Best Preformed Pond – A Buyers Guide (2022)

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If you are wanting to add a pond to your garden but don’t really know where to begin then it could be that a preformed pond is the best option for you. A preformed pond is just what the name suggests, a pond that is already formed and shaped so that it can be inserted into a hole to allow you to create a garden pond! 

There is a huge range of preformed garden ponds to choose from, made in different shapes and sizes and from different materials so it can seem as though you are drowning under the pressure of trying to find the right one! We understand – so we created this article with all the things that we found when trying to find the right preformed pond so that you can learn from our mistakes! 

primrose.co.uk Bermuda Cove Pre Formed Pond 84cm x 64cm / Pond Liner
1,651 Reviews
primrose.co.uk Bermuda Cove Pre Formed Pond 84cm x 64cm / Pond Liner
  • Integral pump holding recess
  • Molded plant shelves and wildlife escape routes.
  • Simple to Install
  • Made from tough Polythylene
  • Capacity 50 Litres

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Why Buy A Preformed Pond? 

First let’s look at the reasons why purchasing a preformed pond is going to be best for you. One of the main reasons that we love a preformed pond is how easy they are to use! Simply choose a shape that you like the look of, dig your hole and then place the preformed pond into (okay there is slightly more to it than that but you get the idea!). The time and effort that they are going to save you is massive!

Not only this, but their solid structure means that you can be much more sure that the pond will last and hold water, rather than using other more flexible pond liners that are going to be much less reliable and much more likely to wear and rip. 

We also really like the wide range of designs and styles that you can choose from. If, like us, you aren’t particularly artistic then you don’t need to worry about creating some garden water feature as you can just choose a shape that matches what you are looking for! Not only are they going to create a beautiful feature in your garden, they are also going to be a perfect spot for a range of wildlife to come and enjoy – what more could you want in your garden? Whether you have children to enjoy your pond with or it is just for your pleasure, anyone can enjoy watching the nature that is attracted to your pond and delight in tending for the flowers and plants that thrive around and in the pond! 

What To Look For When Buying A Preformed Pond

Here are some of the key features that you need to look out for when planning to purchase a preformed pond so that you can be sure the model is going to be right for you and your garden. 

Size and Capacity 

You definitely need to think about the size of the preformed pond that is going to be right for your garden – considering both the overall capacity and the dimensions. One thing to mention right now is that we haven’t found many preformed ponds that are going to be large and deep enough to hold fish, which means most preformed ponds are going to be better suited to just a feature in your garden and a way to encourage other wildlife to come and enjoy the space. 

We found that capacities ranged from around 100 litres all the way up to around 800 litres which is a considerable difference. Obviously a 100 litre model is going to take up much less space and be much easier to maintain but a larger model is going to offer much more diversity in the wildlife and plants that you will be able to encourage. 

When looking at the size of the preformed pond you need to think about the length and width but also the depth of the pond. If you are wanting the pond to be big enough for fish then it is going to need to be quite deep as fish need enough depth to be able to turn vertically to get food from both the top and water of the pond. We found that depths ranged from around 25cm up to around 70cm at the deepest points of the ponds. Whereas lengths and widths of the ponds tended to start at a petite 70cm up to a massive 200cm. The plus side to this massive variation is that you will definitely be able to find one that is right for your garden and the much smaller models will even be able to be looked after by children as their own little gardening project! 

TOP TIP: If you are wanting to house fish in your pond then you are going to need a pond depth of at least 60cm but ideally more! 

Preformed Pond Design

There are so many different designs of preformed ponds it is really difficult for us to list all the choices that you will have – you really need to have a hunt around for what catches your eye. But here are some of the main designs that we really like…

  • Shape – If you want your pond to look more natural then look for a more rugged edge to the pond so that it isn’t a “perfect” shape. This will allow you to blend in plants around the edge of the pond to give it more depth. Teardrop shape models are great for if you have a smaller amount of space as they will fit neatly into a corner of the garden whilst still looking natural. 
  • Textured interior – The best way to make your pond look more realistic is to look for models with a textured interior to look more like rock sides. Just bear in mind that models with too much texture on the walls are going to be harder to fit as you have to pack sand into the ridges round the outside of the pond to keep it fixed in place and this can be quite challenging. 
  • Layers and ledges – Look out for preformed ponds that come with different layers as this will allow you to place rocks and different types of plants on different layers. Not only will this attract more wildlife but it will also look more natural! Just make sure to check the actual size of the ledges to see whether you will actually have the space for plants or not! 
  • Edges – This may not seem important but actually the depth of the edges of your pond is really crucial. A thicker edge is going to allow you to grow plants over the edging of the pond to create a more natural finish at the water’s edge. This will also help to encourage wildlife and keep your pond fixed in place. Thinner edges will lead to the pond being more likely to move away from any plants that you are trying to encourage to grow around the edges. 

