eat weak and sick fish. This helps keep the fish population healthy.
Maintaining and cleaning a natural pond
In a natural pond, the lack of foil is an important feature. This makes it crucial that the quality of the groundwater is good. If you use groundwater as a base, you already have a good start for creating a natural pond that keeps itself clean. Typically, these ponds often have an irregular shape, which naturally creates natural growing places for aquatic plants. This is conducive to pond biodiversity. Small animals additionally enjoy hiding in these natural hiding places.
An important part of maintaining a natural pond is the use of pond plants. They provide filtration and purification of the water, release oxygen and at the same time help to block the sun and heat. To combat the formation of algae such as floating algae and filamentous algae, it is wise to place water lilies, as these plants keep the water cool by blocking the sun. If you notice that your natural pond is getting out of balance and algae is forming, you can place additional oxygen plants to restore the water balance.
Would you rather choose your own plants?
Frequently Asked Questions
Natural ponds are often large in size and that includes an appropriate depth. We recommend a depth of at least -1 m and a maximum of -2 m at the deepest point of the pond. With this depth it is quite possible to keep several fish in the pond.
Because no liner is used in a natural pond, the water level naturally stays level. Does the water level drop? The most plausible reason is evaporation. With the hot summers we have these days, it can happen quickly. 1 cm per day is normal, with extreme heat or wind maybe a little more. Not to worry, because as soon as it starts raining again, the water level is naturally replenished.
You can. In fact, Simon recommends it. Just a natural pond is one to keep itself healthy in the most natural and organic way possible. Don't install a pump, but do put in a nice amount of pond plants of all kinds. Add pond substrate on the bottom and a dose of pond bacteria twice a year. You will find that a pump will then be unnecessary.
Pond plants need light and warmth to grow and flourish optimally. Therefore, it is important that your pond be in a location that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. With fewer hours, several aquatic plants will not do well, nor will they do well with more hours. Something to pay attention to when you build a pond in your garden. Check out Simon's step-by-step plan for building a pond.
Simon van der Velde
Pond specialist and aquatic plant grower since 1986
Simon's vision is to let nature do its work in your pond. No need to buy all kinds of measuring equipment and water improvers. If the fish are swimming nicely and the plants are growing well, then the water in the pond is of good quality. With a good planting plan and the right approach, you can save a lot of money and maintenance, and ensure a clear, biologically balanced pond that becomes more beautiful every year.