Changing the purpose of a pond


I've recently bought my first house with my wife, and we have inherited a fish pond.

We are not keen on keeping it; I'm not really a fish person, and the cost of running the pump and filter all day, everyday seems over the top.

I am, however, keen to 'do my bit' with regards to the local environment, and understand that a pond is a good thing to have in that respect.

I have a friend who will take the fish, so they will be cared for.

On that basis, is it possible for me to remove the fish, and then keep a pond that doesn't need the pump constantly running?

Can you give me any advise for that, please?

Thanks in advance!



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 48,986

    We have a wildlife pond - we only dug it this spring - already we have frogs, newts and a grass snake visiting it, as well as dragon flies and damsel flies and lots of other insects.  It's wonderful.

    A wildlife pond should not contain fish and does not need a filter or a pump.  It just needs the right balance of oxygenating plants and no chemicals.  There a quite a few threads on here discussing wildlife ponds - put that term into the search facility at the top of the page and you'll find lots of info image

    "...tea and toasted buttered currant buns, can't compensate for lack of sun because the summer's all gone..."   Autumn Almanac - Ray Davies
  • DoddseyDoddsey Posts: 2

    Wonderful, thank you for your response... that is music to my ears!

  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 6,326

    Whilst I wouldn't disagree with Dove in that the ideal wildlife pond should not really contain can be done........perhaps the size of pond has something to do with it also. 

    I inherited a pond 3 years ago which had a dozen or so fish in.  It also had Frogs and Newts which have continued to live and breed in the ensuing years.  Also we get a lot of other pond life including Dragonfly ( wonderful to watch the nymphs appear and turn into wonderful creatures before your eyes ). Beetles, Skaters, etc  - it's all thereimage

    Had I been able to re home the inherited fish somewhere, I probably would have done so but no one wanted them and as the pond was teeming with other life, there seemed no point.  I haven't been disappointedimage


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 48,986

    It does depend on the pond doesn't it Philippa, and probably the fish also, as well as on the owner.  

    If the fish are fed then that can upset the balance but if there's enough natural food in the pond then that's much better.  But of course, if the fish eat all the tadpoles and efts then that's not so good - it's all about keeping that balance image

    "...tea and toasted buttered currant buns, can't compensate for lack of sun because the summer's all gone..."   Autumn Almanac - Ray Davies
  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 6,326

    Couldn't agree more Dove.........first time for many years I've had fish in a pond.

    I moved into this house ( or Pond ) in the winter.  It must have been at least 4 or 5 months later that I even knew there were any fish in there !

    The house had been empty for a year or more so no one to feed the fish or faff about ( tho I understand the previous owners were somewhat erratic gardeners.....I did find a very useful stainless steel wok in the pond along with other less useful stuff ).

    The Newts enjoy the fish eggs and although they also munch on the frogspawn, I've had plenty of Froglets  every year.  The fish also happily eat their own spawn so I'm not seeing a problem at the moment.

    The fish sort themselves out ......they were obviously managing before I came along so at the moment, I'm just going with it. I really don't have the heart to turf them out and if everyone else is happy, I'm happy tooimage

    As a PS tho, I'm not recommending my pond as the ideal way to go for a real wildlife pond............if you can start from scratch, much better.





  • Does a wildlife pond need to be shallow. ?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 48,986

    Lots of info here Doreen 

    We were unable to dig ours as deep as is recommended due to tree roots, but it does need to be at least 2 ft deep.  

    "...tea and toasted buttered currant buns, can't compensate for lack of sun because the summer's all gone..."   Autumn Almanac - Ray Davies
  • Great - many thanks.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 22,127

    philippa - we had a similar situation at my last house. Huge pond which had large koi and golden orfe in it which  had been overfed fro years, so lots of excess debris, but it was essentially a wildlife pond. We renovated a lot of it and improved it enormously, fed the fish less, and just tried to achieve a balance for everything in it. Masses of frogs, toads  and dragonflies and loads of other wildlife in and around it.  We couldn't have cleared it out without spending a fortune and several months of hard graft, and possibly ruining what was already there. 

    I hope you can alter your pond Doreen and make it right for you. It's well worth it for the pleasure it brings, to you and the wildlife. The deeper you can  make it the better - even if it's just in a small part of it, with a graduating slope for access. It helps to prevent it heating up too rapidly in spring and  freezing solid in winter. I've had two ponds which haven't been any deeper than 18" at their deepest point and they've been fine, but it does depend on other factors like planting and location. image

    to walk through a forest is to touch the past

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 10,544

    I bought this book, and am following his instruction, he is very knowledgably, (I think)

    My link doesnt work but if you are interested you could copy and paste.


    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
    Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. 
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