Initially, all pond liners seem to be the same and look like they are constructed of the same kind of synthetic black material. This might be your impression, especially if you are new to buying pond liners.
However, it is important to realize that there are a number of architectural and chemical variables that will have a long-term impact on your future pond. Choosing a pond liner can even make or break your new pond, so choose wisely!
Best pond liners in the market today
Here are the proven and tested best pond liners you can choose from:
Firestone PondGard UV and Ozone resistant,45 Mil Pond liner
- Easy to install
- Flexible for creative designs
- Easy Maintenance
Firestone is a leading maker of aquatic goods. Rubber pond liners like this Firestone PondGard Rubber Pond Liner are ideal for a variety of water features, including koi ponds, ornamental koi ponds, swimming koi ponds, fountains, and waterfalls.
This Firestone EPDM liner is somewhat bigger at 10 feet by 15 feet and costs less. This EPDM liner has great durability. Because of its ability to endure both severe cold and intense UV radiation, the liner is ideal for outdoor use. It’s also resistant to ozone.
It’s also safe for fish and plants since it’s composed of thick EPDM rubber, which doesn’t contain any hazardous carcinogens. In addition, the liner may be extended to accommodate almost any pond design, including those with sharp edges.
Firestone made its liner just 1.1 mm thick, however, this also makes it more vulnerable to punctures. Using a solid underlay with this liner is even more crucial. Because the liner is so flexible, you may mold it when needed.
- Multiple uses
- No material splitting or cracking
- With a 25-year warranty
- With 75 years life expectancy
- Its weight makes it difficult to move
Half off ponds 20-mil LLDPE pond liner
- Economical liner with excellent durability, high tensile and impact strength, and puncture resistance.
- Pliable and flexible; conforms to a variety of irregular surfaces. Excellent choice for projects like retention ponds, above and below ground water containment, and for water gardens, fish ponds and backyard waterfalls with gently sloping sides and smooth contours.
- Attaches easily to waterfalls and skimmers. Works best in sweeping corners and bottom transitions; does not form-fit to tight corners or sharp angles.
The 20-mil Pond Liner from HALF OFF PONDS is one of the pond liner alternatives they provide. It is available in sizes ranging from 37.5 feet wide by 20 feet long for medium- to large-sized ponds.
From the name of the product, it is obvious that LLDPE is used. LLDPE stands for linear low-density polyethylene and has the same properties as HDPE (high-density polyethylene).
Because it is a thinner material, it is typically utilized for small ponds and landfill capping. Even though it’s not as flexible as EPDM rubber, this material is much more resistant to rips and punctures and has a far longer shelf life.
This is a great solution for ponds with a lot of rocks and other dangers that are difficult to remove. LLDPE does not expand or contract with temperature changes. Hence, it is better suited to designs with curves because of its lack of flexibility.
- Constructed from LLDPE
- Chemical and UV resistant
- As much as 40-year lifespan
- Lighter and more flexible than HDPE
- Affordable compared to HDPE competitors
- With a 10-year Standard Manufacturer’s warranty if the material has continual UV exposure.
- Low life expectancy when exposed to UV radiation
- Inferior flexibility when compared with EPDM rubber
Aquascape pro grade EPDM 45 mil rubber liner
- 45 mil thickness provides superior durability while maintaining the ability to stretch
- Exceptional resistance to solar UV, ozone, and oxidation
- Great for use in ponds, Pondless Waterfalls, and other water features; safe for fish and plants
Rubber liners like the Aquascape EPDM 45 Mil Rubber Liner are a wonderful alternative if you have concerns about LLDPE and are wary of PVC. In comparison to the HALF OFF PONDS LLDPE liner, this EPDM rubber is more flexible and elastic. The 45 mil thickness of this Aquascape design is one of its advantages.
This 45 mil liner is 50% stronger and more suited for pondscapers with rough terrain and tree roots in their pond. However, a liner this thick (just over 1 mm in thickness) is likely to be heavier and more difficult to install.
