A Comprehensive Guide to Building a Koi Pond
When looking into keeping koi, it can be a bit overwhelming to take in everything that actually goes into preparing a proper koi pond. There are so many steps, variations, and different opinions on the internet, many of which tend to conflict with one another. Let us help you work out your process with our guide to building a koi pond.
Step By Step
It is important to take this process slow and really think everything through before you begin the actual building of your koi pond. Let’s take a look at everything you need to consider.
1. Space and Placement
The first thing you should do when starting the considerations for a koi pond is find a space for your pond and settle on the layout. You obviously want this pond to be a focal point, so try placing it near an area that is high traffic and easily viewable and accessible for maintenance. Additionally, try choosing an area that is shaded to prevent overheating and slow algae growth.
Once you have the general area of your pond selected, try tracing it out onto the ground. Physically draw it as big as you would like it to be and see how to looks with the surrounding space. Keep in mind that koi ponds should be at least 1,500 gallons to accomodate for the fish and provide them with plenty of room; anything smaller than that will appear cramped and be a bit inhumane. Once you have decided how big the pond will be, dig the hole.
2. Add Embellishments
Koi do extremely well with waterfalls and other embellishments. In fact, they cannot thrive in water that is not circulated. Stagnant water is no good for any fish, let alone one as active and large as a koi. Try creating a waterfall or other structure from the dirt you dug from the hole and also use the same dirt to finalize any other structural areas you had in mind.
3. Add a Liner
There are a lot of different options for liners in your pond. For the sake of not overcrowding this guide, we are not going to go into them but, regardless, the process for installing them is generally the same. You need to get a piece that is big enough to cover the pond with about a foot of extra material at all sides. Smooth it over the surface of the hole you dug and anchor it as the directions say, usually with rocks or other heavy anchors.
4. Install a Pump and Filter
Even with the waterfall, koi still need additional circulation. To help with this every pond needs a pump and filter capable of being used in the water volume of the pond. Make sure both are suitable for the volume, as lower level filters and pumps will not circulate and clean enough and higher ones may create too much of a current. Follow the installation directions on the manual of the products you select for your pond. You can find our guide to the best filters and the best pumps by clicking the attached links.
5. Add Rocks and Water
If you want to add rocks to the bottom of your pond, do so now. Make sure they are not painted or colored and try to ensure they are smoothed to prevent injuries. Fill the hole with fresh water and check to make sure there are no leaks or holes and that the entire space holds water well.
6. Add Plants and Supplements
At this point, your pond is almost ready. If you wish to add plants, do so now so they have a chance to establish before you add your koi in. Now is also a good time to add any bacterial supplements to help the water better suit the koi or other additives you have selected. Just follow the packaging instructions.
7. Not Quite Ready
It is probably tempting to add the koi now but you need to wait around three weeks for the water to properly circulate. The bacteria needs to build up and a protective algae layer should begin to form that will assist with filtering out nitrates from the water that would otherwise make your fish very sick. After this point has passed, you can add the fish, giving them time to acclimate to the water fully before allowing them to freely swim in their new home.
Though this article probably makes koi pond building seem very simplistic and easy, you have to be careful and take all precautions necessary to ensure your pond is safe and viable. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to investigate them and take the time to do everything correctly. Trust us, the end result is definitely worth the effort.