Preformed Pond Liner

A preformed pond liner is basically a rigid pre-formed liner that sits in a hole in the ground and gives you a pond.

Why A Liner

Unless you have a very large pond with a clay bottom, the pond will lose moisture through the bottom of the pond. A liner stops this from happening.

What's the difference between a preformed liner and a regular liner?

A preformed liner comes ready to slip into a hole in the ground - it has the shelves and depth preset and you have no control over the shape or features of your pond. A rubber liner (it can be several materials) can be shaped into any shape, depth or bottom configuration you want.


It must be easier to install a preformed liner - just drop it in the ground Well, yes and no. The bottom of the rubber liner doesn't have to be dead level but the preformed liner has to be. If the bottom of the preformed isn't level, then the top isn't.

A rubber liner has some leeway for error on the bottom. There is no problem with design, that's been done for you compared to the need for design on the rubber liner. Backfilling the rubber liner isn't a problem as it usually isn't backfilled - the sides of the hole are cut and shaped during the digging process and the liner conforms to them. In the preformed pond liner - the backfilling process has to be carefully done or the weight of the water will pull the liner out of shape and then you have some serious problems.


Are preformed liners cheaper? Yes, they usually are. But then again, they are usually smaller as well.


If they are smaller, they must be easier to maintain Experienced pond gardeners will tell you the bigger the pond, the easier it is to maintain. Small ponds are more delicate when it comes to balancing water/plants and fish. It is much harder to get a good balance with these things in a small pond than a larger pond.

Pumps and filter are cheaper - right? Yes, they are. But again, units that are designed to work with smaller ponds are not always the most efficient. For example, if you have a pump and filter combination, you'll be surprised how fast that filter clogs up and if you don't clean it out often enough, you'll burn out your pump.


It sounds like you don't like preformed pond liners Well, I had two in my previous garden along with some other ponds. They are ideal for small garden settings where you just want a drop of water. But if you want to grow fish and plants and waterfalls and ?? then preformed liners come with a few too many problems and not enough size. I grew a few lilies in one and absolutely nothing in the other (used it as a reflective accent). I didn't have fish or pumps in either, controlling the algae with floating oxygenator plants.

Partially built preformed pond liner and filter system. The issue here is with the anything-but-natural looking rock work.

Shopping Resources for this Page

Resource for several different manufacturers of a preformed pond liner