How to Build A Koi Pond

Beautiful White Koi

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.


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About Koi


Beautiful White Koi

You have to admire the ingenuity of the early Japanese koi fish breeders.  

They took an ordinary fish with one or two colors and selectively bred the wide variety of colors and patterns that make up the koi standards of today and created a whole industry based on a common carp. They created colors of brilliant reds, blacks and green with some yellow and the ever popular white.

Most koi have a base of white, with spots or patches of other colors. Red and Black patterns are more common, with solid colors being more rare and unique. So, what makes the white koi so popular?  Is it just because it makes a wonderful contrast to other colors, or is it something else? Continue reading

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Koi Disease

Wonderful Koi Colors

I Love These Koi Colors

Generally, koi are tough fish and usually have a high resistance to disease and illness. But, the health of a fish is heavily dependent on two factors, water quality and diet.

If their environment or water is bad and we feed them a crappy diet, their immune system gets stressed out. And their resistance to disease can go way down and even the mightiest fish can get sick.

There are several types of bacteria, parasite, fungi, and other illnesses that are common to tropical fish as well as koi.  Continue reading

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How To Raise Koi

How to Raise Koi – The One Thing You Really Need

The most important thing you need when learning how to raise koi, and the one thing you cannot do without, is good reliable information.  Koi are beautiful fish and anyone who wants to raise them needs to have the best information available.

Anyone who raises fish knows that a fish needs just three things:  Clean water, good food and protection from predators to survive.  If you have those things covered, everything else are just enhancements to make them look better.  But sometimes the enhancements are what make a puddle of water look good and will make your koi pond exceptional. Continue reading

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Build a Backyard Fish Pond

Why have backyard fishponds become so popular with homeowners over the past decade or so?  I think I have come up with the number one reason people want to have a fishpond.

Why Build A Backyard Pond

The number one reason is purely the aesthetics or “wow” factor of having a water feature that is attractive, awe inspiring and gets a lot of favorable comments from visitors.  And everyone wants compliments on how good his home looks.

Even a small pond looks good if it has a lot of colorful fish swimming in it.  If you stock it with a few koi or gold fish, it can become a high class “koi pond”.  Otherwise, it’s just another garden pond with plants growing around it.

Even though a pond is one of the most popular backyard additions, a project of this magnitude can be a path to frustration, a lot of expense and aggravation to an unwary or uninformed homeowner.

A satisfactory project can be a reality, but it requires a lot of forethought and planning.  But a popular myth is that it can only be achieved in sprawling areas with huge yards that have walkways and large empty space.

If you are ready to have your own fishpond and you do not have a large back yard to put it in, there are many design ideas that can be used to build your pond without having it overpower the rest of your yard.  Your imagination is the key.  The sky is the limit when you are designing a water feature.  There are so many construction techniques and materials available that anyone can have a beautiful water garden or fishpond without breaking the bank.

The aesthetic value depends on several things:

Location Of Your Garden Pond

The pond has to serve as the focal point of your back yard.  It probably should be placed near the center of the yard or in a corner if the yard is smaller. It has to be appealing enough to people want to walk around it.  Take into consideration the proximity of fences, trees and shrubbery when planning the location of your new pond.

No mater where you put the pond in your yard, it should be higher than the surrounding ground level.  This serves two purposes:

1.    The fish will come as a surprise to first time visitors. And,
2.    This will keep rain water from washing fertilizers and pesticides into the pond.

Consider the climate in your area when deciding on the location of the pond.  Colder climates require deeper ponds to allow the fish to live through the winter.   If the pond is not deep enough, it may be necessary to transfer your fish to an indoor tank if the pond will freeze solid.  Warmer climates have the advantage of the sun almost all year round and some water plants need sun exposure to grow.

Types of Fish

There are literally dozens of fish types that you can stock your pond with.  Just make sure that the fish you select are hardy, colorful and lively enough to attract attention.  Koi fish, fantails and pond comets are good choices for a pond, but the comets and koi are more aggressive than fantails.  It might not be a good idea to mix fantails with more aggressive fish.

Consider what kind of fish can survive in your outdoor fishpond.  Goldfish are compatible with most ponds, but they might not live as long or be as colorful as koi in an outdoor pond.

If you want to make your pond more appealing, landscape it or place plants around it to attract frogs and birds.  This will increase the natural feeling the pond gives and make it a more relaxing place to hang out and provide another food source for your fish.

Maintaining Your Fish Pond

Outdoor fishponds always require a certain amount of maintenance to keep healthy and vibrant fish and plants.  Building it can depend on your preferences, but ease of maintenance should be put into the design. If you find that maintaining an indoor aquarium is difficult enough, consider how much more effort a much larger outdoor pond will require.  Filtering systems, bacteria control and aerating will be necessary to reduce the level of maintenance needed.

Why Have A Fish Pond

There is relaxation and therapeutic value in watching fish swim in a pond or aquarium.  Think about how often you see aquariums in medical offices.  They are there to do more than just take up space.

A backyard fish pond tells people how much energy, time, and money you are willing to devote to make your home be more attractive. No matter how large or small your pond is, it shows that you appreciate beautiful things that bring a luxurious and relaxing feeling to your home. You will not only impress a lot of people but you will get all the benefits of pond ownership as well.

A pond can be a beautiful addition to your yard, but you have to maintain it to preserve its beauty over the long haul.  It is highly recommended that you get all the information you can about building a fish pond and stocking it with fish that are hardy and colorful enough to attract people to it.

Building a backyard fish pond is not an easy project but it can be a rewarding accomplishment for a do-it-yourselfer.  Make a list of all the things you want in a pond and get all the information you can.  You can get one of the best e-books I have here.

Then consult with some local pond professionals and your zoning board before building a pond yourself.  Do not hesitate to ask questions to avoid making costly mistakes.

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Koi Colors

iStock_000014025300XSmallKoi colors.  This appears to be the only way ornamental koi fish are classified.  Just trying to understand all the colors can be almost overwhelming for a beginner, but with a little patience and study it all begins to make sense.

In English, the word ‘koi” refers only to the ornamental fish.  In Japan, koi are symbols of love and friendship and this fish has become prized all over the world for its bright, vibrant colors.  This type of fish is regarded as a symbol of friendship and love.  As such, it has become extremely popular on everything from jewelry to tattoos. Continue reading

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How To Build A Cheap Koi Pond

Wonderful Koi Colors

Imagine Your Koi Looking Like This

Koi Ponds have become the premier aquarium for many people around the world. These fish come in a huge variety of colors and patterns and there is a lot of pleasure and for some people, profit, in owning koi fish.

Koi fish ponds bring out the best in people. As a result of this, many people look at a pond and envision how it would look in their own backyard.  Koi ponds can be very expensive.  But, if they like and want to keep koi fish, they willingly take on the task of building a koi pond.

A lot of DIY koi pond builders are Continue reading

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