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Fish pond liners - Suppliers, Types, Answers and Forum

Brief Description

This article lists suppliers of pond liners and offers answers on most asked questions. You're welcome to post your questions too, check the bottom part of this page!

One decision we all have to make when we decide that we are going to construct a pond is which type of liner I should go for. Things have certainly changed in recent years with the development of stronger liners with longer guarantees, new types of underlay for the liner etc... Research should be done to make sure that the correct choice has been made for your requirements. Once the pond is finished and filled, it takes a lot of undoing, better to sort it out initially. Costs will always play a part in your final pond, liners do not come cheap, don’t try and cut corners as it will cause problems at a later date. There are a few choices out there so I will try to make things a bit simpler for you.

Preformed pond liners

These have to be the quickest option available on the market. The main drawback being that you are forced to use a pond shape or shelving design that has been created by somebody else and it may not meet your requirements exactly. These are ideal for the smaller ponds, usually created from slightly flexible PVC, and are usually staged.

The most common design is usually in a kidney shape with 2 or 3 different levels.

The easiest way for building a pond with a formed liner:- Building a pond with a formed liner is not difficult at all. Place the formed liner upside down exactly where you require the pond. Using marking paint or string, mark the outline of the pond, slightly larger than the actual size. Then it is just a matter of digging out where you have marked, ensuring that the hole is level. If there is shelving on your pond allow an extra inch for it to sit on as sand is placed underneath the whole pond for support and to cushion the mould from sharp rocks etc…

There may come a time when you wish to alter the colour of your formed pond liner, painting preformed pond liners is also not a difficult task. There are commercial pond paints available that are non-toxic and come in three main colours blue, green and black, there is also a clear version if you wish to give your pond that new look again. They are applied with a brush the same as any other paint and after 2-3 coats are completely water proof as well.

Old carpet can be used for this purpose. Place the preformed pond into the hole, checking all the time that it is perfectly level, and that the shelves feel well supported. As you fill with water, keep adding sand as required to support the pond.

These can range in price anywhere from 80 pounds (160 dollars) up to 300 pounds (600 dollars) for the larger versions. Always try to buy one with a deep enough level so that if it freezes over in the winter, the fish can go right down to the bottom to prevent any fatalities.

Butyl liners

A lot of people prefer to go for a butyl liner as it gives greater scope in the overall design and size of the pond that is being created. As the name suggests, these are made from rubber, thus giving great flexibility in those awkward areas.

Having said that; it is also used for standard rectangular ponds as well. A good indicator of the quality of the liner is given by the number of years a supplier will guarantee their product. This can vary from 15 years up to a lifetime guarantee for the best on the market.

Most butyl liners are sold with either a 0.75mm or 1.00mm thickness. The thinner of the two is used when a good underlay can be applied, but in some situations this is not possible so the thicker option is required.

As with preformed liners, sand or old carpet can be used for the underlay, but nowadays there is a product available made from poly felt which is more reliable? This is relatively inexpensive, selling for about 2 pounds (4 dollars) per square meter. The actual liner is sold by the square meter; prices average out at about 5 pounds (10 dollars) /sq.m

A question often asked is “Is carpet underlay toxic as pond liner?” The answer is no but it needs to be thick enough to support the formed pond or pond liner that will sit on top. What else can we use to line the pond, anything that leaves a smooth surface for the pond to sit on? This can even be old curtains or sheets. If enough are used they can be as strong as old carpeting.

So how do we know how much liner is required? There is an equation that is used for calculating this.

Measure the maximum length, the maximum width, and the maximum depth. Double the maximum depth and add this figure onto the maximum length and width (allow for shelving size in your calculation).

Also add an extra foot onto your sizes to allow for overlaps or securing at the top of the pond. So if we have a pond that is 8 foot length, 4 foot width, and 2 ft depth then we double the depth to give us 4 foot.

Therefore final length is 8 foot plus 4 foot= 12 foot, final width is 4 foot plus 4 foot=8 foot. We now know we need to purchase a sheet that is 12 foot x 8 foot to give us the exact size required, but as mentioned, add an extra foot to each side for securing reasons.

