Best Pond Liner Reviews for Wildlife Ponds and KOI Fish
Having backyard bonds or garden bond projects is an exciting idea. Nonetheless, always check our reviews on the best pond liner first before you start the project!
The liner is supposed to fasten the building of the pond and protect it from seeping into the ground and getting dirty. Good as the pond liner is, you should remember that not all liners are the same. In contrast, they vary in constructions and features to meet different purposes. Thus, make sure that you know the pond liner well before you buy one.
Here we help!
What Is Pond Liner Used for?
As you might already figure out, the pond liner creates an impermeable layer between the pond and the surrounded soil environment.
Generally speaking, the fundamental purpose is to prevent water loss. Secondly, it helps maintain a clean aquatic habitat for fauna and floral ecosystems inside the pond.
Top 5 Best Pond Liner Reviews
#1. Firestone W56PL451015 – Best Pond Liner for Wildlife Pond
100% sure, you always find this Firestone W56PL451015 EPDM Rubber pond liner on the top 5 of the best pond liners. Especially, this option is ideal for wildlife ponds when you need an ultra-durable liner to withstand with woods, stone ramps, various plants, and aquatic creatures.
Accordingly, the Firestone liner is EPDM-based. The material is well-known for an average lifespan of 25 years for all seasons. Even direct UV rays and extreme cold can not knock the liner out.
Secondly, the Firestone EPDM pond liners come precut in 10 ft long, 15 ft wide, and 1.1mm thick. This size is suitable for a plethora of ponds and water projects. Not to mention, EPDM material is stretchy enough to fit into any curves and corners. In case you need to customize the liner for your natural wildlife ponds, the size is still large enough to cut on here and there.
Next, the installation is effortless since the liner is soft and folder. We just recommend you add a pond underlayment or send under the liner to enhance the overall lifespan.
- Substantial and flexible EPDM-based pond liner
- Durable against UV light and harsh weather
- Soft and effortless to install
- Friendly for fish, plants, and environment
- A 25-year manufacturers warranty
- A bit more expensive than some other
- Not ideal for small ponds
All in all, the Firestone W56PL451015 is designed with durability, tear-resistance, and puncture resistant ability in mind.
#2. TotalPond pond skins 13 by 20-Feet – Best PVC Pond Liner
Although PVC is not the most durable material for pond liners, this is among the most commonly used. This is thanks to the excellent balance of the price and quality liners.
Take the Totalpond pond skins pond liner, for example.
The liner is crafted with the enhanced 14.5-mil PVC, making it less cumbersome than standard PVC liners by 30%. Surprisingly, strength and flexibility remain unchanged. As a result, the TotalPond pond skins liner is both well punctures and UV resistant, as well as portable to handle with. Even better, a durable polyester weave is positioned between the PVC layers to reinforce the quality without causing any heavy feeling.
We also appreciate that the skins feature a bacteria-friendly surface so that positive bacteria can grow and balance the aquatic habitat for the internal floral and fauna diversity.
In terms of size, the liner is even more significant than the Firestone EPDM. The specific dimensions are 13 x 20 ft. and 14.5mm thick. Thus, we recommend the liner for 1200-gallon ponds or so.
- Ultra spacious liner for larger pond projects
- Enhanced PVC for a better durability
- Positive bacteria-supportive surface
- Lightweight and easy to install
- An excellent choice for budget
- Less durable under direct sunlight
- Possible pinholes
- Not for small ponds
If you use a PVC pond liner before, you already know its benefits. Hence, you will also like this TotalPond pond skin pond liner.
#3. Super Geotextile – 8 oz Geotextile – Best for Industrial Purposes
At first thought, the Super Geotextile – 8 oz Geotextile is a bit heavy and bulky. You will need it when it comes to industrial projects of landscaping, erosion control, construction purposes, etc.
Unlike other liners on the list, the Super Geotextile – as its name suggests, is made of premium non-woven geotextile. Using a needle-punch process, the liner’s surface gives off a permeable feeling. It can also stabilize soil and protect the liner from sharp rocks and roots. As a result, the Super Geotextile – 8 oz Geotextile will last for years against the harshest conditions of rot, mildew, and UV.
Another plus is the installation process. Despite the bulky size of 3 x 100 ft. and over 230mm thick, the liner is easy to install. The manufacturer also stock other sizes to cut on your scrap. Moreover, you can use leftover geotextile underlayment to accommodate pads inside the pond.