Liner thicknesses of 30 mil or more are excellent for areas where foot traffic is expected, as well as for areas where tree roots may penetrate the liner. However, since EPDM is such an excellent pond liner material, the price tag is a little higher.
Using the Aquascape Rubber Liner, you don’t have to worry about getting the pond to lay level or following curves in the terrain.
- With a 20-year warranty
- Can be molded and shaped easily
- Sizes as big as 25’x25’ are available
- More expensive compared to HDPE
- Inferiority in thickness when compared to EPDM rubber lines
UWI OFF HDPE pond liner, 20 mil
- SIZE - Pond Liner 10 x 13 FT is ideal for medium ponds, up to 500 gallons of water, also you can cut to any size you want for your small pond; Easy to install, no tools required
- THICKNESS - 20 Mil thickened, thicker than the most pond liners in the market; Ultra-durable yet lightweight, easy to install, while flexible for a variety of creative designs
- SAFE MATERIAL - Made of good quality LDPE, our liner is UV and puncture resistant, can be used for many years; Environmentally friendly, safe for your fish and plant
HDPE Pond Liners from UWIOFF are great in smaller to medium-sized projects. These are easy to install and long-lasting! You may choose HDPE as a pond liner since it is durable and resistant to rocks and roots as well as foot traffic and pet claws.
HDPE, on the other hand, has a drawback, since it is stiffer than the LLDPE liner used by HALF OFF PONDS. It is also not suitable for huge pond project where there are curves in the terrain.
In terms of sunlight and UV rays’ exposure on a regular basis, HDPE is the best material for this. If you want, you may skip using a pond liner underlayment altogether because of the durability of this liner. Unlike an HDPE rubber liner, which has a more natural appearance, this material has a tendency to reflect light. It is because this liner is glossy rather than matte in tone.
- Easy to install
- Resistant to puncture and radiation
- Reflection can be distracting
- Less flexibility, not ideal for curved surfaces
- Limited options available, with 10’ x 13’ as the largest
- Maximum capacity of 500 gallons for the largest option
MacCourt pond 125-gallon kidney shaped Chesapeake Pond
- Resists cracking and chipping
- UV stabilized
- Non-toxic - safe
If you’re looking for something tiny and simple, MacCourt Pond is the model for you! MacCourt offers numerous other designs, including a 275-gallon St. Croix molded pond.
Even the most resilient flexible pond liner can’t compete with the hard synthetic material utilized in this molded pond. Cleaning hard-molded ponds is also a breeze due to the fact that even hard-bristled brushes and scraping won’t harm them in the least.
Even though the UV stabilized material assures that this pond will last for many years, MacCourt does not provide a warranty on it. On the positive side, even if you dig an incorrectly formed hole, it will still appear attractive since it has a predetermined shape.
In order to avoid warping, make sure there is adequate support on either side of it. Molded ponds may be thick enough to lie above ground, giving you more options for landscaping.
- Available in various sizes
- Can be removed with ease
- High resistance to chips and cracks
- Issues with warping of side
- Does not include a warranty
- Cannot be installed above ground, must be buried
HALF-OFF Ponds Savio select 2000 pond kit with EPDM rubber liner
- 15’x15’ liner approximately builds a 11 ft. x 11 ft. 1,300-gallon water garden or fish pond at a 1.5 ft. depth. Finished pond length, width, and depth can be tailored to your specific requirements.
- The Savio Select Water Garden Kit Includes: Savio Compact Skimmerfilter with 8.5" Weir Assembly, Aqua Pulse Series 2,000 GPH Pump, Savio 16” Waterfall Filter, 15' x 15' 45-Mil EPDM LifeGuard Pond Liner, 225 Square Feet of UnderGuard Underlayment, 1-Watt Mini Bronze Spotlight, 1.5" x 25' Kink Free Tubing, Waterfall Foam to seal gaps between rocks - 12 oz can, Beneficial Pond Starter to start biological filtration.
