This pond takes only a few hours to make -- and it can be made out of nearly anything that holds water.
Oak barrels, old sinks, or bathtubs all can make fine backyard ponds. This particular model is made from a stainless steel sitz bath. It's so easy to assemble that you can gather your supplies on Saturday morning, fill the pond with water in the afternoon, and launch the fish into their home after waiting 48 hours for the chlorine to disperse.
Want to add even more water features? Try a tabletop fountain.
Like a natural pond, this one depends on a delicate balance of plants, snails, tadpoles, and fish rather than on pumps and filters to keep the water fresh. It includes oxygenating grasses (which add oxygen to the water) and floating plants such as water hyacinths (which provide hiding space among their roots for pond creatures). This menagerie includes tadpoles and goldfish.
When winter comes, plants sit underwater on the bottom of the pond; fish and tadpoles winter inside.
Continued on page 2: First Steps