How To Turn An Above Ground Pool Into A Fish Pond

Are you tired of your above ground pool taking up space in your backyard? Why not repurpose it and transform it into a beautiful fish pond? Not only will this give your backyard a new look, but it will also provide a new home for aquatic life.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of turning an above ground pool into a fish pond, step by step.

First, you will need to drain and clean your pool thoroughly. This is essential to ensure that there are no chemicals or residues left behind that could harm your fish.

Next, you will need to install a pond liner to create a waterproof barrier between the pool and the ground. This will prevent any water from seeping out and ensure that your pond remains full and healthy.

From there, you can add water and aquatic plants to create a natural habitat for your fish.

Finally, you will need to maintain your fish pond to keep it clean and healthy for your aquatic friends. By following these steps, you can turn your old pool into a thriving fish pond that will provide you and your family with years of enjoyment.

Drain and Clean Your Pool

You’ll need to drain and scrub your pool with a brush and bleach to prepare it for its new role as a fish pond.

First, remove any debris from the pool, including leaves, twigs, and dirt. Then, use a pool vacuum to remove any remaining debris and water.

Next, scrub the walls and floor of the pool with a pool brush and a mixture of bleach and water. This will help remove any algae, bacteria, and other contaminants that could harm your fish.

Rinse the pool thoroughly with clean water and allow it to air dry before adding any new water or fish.

Regular pool cleaning and maintenance tips will also be helpful in maintaining the health and cleanliness of your fish pond.

Install a Pond Liner

Once the liner is properly installed, your aquatic ecosystem will have a sturdy foundation to thrive. Installing a pond liner might seem daunting, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be a cost-effective alternative to hiring a professional. Here are some DIY installation tips to help you get started:

  1. Measure the dimensions of your pool to determine the size of the liner you need. Add an additional foot to the length and width to ensure a proper fit.

  2. Choose a durable liner material, such as EPDM rubber or PVC, that’s resistant to UV rays, punctures, and tears.

  3. Prepare the pool surface by removing any debris, smoothing out bumps, and filling in any holes or cracks with sand or a concrete patch.

Place the liner over the pool and smooth out any wrinkles or air pockets.

By following these cost-effective alternatives and DIY installation tips, you can successfully install a pond liner and create a thriving fish pond in your above ground pool. With a sturdy foundation in place, you can move on to the next steps in creating your aquatic ecosystem.

Add Water and Aquatic Plants

Now that you’ve installed the pond liner and transformed your above ground pool into a fish pond, it’s time to add water and aquatic plants.

Before you start, make sure to choose the right plants that are suitable for your pond’s ecosystem and climate. Once you’ve selected the plants, add water to the pool and install the plants according to their specific requirements.

Remember to maintain the right water levels and conditions to ensure the health and growth of your aquatic plants.

Choose the Right Plants

Choosing the right plants for your above ground pool turned fish pond can bring life and color to your backyard oasis. Aquatic plants not only add beauty to your pond but also provide a natural habitat for fish and other aquatic creatures. Here are some tips to help you choose the right plants for your fish pond:

  • Choose a variety of plants: Different types of plants will provide different benefits to your pond. Choose a mix of floating, submerged, and emergent plants to create a balanced ecosystem.

  • Consider the size of your pond: Make sure to choose plants that are appropriate for the size of your pond. Too many plants can overcrowd the pond and cause problems with algae growth.

  • Look for plants that are easy to maintain: Some aquatic plants require more maintenance than others. Choose plants that are easy to care for and don’t require frequent pruning or cleaning.

  • Check for compatibility with fish: Some aquatic plants can be harmful to fish. Make sure to choose plants that are safe for your fish and won’t harm them.

By choosing the right plants for your above ground pool turned fish pond, you can create a beautiful and healthy ecosystem that’ll be a joy to watch and maintain. Remember to also consider the benefits of aquatic plants and follow tips for plant maintenance to keep your pond thriving.

Add Water to the Pool

To transform your backyard above ground pool into a fish pond, you need to start by adding water to your newly designated fish habitat. Before adding water, ensure that you have installed filtration to keep the water clean and healthy for your fish. The filtration system should include a pump, filter, and UV sterilizer to help keep the water clear and free of harmful bacteria.

When it comes to choosing the water source, you have a few options. You can use tap water, well water, or rainwater. If you choose to use tap water, make sure to dechlorinate it before adding it to the pool. Well water is a good option if it’s available, as it’s usually free of chemicals and pollutants. Rainwater is also a great option, as it’s free and doesn’t contain any chemicals or pollutants. However, it’s important to note that rainwater can be acidic, so you may need to test and adjust the pH levels accordingly. Once you have chosen your water source, fill the pool to the appropriate level and let it sit for a day or two before adding any fish or plants.

Install the Plants

You’ll want to start by placing a variety of aquatic plants throughout the pool, creating a natural and visually appealing home for your fish. Here are some types of aquatic plants to consider:

  • Floating plants like water hyacinth and duckweed add oxygen to the water and provide shade for your fish.

  • Submerged plants like waterweed and hornwort absorb excess nutrients in the water and help prevent algae growth.

  • Marginal plants like water lilies and irises provide shelter and hiding places for your fish.

  • Oxygenating plants like anacharis and elodea release oxygen into the water, ensuring a healthy environment for your fish.

Adding plants to your fish pond offers many benefits. They provide a natural habitat for your fish and improve water quality by absorbing excess nutrients and releasing oxygen. Aquatic plants can also help prevent algae growth and reduce the need for chemical treatments.

By carefully selecting and placing a variety of aquatic plants throughout your pool, you can create a thriving and beautiful fish pond.

Introduce Fish and Other Aquatic Life

Now that you’ve added water and aquatic plants to your above-ground pool turned fish pond, it’s time to introduce fish and other aquatic life.

