How to Make Shaped Ponds | ACNH - Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

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Shaped Ponds header.png

Learn how to terraform water to create ponds of different shapes in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH). To learn more about pond and river differences, as well as waterscaping tips, please read on!

Differences Between Pond and River

Ponds VS Rivers

Ponds Rivers
The fishing rod hook is steady. The fishing rod hook flows with the stream.
Water is counted as a pond if the width and length are similar in size. Water turns into a river if it is long and thin.
Water is counted as part of a river if it meets a waterfall or a river mouth.

Distinguish Between Ponds and Rivers Using a Fishing Rod

Pond River
Fishing Rod Hook in a Pond.jpg Fishing Rod Hook in a River.jpg

You can determine whether a body of water is a river or a pond by using your fishing rod. In a pond, the hook does not move, while in a river, the hook moves with the flow of the stream.

List of Fishing Rods

Water With Similar Width and Length Will Likely Become Ponds

15x15 Pond.jpg

A 15x15 pond created using the Waterscape Permit with the Island Designer app.

No matter the size, if the aspect ratio is equal, or if the width and length of the water is similar, it is more likely to become a pond.

Narrow Water is Likely to Become Rivers

Pond to River.jpg
If you make the length or the width of the water thinner, the more likely it is to create a stream and become a river.

If you want to create a pond, take note of the width and length of the water.

How to Create a Pond

Unlock the Waterscaping Permit in the Island Designer

BuyAtNookStop.jpg
Once unlocking the Island Designer app, you can purchase the Waterscaping Permit at the Nook Stop for 6,000 Nook Miles.

What Should You Spend Nook Miles on First?

Create or Terraform Water into Ponds

We love Terraforming

Do not worry if you removed the existing ponds you have in your island. With the Waterscaping Permit, you can dig the land to create ponds and rivers.

Fish Can Appear While Terraforming

Fish in 3x3 Pond.jpg

Fish that appear in ponds can appear while you are terraforming water. Fish will start appearing once there is you have water that is 3x3 tiles wide. You can do this if you want to fish anywhere.

River Mouths Cannot be Terraformed

River mouth cannot be terraformed.jpg

Although you are free to terraform water on the whole island, you cannot terraform the river mouth (where the river meets the sea).

This is one of the unchangeable features in the game, and if you want different river mouth locations, you need to restart from when you are choosing an island layout.

Unchangeable Features

You can still fish at the river mouth even if there is no connecting river

Even if you completely cover up the water leading to the river mouth, you can still catch fish that appear in the river mouth.
List of All River Fish Times and Appearances

How to Round Corners of Water

Dig Corners to Round the Edges

Round edges.jpg

The land will be rounded if you dig up the tile maked with '◯'.

You can round the edges of land by digging corners of land with the Waterscaping Permit.

Round corners will be destroyed if you connect surrounding tiles

Rounding edges (1).jpg
If the tile already has water on the left and right sides, or top and bottom sides, it cannot be rounded.

Adjacent rounded tiles will also be destroyed

Destroyed corners.jpg
It will also fail the adjacent tile is also already rounded.

Bury and Dig Again to Round Corners

Fill up and dig to round corners.jpg
Even if the water is already angular, you can still round up the corner by filling it with land and digging it up again.

Adjacent rounded tiles are also filled

Filling adjacent rounded tiles.jpg

Filling the red tile with land also fills up the round tiles next to it.

If you fill a water tile with land, its adjacent tile, if it is rounded, will also get filled.

How to Make Shaped Ponds

Heart-Shaped Pond

Heart-Shaped Pond.jpg

How to Make a Heart-Shaped Pond (5x5)
1 Dig up a heart outline.
2 Fill in the center.
3 Round the edges.

1. Dig up a heart outline

In-game W 5
Heart Pond 1.jpg W W 4
W W 3
W W 2
W W W W 1
1 2 3 4 5 -

To start, you need a space for the pond which is 5x5 in size. Follow the table above to dig up the outline of the heart.

2. Fill in the center.

In-game 5
Heart Pond 2.jpg W 4
W W 3
W W W 2
1
1 2 3 4 5 -

Now, fill up the center of the outline. You can follow the table above by digging up the tiles marked with W.

3. Round the edges

In-game 5
Heart Pond 3.png 4
3
2
1
1 2 3 4 5 -

All that's left to do is to round up the edges. Follow the tiles marked with '◯' to round them.

Enjoy your 5x5 heart pond!

Clover-Shaped Pond

Clover-shaped pond.jpg

How to Make a Clover-Shaped Pond
1 Create a heart-shaped pond.
2 Repeat the steps 3 times in opposing directions.

To create a clover-shaped pond, follow the steps in the section above on how to create a heart-shaped pond, and reverse the directions to create a clover!

Vertical Heart Pond

Vertical heart pond.jpg

How to Make a Vertical Heart Pond (6x7)
1 Dig up a heart outline.
2 Fill in the center.
3 Round the edges.

1. Dig up a heart outline

In-game W W 6
Vertical heart pond 1.jpg W W W W W 5
W W 4
W W 3
W W 2
W 1
4 3 2 1 2 3 4 -

To start, you need a space for the pond which is 6x7 in size. Follow the table above to dig up the outline of the heart.

2. Fill in the center.

In-game 6
Vertical heart pond 2.jpg W W 5
W W W W W 4
W W W 3
W 2
1
4 3 2 1 2 3 4 -

Now, fill up the center of the outline. You can follow the table above by digging up the tiles marked with W.

3. Round the edges

In-game 6
Vertical heart pond 3.png 5
4
3
2
1
4 3 2 1 2 3 4 -

All that's left to do is to round up the edges. Follow the tiles marked with '◯' to round them.

You can create a smaller heart pond!