- LifeGuard Pond Liner is durable. Underlayment adds protection from rocks and punctures underneath the pond liner. Aqua Pulse pump has a energy efficient variable speed motor. Skimmer has faux rock lid, mesh leaf basket, and filter mat for cleaning floating debris. Waterfall has filter mat for biological filtration. Pond lighting has energy efficient LED technology. Waterfall foam is used to seal gaps in rocks in the stream and waterfall. Beneficial Pond Starter to start biological filtration.
Savio’s Select 200 Pond Kit has everything you need for a complete pond setup. A 1,900-gallon capacity EPDM LifeGuard 15′ x 20′ liner is provided by this company. You may also get a 10′ x 10′ kit that holds 400 gallons which are smaller than Aquascape’s EPDM liner or their LLDPE choices.
Additionally, you receive a 2,000 gallon per hour pump, a filter, black foam for sealing the liner and attaching water features, and even a container of helpful bacteria to kickstart your cycle process!
You may also purchase a bundle that contains the liner, the aforementioned accessories, and the 18-Watt Uvinex System. UV clarifiers are effective for eliminating green algae, which is a common problem in backyard ponds with high nutrient loads and a lot of sunlight.
The 45-mil rubber is further safeguarded by the use of underlayment. In order to keep your lifetime guarantee valid, you must install the underlayment as instructed.
- Comes with underlayment
- Includes kit with accessories and materials needed
- Equipped with a bronze 1-watt spotlight for illuminating pondside ornaments
- Largest option is just 15’ x 20’
- Items in the kit may be redundant with what you already have
Aquascape DIY Backyard Pond Kit
- Aquascape DIY Backyard Pond Kits come complete with everything you need to build a beautiful ecosystem pond in any space, eliminating the guesswork and calculations when purchasing individual components
- Includes energy-efficient and reliable EcoWave Pond Pump
- Builds an 6-feet x 8-feet pond with a maximum depth of 2-feet
The Aquascape DIY Backyard Pond Kit is an all-in-one package for creating your own 500-gallon water feature. This kit’s parts are well-engineered and properly aligned.
Included in this kit is an EPDM rubber liner, a geo-Textile liner to protect it from sharp objects, a BioFalls 1000-gallon filter with a rock tray and bio balls, an AquaSurge 2000 GPH pump, 25-feet of 112-inch flexible PVC hose, all the plumbing attachments, PVC glue and a flexible PVC pipe sealer.
You can be certain that your aquatic paradise will survive and prosper thanks to the skimmer and the AquaSurge pump, which offers full biological filtration. Kits for medium and large ponds are also available from Aquascape.
- Easy to install
- Complete package kit
- Has a Aquascape Manufacturer Warranties for all its parts
- Sturdy and reliable Geotextile underlayment and EPDM liner
- Comes with detailed step-by-step instructions and support resources
- Not affordable
- Instruction readability needs improvement
What is a pond liner for?
If you don’t use a liner, water will eventually leak out of your pond and onto the surrounding land unless you dig it in particularly clay-rich soil.
Hence, the primary purpose of a pond liner is to prevent water from escaping from the pond. Your fish and plants would be thrown into turmoil if you had to replenish your pond every few days or even more regularly, which would be both time-consuming and disruptive.
However, even if you have clay-rich soil, pond liner is still beneficial. The water will slowly seep out of your pond, even if your pond is made of clay. In addition to keeping water in, pond liners provide a few benefits for your pond’s aquatic life. Plants may use pond liners as a substrate, or you can put more substrate on top of the pond liner.
What are the benefits of using a pond liner?
Using a pond liner has various benefits such as:
Keeping the pond in place
The liner is unquestionably the most crucial component of your pond’s construction. Chances are, you will gradually lose water over time without any form of liner. A clay-rich soil is necessary to keep your pond water in place in an earth pond. If you want a pond, you’ll need to put in an artificial liner unless you’re already fortunate enough to live in such a place.
For ease of cleaning
Pond liners also simplify maintenance, since they eliminate the need to deal with the muck that naturally occurs in a pond’s soil layer. When you have a pond liner, you can simply use pond vacuum or other appliance to remove any floating material from the surface. Spring cleaning is a breeze when you empty the pond, expose the liner, and remove algae and biofilm.