- Extremely durable
- Premium non-woven geotextile surface
- Surprisingly affordable compared to the quality
- Various large sizes
- A bit big and thick layer for small projects
In sum, we recommend Super Geotextile – 8 oz Geotextile for heavy-duty water features.
#4. Aquascape 85009 EPDM Rubber Pond Liner – Best Budget
The next liner for pond we want to introduce to you is the Aquascape 85009 EPDM.
For those who might not know, Aquascape is certified with a pre-qualified pond builder with years of experience in designing ponds and related products, such as the liners. It means you can rest assured about the quality of Aquascape.
Now, get insight into the Aquascape 85009 EPDM. You will hardly find such a good-quality EPDM liners at this price category. But the 85009 EPDM is truly helpful.
The 45mm thickness means the liner can stay durable against tears, solar UV, oxidation, and ozone, etc. Whereas, it is still stretchy enough to fit on various shapes of fish ponds.
Here we introduce you to 8 x 10 ft. version as a good alternative for Firestone W56PL451015 if your pond is small to medium. Otherwise, the manufacturers offer numerous sizes at your fingertips. The material is also easy to customize and seal in case you want to include a bottom drain or skimmer box.
- Various sizes available
- Quality EPDM pond liners at a low cost
- 20-year warranty by certified Aquascape
- Installation at ease
- Large sizes than expected
- Low-quality box
Be careful with the box. It can cause damages to delivery. Except for that, the Aquascape 85009 EPDM is suitable for various water features.
#5. Anjon Lifeguard Mil Rubber EPDM – Best Pond Liner for Fish Like Koi
Last but definitely not the least, Anjon Lifeguard Mil EPDM is advertised to fit a hundred KOI pond kits and a thousand of water projects. Anjoy promises to stay behind the quality and the liner is indestructible by cracks, splits, hydrocarbons, freeze cycles, etc.
Is the Lifeguard Mil EPDM good that much?
In fact, that Guardian Systems certify the liner to Fish and Wildlife Safe proves its quality build.
When it comes to sizes and installation, the liner comes in two thickness options: 45mm and 60mm, along with a wide range of dimensions from 5 x 5 ft. through 50 x 200 ft.
- Certified by Guardian Systems
- 25-Year warranty by the manufacturer
- Durable and lightweight EPDM material
- Various sizes from small to large projects
- No underlayment included at this price
If you want to create a safe and comfortable habitat for your KOI fish, you should think of installing this Anjon Lifeguard Mil EPDM from now.
A Complete Buying Guide
Selecting the best pond liner is not an easy task, for sure. You need to consider various factors from the liner itself to environmental conditions. Fortunately, our buying guide provides you with useful information so that you can make a wise choice more easily.
Types of pond liners
There are two options available: preformed hard shell liners or flexible ones.
The pre-formed liners have a built-in shape to directly put into the pond hole and fill it with water. These are so-called shell liners.
- Effortless to install into the pond – almost ready-and-use options.
- An affordable choice for your budget.
- Often made of durable materials.
- Recommended for small to medium ponds.
- Limited in sizes and shapes.
- More planning in advance.
Compared to pre-formed pond liners, the second type – flexible liners are now more and more popular. As the name suggests, the liners are crafted with soft materials to be easily folded or rolled up to the shape you want it to have.
- Free-form design.
- Meager cost.
- A wide range of sizes and materials.
- Easily compatible with pond pump systems, pond filters, etc.
- A bit tricky installation for beginners.
- Not very durable over time.
Pond liner material options
Except for the situations when you want to apply the pond liner for a short time – for example, due to an event, you must always go for liners as durable as possible.
This makes sense because the liners are often exposed to potential sources of damage such as tree roots, small rocks, leaks at welded seams and dock’s columns, UV rays, etc. Thus, when it comes to materials, keep several important rules:
- Strong materials are always better but might cost an extra.
- Liners with factory-welded seams are more consistent.
- The custom column will minimize leaks in docks.
- A protective coating is helpful to resist UV damage.
- Liners’ material significantly affects aquatic environments and creatures in it.
