32 Small Pond Ideas for Your Backyard (Best Creative Designs)

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A pond doesn’t have to be large to be aesthetically pleasing, inviting, or even functional.

With the right design, small ponds can be as visually stunning, therapeutic, and entertaining as larger ponds - with less maintenance and cost involved!

So, here are 32 small pond ideas, including small pond ideas with waterfalls, koi pond ideas, fountain pond ideas, mini container pond ideas, and more. Plus, landscaping and lighting ideas for small ponds!

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Small Pond Ideas With Waterfall

*Click each image to enlarge it.

Adding a water feature like a waterfall to a small pond is one of the best ways to create a more dramatic effect, fill the area with ambient noise, and add vital oxygen to the pond’s water to help keep it clean and clear.

Here are some beautiful small pond waterfall ideas to help create the perfect water feature for your backyard pond.

Small Koi Pond Ideas

A pond doesn’t have to be huge to provide a suitable environment for koi fish. A small koi pond can be just as stunning as its larger counterpart.

With that said, there are some important considerations when designing a small koi pond. For example, how many fish do you plan to add to the pond, do you plan to overwinter the fish in a cold climate, are there predator concerns in your area, and so on.

While the small koi pond ideas below are great for inspiration, it’s important to keep the health of your fish in mind during the design process.

Recommended reading:

Small Raised Garden Pond Ideas

Raised ponds, sometimes called above-ground ponds, are versatile in that they can typically be placed in locations where an in-ground pond may be difficult or impossible to put due to local regulations, etc.

Use these small raised garden pond ideas for inspiration to create the perfect pond for your unique space.

Koi Pond
verdell galeana / Shutterstock.com

Small Container Pond Ideas

Small container ponds are a great way to enjoy the benefits of having a pond, with far fewer maintenance hassles and costs.

Plus, a mini pond in a pot or container has the advantage of being portable. Don't like where it is? Pick it up and move it!

Small Fountain Pond Ideas

Similar to a pond with a waterfall, adding a fountain to a pond is a great way to add movement and sound to your pond and add rich oxygen to the water.

Fountains come in various shapes, sizes, and types - from small bubblers to decorative pond spitters to full-fledged fountains!

Small Pond Landscaping Ideas

A great way to really add some dramatic effect and flair to an otherwise simple small pond is with a creative landscape. Landscaping around a small pond with stones, gravel, plants, etc., is really what sets your pond apart from the rest. The size of the pond is a distant second to landscaping when it comes to its aesthetic appeal.

Small Pond Lighting Ideas

What better way to show off your pond than to highlight it with a little (or a lot of) pond lighting!

Whether you submerge the pond lights or use them to highlight the pond’s surface and landscaping, proper lighting can turn even the simplest pond into a magical experience.

Small Rectangle Pond Ideas

As the modern zen look has quickly gained popularity in recent years, so have more modern, rectangle-shaped ponds.

Here are a few small rectangle pond ideas to help inspire your next pond design.

Need more pond design inspiration? Check out these 48 cool backyard pond ideas to get those creative juices flowing!

tip Tip

Are you ready to create your homemade small pond in your backyard? Check out our guide on how to build a pond step-by-step complete with pictures and a materials list!

Small Pond FAQ

How Deep Should a Small Pond Be?

A small pond can be any depth you desire if it doesn’t support any life. However, a pond should be at least 2 feet deep if you plan to add fish (at least 3 feet preferably if you have larger fish like koi) and pond plants. If you live in colder regions, you may want to go deeper to prevent the pond from completely freezing over.

What Do You Put in the Bottom of a Small Pond?

Whether you have concrete, clay, liner, or a container foundation for your pond, you can opt to put gravel and/or submerged plants along the bottom of the pond.

There are pros and cons to consider when using gravel. For example, gravel adds a natural look to your pond and provides media for submerged and bog plants to attach to. However, it adds cost and can make it harder to clean the sludge off the pond’s floor.

How Can I Make a Small Pond Look Good?

You can improve the appearance of a small pond by adding a water feature (i.e., waterfall, fountain), landscaping via stones, gravel, plants, and flowers, and highlighting the entire area with pond lighting. Adding a few colorful fish like goldfish and Japanese koi can also make your outdoor pond more visually appealing.