For added attractiveness
In addition to being useful, a pond liner is also an attractive option. For example, as we’ll see in a few paragraphs below, the best pond liners might be flexible depending on the needs of your water garden. This added to visual aesthetics.
Types of pond liner
Pond liners can come in different shapes and material construction. It is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of each type to know which best suits your needs.
According to shape
A flat or premade (molded) pond liner are two of the common options when purchasing a pond liner. Flat and prefabricated pond liners each have their advantages and disadvantages.
Preformed pond liners
- Faster to install.
- Hard plastic or fiberglass walls are used in the construction
- May either be installed in a hole or placed on top of your lawn as an above-ground pond.
- Extra stiffness and durability, meaning they can withstand greater pressure from rocks and roots that come up from the bottom and big objects that are thrown into the water from above.
- Doesn’t have flexibility that a flat liner provides you with.
- If you do not bury it, you miss out on the ground’s insulating capacity hence, your fish will suffer from the extremes of temperature.
Flat pond liners
- Gentle on you and the fish’s skin
- Can also be changed and added to.
- Have all of the advantages that preformed liners don’t.
- Offers protection from extreme cold and heat when winter and summer
- Can be used to make various types of pond because it can be cut to fit almost any shape
According to material constructed from
The most popular materials for pond liner construction are: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer rubber (EPDM), and High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE). You can also opt for a pond liner made of concrete.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
- Incredibly cheap
- Least ideal for flat pond liners.
- PVC also becomes damaged by temperature lows and highs, and UV radiation.
- May be folded repeatedly with little chance of stress fractures accumulating over time.
Producing PVC flexible enough to be used for a liner involves chemicals that are not at all fish friendly. These chemicals may easily seep out into your pond water if you’re using PVC as a primary liner. However, PVC functions as an excellent backup liner to protect your main liner and delay or prevent leaks.
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer rubber (EPDM)
- Inherently elastic
- Stretchy and pleasant to the touch
- Not thermally expansive, does not crack in the cold.
- Weakens when exposed to heat and leads to leaks in the future
Although it is more expensive than PVC liners, EDPM is well worth the extra expense since it is completely fish-safe and does not leach toxic substances into the water.
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
- Even more durable synthetic material
- Specifically intended for big pond construction.
- More UV and chemical resistant than EPDM rubber
- For approximately 40 years after installation, HDPE pond liners may be heated to fuse the seams together.
HDPE is completely safe for fish, but its rigidity makes it inappropriate for certain pond forms. Punctures, such as those caused by boulders left behind during excavating the pond’s pit, might potentially damage it. Other damage causes are removing rocks carelessly, and roots penetrating it, over time.
Concrete pond liners
- Doesn’t leak and is easy to maintain clean.
- Difficult to adjust its form than a flat pond liner.
- More expensive to put in and have a pretty rough surface.
- Durable and water-resistant, making it ideal for outdoor use.
For a few years, the chemicals in concrete pond liners slowly seep into the water. With this, lime tends to elevate pH. A high pH isn’t hazardous to most fish, but it’s something you’ll have to keep an eye on.
The best construction according to weather and temperature
While some liners can withstand extreme temperatures and conditions year after year, others can break or wear out if subjected to this kind of weather for an extended period of time. Hence, your local weather conditions have a significant influence on the sort of pond liner material you should choose.
Below freezing temperature
Temperatures below freezing may cause PVC and butyl rubber liners to fracture, but EPDM and HDPE can resist these conditions. You should keep in mind that premade fiberglass liners may expand somewhat in order to handle the increase in volume that happens when the water in your pond freezes.
UV radiation exposure
Your pond’s exposure to light is another factor to keep in mind. PVC and butyl rubber may split over time if they are exposed to UV radiation, which breaks down the compounds in these materials.
