Quick and Easy Above-Ground Pond

Stacked timber frame, limited to 24" height for strength
Corners of the frame were drilled and pinned with concrete rebar
Spacers were used to stiffen the long side of the 4'x8' structure
8-foot landscape timbers were used full-length and cut in half to create this quick 4'x8' pond. Don't make the walls more than 24" high for maximum rigidity after adding water.
Corners were drilled and "pinned" into the dirt with 1/2" diameter rebar for concrete work. Where possible, stacked timbers were attached with long deck screws.
12-inch spacers were used between the timbers on the long sides to stiffen the timbers. The short sides didn't need any reinforcement.
Exterior plywood was attached to the inside of the frame
The plywood was painted before installation
The frame is lined with padding and newspaper
Because the frame was "open," we had to add 1/2" exterior plywood to form the inside of the box. The outside surface was painted before installation, and then screwed to the frame.
The finished appearance of the frame after plywood installation is shown above. We decided to leave the timbers natural, and painted the plywood a light beige color for minimal contrast.
We began lining the inside of the frame with heavy pads and then a layer of newspaper. The bottom of the frame opening was red rock we decided wasn't worth moving somewhere else.
The PVC liner is installed, and all wrinkles removed
After smoothing liner, begin adding water
Trim the excess liner, roll to attach to the top timber
A heavy PVC liner was moved into place, and then came the laborious task of situating it in the frame with minimal wrinkling. Get it as smooth as you possibly can.
After the liner has been smoothed, begin filling the frame with water. Watch the timbers for any movement that might occur as you fill. This will be the time construction errors show up.
Trim the liner, allowing plenty of overage for now. We created a large roll of the excess liner, laid it on the top timber, and then held it in place with the trim boards.
Plastic decking lumber was used to create a seat and hold the liner in place
Another view of the finished frame
PVC plumbing pipe was used to create a top frame
Trim boards were attached to the top of the frame to hold the liner in place. We used 2"x6" Polyethylene decking lumber, attached with deck screws. It also gives us a nice seating surface.
Another view of the frame after trimming the top with poly decking. The poly was gray, blending nicely with the natural timbers and beige plywood liner.
For protection from the elements, we began crafting a gable-shaped frame from 1" PVC plumbing pipe and 45- and 90-degree ell and tee fittings. Our design shed water like a slant roof.
The finished frame is light enough for one person to carry
The finished frame is covered with heavy, clear PVC groundcover
After seasoning, the water is ready for plants and fish
The completed frame is light enough for one person to lift and carry. We assembled the frame in the driveway so we had maximum space to move around as we put it together.
The finished frame in place on the pond shows the overhanging sides to "grip" the pond frame. The frame was then covered with heavy-duty clear PVC groundcover plastic.
After final filling and sitting several days to "season" the water naturally, fish and plants were added. The specific goal of this pond was for tropical plants, so it is also heated year-round.