• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

Aquascaping my parents pond. Help!

22 Feb 2021
Hello all

My parents have a nice little pond in their garden. It's about 2m wide by about 1.5m long and is shallow round the edges at about 15cm, and about 50cm deep in the middle. I reckon about 300l. It's about 20 years old and my dad dredged it earlier in the year, but still currently has lots of newts in.

Anyway, I'd really like to aquascape it and maybe fill it with some white clouds or something, but I have zero idea what to put in there plant wise etc.

Any help appreciated as I have absolutely no idea about ponds!


  • 20220407_162322.jpg
    2 MB · Views: 212
  • 20220407_162331.jpg
    1.9 MB · Views: 155
Last edited:
I think you’d probably be better with Medaka (rice fish)
As for aquascaping, buy some large rock from your local garden centre and build up the back, place potting plants in pots and build around it, almost like a paludarium
I'd agree, I think ricefish might have a better time!

That back wall would be a great spot to build some margins. You could use brick, rocks or anything like that to elevate it. Filled with grasses, reeds and other nice marginal plants.

As for plants, it really depends what you like the look of. There's pretty much a plant for every vision. What kind of thing are you visualising?
I'd defo go for ricefish but they are so expensive vs white clouds.

I like the idea of some rockwork around the back side. Perhaps a load of grasses too? Montevidensis maybe? The only thing to consider is, the base of it is a rubber liner and I am worried that dunking huge rocks on it might cause some issues. Perhaps boulders would be ok as they don't tend to have sharp edges? They would need to be pretty huge to poke out the water though!

Generally speaking do people plant pond plants in pots then?
Dwarf papyrus is one of my favorites. Only grows to about 3-4' tall. Mine grow out of an indoor aquarium, where they are potted in inert substrate in small riparium planters.

I agree with others about looking for design and plant ideas from paludariums and repariums.
Thalias are hard to beat for impact, but will require plenty of sun to thrive.
There are quite a few different hardy forms that can be hunted down, T dealbata is the most common with most forms having nice blue green glaucous leaves. Sometimes if you’re lucky you can also find dealbata with lots of red in the stems, making them really dramatic. And very occasionally you find hybrids between the tropical T. geniculata and dealbata which seem ultra hardy, and often grow considerably larger. Anyway great exotic looking hardy pond subjects. :)
To scape a small pond like that the idea that comes to my mind is to create a planted island with a nice piece of emerged driftwood. :)

To get to that is actually fairly easy and inexpensive with perforated pond plant baskets... And make platforms out of it to use them upside down as feet under a platform. As a platform, you could use a black grid divider egg crate. Then cut a few holes in the baskets to make caves out of them.

To make a long story short I add a drawing, a pic says more than 1000 words.

Since the baskets are perforated and black and so is the egg crate. It will have no impact on the volume of the pond and very little visual impact against the black liner... The fish etc. have caves to play and hide and have over-under swimming space with the egg crate platforms. The basket(s) on top is filled with substrate weigh the whole down and or put some additional rocks on the egg crates. Find a nice piece of DW to place on top of the top baskets that is emerged over the water. It will age in time and grow mosses and plants to it. :)

Then you'll have a planted island in the pond and very happy fish... :)