Best Pond Liners in 2021: Reviews with Comparisons

Best Pond Liners in 2021: Reviews with Comparisons

An outdoor water feature is a different way to beautify your home and enhance your natural environment. Outdoor ponds are an excellent habitat for goldfish, koi, turtles, and other aquatic species. If you are planning on making an outdoor pond, you need a high-quality pond liner, and here are some of the best pond liners on the market.

Best Pond Liners: Reviews

Firestone 45mil EPDM Rubber Pond Liner 15ft.x20ft

Firestone is famous for tires and rubber and makes some of the best pond liners in the business. This 15×20 foot pond liner is pre-cut and boxed for convenience. It is made of .045 inch EPDM rubber for exceptional durability.

The Firestone 45mil EPDM Rubber Pond Liner is fish- and environment-friendly and suitable for use with living aquatic plants. The synthetic rubber resists UV exposure, high temperatures, frost, and oxidation. It’s also easy to care for and built to last, simplifying your pond care and maintenance.

Because it is made of thick rubber, it is heavier than other types of pond liner but easy to work with and more resilient. In addition, it is chemically inert, so it resists algae and microorganisms and will not leach chemicals or contaminants into the pond water or into the environment.

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Aquascape PRO Grade EPDM Boxed 45 Mil Liner for Pond

The Aquascape PRO Grade EPDM Boxed 45 Mil Liner for Pond is made of .045 inch EPDM for exceptional resistance to UV radiation, ozone, and oxidation. It is easy to install and lays flat, with no special tools or assembly required.

The Aquascape PRO Grade EPDM Boxed 45 Mil Liner for Pond comes in various sizes, from 8×10 feet to 20×25 feet. It is safe for fish and for aquatic plants and is durable to last for years. In fact, it is backed by a 20-year guarantee, built on Aquascape’s reputation and experience.

Because these synthetic rubber sheets are hand-cut, they may differ by a few inches from the size ordered or not have perfectly straight edges.

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HAZKO 18′ x 20′ Pond Liner

This HAZKO 18′ x 20′ Pond Liner is made of 20-mil PVC and is flexible and plant-friendly. This pond liner is made in the USA and is recyclable.

HAZKO’s 18′ x 20′ Pond Liner is highly flexible and lighter in weight than EPDM rubber, so it conforms more readily to complex contours. It is safe for both fish and aquatic plants and is backed by a 15-year warranty against manufacturer’s defects.

PVC is not resistant to UV rays, so this pond liner material should be protected from sun exposure.

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Anjon Lifeguard 5 ft. x 40 ft. 45 Mil EPDM Pond Liner

The Anjon Lifeguard Pond Liner is one of the most popular liners in professional pond kits. It easily attaches to waterfalls and skimmers and accepts pipe and hose penetration without leaks. It is easy to seam, puncture-resistant and is certified safe for fish and aquatic plants.

The Anjon Lifeguard 5 ft. x 40 ft. 45 Mil EPDM Pond Liner resists UV rays, mildew, rot, and freezing temperatures. It contains no plasticizers that make it brittle over time and is unaffected by hydrocarbons. This pond liner is backed by a 25-year manufacturer’s guarantee, but when it’s installed with UnderGuard Underlayment Nonwoven Geotextile, Anjon will warranty this pond liner for life.

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TotalPond pond skins Pond Liner, 7 by 10-Feet

TotalPond pond skins Pond Liner is specifically designed for smaller outdoor fish ponds. This unique material comprises two thin layers of PVC sandwiched over an inner polyester weave for a pond liner that weighs 30% less than PVC but is just as durable.

In addition, the textured surface promotes the growth of healthy bacteria that balance the nitrogen cycle in your pond, making it a healthier environment for outdoor fish.

The TotalPond pond skins Pond Liner is UV and puncture resistant. At just 14.5 mil thickness, it’s more durable than standard 20 mil PVC while being lighter in weight and easier to work with. It is also non-toxic and safe for the environment, as well as for your fish. It’s easy to cut with scissors, so you can create a custom fit.

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Buyer’s Guide

When considering choosing a pond liner for an outdoor fish pond, here are the most important factors to keep in mind.

Material

Most pond liners are made of PVC or synthetic rubber, known as EPDM. Depending on your needs, each material has its advantages. Here’s a quick comparison:

PVC

Polyvinyl Chloride is a flexible, lightweight plastic. As a pond liner, it has an average lifespan of about 10 years.

