When it comes to designing and building a garden water feature, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing a fish pond color. The color you choose can greatly affect the overall aesthetic of your pond and the surrounding landscape. Whether you are looking for an eye-catching centerpiece or adding a water element to your outdoor space, picking the fish pond color dye or using the right fish pond paint color helps create the perfect atmosphere.
Water features add depth to the dimensions of any garden design. Fish ponds attract birds and insects that add movement throughout the landscape. Ponds also add the element of sound, with the gentle splashes of fish or fountains. A fish pond means a significant investment of money and labor, so take your time in the planning stage.
What To Consider When Choosing Your Pond Color
Below are some factors to consider when choosing the color of your pond.
Consider Your Surroundings
First, consider the natural surroundings of your pond and your garden space. The shape, materials, and color of your pond should reflect the overall style and theme of your landscape. It should also fit the tone of your home’s architecture.
Choose a Color that Complements Your Landscape
The pond color should complement the colors in your landscape. For example, if you have a lot of green foliage around your pond, a green or blue pond blends in well with the surroundings.
If you have a natural, rustic landscape, a natural-looking pond color such as green or brown would fit in well. If you have a modern, minimalist landscape, a bright, bold color such as blue or red would complement the overall style. Dark blue or even black would create a dramatic contrast.
If you have a lot of red or orange flowers, a red or orange pond reinforces its cheerful vibrancy. Consider a neutral-colored pond if you have a lot of natural stone, rocks, or boulders.
Consider the Mood You Want to Create
Think about the size and shape of the pond and what kind of atmosphere you want to create. Darker colors tend to create a more calming environment while lighter colors make it feel more vibrant and alive.
Think About the Fish
What type of plants and fish do you plan to put in your pond? Different plants and fish thrive in different types of water, and the color of the pond impacts their health and growth.
For example, the best color for koi pond use is usually dark. This helps show off their vibrant colors to the best effect.
On the other hand, if you plan to put water lilies in your pond, a natural-looking pond with a sandy bottom is a good choice because it provides them with the right environment to thrive.
Consider the Depth of Your Pond
Fish ponds require adequate depth, and koi ponds should be at least 3 feet deep. The deeper your pond, the darker the pond appears. So, remember that when choosing a lighter fish pond paint color that it may appear darker in the water.
Think About Maintenance
Finally, and most importantly, think about overall maintenance of your pond. Ponds with dark bottoms are more difficult to maintain because they tend to attract more algae.
If you plan to put a lot of fish in your pond, a dark-bottom pond might be a good choice because it helps keep the water clean. On the other hand, if you plan to put a lot of plants in your pond, a natural-looking pond with a sandy bottom might be a better choice because it will be easier to maintain.
The second thing to consider is the type of plants and fish that you plan to put in your pond. Different plants and fish thrive in different types of water, and the color of the pond can affect their health and growth. For example, if you think about koi pond colors, they are generally darker because they help to show off the vibrant colors of the fish. So the best color for koi ponds would be dark blues or blacks. On the other hand, if you plan to put water lilies in your pond, a natural-looking pond with a sandy bottom is a good choice because it will provide them with the right environment to thrive.
Third, consider the overall style and theme of your landscape. If you have a natural, rustic landscape, a natural-looking pond color such as green or brown would fit in well. If you have a modern, minimalist landscape, a bright, bold color such as blue or red would complement the overall style.
The next thing to think about is the overall maintenance of your pond. Ponds with dark bottoms are more difficult to maintain because they tend to attract more algae and other types of aquatic plants that can be difficult to remove. If you plan to put a lot of fish in your pond, a dark bottom pond might be a good choice because it will help to keep the water clean. On the other hand, if you plan to put a lot of plants in your pond, a natural-looking pond with a sandy bottom might be a better choice because it will be easier to maintain.
One of the biggest factors is the budget. The color of the pond can affect the overall cost of the pond. Ponds with dark bottoms are typically more expensive to install and maintain because they require more specialized equipment and materials. On the other hand, natural-looking ponds with sandy bottoms are typically less expensive because they require fewer materials and less specialized equipment.
