How Deep Should My Pond Be?

how deep should your pond be

How deep should your pond be?

The depth of your pond is very, very important. The proper depth will help with water clarity, fish safety, maintenance ease, and aesthetics.

Our ponds are all installed at least 2 ft deep, with a maximum depth of 3.5 ft deep.

Here are some common misconceptions about pond depth that we'd like to clear up:

  • FALSE: Fish need at least 4 ft to be healthy.  The Truth: This is a common thing you'll hear from die-hard koi enthusiasts. Their thinking is that a large fish (larger than 12" say) needs to swim upwards and downwards in a water column to build proper muscle. Unless you have monster koi, then 3.5 ft is a safe depth.
  • FALSE: You need a 12" plant shelf around the perimeter of the pond. The truth: Pond building of this style is a little old school these days, and it can coax predators like herons and raccoons to your pond to eat fish. Our ponds have plant shelves, but they are small and much shallower than 12".
  • FALSE: Fish won't survive winter in less than 3ft of water. The Truth: In Indiana, we have a pretty shallow frost line. It will be a very harsh winter if we have more than 2" of ice (VERY harsh!!). As long as your water column is 18" deep, your fish will have plenty of warmth to survive the winter. For more about winter fish care, check this article.
  • FALSE: You can't swim in a pond less than 5 ft deep. The Truth: You can't dive in a pond that's less than that, sure! But the Wickers have swam in their 3.5 ft deep pond plenty of times with no trouble at all

If you'd like to see what proper depth looks like in person, visit our display gardens.

So how deep should your pond be? Deeper than 18" but no deeper than 3.5 ft. Happy digging!

ideal pond depth
This pond is 2.5 feet deep and crystal clear.


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