Preformed Bond Build Materials 

It would be a real shame to go to all the effort of building, laying and setting up your preformed pond, just for it to be damaged or the victim of wear and tear and then no use anymore. Not only would this be frustrating, but it could potentially kill any wildlife that has made a home in the pond, or any fish that you have bought, and leave you having to start all over again! This is why the materials that have been used to build your preformed pond are so important! 

The best preformed ponds will be made from polyethylene, which is a strong material that can still be shaped into whatever frame the manufacturer is creating. It will be nice and durable so you won’t need to worry about replacing it every couple of years plus it will be thick enough to withstand punctures and cracks from rocks and boulders. 

TOP TIP: Checking the thickness of the material that has been used is really important. This is the best way to keep the structure sturdy and in one place. We found that some thinner plastic models can bend and distort leading to lost water and messy edges! 

The Shannon Black Plastic Garden Pond
1,293 Reviews

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

The Best Preformed Ponds 

By now you should have an idea of the size and design of the preformed pond that is going to be right for your garden. Here are some of the additional features that we definitely think are worth checking out! 

  • Escape steps – If you are hoping to attract wildlife to your preformed pond then make sure to look out for models that come with escape steps or a sloped side so that they can get out easily if they become stuck! 
  • UV treated – As with any plastic-type material, you always want to check whether it has been UV treated if it is going to be left out in the sunlight. The UV rays can cause materials to warp, discolour and crack, leaving them looking a mess and potentially being irreparably damaged. A UV protection is like a coating on top of the materials to prevent this damage. 
  • Pump stand – We always put a pump in our ponds as its the best way to ensure the water is circulating well and any debris/dirt can be removed. Yes, it isn’t going to be quite in keeping with the “natural” finish but for us it is worth the compromise! This is why we like preformed ponds that come with pump stands so that you can fix them into place in the right position in your pond. 

Top Tips for Fitting a Preformed Pond

  • Line the edge of the pond with gravel or stones – not only will this stop people from stepping on the edge and damaging it but it will help to fix the pond in place and avoid any movement. 
  • Clean before use – Chemicals can be used in the process of making your preformed pond so make sure to hose it down before filling the pond to avoid any harm to plants or fish. 
  • Cover the layers with sand – We would recommend covering the edge of the pond and the different layers of the pond with sand. Not only will this make it look more natural but it will encourage plants to grow too. 
  • Dig a hole that is too big – It is always better to build a hole that you know is too big and then fill in afterwards so that you can be sure you only have soft materials that are touching the edge of the pond. 
  • Place boulders as well as plants – As beautiful as plants will look on the ledges or your pond, it is really important to place stones inside your pond too to help to secure it into place. 
  • Leave space for a pump – Although this does come down to personal preference, leaving space to run a cable down to a pump at the base of your preformed pond is going to be the best way to keep it clean for as long as possible. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What size of pond do I need to have fish? 

This really depends on the type and size of fish that you are hoping to house – and the number too! As a minimum you are going to need a depth of around 60cm but for bigger fish you are going to need much deeper than this. A general rule that we go by is that you need 4 square feet of pond per goldfish, or 10 square feet of pond for 1 koi carp. 

What warranty will come with a preformed pond? 

Let’s be honest, if you are going to the effort of fitting a preformed pond then you need to know that you are going to be able to rely on it to last for a number of years! We found that some preformed pond manufacturers offer warranties up to around thirty years! Others are as little as five years, so this is really worth checking out! 

What wildlife will I attract to my pond? 

Depending on the area that you live, there is no reason why you won’t be able to attract birds, hedgehogs, insects, butterflies and even the occasional fox to your preformed pond!

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