The Ins and Outs of Koi Pond Design
As a koi owner, you need to provide a suitable, if not beautiful, environment for your koi to live and thrive. A well-designed koi pond will do just that. Koi ponds come in all sizes and styles to suit the owners as well as the fish. These aesthetic additions to a garden or backyard will make anyone want to come and sit for a while. If you’re thinking about taking the dive into koi ownership, read ahead to see what you need to know about koi pond design.
THE BASICS TO DESIGN
Before getting into the landscaping and decor ideas for your koi pond design, you need to create a functional space for your koi to live. If you’re going with an outdoor pond, consider various locations for the pond. You’ll want to build as big as you can afford so your koi have room to swim and grow.
Plus, the more surface area of a pond, the more gases can be released in the atmosphere, making the water all the better for the koi. A typical hobby koi pond is 160-320 square feet. You’ll also want to dig the pond deep – five feet at least. It helps prevent water temperatures from fluctuating too much in the sunlight.
Speaking of sunlight, you’ll want to consider how much direct sunlight will the pond get. A lot of direct sun in the summer can heat up water temperatures, causing excessive algae growth and impacting the health of your koi. However, you’ll want some direct sunlight in the winter months to keep the pond water from getting too cold. If you’re afraid your koi pond may receive too much sunlight, consider adding a pergola to your koi pond design.
You’ll also want to consider what you’re already working with in your yard. Will the pond be built into an incline? That can get tricky with heavy rainfall and snow thaw. When building the koi pond, you’ll definitely want to build a raised edge around the sides. This will prevent runoff that can carry fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals that will harm the koi. Another option is building a trench around the perimeter of the pond to keep runoff out.
Will the pond be nestled under the shade of trees already present on your property? If so, make sure to avoid building under trees that will shed a lot of leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds each season. As pretty as they may be reflecting over the pond water, it will make for many hours of you cleaning the debris out.
A popular feature of many koi pond designs is a waterfall. Waterfalls are a beautiful addition to any koi pond and provide a calming sound of running water to your yard. Many koi enthusiasts aren’t aware that waterfalls benefit the koi pond as well. Waterfalls reoxygenate and aerate the pond water as a gravity-fed filtration system, though they usually cannot sustain a large population of koi fish.
You’ll also want to add plants to your pond. Not only do these add to the beauty of the pond, but koi fish love them too. To keep koi from nibbling away at the plants, get creative. Smaller plants can be floated by adding foam rings around their pots. For larger plants, add underwater shelves to the edges of the pond to support ceramic pots. Water lilies are another classic plant to add to your koi pond. These iconic flowers can be potted with wire or rust-proof mesh inside the upper edge to protect the stems.
You’ll also want to light your koi pond. It’s essential for those early morning feedings and lets you enjoy watching your koi in the night hours too. Submersible lights will provide a nice glow in the water, especially on the metallic varieties of koi. However, remember to turn them off when you go in at night to let your koi fish sleep peacefully. You’ll also want to light the pathways around the pond. Lanterns are a traditional choice that go nicely with the style of a tranquil koi pond. The snow viewing lantern is a classic look that is especially popular in Japan.
We hope these basics to koi pond design help you make the right choices for your own koi! Do you have photos of your koi pond? Send them to us via the contact form