Before you begin with your Koi pond design plans make sure you have done the necessary background research. Talk to professionals that are experienced with building Koi ponds. Research the different types of materials and the necessary equipment you’ll need to keep your Koi healthy and happy.
If you fail to learn the basics to the proper pond requirements and equipment necessary for healthy Koi you not be happy in the long run, and sometimes not even in the present!
When you are ready to begin your Koi pond design the first thing you will need to determine is where you want to put your pond. When deciding on placement there are several things to take into account.
First, Koi ponds do better in a shaded or partially shaded area rather than in full sun.
You can place a Koi pond in full sun, but a shadier area will slow algae growth considerably and helps prevent the water from becoming too hot during the warm summer months.
If you build your pond in a sunny location you might want to consider putting up an arbor or awning to provide your pond with some shade. You might also want to consider having an area of the pond at an increased depth and cultivating some floating pond plants to provide some cooler areas and cover.
Shade also helps with protecting your Koi from predators…it gives them a place to hide. And, believe it or not, Koi can get sunburned so having some shade gives them a place to go to keep out of the direct sunlight!
Leaves from trees near the pond, with the exception of pines, shouldn’t cause problems if your pond is well designed. Just make sure to remove any when you notice them in your pond. Pine needles can create quite a mess as they can make their way through skimmers and leaf baskets and clog up your pump.
Once you have picked a spot and decided on a shape for your pond you can use a garden hose or rope to outline it’s size and shape. Or you could also make a chalk line. This will give you some idea of how the pond will look.
Keep in mind that your new Koi pond will probably be the central feature of your landscaping. Once you have the general outline shape of the pond established you can get a approximate idea of how many gallons it would be by multiplying the average length by the average width by the average depth by 7.5 gallons per cubic foot.
You’ll still have quite a few decisions to make but you’ll have a good starting point!
The next thing to determine in Koi pond design is how big you want your pond to be. One of the most common mistakes people make when designing their first Koi pond is that they plan to build it too small.
Although some say that 1000 gallons is sufficient for a minimum, the smallest pond I would recommend building is 1500 gallons, which would be approximately 7 feet wide by 8 feet long and 4 feet deep.
This may sound very large to some people, but if you build a pond much smaller than that, you will probably not end up being happy with it.
One of the problems is that Koi fish are extremely addictive and just like with Lay’s potato chips, it is hard to be happy with just a few!
You also need to keep in mind that you may start out with several 6 inch long Koi, but within 3 to 4 years they could grow to be 2 feet long or more.
With very few exceptions, most people end up wishing they had made their first pond bigger.
Bigger isn’t always better though. The largest pond I would recommend building is 15,000 gallons. The dimensions would be approximately 17 feet wide by 21 feet long and 6 feet deep.
A Koi pond design much larger than that can cause you several problems. For example, it can become almost impossible to catch one of the fish if you need to treat it or place it in quarantine.
If it becomes necessary to medicate the pond it will become more expensive the larger your pond gets. In addition, all the water in the pond will need to be filtered at least once every three hours. Operating pumps large enough to get the job done can cost hundreds of dollars per month.
Last, but not least, if you design a pond that is too large you won’t be able to enjoy your Koi as much because the larger the pond the less your fish will be visible.
Make sure to plan your pond carefully to comfortably accommodate your Koi and please your sense of aesthetics through good Koi pond design!