For years, I thought the definition of a koi pond was the same as a swimming pool. It’s a big hole in the ground that you throw money into.
I like koi fish, but I never made a koi pond because of the expense and the trouble I perceived that maintaining it would be.
Owning a koi pond was something that I never considered to be a part of home ownership. After I started researching and studying how to build a pond, I changed my mind.
There’s tons of information available and I ended up with some good ideas and bunch of good e-books. You can get a copy of one of the best about keeping koi here.
Building a Pond
A koi pond is essentially a hole in the ground, just like any other landscape feature that adorn a lot of beautiful yards. The real issue is how to build one without breaking the bank. Especially if your bank isn’t very big to start with. That’s where efficient planning and innovation come in.
Building a DIY pond isn’t difficult, but does involve a lot of labor and a fair amount of expense. If you’re handy with tools and don’t mind a little sweat, it’s doable without breaking the bank. It’s just like putting in a swimming pool and the first rule of a DIY project should be applied. Take the time you think it will take and the cost in dollars and double those. This might be closer to the true expense than you realize. But that being said, if you like fish, building a fish pond can be a rewarding experience and may add value as well as visual appeal to your home.
How To Build A Pond
1. The first and most important thing to do is to plan your pond. Size matters and this is something that cannot be easily moved. So size, shape and location are three of the most important decisions you have to make before you start a project of this magnitude. I can’t stress planning your pond enough. Shape is not as important as size.
I’ve seen koi ponds that were three feet wide and deep and twenty feet long and others that were shaped like swimming pools. Others are just holes that were dug in the ground. Size does matter because that determines how many fish the pond can support and how much the end result will cost.
2. The second most important consideration is whether to make your koi pond in ground, above ground or a combination. It does make a difference. This determines how deep the hole has to be and how the plumbing will be installed. Some designs are completely above ground and these can save a lot of time and money in the construction. The downside is that the pool will usually be less than three feet deep with an average depth of two feet and may not offer enough protection from sun exposure, predators and freezing for your fish. This will also impact the plumbing you install for the filtration system.
3. How are you going to construct the pond? Your choices are usually limited to concrete, liner, no liner or pond kit. All of these have their own advantages and disadvantages. Kits and liners are usually best for above ground or partially above ground ponds. Concrete construction is not something I recommend for a novice or DIYer. Liner pools are not exceedingly difficulty if you are at all handy with tools and can read the instructions. Liners give you more flexibility to make the pool any shape you want.
Almost all the parts you need to make your pond can be gotten from most hardware stores.
The greatest advantage of using a kit is that everything you need is usually included. Kits are available in many sizes and shapes and are available from a lot of stores. Do a web search for pond kits and you’ll get a list of thousands of sources.
4. Filtration and water flow from the pond to the filter and back again is most important to maintaining a pond that has water that is good quality and healthy for your fish and plants. The pump and plumbing should be big enough to circulate at least half of the water in the pond every hour. The filter has to be able to remove harmful material from the water and maybe a UV light should be installed to kill algae in the water. The filter system could include a waterfall or fountain to help oxygenate the water and give that wonderful relaxing sound that only flowing water can give. Your imagination is the only limiting factor.
Planning how to construct a pond is the most important part and where the most mistakes are made by new koi pond owners. Take the time to do the research, make some tentative drawings and list everything you think you might need to avoid any unpleasant surprises later on. Make a wish list. It’s easier to remove things from the list than to add things later on.