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How to create a pond in a pot

Adam_W
Valued Contributor

Difficulty: Beginner

 

Creating a water feature in your outdoor space doesn’t have to involve major landscaping. You can have one up and running in just a few hours by creating a pond in a pot. It's perfect for those with a balcony or courtyard and you can use a pot of almost any shape or size.

 

Video Tutorial

Steps

Step 1

Scrub the inside of the pot clean with soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Allow to dry. For porous material, this might take a day or two.

 

1.1 Thoroughly clean pot.png

 

Step 2

Cover drainage holes on the outside of the pot base with pieces of heavy-duty tape. While wearing gloves, push putty into the drainage holes on the inside of the pot, making sure that they are completely plugged. Make the putty plugs a little higher than the holes and spread around 5mm or so past the side of holes for a good seal.

 

2.1 Plug drainage holes with putty.png

 

Step 3

Use a roller to evenly apply sealant to all interior surfaces. Use a paint brush to get the sealant into the corners. Allow to cure before applying a second coat.

 

3.1 Apply sealant to interior.png

 

Step 4

Place the pot in its final location and bring to level. You may need to use plastic packers to achieve this. Remember to check the level from side-to-side and front-to-back.

 

When selecting your pot’s position, consider the final weight. For example, 100L of water weighs 100kg and then you have the pot, gravel and equipment weight on top of that. On a timber deck, make sure that the pot is over a joist or bearer to avoid the decking boards bending.

 

4.1 Position pot in its location and level.png

 

Step 5

Thoroughly wash and rinse the gravel to remove any silt or dirt. Gently place gravel at the bottom of the pot, filling to a layer of around 30 to 40mm. Use care when adding the gravel to avoid any damage to the sealant.

 

5.1 Add gravel to pond base.png

 

Step 6

Position your pump in the base and fill with water to the desired height. If using a solar pump, do not connect the panel until the pot is full. Connect or switch on and your potted pond is complete. You can now add finishing touches to your potted pond such as fish, lighting and plants.

 

6.1 Add pump and fill.png

 

Materials

  • Pot of your choosing
  • Pond sealant paint
  • Waterproof putty
  • Heavy-duty duct tape
  • Plastic packers in various thicknesses
  • Pump kit
  • Decorative gravel for pond base.

Tools

  • Scrubbing brush and water bucket
  • Garden hose with spray nozzle
  • 50mm foam paint roller kit and paintbrush
  • Spirit level
  • Gloves and safety glasses.

Images

1.1 Thoroughly clean pot.png

2.1 Plug drainage holes with putty.png

3.1 Apply sealant to interior.png

4.1 Position pot in its location and level.png

5.1 Add gravel to pond base.png

6.1 Add pump and fill.png

10 Replies
KatieC
Member Engagement
Member Engagement

Incredible project @Adam_W ! I really love how you added the wheel to it and it created an additional feature. 

How small would you go in terms of pot? As long as the pump can fit on the bottom?

 

Katie

 

 

Adam_W
Valued Contributor

Thanks @KatieC Yes, I found that old grinding wheel when working on a yard tidy-up and it was perfect for the project.
Realistically you can re-purpose anything you can stick a pipe through!
Rough diagram below shows how I did it in this case. You can have the pump elsewhere if you can get access under the support for the plumbing, it doesn't have to be directly under the structure.


Presentation4.jpg

KatieC
Member Engagement
Member Engagement

Very clever @Adam_W ! I cannot wait to give this one a go. I'll send pics when completed. 

 

Katie

 

 

Adam_W
Valued Contributor

@KatieC here are another couple of examples of water spouts...

A big stone I drilled through from top to bottom & a 'soap-stone' frog re-purposed.

IMGL7500.jpgIMG_2411.jpg

Laurens
Junior Contributor

Be prepared to add preparations (chemicals is such a harsh word)  to prevent algae and other problems. Water plants that put oxygen back in to the water will help but then you get problems with the pump taking in plant matter.

The pond will draw in small snails (I have no idea how they get in) and they will help eat algae but setting up the pond is the easy bit you will need to maintain it so be prepared

Adam_W
Valued Contributor

Hi @Laurens 
Sounds like you've had some bad pond experiences!
Just to unpack that... there are very safe (they don't even worry frogs or fish) products that will get rid of algae generally just in one treatment.
Your pump should have what's technically called a pre-filter sponge fitted, either in-built or an external one, and this will stop any large material, such as pond plants, from ever getting into the pump itself. Yes, the sponge does need occasional cleaning but no biggie.
To put it in perspective... no outdoor (or indoor for that matter) feature is ever maintenance free - you have to mow your lawn, feed your plants, prune, mulch, water, weed, the deck has to be re-oiled etc. etc.
It's the little trade-off you make for the beauty it adds & the pleasure it brings :smile:

brendawebster44
Experienced Contributor

Hi Adam , what a novel idea . I noticed some perfect containers for this at Bunnings looked like half barrels but plastic of course and inexpensive. I will have to put it on hold for now as I am soo busy with all my new seedlings etc. Wait until you see my hanging basket. However I will be looking at this idea very soon, thankyou b🌺

Ferny
Newbie

Hi there! Thanks for posting this! Can I ask which brand paint you used for the sealant?

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Hello @Ferny

 

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. Thank you so much for joining the discussion.

 

It's great that this project has inspired you to make your own pond in a pot. The sealer used for the pot is called Crommelin 1L Black Pond Sealer. It is UV stable, fish, and plant-friendly. The waterproof putty used to seal the holes is known as Selleys 110g Knead It Aqua Epoxy Putty. Please make sure that the area to be sealed is dust and dirt-free. How big a pot will you be using? Will you be putting fish in it or will you be leaving it as a plain water feature? Any updates you can provide would be much appreciated. I'm sure our members are keen to see your pond once it's operational.

 

If you need further assistance, please let us know.

 

Eric

 

robchin
Experienced Contributor

I loved this little pot-pond project @Adam_W. Well done. Some interesting discussion as well below. As somebody who has built a few ponds over the years - I agree with the comments below that they won't ever be maintenance free. Putting plants in them always helps, especially like fish, but only in the bigger ones. Smaller ponds do heat up more and so are more inclined to get Algae in them - aeration with the fountains and pumps does help overcome this as well. We used to have a dog that was occassionally able to catch the fish and eat them so we put short pieces of stormwater pipe in the bottom which gave  them a place to hide :smile: 

Well done. 

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