Pros

  • Lightweight and maneuverable
  • Fish safe
  • Good tear resistance
  • Easy to seam or patch with PVC patches and glue
  • More affordable

Cons

  • Low UV resistance. PVC should be protected from direct sunlight with a layer of soil or sand or used in the shade
  • Less temperature resistance. PVC can become brittle and crack when exposed to extremely cold temperatures

EPDM

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer is a synthetic rubber. It is usually offered in 45 or 60 mil thicknesses. As a pond liner, it has a lifespan of 20+ years.

Pros

  • Flexible and less prone to wrinkling
  • Fish safe
  • Resistant to UV rays and temperature extremes
  • Excellent tear and abrasion resistance
  • Easily seamed or patched with EPDM patches, tapes, and sealant

Cons

  • Heavier to position and work with
  • More expensive

Generally Speaking, PVC is a Better Choice When:

  • You want to save some money
  • You don’t need to patch around pipe fittings or drains
  • Your pond won’t be exposed to direct sunlight
  • Your outdoor soil beneath the pond, and your aquascaping within the pond, don’t have a lot of rocks that can cause tears and abrasions
  • You don’t need a pond that will last for decades

If you need a pond that will last for years, if your landscaping has lots of rocks or abrasive materials, or if you need better UV and cold resistance, it’s better to invest in EPDM.

Durability and Warranty

There is almost nothing more frustrating than discovering that your pond has a leak and that you need to save your fish, empty the pond, and determine what’s gone wrong with the liner. As we’ve seen, EPDM is a more durable pond liner material than PVC.

But it’s also essential to look at the manufacturer’s recommendations and warranty for the specific pond liner you are considering. Many of our top picks for pond liners have manufacturer’s warranties for 20 years or more, which can be an important feature.

Value

When comparing pond liners, it’s easy to do the math and determine the best value per square foot. However, if you want to enjoy your pond for years with less mess and trouble, it’s worth investing in a higher-quality pond liner with a great warranty.

Fish Safe

Many people think they can save money on pond liners by simply buying sheets of PVC or EPDM. Sheets of these materials, sold as “roof liner,” are much more affordable than the cost of “pond liners.” However, when made for use in a pond, these materials are manufactured without additives, surfaces, and chemicals harmful to fish. Therefore, always look for a “fish safe” pond liner, and never try to keep fish in a pond that is not lined with a fish-safe material.

FAQ

How Much Pond Liner Do I Need?

To determine how much pond liner you need, use this formula:

Pond length + 2x pond depth + 1 foot)x(pond width + 2x pond depth + 1 foot

This allows you to completely line the pond with a 1-foot margin around the edges for anchoring. Remember that you will also need an additional pond liner for waterfalls and other pond water features.

How to Make Pond Liner Last Longer?

The best way to make pond liner last longer is to use an underlayment to protect the liner from below, so the liner rests on the underlayment instead of the bare soil. You can purchase a pond underlayment, which is the best method, but many people choose to underlay a pond liner with an old carpet or sheets of cardboard or layered newspaper. However, these materials will eventually degrade and break down and won’t protect your pond liner for as long as a professional underlayment.

How to Seam a Pond Liner?

If you need to attach two pond liner sheets together to make a larger sheet, the process is called “seaming.” It is similar to the method you would use to patch a hole or tear in the liner and be done correctly to avoid leaks. Whether you are using PVC welding products or pond sealing tape, it is critical to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the product. As a rule, you need to:

  1. Lay the liner on a perfectly flat surface
  2. Clean the pond liner edges with acetone to ensure good adhesion
  3. You may want to draw a chalk line 4-6 inches from the liner edges to guide your overlap
  4. Apply the seaming product’s primer or activator to both sides of the seam and allow it to cure for 10-15 minutes
  5. Apply your sealer tape, if using
  6. Overlap the liner edges by at least 4-6 inches and press the seam together
  7. Use a brayer to burnish the seam and ensure smooth, flat adhesion with no air bubbles
  8. Work slowly and carefully along the entire seam and allow it to cure completely before using

Conclusion 

The best pond liner for an outdoor fish pond is the Anjon Lifeguard EPDM pond liner. It’s durable, fish safe, and of professional quality. Plus, it’s resistant to mildew, rot, UV rays, and temperature extremes.

It’s also certified by Guardian Systems and used in a wide range of professional pond kits and marine experts in waterparks and fish hatcheries. Even better, this pond liner is backed by a lifetime guarantee when paired with the Underguard Underlayment, so you can use this pond liner with peace of mind for decades.

For a more affordable alternative, the TotalPond pond liner is a great choice. It’s lightweight and easy to use and cut, and has a durable multi-layered construction that lasts longer than traditional PVC. In addition, the textured surface promotes the growth of healthy bacteria, so it’s a good choice for an outdoor fish pond at a much more affordable price.