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Seven Common Pond Myths…Busted!

Posted on July 13, 2022 
by Dan Wanders

Humans are funny creatures. When confronted with a new idea or plan, it’s in our nature to offer up our cautionary tales in an effort to be “helpful.”

Say, for instance, you casually mention to your friends or family that you’re going to have a pond built in your backyard. Sure, some people will be excited and happy for you, but then there are the others… the ones who cast doubt over your plan and lead you to believe you’re making a big mistake.

But, even though they sound convincing, most of their fears are unfounded.

In this post I’ll bust these “pond myths” and put your mind at ease!

Raymar crew member maintaining an outdoor pond.

MYTH #1: Maintaining a pond takes a LOT of work!

Or does it? People who think ponds take a lot of work are likely forgetting the time they spend mowing, watering, and fertilizing their lawns and caring for their gardens.

A pond that is properly designed and installed has its own built-in ecosystem — including filtration, aerationaquatic plants, fish, rocks and pebbles — that reduces maintenance time and keeps your pond water clean and healthy. And aquatic plants never need watering!

Of course, your pond will still need some maintenance. If you want to try to DIY, check out our posts, How To Care For Your Pond In Spring & Summer and How To Care For Your Pond In Fall & Winter for some helpful tips.

But DIY pond maintenance still takes time, effort and expertise, which is why most of our clients have us take care of pond maintenance for them… nothing is easier than that!


MYTH #2: You’ll be overrun by mosquitoes!

People automatically think that any sort of water in your backyard provides a breeding ground for mosquitos. That might be true if they added the word “standing” in front of “water.”

The truth is, mosquitoes breed in still water — they don’t breed in a pond that is designed with plenty of circulation (like waterfalls and spillways).

Your pond is also home to fish, frogs, toads and other wildlife who find mosquitoes to be a pretty tasty snack!

Natural pond.

MYTH #3: You’ll constantly be battling algae!

Having a bit of alga in your pond is natural and part of a healthy ecosystem. Fish, in particular, enjoy munching on algae that forms over the rocks.

But while a little alga is okay, too much can be a problem… but it’s a problem that’s easily fixed through proper filtration and the addition of aquatic plants.

Koi and goldfish in a natural pond.

MYTH #4: Your fish will all be eaten by predators!

It’s true that a lot of predators, particularly herons and other birds of prey, will treat your pond as their personal buffet — but there are measures you can take to protect your fish.

The most effective way to protect your fish from predators would be to cover it with netting or fishing line. The downside to this solution is how it looks — some people feel netting detracts from the natural look of their pond. If that’s the case for you, there are other things you can try:

  • Use a floating decoy, like an alligator or blue heron to deter predators.
  • Provide your fish with places to hide, like a fish cave or plenty of water lilies and other aquatic plants.
  • Install a system of motion detectors that will emit a sound or spray water when it senses an intruder is present (the motion detector will also see you as an intruder, so make sure you can easily shut it off when you’re spending time by your pond!).
  • If you have a dog, train it to run to the pond when you say “bird” or some other cue word (and give plenty of treats!).
Natural swimming pond.

MYTH #5: Ponds are nice… but they’re expensive!

Like any other feature you’re looking to add to your landscape, a pond can either be simple (and economical) or more elaborate and include all the bells and whistles.

You can get a small DIY kit for around two thousand bucks (plus a few hundred more for rocks, fish and plants) or have a small pond professionally installed starting at $10,000. From there you’re only limited by the space you have in your yard and your budget.

And if you really want to make your pond economical, have it do double duty by turning it into a natural swimming pond! All the fun without the chemicals (and a lot nicer to look at!).

Clean natural pond.

MYTH # 6: Water gardening is a lot of work!

The only thing you need to do for your pond is treat it occasionally with beneficial bacteria to reduce fish waste and excess nutrients that create scum, sludge and excess algae. If you have an automatic system in place, it’ll dispense the bacteria for you.

Other than that, all you need to do is check the skimmer basket once a week. It’s also a good idea to give it a good cleaning in the spring and shut the system down in the fall (our pond maintenance packages cover these basics, and more). It’s much less time-consuming than regular gardening!

Raymar team installing a new pond.

MYTH #7: You don’t need a professional installer

This is the myth that trips people up the most… thinking that any contractor or landscaper can design and build a pond and get it right.

There’s so much more to a pond than digging a hole and arranging some plants around the perimeter — a professional pond installer knows how to build a pond that is naturally beautiful and ecologically sound. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve had to go in a “fix” a pond that was improperly designed (at great expense to the homeowner).

Still have some lingering questions?

Adding a pond to your landscape is a big decision — one your well-meaning family and friends might not make any easier!

If you’d like some real information about ponds, give us a call or come see our displays. You can see for yourself the enormous range of options available and chat with an expert about your concerns. We’re always happy to help!