8 Amazing Ideas What to Replace a Pond With (Images)

  • By: CarlBroadbent
  • Time to read: 7 min.
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Backyard ponds are some truly lovely water features, but they also require a bit of upkeep.

For this reason, you might find yourself wondering what to replace a pond with. You can opt for a different sort of water feature, or even a tank.

To help you out, here are 8 of the top ideas what to replace a pond with – really, all that you need is a bit of know-how!

Why Replace Your Backyard Pond?

If you have a pond that you’re not as in love with as you used to be, replacing it is always an option (it will just take a bit of elbow grease).

Pond Installer
Garden pond

So, why might you wish to replace your backyard pond?

Have a look!

Bugs (Mosquitoes in Particular)

As you probably know, mosquitoes are quite fond of water.

This is because they literally depend on it for their life cycle; their eggs are laid on the surface of still water, where they slowly become larvae, and eventually, the pests we all know!

While introducing mosquito fish can help reduce the mosquitoes in your pond, the most sure-fire way is to replace the pond (standing water) with running water!

A New-and-Improved Look

Perhaps, to your eye, the backyard pond has simply gotten a bit dull.

Replacing the pond with something else – like a different sort of water feature – can give your yard a whole new look!

You’ve Grown Tired of Maintaining the Pond Life and Water

When it comes down to it, the most common reason that people have for replacing their pond is that they’re tired of maintaining the pond wildlife and/or water.

This is certainly fair!

Ponds must be cleaned regularly, or else they will become stagnant, scummy, and smelly, and any wildlife will almost certainly become sick!

8 Amazing Ideas What to Replace a Pond With

1. A Water Wall

Black water wall
Water wall

Once you’ve got your pond out of the way, you can always replace it with what’s called a ‘water wall.’

As its name implies, this is a wall that water runs up/down via a pump.

Generally, water walls will surround a small water feature, from which they draw their water.


Good Idea: A water wall is simple to maintain, and can have a gorgeous, cascading effect – a real winner!


2. A Bubbler Fountain

Bubbler fountain in a garden
Bubbler fountain

Bubbler fountain is another name for a luxury water fountain, and it’s another excellent replacement option for a pond.

Bubbler fountains can be an add-on to a waterfall or river and can look like a classic drinking fountain, or classy decor (a bubbling vase, for example; imagine this as a ready source of fresh, clean water!).

If you’re concerned about germs, consider having a few bubbler fountain heads from which to drink!

3. Waterfall

Garden pond waterfall
Beautiful waterfall

Next, we’ve got a classic water feature: a waterfall.

These echo the beauty of waterfalls in nature, helping to create an oasis in your own backyard.

To install a waterfall, you can simply alter your preexisting pond feature/filtration system to support it.

You may also wish to incorporate some sort of centerpiece or fountain, to really enhance its overall look!

4. A Garden Stream/River

Garden stream river with flowers
Garden stream river

In order to transform your pond into a stream or river, you’ll need to start with a shovel and liner.

Dig out the stream (no more than 1-2 feet deep, for the safety of children and pets, and avoiding sprinkler systems) in whatever way you would prefer.

Incorporate the liner, and then a pump to supply and filter the water – viola, your own stream/river!

Once you’ve got this water feature in place, you can also have some fun introducing sand, pebbles, water plants, and even water critters like koi!

5. A Natural Pool

Building natural pool
Build natural pool

You can also always upgrade your backyard pond to a natural pool.

That is, instead of a chlorinated pool, one filled with stones and saltwater.

This turns a simple, outdated water feature into a luxury you can enjoy anew!

All that you need to do is:

  • clear out the pond
  • dig a deeper pool
  • rig a filtration system/saltwater pump
  • fill it in with concrete, tiles, or rock

6. A Pond in a Barrel

Pond-in-a-barrel idea
Barrel pond

If you love the idea of a pond, with all the flora and fauna, but aren’t big on the upkeep, you may be interested in a pond-in-a-barrel.

Basically, you incorporate a large barrel as a sort of pond or tank.

It will need to be outfitted with plants, fish, decor, and (if natural means do not suffice) a water filter!

7. A Garden In the Water

Low-maintenance water garden
Garden water

Similar to a pond in a barrel, you can also replace your pond with a low-maintenance water garden.

All that this calls for is a large bowl or container (such as a birdbath), your choice of plants, and of course, plenty of fresh, clean water!

8. Relocate Pond Critters to Their Own Tank

Fish from backyard pond
Fish tank

If it’s not the pond plants you’d like to keep, but the wildlife, you can always rehome your pond critters into their own, generously-sized tank.

These have covers, which will make keeping them clean much easier (without leaves and other debris as a risk).

A tank will have its own, private ecosystem, which can be maintained with a good, old-fashioned fish tank filter! 

For koi fish, you will need a tank that contains at least 50 gallons of water!

If you have frogs you would like to keep around, they will require a different sort of environment. You see, most frogs live both on land and in the water.

They might simply drown in a fish tank.

Instead, you’ll want to create a special frog habitat (complete with Water plants may not always survive the transition).

And it’s sometimes best to simply replace them with plants that are fresh, healthy (old plants can get sick from the stress of being rehomed, and put the whole tank at risk), and new!

How Do I Get Rid of a Pond?

Obviously, you can’t simply get rid of a pond with a bulldozer.

There are water features, plants, and other important aspects to take care of, first.

See below!

Rehome Wildlife (Frogs, Fish, etc.)

Before you can replace your pond, the first thing you’ll need to do is rehome any wildlife.

Fish, frogs, and other critters will quickly perish without the lifegiving water!

Of course, you don’t want to just dump pond wildlife anywhere; some species are invasive, and it could be considered rather cruel!

Instead, find someone (such as a friend or online organization) to adopt the frogs, fish, etc., or move them to their own jumbo-sized tank. 


Finally: Make sure to undergo the rehoming process gently and swiftly, so that the water critters don’t suffer!


Uproot/Replant Any Plants in the Pond

Second only after rehoming the animals is uprooting/replanting any plants that you may have in your pond (for example, lilies, java moss, water iris, etc.). 

Many of these can simply be uprooted and tossed or – better yet – used for homemade compost.

If you are attached to certain plants, you can also always incorporate them into a new water feature, or rehome them into pots filled with water!

Drain the Pond Water

Once you’ve got all of the flora and fauna out of your old pond, you can start draining the water.

This can be accomplished in a few ways, and you’ll need to take care not to flood your lawn (or the foundation of your home, for that matter).

A pump is the best way to drain pond water by far!

Along with preserving your yard, this will also allow you to control how much water drains at once, as well as to ensure that no debris gets stuck! 

Remove Sediments and Decor

This goes along with draining the pond water.

In fact, you’ll want to remove a lot of debris before you drain the water.

This includes stones along the bottom, logs, sand, tiles, and any other sediments and decor!

Take Out the Pond Liner

Last but not least comes taking out the pond liner.

This is more difficult than it sounds – liners are generally rather fragile and can tear.

So, pull it out of the ground, and if you’re careful, you might be able to save it for later!

Replace With Another Water Feature or Fill

Now, you can either fill in your pond with dirt and cover it with lawn, or turn it into a new-and-improved water feature.

Just make sure that you’ve got everything you need, including plenty of pool liner!

Final Words

So, if you’ve been considering what to replace your backyard pond with, now you’ve got somewhere to start.

You can transform it into a new-and-improved water feature, relocate it to a tank, incorporate a river – you name it.

Best of luck!

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