Building koi ponds requires more than just digging a hole and filling it with water. Koi owners should bear in mind that koi, like any other pets need to have an environment that is safe and healthy for them to live. Breeders should learn the basic essential tools they need for making the koi pond conducive for living.
The secrets to having a successful koi fish pond are proper attention to water quality and starting off with healthy fish. Primarily you need to determine how you will meet these requirements before building a koi pond or adding fish.
How big should it be? The pond where koi will live must be big because koi get large. A standard pond for this kind of fish should hold not less than 1000 gallons of water per fish and must be at least 3 feet deep. Your decision on the shape and the size of ponds for the koi will basically depend on your preference but irregular shapes will be harder to maintain and keep clean.
The pond should be built in as ideal a location as possible. You may want to have a pond in an area where you could easily see the fish as often as you want. You should also consider the accessibility of the pond as you will be spending frequent visits on the area to feed the fish. You can also consider building a small pond indoors.
You should consider that if a koi pond is exposed to sunlight for more than a few hours everyday it is likely to have too high a water temperature for koi. The best time for sun will be in the morning. You can use a trellis, pergola or greenhouse shade cloth if natural shade is not available during the warmest part of the day. Your outdoor pond should be built away from large trees to prevent the pond from being damaged by their growing roots.
Placing a net above the pond can also provide protection against the falling debris from the trees. You may enjoy giving your koi both an indoor and outdoor pond but creating one should be properly conceptualized in terms of safety, accessibility and ideal environment.
When building the pond you will need a pond liner. Don’t try to use swimming pool liners as they are treated with chemicals that can harm koi and avoid PVC liners, a butyl rubber liner is recommended because of its strength, long life and resistance to punctures. Concrete can also be used to build a pond although it is more expensive.
Make sure to construct a pond with vertical walls to help deter predators like raccoons and herons. You could also consider creating a higher wall around the pond especially if young children are present.
Koi pond equipment that you will need will include biological filters, aeration and a reliable pond pump. The filtration system is extremely important because koi require high water quality to stay healthy. It will be responsible for cleaning the water from waste products and the poisonous substances that can produce water contamination. Likewise the pump is essential because it moves water to the filters and prevents stagnation. As water warms it holds less oxygen so a venturi or other aerator will be needed.
These are the basic items needed for building koi ponds but you may also want to add a waterfall which is not only decorative but helps further aerate the water.