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Pond Design Ideas - How To Make Lakes & Ponds
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Pond Design Ideas - How To Make Lakes & Ponds

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Check out this Animal Crossing: New Horizons Switch (ACNH) guide for pond design ideas. Learn how to make ponds, rivers vs. ponds, pond shapes, heart-shaped ponds, & star ponds.

Table of Contents

Rivers vs. Ponds - The Differences

How To Tell Them Apart

Judge Using The Fishing Bobber

BobberPondBobberRiver

Pay close attention to the bobber you send out when fishing. If the bobber moves with the flow of the water, you're in a river. If it stays in place and doesn't move, it's a pond!

Catchable Fish Differ

The types of fish you can catch in a pond or river are indeed different. It's possible to test what you've made by fishing as well!

> List Of Fish By Spawn Location Here

Size Doesn't Matter

The size of the body of water you've made is irrelevant - whether it be huge or small, if it meets the criteria for being a pond, it will be a pond.

How To Make A Pond

Make A Square Shaped Pool

Square
Click to Enlarge

The first step to building a pond will be to create a square "watering hole" of sorts. If its vertical and horizontal dimensions are equal, it should be recognized as a pond!

3x3 Or Larger To Spawn Fish

Square
Click to Enlarge

In order to spawn fish from your pond, you'll need to build one that is 3x3 tiles (or greater) in size. Any less than this and fish won't spawn!

Make A Pond With Only Garbage

Garbage pond

By making a pond that branches horizontally off from a waterfall, you can create a body of water where you can only catch trash and empty cans. This could be useful if you're going for trash-based DIY recipes.

> Check Out All Trash Furniture Here

Don't Fiddle With It After Completion

river or pond?
Click to Enlarge

▲This pond, although originally registering as a pond, is now stuck permanently as a River.

As we found out over the course of our testing, if you create a place that the game recognizes to be a Pond, then change it to a River, you can't change it back into a pond afterwards. The exact reason for this is unclear to us, but it seems this can't be undone, so don't make any unnecessary changes after you've finished your Pond.

How To Fill Up (Delete) A Pond

Unlock The Island Designer Tool

Island Designer Tool
Click to Enlarge

↑ Accessing the Island Designer Tool

In order to fill in water from rivers or ponds and make them land again, you'll need to have the Waterscaping Permit from the Island Designer Tool! To get this tool, you'll need to have an island evaluation of 3 stars, so take care of that first if you haven't!

Check Out How To Increase Your Island Rating Here

Get The Waterscaping Permit

Waterscaping Permit
Click to Enlarge

"There's a river on top of this cliff - it would be very dangerous to destroy it!"

The Waterscaping Permit is used for the Island Designer Tool and can be purchased in exchange for Nook Miles. Each Permit costs 6000 Miles, so try to save up at least that much while you're trying to unlock the Island Designer Tool.

> Nook Miles Farming Guide

Can't Delete Rivermouths

Rivermouth

The mouth of the river, or the part that connects it to the sea, cannot be deleted even with the Waterscaping Permit. This is an unalterable part of your island, so if you really want to change it, the only thing to do is reset your game until you get an island with a rivermouth in a location you like.

Check Out The Different Island Layouts Here

Pond Design Examples

Heart Shaped Pond

How To Make ①

How To Make
Click to Enlarge

Dig up the perimeter of your heart and decide its size. Give yourself at least 1 tile worth of space to work with for the round part of the heart.

How To Make ②

How To Make
Click to Enlarge

Make sure to visually demarcate which parts will be need rounding later.

How To Make ③

How To Make 2
Click to Enlarge

Adjust the edges of your heart's round part carefully as in the above picture.

Clover Shape

Clover
Click to Enlarge

You can make a clover design by simply using 4 of the above Heart Shaped ponds. Note that this could end up taking up a lot of space, so keep your heart shaped pond design small!

Round Pond

How To Make ①

Round
Click to Enlarge

First, determine the diameter of your circle and mark it out with water tiles. This will be your reference for the rest of the process.

How To Make ②

Round
Click to Enlarge

Start adding river tiles around the tiles you previously laid down. Chip away at the land and make a circular shape. If you want to make something symmetrical, make sure to count tiles accordingly.

How To Make ③

Round
Click to Enlarge

Put the finishing touches on your lake by making some of the tiles diagonal. Repeat this process for all 4 necessary sides. (This is more of an octagon, as it's not really possible to make a perfectly round lake.)

Crescent Moon Shape

How To Make ①

Moon
Click to Enlarge

First, make a round pond as indiciated above. Then, fill in the right side of the lake to get a crescent design.

How To Make ②

Moon
Click to Enlarge

Round out the tiles closest to the center of the pond to get a smoother crescent shape. If you're happy with this shape, you're done here!

How To Make ③

Moon
Click to Enlarge

If you want to bring the tips of the crescent moon a bit closer together, consider shaving off a few tiles at the "entrance" of the small island.

Star / Flower Shape

How To Make ①

Star
Click to Enlarge

Set up a few water tiles that will server as the tips of your star. At this stage you'll be determining the size as well, so count tiles appropriately.

How To Make ②

Star
Click to Enlarge

Fill in the remaining perimeter of your star. These tiles will form the wall of your star, so you'll want them to be 1 tile further in than the "tip" tiles you laid down previously.

How To Make ③

Star
Click to Enlarge

Fill in the rest of the lake with water. Building these from the inside of the lake will make it easier to round off your pond.

How To Make ④

Star
Click to Enlarge

Once you've filled in the middle of your pond, shape the 5 (or however many you put) points of your star. Rounding these off will give the pond a more gentle look.

How To Make ⑤

Flower
Click to Enlarge

If you create a small island in the middle of your star-shaped pond, you can get it to look a bit more like a flower! Make sure to round off the inner island's edges too.

Island Design Related Articles

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