Fish Pond Liners: How To Choose The Perfect One For You

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Laying down fish pond liners

Choosing the right liner when installing a backyard garden pond is an important decision. Fish pond liners prove crucial for preventing leaks and keeping things like sediment and debris from entering the pond. With several options, how should you go about finding the liner that best fits your pond?

Each different fish pond liner has its pros and cons. Based on the size of your pond and the weather conditions it will go through, you’ll want a particular material and thickness for your liner. In this explainer, we cover everything you need to know about pond liners, the different types of liners, and the ponds for which each is aptly suited.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Pond Liners

Pond liner with room for pipe

Read this short comparison if you’re still unsure whether you want to use a pond liner or a preformed pond when installing your garden pond.

Pond Liners

Pond liners are flexible, meaning that you can form and change your backyard pond shape to perfectly compliment whatever water features you desire. They also have a textured surface that allows helpful bacteria to thrive and are a far more affordable option. On the downside, pond liners tend to be more complicated and time-consuming to install.

Preformed Ponds

On the other hand, preformed ponds are easier to install and durable enough to last many years. However, if you choose to go with a preformed pond, you must accept its limits: a smaller pond size and a couple of shape options. Preformed ponds also make a far more expensive option.

Types of Fish Pond Liners

Woman laying down liner

If you decide to choose a pond liner, then you will need to find the perfect kind. You have several different pond liners to select from, and each one will work well for various ponds.

PVC Pond Liner

A PVC liner makes a popular and affordable option. Usually half a millimeter thick, a PVC liner is the best choice for those on a budget and can be easily repaired with a patch if it rips. In addition, a PVC liner is smooth, making it easily adjustable and moldable to fit your pond shape.

Though a PVC pond liner is generally durable, it may struggle in harsh weather. UV light can take a toll on the liner and cause it to lose its strength, so you want to keep it out of extreme sunlight. A PVC liner can also become brittle and tear in frigid weather, so avoid doing maintenance in your pond in cold winters.

PVC pond liners are best for smaller ponds rather than a significant garden feature.

EPDM Rubber Liner

EPDM offers a slightly thicker option at about two-thirds of a millimeter. EPDM is rubber, making it both elastic and much more durable than a PVC liner. An EPDM liner will not struggle in high amounts of sunlight, as it offers UV resistance and can withstand freezing temperatures.

An EPDM pond liner is more expensive than a PVC liner, but its durability makes it less likely to require repair or replacement after a rip. If you choose to go with an EPDM liner, be sure to buy the kind specifically made for ponds, as the EPDM used as a roofing material is poisonous to both fish and pond plants.

Custom 3D Pond Liner

A 3D pond liner is an increasingly popular option. When you purchase a 3D pond liner, it comes as a custom-made bag formed to fit both the size and shape of your garden pond. This option means you won’t have to worry about removing pleats or shaping your pond liner to perfectly fit your pond.

Liners for Koi Ponds

Pond with liner bottom

If you plan to install a koi pond, you’ll have to consider creating a different setting. In general, koi fish prefer natural pond bottoms, such as those made from mud. Mud ponds are mineral-rich, allowing the koi to grow larger and faster and become more resistant to diseases.

While mud ponds make the best option for koi and reduce the need for extra additives or bacteria, you can still go with fish pond liners instead. If you choose to install a liner in your koi pond, you must add calcium montmorillonite clay regularly. This additive will provide the koi with some essential nutrients that allow them to grow and thrive in a healthy environment. 

Finding Your Pond Liner Measurements

When calculating the measurements for your pond liner, the following formula gives you a great baseline:

  • Length = your pond’s length + 2(your pond’s depth) + 56 inches
  • Width = your pond’s width + 2(your pond’s depth) + 56 inches

This formula takes 10 inches of overlap on each side into account. Though it may not be a perfect calculation, you’ll only need to make minor adjustments after using the formula.

Installing Your Pond Liner

To install your pond liner, place it in your pond at the deepest point. Unroll the pond liner and begin to lay it against the pond walls, applying the liner smoothly without the liner being too tight, as the water will push it outwards once you fill the pond. Then weigh down the excess pond liner on the outside of the pond and do not yet cut it.

While installing your pond liner, be sure to avoid damaging any of the surrounding plants and vegetation, which often become abused in the process.

Fish Pond Liners in Oklahoma

Backyard Depot Ponds and Landscaping is a leading choice for quality pond construction in Oklahoma. Whether you want to upgrade your backyard with a beautiful koi pond, serene water gardens, or some custom water features, Backyard Depot Ponds and Landscaping experts can help you design your dream amenity.

Backyard Depot Ponds and Landscaping has the experience to guide you in finding the perfect liner for your fish pond. Though anyone can install fish pond liners, you may choose to have a team of professionals install a liner for you to enjoy a hassle-free backyard upgrade. Whatever your garden fish pond needs, Backyard Depot Ponds and Landscaping is Oklahoma’s trusted company.