Smaller vertical heart pond.jpg
You can create a smaller heart pond by completing removing the 3rd row from the top, as it is occupied by water.

Star or Flower-Shaped Pond

Star-shaped pond.jpg

How to Make a Star / Flower Pond (9x7)
1 Dig up a star outline.
2 Fill in the center.
3 Round the edges.

1. Dig up a star outline

In-game W 7
Star-shaped pond 1.jpg W W 6
W W W W 5
W W 4
W W 3
W W W W W 2
W W 1
5 4 3 2 1 2 3 4 5 -

To start, you need a space for the pond which is 9x7 in size. Follow the table above to dig up the outline of the star.

2. Fill in the center

In-game 7
Star-shaped pond 2.jpg W 6
W W W 5
W W W W W W W 4
W W W W W 3
W W 2
1
5 4 3 2 1 2 3 4 5 -

Now, fill up the center of the outline. You can follow the table above by digging up the tiles marked with W.

3. Round the edges

In-game 7
Star-shaped pond 3.png 6
5
4
3
2
1
5 4 3 2 1 2 3 4 5 -

All that's left to do is to round up the edges. Follow the tiles marked with '◯' to round them.

Crescent Moon Pond

Moon-shaped pond.jpg

How to Make a Crescent Moon Pond (8x9)
1 Dig up a moon outline.
2 Fill in the center.
3 Round the edges.

1. Dig up a moon outline

In-game W W W 5
Moon-shaped pond 1.jpg W W 4
W W W W W 3
W W 2
W W 1
W W 2
W W W W W 3
W W 4
W W W 5
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 -

To start, you need a space for the pond which is 8x9 in size. Follow the table above to dig up the outline of the moon.

2. Fill in the center

In-game 5
Moon-shaped pond 2.jpg W W W 4
W W 3
W W W 2
W W W 1
W W W 2
W W 3
W W W 4
5
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 -

Now, fill up the center of the outline. You can follow the table above by digging up the tiles marked with W.

3. Round the edges

In-game 5
Moon-shaped pond.jpg 4
3
2
1
2
3
4
5
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 -

All that's left to do is to round up the edges. Follow the tiles marked with '◯' to round them.

Diagonal Moon Pond

Diagonal Moon Pond.jpg

How to Make a Diagonal Moon Pond (8x8)
1 Dig up a moon outline.
2 Fill in the center.
3 Round the edges.

1. Dig up a moon outline

In-game W W W 8
Diagonal Moon Pond 1.jpg W W 7
W W 6
W W W 5
W W W 4
W W W W W W W 3
W W 2
W W W 1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 -

To start, you need a space for the pond which is 8x8 in size. Follow the table above to dig up the outline of the moon.

2. Fill in the center

In-game 8
Diagonal Moon Pond 2.jpg 7
W 6
W 5
W 4
3
W W W 2
1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 -

Now, fill up the center of the outline. You can follow the table above by digging up the tiles marked with W.

3. Round the edges

In-game 8
Diagonal Moon Pond 3.jpg 7
6
5
4
3
2
1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 -

All that's left to do is to round up the edges. Follow the tiles marked with '◯' to round them.

You can change the moon's direction!

You can create this crescent moon in other directions by following the tables below. Tiles marked in gray are water, and tiles marked with '◯' to should be rounded.

Lower Left
In-game 8
Lower left moon pond.png 7
6
5
4
3
2
1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 -
Upper Left
In-game 8
Upper left moon pond.png 7
6
5
4
3
2
1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 -
Lower Right
In-game 8
Lower right moon pond.png 7
6
5
4
3
2
1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 -

Ribbon-Shaped Pond

Ribbon Pond.jpg

How to Make a Ribbon-Shaped Pond (9x4)
1 Dig up a ribbon outline.
2 Round the edges.

1. Dig up a ribbon outline

In-game W W W W 4
Ribbon Pond 1.jpg W W W W W W W W W 3
W W W W W W W W W 2
W W W W 1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 -

To start, you need a space for the pond which is 9x4 in size. Follow the table above to dig up the outline of the ribbon.

2. Round the edges

In-game 4
Ribbon Pond.jpg 3
2
1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 -

All that's left to do is to round up the edges. Follow the tiles marked with '◯' to round them.

How to Make a Trash (Garbage) Pond

Trash Pond.jpg
It is possible to create a Trash Pond where only Trash items can be fished. You can do so by combining a pond and a waterfall with a waterway using the Island Designer app.

Why Should You Make a Trash Pond?

Trash items header.png

Trash items in New Horizons are actually valuable because you can craft DIY items with it. Unlock recipes and even get Nook Miles for fishing up Trash!

Trash Uses and DIY Recipes

Steps to Make a Trash Pond

1 Create a waterfall from a cliff.
2 Create a pond nearby.
3 Connect the waterfall and the pond with a waterway that

Combine a pond and waterfall

How to Make a Trash Pond.png
Construct cliffs to be able to make waterfalls. Then, connect the waterfall and pond using a waterway.

You can expand or contract the size of the pond according your liking. You can also catch Trash in long ponds that are considered to be rivers.

The waterway makes the difference

Trash Pond Waterway Comparison (1).png

You can fish up Trash from the left pond, but not from the right pond.

Make sure that the waterway does not go straight to the pond. It has to at least change direction once for you to be able to fish up Trash from it.

Based on Video Guide

The above guide is based on a video graciously shared by Mogahiko's Game Facts Channel (YouTube), with permission directly granted by the content creator.

It's fully in Japanese, but if you would like to see the original video guide, click the link here!

Be Careful as Using Fish Bait will Make Fish Appear

FishBait.jpg
In this Trash pond, only Trash items will appear, even though they have the same shadows and movements as fish. Be careful not to use Fish Bait, as it will attract fish in the pond.

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