Pond Color Choices
A simple way to choose your pond color is to think about natural vs “artificial” colors. Natural colors are also neutral, such as greens, blues, browns, and grays. Artificial colors would be those not found in natural hardscape materials. These would include red, yellow, and orange.
Popular pond colors include:
The palette of pond colors isn’t as narrow as you’d think, but some hues are more popular than others.
Blue and Green Hues
A deep blue pond color creates a serene, tranquil atmosphere and blends in well with natural surroundings. Blue is also the color of the sky and serves as a natural choice for the color of a pool or a pond.
A green pond provides an organic look that’s reminiscent of natural bodies of water such as rivers and lakes. If your pond is set amongst thick foliage and trees, then green would be ideal for your pond.
Brown and gray are perfect choices to help ponds blend in with natural surroundings. A water feature made of stone appears more natural with gray or tan armor paint. These are both great options to boost the appeal of a natural water feature.
Vibrant and Bold Shades
Red and orange are bold choices for ponds and add a pop of color to a neutral landscape, adding a touch of drama. If you’re looking for a standout color, red is it.
Neutral and Calming Colors
Black is a great choice for ponds that are primarily used for fish, as it helps them hide from predators. If you’re looking for drama, mystery, or even deep woodsy-natural, black is an obvious choice. Black was once the only color found in pond liners.
Natural Pond Colors
Dark blues, greens, and browns are natural background colors for ponds. While water features are often focal points in the garden, subdued colors allow your plantings to take the center stage.
Dark and Mysterious Tones
Black and purple offer a sense of mystery to any garden pond. They’ll also reflect your landscape lighting at night, giving your outdoor entertainment space a sense of enchantment.
Light and Airy Palettes
Tan or pure white gives a pond an ethereal appearance and cools down everything around it, even on the hottest of days.
Tropical and Exotic Colors
Competition Blue is the most popular color among pond owners, and aqua is also a popular tropical color choice. Just think of a beach or an island and the relaxing influence that has on us. It’s no wonder many people claim blue as their favorite color.
For koi pond colors, a tropical blue pond color makes the beautiful oranges, pinks, and reds of the fish stand out.
Traditional Pond Colors
Blue, blue-black, and black are traditional pond paint colors. They lend a formal feel to your water feature.
Contemporary Color Schemes
Contemporary trends call for natural pond materials for wildlife. Muted earth tones like brown and green help your pond’s inhabitants hide from predators by blending in with the background.
Another current trend is inky black pond colors that reflect the trees and sky from the surface of your pond.
Customized Pond Colors
While popular colors are popular for a reason, consider ordering a custom color paint for your pond that really suits your style. There will likely be a minimum quantity to order and it can take a while for a business to deliver custom colors, but it’s worth the wait if you’re after something specific.
Many garden designers recommend using the same colors throughout the landscape to draw the eye from feature to feature in the garden. This creates a feeling of flow as the eye moves to each area where you’ve placed that color. Ordering a customized hue allows you to match your fish pond paint color with specific flower beds, lawn furnishings, or an existing garden feature. This provides color continuity and gives your garden a more cohesive look.
Pond Paint, Pond Armor, or Pond Dye?
You can use pond paint, pond armor, or pond dyes to achieve your look. It depends on whether your pond is already established. The choice of colors with pond armor is a little more restricted, but it means you don’t have to keep adding dye to your pond. If you’re considering pond dyes, then we always advise buying from a reputable brand such as TruBlue, which is safe for swimming and wildlife.
What is Pond Dye?
Pond dye is a water colorant found in liquid or powder form. Pond dye colors come in a wide range of hues.
What are Some Pond Dye Colors?
Pond color dyes found most commonly in stores and online include shades of blue, green, and black. But those are just the traditional colors. You’ll also find purple, pink, red, and orange.
How Do I Apply Pond Dye?
Most pond dye colors are very easy to use.
