Recreational Ponds

Don’t you wish you could combine the joy of a swimming pool with the natural beauty and cleanliness of a koi pond?

With a recreational pond, you can!

Unlike conventional ponds, a backyard recreation pond (also called a swimmable pond, a natural pool, an ecosystem pool, a dipping pond/pool, or a wading pond/pool) is designed to look and act more like a naturalistic water body with a unique shape, waterfalls, plants, and more.

There is no need for harmful chemicals because the ecosystem only requires beneficial bacteria and plants. An ecosystem pond’s water is filtered just like a natural stream or pond that has a balanced ecosystem. So the water quality is impeccable with very little maintenance, and is safe for all members of the family — including your furry friends!

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Available in any shape and size, with unlimited customizations (diving rocks, beach areas, fish, etc.)


Shallow & chemical-free


Kept clear with filtration & wetland systems, rather than chlorine


Naturally beautiful all year long (no unsightly pool covers!)

Garden State Koi’s design and install experts can work with you from start to finish to bring your backyard oasis to life!

Wait, how does a rec pond work?

The most important part of rec ponds: filtration, filtration, filtration!

  1. A Skim Cove pulls in debris and/or fish waste, which is pumped to a wetland filter.
  2. The filter fills from the bottom up, sifting out minerals and “junk.”
  3. Aquatic plants use all the nutrients in the water to naturally balance the PH, nitrate, phosphate, and ammonia, while managing algae.

THE BOTTOM LINE? With proper filtration, the water quality is impeccable with very little maintenance, and there’s NO NEED for harmful chemicals!



AVG. SIZE: 15’ x 20’ x 4’


AVG. SIZE: 20’ x 30’ x 4’

Other FAQs

Check with your municipality or county ordinance for depth. Most towns are fine with depths of 4’ or less.

Nope; fences are decorative and optional, but would be recommended for the same reasons they're mandatory with standard pools.

You only need simple beneficial bacterias, enzymes, phosphate binder, and the occasional flocculant to help with cloudy water. You don’t need to add any harsh chemicals, like chlorine or salt, that are typical in standard swimming pools!

Absolutely! You just need to make sure your filter can compensate for them.

A rec pond is still a pond, so biofilm does occur, but this contributes to keeping the water crystal clear! Although biofilm is not algae, it's regularly mistaken for it by new water feature owners.

No you can’t/shouldn't heat a rec pond. Ecosystems need to cycle, and extra heat can cause more algae blooms.

You cannot include a jacuzzi, but it's easy to install one that looks attached.

Technically yes, but if it's your first time (or even your fifth time) installing a koi pond, we really don't recommend it. If installation is not done exactly right with a rec pond, A LOT can go wrong and you can end up spending 10x your budget to fix it or maintain it. We highly recommend trusting our team of professionals to do it right the first time!

  • Wadding/dipping ponds start at $60K
  • Rec Ponds start at $85K
  • Keep your ecosystem moving in the right direction until it's established. Adding natural treatments bi-weekly or monthly helps with this!
  • A deep spring cleaning is recommended every 1-2 years.
  • Establish a regular maintenance routine for your recreation pond. This should include daily, weekly, and monthly to-dos.
  • Or… sign up for one of our Maintenance Membership Programs and leave the dirty work to us!

You only need to protect your pipes for the winter, and avoid stressing your fish by super-cooling the water.

Want to learn more?





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