Koi Ponds: What To Consider Before Building

Updated September 5 2018

Many people interested in building a garden pond choose to keep fish in them and many people prefer the koi goldfish.

Why choose Koi?

The koi are preferred for a variety of reasons. Some people love their bright colors, while others use them for controlling insects such as mosquitoes that often breed on the surface of the pond water. In fact many people love these fish so much that they treat them like pets and name them.

fish pond pump
an efficient, reliable pond pump is essential for dealing with koi waste and debris

Also referred to as ‘Nishikigoi’, the scientific name of this fish is ‘Cyprinus Carpio’. Mostly koi are black, orange and white. Originally a native to Japan, Koi export to the US and EU began in the early 20th century.

Pond size for Koi or Goldfish

  • Regular goldfish are best for smaller ponds. Those ponds usually in the range of 50 to 500 gallons. Their nature and size, along with how easy it is to care for them, make regular goldfish ideal for people who are new to pond ownership. If you’re starting with a small pond,you’ll gradually learn ways to take care of both the fish and the pond.
  • Compared to regular goldfish, koi goldfish are quite large. Their length may reach 2-3 feet and can weigh upwards of 33 pounds.
  • Ponds with a capacity of over 1000 gallons are best for koi goldfish. You should never think of keeping koi in a simple goldfish tank, as there’s simply not enough room for them.

Check out the video below.  The Koi Pond this couple created is absolutely beautiful.

If you’re planning to build a koi pond, you should use good pond liners (once a hole has been dug in your yard) instead of constructing your pond using concrete. Using a liner offers these benefits

  • reduces the cost of building a pond
  • it’s quite easy to install and won’t leak as easily

Recommended pond liners

Koi Pond liner
Koi pond liner

There’s a wide range of pond liners including EPDM, ABS, and PVC liners to choose from. Check out this link for more information to help you get the best type for your pond.

Koi goldfish have special needs, so extra care needs to be taken when keeping them. They need clean water, so the filtration system should be excellent quality to maintain a healthy and stable environment. You can use economical filters for smaller water gardens. Some of these systems have UV sterilizers that help guard against algae blooms.

For larger water features, you can use pond bed filters as they offer a healthy environment for your pond fish. When cared for properly, the koi can survive for 45 to 75 years. The current record is an astounding 200 years old.

A benefit of a larger koi pond is that it offers a better decomposition rate for waste material generated by these fish.

Is plant life suitable for your pond?

Large amounts of decorative plants and potted plants are not best for koi goldfish. The main reason is because of the digging habit of koi. They will dig and often uproot the plants. If you want to place a few potted plants in the pond, place a layer of pea gravel and river rock over the dirt to discourage the koi from digging.

They’re such large fish that their size alone is destructive for any vegetation in the koi pond.

Koi ponds are a wonderful addition to any garden. The key thing to remember is to choose the right size pond and use the right cleaning equipment to get the best results.

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