Sizing Your Project

Pond 101

We offer several different types of filtration.

1. Determine the pond size

Water gardens require 18 in. depth or more, while Koi ponds require 3 ft. depth or more. 

How big is your pond?
For circular ponds, measure in feet the Diameter x Diameter x Depth x 5.9 = Total Gallons
For rectangular ponds, measure in feet the Length x Width x Depth x 7.5 = Total Gallons

2. Select the right liner size

Choose from PVC, EPDM, or preformed liners.

Next, select the right type of liner for your project. Pre-formed rigid liners are recommended for smaller ponds and first-time pond builders; they are generally easier to install. PVC Pond liners are lightweight, yet durable. EPDM liners are suitable for rough or rocky terrain. Liners come in several sizes so you should purchase a liner that is slightly larger than the hole as you can cut it down if necessary. You can also seam together multiple liners to form an even larger liner with seaming tape. Keep in mind, we recommend having a least 1 ft. of liner overlap on each side of the pond, disguised and held in place by decorative rock or landscaping. This prevents the liner from slipping due to the weight of the water it’s holding.

Clear away any debris from the pond hole that could potentially puncture the liner. We recommend an underlayment to protect the liner. Sand or old blankets can provide additional protection for the liner. Press the liner into all gaps to ensure a proper fit.

What size liner do you need? Use this formula (measure in feet) to select the right liner.
Length + (Depth x 2) + (2 ft. overlap) = Liner Length
Width + (Depth x 2) + (2 ft. overlap) = Liner Width

3. Select the right pump size

Determine the volume of your pond (see Step 1. Determine the pond size).

In order to maintain clean, beautiful water in your water feature, you need to keep the water moving. A pump will prevent stagnant waters that can lead to bad odors and mosquitoes nesting in your pond. 

POND PUMPS Choose a pump that will turn the pond’s total water volume at least once every two hours. For example, if your pond holds 400 gallons of water you should choose a pump with a GPH (gallons per hour) rating of 200 or more. 

WATERFALL PUMPS Choose a waterfall pump to match the height and width of your waterfall. The rule of thumb is for every 1 in. of spillway width, you need 100 gallons per hour flow to achieve a “sheet” look. Divide by two for a “trickle” look. Multiply by two for a “Niagara” look. Be sure to check the pump’s specification for the ideal pumping height of your pump at the head of your waterfall. Keep in mind, excessive bend or in-line filters will reduce the flow. 

4. Pump Protection

We recommend a Pre-filter, Pump Filter Box, or a mesh pumpshield® to protect and extend the life of your pump.

5. Tubing

All pumps and filtration must be connected to tubing. Most TotalPond products come with range recommendations for tubing. We suggest using the largest tubing size (that fits all interconnected components) for max performance.