Even though UV-resistant materials like EPDM, HDPE, and fiberglass liners are often used, these materials will degrade over time if exposed to sunshine. Concrete is the only material that can withstand extended exposure to UV rays without experiencing any negative consequences.
Frequently asked questions
Which is the best all-rounder pond liner?
Aquascape EPDM 45 Mil rubber liner is the most popular pond liner. It is popular due to its durability and all-roundedness. In order to make your liner fit your design, the company uses a material that is easy to work with. There is also a 45 Mil thickness, which makes up for the EPDM’s flaws when compared to other materials.
Sizes range from 8 feet by 10 feet to 20 feet by 25 feet. Aquascape is sure that their liners will last for a long time, so they offer a 20-year manufacturer’s warranty that doesn’t have any restrictions like HALF OFF PONDS.
What is pond liner underlayment?
A pond liner underlayment acts as a softening barrier to protect your pond liner from rocks and roots. The tips of the rocks can be very dangerous. Putting so much weight on a liner can cause it to wear down over time. This is because there is so much water pressing down on it, as well as fish movements and other things. Because the underlayment acts as a barrier, hard and sharp surfaces don’t get as rough when they bump into the main pond liner.
Hence, a pond liner underlayment is a soft, fibrous material that goes between the ground and your flat pond liner. It is laid down as a mat between the ground and the liner. Underlayment looks weird at first because it isn’t waterproof and it isn’t rigid, either.
Why should I use a pond underlay?
Underlay is a great way to protect your pond liner from damage. It acts as a “cushion” between the liner and the bottom of the pond. The materials are usually long-lasting and won’t rot or break down easily, which means they can be used for a long time.
Many are strong enough to keep tree roots and other sharp things from getting into the pond liner. If the ground in your garden is very rocky, then the underlay is an important geo textile material to use when you build a pond.
Always use pond liner underlayment even if your soil looks clean. There are hidden sharp objects near the surface of the water that can be hurt by the weight of the pond that has weighed down over time. They can also get through a liner over time, which can cause leaks to happen. The underlayment protects the liner and deflects incoming roots. This helps the liner last longer.
Is clay, mud, and natural pond bottom good for Koi fish?
It can look bad if the fish keep stirring up the mud, but the health benefits of this material make this a good choice for anyone who wants to grow or breed Koi fish. Koi fish like to live in a place with a natural bottom, like clay, so they can swim around. Koi wants muddy water more than anything else. If the Koi fish are hurt or have parasitic annoyances, they will look for clay and mud environments.
The best koi farms raise their fish in mud ponds, which makes them healthier, bigger, and more vibrant fish. Mud ponds are usually at least 5 feet deep and are the perfect place for Koi to heal and get food.
What is the best size for my pond liner?
If you want to use a flexible pond liner, you’ll need to figure out how much liner material you’ll need to make your pond look the way you want it.
Here’s how to do it:
- Find the broadest, longest, and deepest parts of your pond design, and measure them in feet first.
- Find the widest, longest, and deepest parts of your pond design, and measure them in feet first. Double its depth then add one foot.
- Add the resulting depth to its length.
- Do the same for its width.
- The resulting length and width are the dimensions needed for your pond.
Can I use a pond liner on a mud pond?
Mud ponds are the best way to keep and grow healthy Koi. The main drawback is that you can’t always see the Koi because they like to play in the mud. If you use a liner, it will help the fish if you add calcium montmorillonite clay to the pond every few days.
Make sure you think about how you’ll keep the pond clean and how much it will cost you to do that. To keep the Koi’s habitat healthy, you don’t need to add extra things like bacteria to the water. This is because you can keep your habitat healthy with mud.
What can I use to get rid of algae on pond water?
String algae, for example, grows on plastic liners and there are multiple ways to get rid of algae without putting harmful chemicals in the water. Read our article on how to get rid of algae and the different methods you can use.
It is essential to consider the pond liner you will use. It helps in creating the much-needed ecosystem for your fish. Bear in mind the pros and cons for you to best choose the pond liner which suits your needs. You can never go wrong by choosing any of our recommendations above.
Last update on 2022-09-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API