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The mini pond is one of the most popular forms of self-created standing water. It is characterized by the low cost and work involved, since the actual container for the pond does not have to be created separately. For this reason, zinc tubs are often used for mini ponds, as they can be easily placed on the balcony, terrace or in the garden, are rustproof and offer enough space for plants that even support the settlement of wild pond dwellers.


If you only have a balcony, a terrace or a small garden, a zinc tub is an attractive alternative to the classic pond. The mini pond is particularly easy to set up and does without a large number of necessary utensils, without which a normal garden pond would no longer function. Since no fish can be kept in a zinc tank due to lack of space, heat development and problems during the winter, devices such as a pump and even a filter can be dispensed with. More important here is the tub, which should have the following properties:

  • Minimum depth: 40 centimeters
  • Minimum volume: 40 liters
  • 60 liters or more would be ideal

Don't worry, the tub itself can be round, square, or similar in shape to a bathtub, because the shape doesn't determine the success of the project. In addition to the tub itself, you need other materials and utensils to be able to create the mini pond:

  • bricks
  • plant baskets
  • gravel (washed)
  • pond soil
  • decor elements

The number of bricks depends on how you want to design your mini pond. With these you create steps within the zinc tub on which you can place the plant baskets. When it comes to gravel, you can relax and choose a color that you like. Since this is used to cover the pond soil, you will see this often and it is therefore advisable to select one of your desired shades. Among the decoration elements there are numerous items:

  • stones
  • characters
  • fountain
  • waterproof bulbs

Of course, this is only a small overview of the decorative possibilities. You can really let off steam here as you don't have to watch out for fish. Big stones or other elevations are welcome, as these are often visited by birds who want to drink and relax. If you enjoy bird watching, consider using a large rock and placing it appropriately.

tip: The ideal water for the mini pond is collected rainwater. If this is not available to you, you can also use water from larger ponds, as this has good properties for the small pond.

pond liner

Of course, if you want to put the mini pond in the ground in the zinc tub, that's also possible. In this case, however, you should not do without pond liner, as it has several functions:

1. Protection

The pond liner protects the zinc tub used from damage caused by storing it in the ground. Rocks and roots in particular can scratch the surface and even bottom dwellers can be a problem. Even small scratches can cause the metal to rust. Hairline cracks can even occur, which severely limit stability.

2. Shore area

As with a classic garden pond, the pond liner can be used to create a bank area that can also be planted. Even large species are possible here, as they have more space than the plants in the tub itself. If you are interested in a bank area, you should think about putting the mini pond in the ground.

3. Hibernation

Overwintering the zinc tub is easy when it is in the pond liner. This allows you to simply lift the tub out of the pit after it has been emptied and transport it to the winter quarters. The workload for this is extremely low.

The pond liner is used in the same way as a garden pond. That means you need a foundation, fleece, and materials for fixing the shore area. Then you can lay the foil and put the tub in it. Nothing more is needed for this, but the implementation of a zinc tub pond in the ground is significantly more complex in terms of time and money. On the other hand, this variant allows significantly more design options if you want to create small ponds without the need for a pump. Alternatively, you can use foil for lining if you are concerned about zinc buildup that could get into the plants via the water.


Without plants, a zinc tub as a mini pond would just be a container full of water that is not really decorative. The charm comes from the plants that are placed in the tub together with attractive decorations. Since this project is a space-constrained tank, you will need to choose appropriate plants that will not grow too tall or too wide. The following points should be considered when planting:

  • a maximum of three plants per square meter or pot
  • maximum 100 to 150 centimeters high
  • heat resistant

Since, as mentioned above, zinc tub ponds can get hot quickly, you should opt for plants that prefer warm temperatures. This is a great advantage of the mini ponds for tropical plant enthusiasts. You can even use species when creating the pond that would simply be too cold in a classic garden pond. On average, the plants prefer temperatures from 15 °C to 28 °C, whereby you can choose the final plant combinations in the pond according to the outside temperature. Below is a list of possible plants that you can put in the pond:

  • Cyprus grass (bot. Cyperus alternifolius)
  • Rootless dwarf duckweed (bot. Wollfia arrhiza)
  • Frog bite (bot. Hydrocharis morsus-ranae)
  • Water hyacinths (bot. Eichhornia)
  • Bacopa (bot. Basopa caroliniana)
  • Love curl (bot. Juncus effusus)
  • Sump screws (bot. Vallisneria spiralis)
  • Floating fern (bot. Salvinia natans)
  • Lotus flower (bot. Nelumbo nucifera)
  • Lesser algal fern (bot. Azolla cristata)
  • Marsh marigold (bot. Caltha palustris)
  • Dwarf water lily (bot. Nymphaea pygmaea)
  • juggler flower (bot. Mimulus luteus)
  • Japanese swamp iris (bot. Iris kaempferi)
  • Marsh calla (bot. Calla palustris)

Despite this variety, you should always make sure not to put too many plants in the pond. More is less. You should take this saying to heart here.

tip: If you're a cattail fan, you don't have to do without the popular pond plant despite its enormous size. The dwarf cattail (bot. Typha minima) is very similar to the large variants, only the cobs are almost spherical, which is very suitable for use in the zinc tank.


Once you have decided on the aquatic plants, the size of the tub and possible decorative elements, it is time to determine the location for the pond before laying it out. Since you completely do without a pump with this and the metal heats up very quickly, it should have the following properties:

  • 6 hours of sunshine per day
  • partial shade ideal
  • no cool north side

Partial shade is very worthwhile for a mini pond made of zinc, as the material heats up quickly. The consequence is the rapid loss of pond water through evaporation, which has a negative effect on the plants in the mini pond. Algae formation is also promoted, which should also be avoided. The location is ideal if the water can cool down again during the day.

tip: You can further fine-tune the location by placing the tub on a slightly elevated spot. In this case, for example, benches or blocks of wood that are robust and stable enough for the filled tub are ideal.

Creating a zinc tub as a mini pond: instructions

Once you've prepared all the materials and location for the zinc tub, you're finally ready to create your new mini pond. The following steps will help you:

1. Begin by cleaning the tub briefly and then arranging the bricks at the desired height. Make sure that the stones touch each other so that they cannot be displaced by the water or the plants.

2. Fill the individual plant baskets with sufficient pond soil, but leave some space for the gravel layer. When all the planters have been filled, the plants are placed in them. Complete this step with a layer of gravel that should sufficiently cover the ground.

3. Now fill the tub two-thirds full with water.

4. Place the baskets in the tub. To create an appealing visual aspect, place taller or taller plants in the background, while small or slow-growing ones should be placed in front.

5. Finally, fill up the mini pond completely. Just be sure to stop an inch or two below the edge to avoid possible flooding from rain. Don't add the water too quickly. You don't want to damage the plants.

tip: If you are interested in an implanted zinc tub, you can even keep fish in it. Of course, they should not have any problem with the small amount of space required and should move indoors over the winter, since the shallow depth of the tub can quickly cause the entire pond water to freeze.

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