The Mini Pond: an Oasis of Calm in a Small Format

A mini pond is great for anyone who does not have a large garden, but only a balcony, terrace, or veranda. Today we want to introduce this pond and give tips on how you can easily build a mini pond for yourself.

What is the Mini Pond?

It is very easy to say what such a mini pond is: a small pond in a vessel such as a bucket, old barrel, or vat. Of course, you can also use small pond bowls. These vessels are either inherently watertight, but you can also use foil or sealing mud to help. How exactly such a pond looks is entirely up to the creativity of the owner: large, small, embedded in the ground, or standing on a stone platform – there are no limits to you! What they all have in common is that they relax the atmosphere of the room incredibly. If there is also the splashing of a water feature or the opportunity to watch from a comfortable place how birds use the pond as a watering-place or bathing station, the harmonious atmosphere can no longer be topped.


Of course, with a pond, no matter how small, it is important where to locate it. There are some important factors that determine the location: the lighting conditions, desired plants, and practical consequences. Let’s start with the first criterion. A mini pond can basically be located anywhere, except on the cool and shady north side. Six hours of sun a day are ideal – if possible not exactly the blazing midday sun. On the one hand, too much water evaporates there in summer, and on the other hand, too much sun increases algae growth. And who wants a cloudy pond? If the position is not otherwise possible, a sun sail or umbrella can help. Then the plants: Either I align my plants according to their location or the other way around: If you really want to have water mint in the pond, then you have to adapt the location to the plant properties – if I want the pond to stand next to my garden bench in partial shade, I have to be in the Choose plants that grow in partial shade. Finally, the practical aspect: once the pond is filled, it can no longer really be moved: I have to consider the best way to mow the lawn around it or whether I want to have a clear view of my biotope from the window. Attention: With a mini pond on the balcony you always have to pay attention to the statics: Not that the pond becomes too heavy and the balcony collapses: If you have any concerns, talk to an expert or the landlord.


The next point is the right vessel: Since there are a large number of possibilities, you should adhere to these basic rules: A height of at least 10 cm and a water volume of at least 40 l. If you observe these values, you are already well prepared.

In principle, we recommend containers that are leak-proof: wooden tubs, discarded feed troughs, old wine barrels, ceramic pots, or even plastic tubs: everything is possible. If the container is not that tight after all or you are not 100% sure, then simply use a foil for sealing or work with sealing sludge. Contrary to popular belief, zinc bathtubs are less suitable: Humic acids contained in the earth dissolve over time Zinc from the tub. In its dissolved form, this disturbs the growth of plants and animals and is therefore not suitable for a mini pond.


We now want to show how such a pond is built. Of course, you can let your creativity run free, but the basic building steps are mostly similar. First, the container in question is lined with pond liner (better safe than sorry), then the bottom is covered with gravel. This should be rinsed out thoroughly beforehand so that the water becomes nice and clear. You should get plant baskets for the plants: ideally made of plastic and permeable to water. These are used to limit root growth and make transplanting easier. To do this, cover the bottom of the baskets with gravel, place the plant on it, fill in the soil and weigh it down again with a little gravel. Then the plants are arranged according to their own taste and the corresponding water depth. The basic structure of the mini pond is now in place! A tip: the less the water surface is uncovered, the fewer mosquitoes will disturb you in your pond fun in summer.

Then comes the use of water: The 1st filling should be done with water from a pond or garden pond so that an ecological balance can be reached more quickly. So soon tadpoles or water striders will liven up the pond – with a little help, crabs, for example. Since a lot of biological processes take place in a mini pond, the use of a pond pump is advisable. This reduces the formation of algae and thus ensures a balanced water level. If you don’t want a pump, you can rely on pond snails such as the ram’s horn snail or water fleas – these are natural enemies of algae. Water features are also helpful and beautiful to look at. Here you have to think of your plants, however: some like water lilies only like still waters and do not feel comfortable when there is too much water movement. The use of lighting is also a great eye-catcher in the evening: even a small spotlight on the bottom of the mini pond creates great insights.


As described for the location, it is important to pay attention to their properties when choosing plants. Basically, it is advisable to choose small plants, otherwise, the planting will exceed the dimensions of the mini pond. The most important criterion when choosing plants is the correct water depth: There are basically 5 zones in the pond: swamp and wet plants grow up to 15cm water height (zones 1 to 3), then the floating leaf plants follow with a water depth of at least 40cm (zone 4) and then zone 5, which describes plants that float in or on the water. Another tip: With bricks or upturned flower pots you can reach different heights in the mini pond and also create a 10 cm deep swamp zone in the middle of a 50 cm deep pond. Take a look at the last blog entry and find out which plants fit in which zone.


As beautiful as a mini pond is, you have to pay attention to a few things so that it remains a source of calm. Due to the small amount of water, the water can tip over quickly; This danger is particularly great in summer when a lot of water evaporates. It is important here to refill enough soft rainwater in good time and to regularly remove dead plant parts. Oxygen-forming underwater plants such as milfoil or waterweed also help against cloudy, algae-laden water; The use of a pump or water feature is also advisable.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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