Before you even think about getting your tools out, you need to think carefully about where you want your Koi Pond located. It definitely needs to be somewhere you can sit and watch your beautiful fish swimming about without a care in the world, all from your window.
If your landscaping plans include planting trees, you need to ensure you don’t have tree roots interfering with your house plumbing or the base of the pond.
What size koi pond should I build?
The average hobbyist’s Koi Pond is about 10,000 gallons, or roughly the size of a small to medium sized swimming pool. You can create a decent 12,000 gallon pond if you have limited space. But if you’ve got the room, bigger is better because larger ponds are easier to maintain.
You’ll want to add different types of goldfish, such as Shubunkin, Comet Goldfish or other varieties.
A handy rule to note is that mature sized koi and/or goldfish will need about 10 gallons of water each.
This is why you should never put your goldfish in bowls. There is simply not enough room for them to grow and thrive in a healthy environment.
How to build a koi pond step-by-step video
This koi pond video gives plenty of visuals of the pond before the directions begin. Although it’s a large pond, the directions provided are clear and precise. (I’ll warn you that if you have the sound on, you might want to turn down your speakers as the music is a little on the loud.)
- Koi ponds need to be built from the ground up to prevent chemical runoff from the environment.
- The pond will also need at least a 6 inch lip around the edge to keep the Koi safe because they are prone to play and jump. Concrete, liners, or prefabricated inserts can be used for the pond base.
- You’ll need to consider the filtration system. It’s important that you buy the best system that you can afford.
- The health of your fish is directly dependent on the quality of the water in the pond which must be maintained by nonstop filtering.
4 essential steps for a healthy pond filtration system
- Bottom drainage
- Settling chamber
- Mechanical separation
- The pond’s natural biological process that maintains the correct balance of algae and PH levels
Homemade filters can be added to the pond to boost filtration. Ensure ponds over 6,000 gallons have a sufficient number of bottom drains. Other necessary equipment includes a UV sterilizer, skimmer, an adequate sized water pump and a water aerator to keep the water moving at all times.
If you live in an area of the country where the weather can be freezing cold, the aerator may be enough. However, I tend to like to take things a step further by using a cattle trough heater, which can be placed directly into the water. Not necessary, but extra precaution, if you feel so inclined.
How to maintain your koi pond
- The pond will need continual maintenance to keep it running smoothly and to keep your fish healthy. The surface of the pond needs to be free of debris and the bottom of the pond should be vacuumed from time to time.
- You’ll need to consistently monitor the algae and PH levels. The filtration and drains should always be monitored and kept clear.
- Some ponds will require a net to keep out excessive debris and foliage from nearby trees. A net will also keep fish safer from predators such as birds of prey and cats.
- Koi can be tricky to take care of, so you may want to initially start off with goldfish, which have a higher survival rate. Introduce the Koi after you’ve become accustomed to taking care of your pond. Stocking your pond with Koi as well as beautiful hues of goldfish will be more interesting. These fish get along well together.
- Click here to read about Aquashade Pond Dye – a product that helps with unwanted aquatic weed control
This is a list of some pond water treatment products you should be aware of
- API Pondcare Pond-Zyme enzymatic pond cleaner barley – cleans pond water and clarifies the water
- PondCare Algaefix algae control
- EasyCare ProTec scale and stain remover – protects fountains, pumps etc from mineral deposits building up
- Microbe lift 1-quart pond microbe-lift Autumn Winter prep – product contains good bacteria and enzymes to accelerate decomposition of leaves, sediment and organic matter resulting in a healthy pond environment
- TotalPond pond algaecide – controls algae growth on the fountain etc