So for another example how much pond liner would we need for a 10 foot x 10 foot pond?

The length and width are both 10 feet, the depth we will stay at 2 feet so the overall measurement for length is now 14 feet plus two foot for overhang, the same figure is correct for the width so the size of liner we require is 16 feet by 16 feet giving us a total of 256 sq. feet of liner required.

In reality not all ponds are uniform so sometimes we have to slightly over estimate to allow for some curves but when calculating for a rectangular pond we can be very accurate.

What happens if we have a piece of liner that we wish to use for a pond and need to know how large a pond we can have?

For example we have 8 foot by 5 foot liner, what size of pond will it make?

A piece of liner that size once the equation is reversed shows that you could only finish up with a very small pond, a piece of that size is better suited to line a waterfall.

Some people may take the risk of using used pond liners; this is one way of cutting corners that I would not recommend. There is no guarantee of the age of the liner or whether it is punctured or not.

EPDM liners

These are basically the same as butyl liners apart from one major difference; they are formed from synthetic rubber. These are becoming more and more popular as they tend to be a lot more elastic, which is a great bonus when tucking in on awkward corners etc… Price wise there is not a lot of difference to butyl, but be warned, check the suppliers guarantee with these as some of them being sold can be toxic to the fish.

Advertisement: Get a 10% discount on pond products (except for pond liners) at! Enter Aquafish10% in the coupon code section of the order form when you check out!

Fiberglass liners

This is a very good option when constructing a regular shaped pond. Basically it is possible to phone through the required size for the pond, and the supplier will build the liner at their factory, delivering it to you ready to drop straight into the pond. Normally these will sit on a prepared wooden framework for support. This can be a more expensive way of building your pond but it is becoming more popular with the larger koi ponds.

Now if you want to be really adventurous you could build your pond with rendered lining. I have done this myself, it took a long time to finish, on hindsight I maybe should have gone for one of the above options but when it was finished I had a great deal of satisfaction. Basically I constructed the pond from breeze blocks (cinder blocks), rendered over them, and then applied several coats of special pond paint. This is a good option fore the largest of ponds but not really for a small garden one.

Two more commonly asked questions that many people can get confused with are

Can I put a skimmer in the pond without cutting the liner?

As the skimmer inlet has to be flush with the water surface then you will have to cut out as piece of the liner that allows the skimmer inlet to be flush, the skimmer and liner are then sealed with an appropriate aquatic sealant. There are floating skimmers available to use nowadays if this is a better option for your pond.

How do I secure the pond liner onto the cinder block?

There are a few ways of doing this, the liner should be stretched over the blocks and then coping stones can be placed on top of this to secure the liner with mortar. For a more natural look rocks can be placed on top or even wooden sleepers. Whatever is used must be heavy enough to hold the liner secure.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours to make, think long and hard as to what effect, size, and costing your pond will entail.

Suppliers of Cheap Pond Liners

Aquatics warehouse claim to be one of the cheapest sites around for pond liners and equipment, they will also try to match prices offered by other sites. They can also provide all of the pond equipment required including filtration and skimmers. All prices are quoted on the website!

This UK company has only been trading for the last 5 years but the owner has many years experience in water gardening. They offer competitive prices for their liners and can offer various guarantees dependant on the quality of liner purchased with the maximum being up to 40 years. They sell their liners by the square metre and all prices are displayed in an easy to read table.

In the US this company has well established a good reputation for quality liners at a good price. They have been selling their products since 1998 and offer a full range of equipment to complete your pond project. Prices are quoted by the square foot and can match prices offered by other companies on the market.

Another US company that sells their liners for discounted prices and they can even supply full pond kits so that you have everything at hand to complete your project all in one package. Their individual liners do come in preset sizes but there is sure to be the size that you are looking for. Prices are displayed with the liners and details of the guarantee are available.

Document last modified: 2014-10-07 14:28:17, © 2005 - 2024 Aqua-Fish.Net, all rights reserved.

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