For large ponds, choose powdered dye packets or liquid pond dye. You’ll need to know the size of your pond in acres to determine how much to use. Multiply the average length by the average width and then divide that by 43,560 to get the resulting acreage. The dye manufacturers provide the amount of dye per acre in the instructions.
For small garden ponds, calculate the volume by gallons. Multiply the length by the width by the depth and then multiply that number by 7.48. That provides the number of gallons in your pond. Smaller containers of liquid or granular pond dye will list how much to use for your pond’s capacity.
In either case, wait at least 24 hours to see if you need to add more dye to reach your desired shade.
The Pros and Cons of Using Pond Dyes
Pond dyes offer several benefits. But, like every decision, there are pros and cons to the use of pond dye.
- Reduces algae
- Keeps water cooler
- Reduces maintenance
- Enhances appearance.
- Easy to find
- Requires regular application.
- Can stain clothes or skin during application
- Heavy rains require frequent applications
How Does Pond Dye Color Affect Insects?
Pond color dye does not negatively affect insects. While there have been studies to determine if using them reduces the number of mosquitos hatched in ponds with dye, results are inconclusive.
How Does Pond Dye Color Affect Fish?
Pond dyes on the commercial market are food-grade and safe for fish and other wildlife. However, pond dye blocks UV rays from entering the water. This cools the water and can reduce the number of plants and aquatic animals in the water that would normally feed the fish.
How Do Pond Color Dyes Affect Plants?
The effect that pond dyes have on plant life in your garden pond depends on the amount of dye you use. The deeper the color, the more opaque the water, which has a significant effect on how far sunlight penetrates the water.
Pond Dye Color’s Effect On Algae
Dark blue and black pond dyes block enough UV light from the sun to prevent the growth of blue-green and filamentous algae.
Pond Dye Color’s Effect On Emergent And Floating Plants
According to Michigan State University, pond dye has no negative effect on emergent or floating plants. So, you can cultivate water lilies in your pond with confidence.
What Does Pond Dye Do For A Pond?
Pond dyes inhibit the growth of algae and deter predators from catching your fish. The dyes help by clouding the water, making it difficult for predators like birds to spot fish. The dyes absorb light so that fish at the bottom are almost undetectable to birds. Some dyes are formulated to create an intense mirror-like surface on the pond, so anything that lies beneath the surface is harder to see.
Predators at ground level, such as cats, will notice the strange color and since the fish are more hidden, they’ll lose interest faster and be less inclined to stalk the pond.
Inhibiting the growth of algae and other underwater plants also reduces maintenance. When sunlight penetrates the water, it allows any number of undesirable aquatic plants and weeds to flourish. Adding pond dye prevents weed overgrowth, which reduces the amount of work during spring pond cleanup.
Can You Swim In A Pond With Dye?
Yes, you can. Pond dyes should be safe for all fish and aquatic life and wildlife, but just make sure that the products you buy are labeled as natural and safe for humans and animals. Buying from a well-established brand is the best idea. If you want to swim in the pond, you should wait 24 hours or more after adding the dye so that it dissolves fully.
Because most pond color dye is food safe, you can still use your pond water to irrigate your garden, including your vegetable plants. Your pets will also be safe drinking from a pond with dye.
Pond dyes are safe for swimming pools, as well.
Conclusion – What is the Best Color for a Pond?
Building a pond is an exciting and rewarding experience, and choosing the right color for your pond has a big impact on the overall look and feel of your backyard. It also impacts the health of the fish and plants that live in it.
When choosing the color, consider the overall aesthetic of your backyard, the type of plants and fish that you plan to put in your pond, the overall maintenance of your pond, the lighting of your pond, and the budget.
Fish pond paint color, or “armor” is durable and adds an elastomeric coating to your pond. However, the results are somewhat permanent and the color options can be limited.
Fish pond color dyes offer more flexibility but require regular applications. The upside is that you can change colors when you’re in the mood for a change. Pond color dyes also reduce maintenance, keep the water cool, and help protect fish from predators.
With these factors in mind, you’ll be able to choose a color that makes your pond a perfect addition to your property.
If you have any questions, send them through we’ll be happy to add them to our list.