Pond Supplies, Waterfalls, & Koi Pond Construction

3 Horrible DIY Pond Builder Mistakes

3 Horrible DIY Pond Builder Mistakes

According to The Pond Digger, These Are The Most Dangerous DIY Pond Builder Mistakes

We spend a great deal of time helping Do-It-Yourselfers design and build their dream ponds. Its a great job, and the reward of seeing people get their hands dirty bringing their dreams to fruition is priceless. When we get pictures of clients standing next to their completed projects, with that ear to ear grin, so proud of the beautiful thing they have created with their own blood, sweat, and tears, it is the ultimate reward.

On the flip side, one of the most challenging conversations we handle, on the daily, is helping the DIYer with their problematic pond because they started their project without professional guidance. My husband, Eric Triplett, The Pond Digger spends a great deal of time with weekend warriors in their backyards after the fact. Wouldn’t you prefer to have Eric in your backyard before you start the project for pre-pond build guidance rather than after your project for post-pond build guidance?

Here is are the three most common DIY Pond Builder mistakes we experience on a regular basis.


People see lots of ideas on the internet. They like a certain skimmer, the water clarity on this system, they want a bottom drain, plants, no gravel on the bottom, but gravel on the shelves, (WHAT??!!?!) purple elephants, pixies spreading wildflowers, and then they want all this random equipment they’ve gathered to function perfectly together.

They basically pull equipment they like, out of different pond set ups they like, smoosh it all together, and hope it will all work. By mixing parts of successful recipes for pond construction they are creating dysfunctional systems, just like Dr Frankenstein did in Mary Shelley’s novel.

The results are often as devastating for the pond owner and their fish, as they were for Dr Frankenstein, resulting in high ammonia, not enough oxygen, poor circulation, no water clarity, and out of control algae!

Pick a pond build recipe that works, and stick to it.


At the beginning of their project, these weekend warriors spend their time researching all things pond, so they can be informed when it comes time to purchase the kit from us. The challenge of separating the wheat from the chaff of info on the ‘net in the pond world, is just like everything else on the internet. There is just too much, and soon enough, you must stop or lose your mind.

Now they are diving in without enough info to achieve the goals and expectations they have for their pond.

I recently had a DIY pond guy decide he would build a pond just like Eric did on Snapchat.

When he sent me his pond size, and equipment list, I had to put on the brakes.

While the components he had were generally correct, they were not correctly sized for his feature.

He would have been sorely disappointed with his results, because he thought he knew what he needed, but didn’t understand the specifications.

That’s okay though, I’m here to help.


Not just a suggestion, but akin to a command, maybe with a little less force. 😉 Reconsider your size.

Not going big enough in the first place accounts for over 30% of The Pond Digger Construction projects, because the homeowner didn’t want to get crazy and build a lake in their yard. I’m telling you, get crazy. In about a heartbeat, that 8 x 11 pond will be looking small.

You’re going to want to start with 3 or 4 koi, then someone gives you their koi because they are moving away, then you get a koi for your birthday, then you go to a show, and pick up a super cool koi like you’ve never seen before, suddenly your koi spawn and you want to keep the babies, and then…..you can see where I’m going here, right?

Don’t forget, these are living, breathing, critters that GROW. So, you bought 4 cute little six inchers, that are now a whopping 24 inches, and that’s not even counting the motley crew that were added by circumstance. See? Your pond is too small.

Just go big in the beginning, it will save you in the end.

Do It Yourself Photos from a few of our clients

Charla Hatch – Snowflake, Arizona

Geoffrey Hayes – Hampton, Illinois

Geoffrey Hayes – Hampton, Illinois

Thomas Banneck- Muskogee, Oklahoma

Theresa Corkill

Jaimie Russell – Hawaii, Hawaii

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Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Leslie Triplett
The Pond Gal

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