Choosing the right fish is crucial to the success of your pond ecosystem. Once you’ve selected your fish, it’s important to acclimate them to their new environment slowly.

You’ll also need to feed your fish properly to ensure their health and growth.

Choose the Right Fish

When selecting fish for your above ground pool-turned-pond, it’s important to consider the size, temperature, and pH of the water to ensure the fish thrive. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the right fish for your pond:

  • Fish compatibility: Make sure the fish can coexist peacefully with each other and with any other aquatic life you may have in the pond. Avoid putting aggressive fish with peaceful ones, and consider the size of the fish in relation to each other to prevent any bullying or predation.

  • Feeding habits: Different fish have different feeding habits, so make sure you choose fish that will eat the food you plan on providing. Some fish are herbivores, others are carnivores, and some are omnivores. Consider the cost and availability of the food as well.

  • Water temperature: Choose fish that can tolerate the temperature range of your pond. Coldwater fish, such as goldfish and koi, can survive in temperatures as low as 50°F, while tropical fish, such as guppies and tetras, require temperatures between 72°F and 82°F.

  • pH level: Different fish have different pH level requirements, so make sure the pH level of your pond is appropriate for the fish you choose. For example, goldfish and koi prefer a pH level between 7.0 and 8.4, while some tropical fish require a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5.

  • Size of the fish: Make sure the fish you choose can comfortably swim and grow in the size of your pond. Overcrowding can lead to poor water quality and disease.

By taking these factors into consideration, you can choose the right fish for your above ground pool-turned-pond and create a beautiful and thriving aquatic ecosystem.

Acclimate the Fish

To help your new aquatic pets adjust to their new environment, it’s important to properly acclimate them to the water conditions in your backyard oasis. Fish acclimation is a crucial step in converting your above ground pool into a fish pond. Before releasing your fish into their new home, you need to ensure that the water chemistry is similar to that of their previous environment.

To acclimate your fish, start by floating the bag containing the fish in the pond for 15-20 minutes. This allows the temperature in the bag to slowly adjust to that of the pond. Next, add small amounts of pond water to the bag over the course of an hour. This gradual process helps the fish adjust to any differences in pH, alkalinity, and hardness between their previous home and the new pond. Once the bag is mostly filled with pond water, use a net to release the fish into the pond. Keep an eye on them for the first few hours to ensure they are adjusting well to their new environment. By properly acclimating your fish, you can help ensure their health and happiness in their new home.

Water Chemistry Ideal Range Importance
pH 6.8-7.8 Maintaining a stable pH helps prevent stress and disease in fish.
Alkalinity 80-120 ppm Adequate alkalinity helps keep pH stable and supports proper biological filtration.
Hardness 100-250 ppm Proper hardness levels support healthy fish growth and regulate pH stability.

By paying attention to these key water chemistry factors, you can provide a healthy and stable environment for your fish. Remember to monitor the water regularly and make any necessary adjustments to ensure your fish thrive in their new home. With proper acclimation and care, your above ground pool can become a beautiful and thriving fish pond.

Feed the Fish Properly

Feeding your aquatic pets properly is crucial for their health and happiness in your backyard oasis. When it comes to feeding your fish in an above ground pool turned fish pond, there are a few things to consider.

First, establish a feeding schedule that works for you and your fish. Typically, fish should be fed once or twice a day, with smaller meals being preferable to larger ones. It’s important to keep in mind that overfeeding can lead to poor water quality and potentially harm your fish.

Next, consider your fish food options. There are a variety of commercial fish foods available, including pellets, flakes, and frozen or live foods. It’s important to choose a food that is appropriate for the species of fish you have in your pond. For example, carnivorous fish may require a higher protein diet, while herbivorous fish may require more plant-based foods. It’s also important to vary their diet occasionally to ensure they are getting all the necessary nutrients.

In addition to commercial fish foods, you can also supplement your fish’s diet with natural food sources found in your pond, such as insects and algae. However, be sure to avoid overfeeding and monitor your water quality regularly to ensure your fish are getting the proper nutrition they need to thrive in their new aquatic home.

By establishing a feeding schedule and choosing appropriate fish food options, you can help ensure your fish remain healthy and happy in their above ground pool turned fish pond.

Maintain Your Fish Pond

Maintaining your fish pond requires consistent attention and care. You need to ensure that the water quality is at its best to keep your fish healthy. Regularly test the water’s pH levels, nitrate, and ammonia levels using a test kit purchased online or from your nearest pet store. If the levels are off, use water treatments or add more plants to the pond to help balance the water.

Predator control is also crucial in maintaining your fish pond. Install a fence around your pond to keep out larger predators like raccoons and other mammals. Use a net to cover your fish pond to keep out smaller predators like birds and insects. Regularly inspect your pond for any signs of predators and remove them immediately.

By following these tips, you can keep your fish pond healthy and thriving for years to come.


Congratulations on successfully transforming your above ground pool into a beautiful fish pond! With the proper steps, you’ve created a wonderful aquatic environment for your fish and other aquatic life to thrive in.

Maintaining your fish pond is the key to ensuring it remains healthy and enjoyable for years to come. To properly maintain your fish pond, it’s important to regularly test the water quality and make adjustments as necessary. This includes monitoring pH levels, ammonia and nitrite levels, and oxygen levels.

Additionally, it’s important to regularly clean and maintain your pond equipment such as filters and pumps to ensure they’re functioning properly. In addition to regular maintenance, it’s also important to keep a watchful eye on your fish and other aquatic life. Look out for signs of illness or disease, and be sure to take appropriate action if necessary.

With proper maintenance and care, your above ground pool turned fish pond can provide a beautiful and relaxing environment for both you and your aquatic friends.