Specifically, here come common materials of pond liners.
|EPDM Rubber||The durability of EPDM pond liner options makes them a favorite material for commercial users or hobbyists. The rubber can withstand cold temperatures and microbes in an underground environment.|
|HDPE Thermoplastic||The high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is not as flexible in low temperatures as rubber. However, it is designed to stay robust against extreme thermal situations.|
|LDPE||A low-density polyethylene LDPE pond liner is an economical choice. It is even wrinkle-free, tear-resistant, and close-fitting.|
|RPE Reinforced Polyethylene||The RPE liners are recommended for beginners because it is thinner and easier-to-install than PVC or EPDM liners. The liner is possibly welded under heat if needed.|
|PVC||PVC is the cheapest material when it comes to a pond liner. The pond PVC liner is also simple to install and maintain. Nevertheless, it is not well resistant to direct sunlight without a stabilizer.|
|Plastic||Plastic tends to less pricey than a rubber. What we do not like is its stiffness to install into a small area.|
|Natural clay||Clay is possible high-quality to avoid water seepage. The price, however, is high.|
|Enhanced soil||Soil provides a pond seal for almost lifetimes. The only problem is the cost.|
Besides the liner’s price, you must also pay attention to some extra costs. If those are too much, you should go for others.
- Am I need an additional overlayment or underlayment?
- Is the installation easy enough, or I need more work on it?
- Can I maintain the layer myself or get someone to do it for me?
From our experience, typical liners for garden koi ponds cost about $1 per sq.ft. An enhanced protective layer adds to the cost by 25%.
Finally, consider places where you plan to set up a pond. If it rains a lot, then the liner has to withstand changing water flow frequently.
Otherwise, is the pond exposed to direct sunlight all daytime? Then, choose a material that is well resistant to UV rays, for example – the RPE Reinforced Polyethylene.
Which pond liner should I use?
It depends on your real requirements.
You can refer to the buying guide above and give every pond liner we introduced you a try, and you might pick up a good choice.
Or, to keep it short, be aware of three main factors: durability, environmental-friendliness, and flexibility.
- Expensive materials are often more durable. Thus, it is worth investing for your pond’s sake.
- The pond liner should never disturb the development of flora and fauna living in the pond. Remember that liners are featuring harmful arsenic to aquatic creatures.
- Flexible pond liners are more recommended to align with any water project. Such flexibility mostly depends on the chosen material.
What is the strongest pond liner?
You mean the strongest material, don’t you? – Then the answer is Reinforced Polyethylene Pond Liners (RPE.)
Enhanced to have a better resistance to punctures and be stronger, RPE is the best type of pond liner. Meanwhile, its thickness is half of the PVC liners and EPDM, making it convenient and easier-to-install for spacious liners and sheets. The RPE is also not stretchy. Especially, the material is friendly and safe for fish and plants.
In drawbacks, RPE pond liners are often more pricey than other types.
How to determine the liner sizes?
Just thinking about pond liner sizes makes you exhausted. Luckily, you can complete this task with some simple measurement tips.
- Length = the pond length + 2 * the pond depth + 2
- Width = the pond width + 2 * the pond width + 2
Or, you can follow the steps advised by Webb’s Water Gardens
How long will a pond liner last?
Many consumers confirm that their PVC or rubber liner options can last from 20 to 25 years with proper installation and maintenance. Or, a good point indicating the lifespan of the liner is its guarantee period offered by the manufacturer.
All in all, you will be satisfied with high-quality pond liners.
How thick should pond liner be?
The thicker the pond liner is, the more durable it is supposed to be. However, you might have to trade-off the weight and efforts in installation the liner. What’s more, the thickness is based on the material.
In most cases, the thickness of 0.75mm or 1.00 mm is recommended. The earlier is for most flat sheets but with an additional protective layer. The later is ideal with all box-welded liners. Sometimes, manufacturers craft their liners with 0.85mm thick. This width is extra durable.
Is PVC pond liner good?
As long as your area is not too cold because, under low temperatures, PVC material possibly cracks along the folds. Also, the PVC liners are often 0.5mm thick – not as good as our recommendations.
Except for those disadvantages, the other features are excellent. To be exact, PVC liners are pocket-friendly, flexible, and easy to install. You can expect a good quality PVC pond liner to last for around 20 years.
What is the best way to clean pond liner?
Surprisingly enough, you should leave the pond liner to take care of itself. It means you do not need to clean the liner off even detecting dark pond water. Instead, a dirt liner creates a natural pond for plants and fish to nibble on it.
What are common pond liner colors?
Almost all liners are in black. If you want to add colors to your ponds, you can use a colored backdrop or use natural plants.
We hope that the best pond liner reviews today are helpful so that you can make a choice of liners for your ponds. For those who are still hesitate, Growingherbsforbeginners.com suggest Firestone W56PL451015 EPDM Rubber Pondas the best overall option for three reasons: the quality build, a medium size, and a reliable warranty.