Can You Keep Koi in Fiberglass Ponds?
When looking into keeping Koi, you may come across quite the mixed bag of opinions. Some people swear by live feeding while others opt for block style foods. Some love deeper ponds while others only like a few inches of water. It can all seem like quite a lot to take in.
One of the most heated debates in the Koi care community has to be surrounding the housing of koi fish. Be it in a pond, filtered system, or tank, everyone seems to have their own take on the matter. Let’s take a look at one very viable option: fiberglass housing.
So, Is Fiberglass Safe?
As perhaps one of the most popular fish tank and pond liner options with commercial companies, fiberglass is generally thought to be safe for use in aquatic situations if mixed, cured, and sealed properly.
Tank vs Pond
Koi tend to not thrive in tank style enclosures. Some people do use fiberglass koi tanks but, in general, it is best to opt for a koi pond. Koi are usually very large once they reach maturity and simply cannot be contained in a small tank. You would have to have one that reached an excess of several hundred gallons to effectively manage a population of koi properly, which is unfeasible for the everyday hobbyist.
What Do You Need to Create a Fiberglass Pond?
For outdoor koi fish ponds, fiberglass is one of the best options for sealing everything in and creating a waterproof barrier. It is far superior to traditional concrete or plaster covering methods since it is much more water resistant.
To use fiberglass, you usually purchase it in sheets that are sealed with a special kind of fish safe resin to create a protective barrier. There are three things you need when beginning to work on creating a fiberglass pond: fiberglass sheets, resin, and flow coat.
How Much Does a Fiberglass Pond Cost?
If you are doing the project yourself, you can expect to pay a bit less than what it would be for a commercial company to install everything. For a 3X3 meter square of fiberglass, you will probably pay between five and ten dollars. Additionally, a polyester resin will cost roughly thirty dollars per gallon while a more heavy duty, higher quality epoxy resin will be upwards of one hundred dollars. Lastly, flowcoat will be between five and thirty dollars per gallon, depending on the brand you choose.
If you opt to have everything professionally installed, you can expect some labor fees and such on top of these prices, as well.
How Do You Set Up a Fiberglass Pond?
The short answer is: follow the instructions on your products. Generally, though, you simply measure your pond and cut fiberglass strips to fit. Next you cover the bottom of the pond with resin and lay down strips of fiberglass, repeating until satisfied.
From there, you let it dry then add a good coat of flowcoat to seal everything in and give the pond a nice black rock color. Cover everything with a tarp and let it all dry and you are set!
It is a good idea to use respirators and gloves when working on a fiberglass pond. Additionally, be sure to let the fumes dissipate before adding any fish or plants, as it can be quite harmful to them.
Can You Recover an Existing Pond with Fiberglass?
A lot of people are actually choosing to recover their ponds with fiberglass! Plaster and concrete are not the most durable and tend to look a little shabby after a few years.
It is totally possible to recover a pond with fiberglass, just be sure to sand off any paint and clean the surface well to allow for good adherence. If you want something that will last and look great for as long as possible, fiberglass is the way to go!
Not only is fiberglass a safe choice for koi ponds, it is actually quite an excellent option! A lot of people are now making the switch from concrete and plaster to fiberglass since it is supremely durable and looks nice. Just be sure to research your products and take care to ensure each step is done properly and with enough time to allow for safe fish introduction and you are all set!