If you are searching “how do i design a koi pond” you are most likely looking for basic information on designing your own pond. Ponds add color and life to your landscape and it is a project that adds beauty and value to your home.
There are 3 fundamentals for the design of a koi pond that all koi enthusiasts will agree on and then debate about how to accomplish it.
Koi Pond Design Fundamentals
Remove the solid waste such as fish poop, uneaten fish food, pine needles, leaf debris, and windblown debris from the pond using pond skimmers, bottom drains and even mid-water drains.
Settle Solid Waste as it is removed in a pre-filter. This is normally done in separate tank or removed physically with new technology through a pond sieve before biological filtration.
Nitrify or Filter your pond water, this is where you convert ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate and then add it back to the pond through waterfalls and it returns to circulation jets below the water level.
These fundamentals are the foundation of the koi pond design. It is from this that you can begin planning. The depth, length and width of the pond will determine the gallons of water. It is from here that we can add the equipment selection by using pumps with matched speed limits for skimmers, UV filters, bottom drains, biological filters, pre-filters, and more. Every pond design is subjective to your goals and can be influenced by your budget and landscape.
Design Tips for your Koi Pond
Your koi pond needs to be designed properly for your fish to thrive. Many professionals will recommend that your pond meet set criteria to be able to provide the best situation for your fish. Normally koi ponds are larger than a fishless pond.
• No less than 1000 gallons
• 3 or more feet deep
• 25 square feet of pond for each koi
It is vital that you know that fish will need to have some sort of shade. If the pond happens to get direct sunlight, then you should consider floating plants such as water lilies. Most of the pond surface needs to be shaded to give your koi a comfortable place to escape the sun. Another benefit of plants is that they give them a place to hide from predators.
Water plants are essential. Aquatic plants will help to balance the ecosystem which helps to create a natural home for your fish. There are some plants that are oxygenators which mean that they put oxygen in the water, which the fish can breathe. Koi also eat many types of water plants. Fish don’t need to be fed as long as the pond isn’t over stocked as they can live off algae, insects and other food in the environment. Certain plants can be included as a food source.
Good pond filters will help to keep your pond clean and clear. Koi provide a lot of waste which means that a filter is needed. There are 2 types of filtration: biological and mechanical. Mechanical filtration will trap fish waste and debris. Skimmers, pump baskets, and bottom drains are great for mechanical filtration. Biological filters use beneficial bacteria to turn toxins into harmless substances.
Fish will need oxygen to survive. Based on your pond size, the amount of plants that are growing and how many fish you have may cause you to need aeration. This is a process of circulating oxygen into the pond water.
Fountains and waterfalls are pleasing ways to aerate a pond. The water motion will allow natural circulation of oxygen. You may even begin to consider adding equipment to aerate your pond. These jets or pumps are great if you have large fish or live in hot climates.
Your pond water quality will impact your fish health. You will want to keep an eye on the pH levels and water temperature. The ideal temperature for your koi is between 39 F to 68 F. The deeper the water is, the easier it is to regulate the pond temperature. The best pH for your pond is between 7.0 – 7.8.
You should be aware that chlorine will hurt your koi, it burns the gills of your fish and leads to death. It is for this reason that you need to wait more than a week after putting chlorine in your pond before you stock it with fish. If you don’t want to wait, you can purchase a dechlorinator.
Hybrid Koi Pond Designs
If you want to challenge yourself to make these changes to their ponds the results are healthier, and happier koi fish and better clarity and quality of water than ever before.
We can learn from the koi pond debate on how to remove solids out of our ponds, settling them, and then making the water safe by nitrifying it. The biggest debate is how to accomplish the fundamentals of pond construction is a big interest. This is about the maintenance, care, well-being of the fish and upkeep. In the last 10 years, the ongoing care for koi has turned out some great technology that hasn’t really become a common practice among pond contractors.
What has been turned out and implemented in the last few years is quite exciting. You can see a big growth rate for koi ponds and making hybrid eco-system ponds within the next few years. The latest and greatest technologies will become mainstream and a new approach for education on installation of koi ponds will help to mold and shape the future for all koi ponds. If you are looking to design and then build a koi pond or are considering pond upgrades, let us help you to find the best technologies for your needs.