How To Start a Koi Pond

Add Beauty and Ambiance to Your Outdoor Living Space

A koi pond requires space, a financial investment and regular care and maintenance.  If done correctly, a koi pond adds beauty and ambiance to your outdoor living space.

Step 1

Go local: Try to find a local resource that can aid you in the ongoing maintenance of your pond.  If you don't have a local Koi Club, talk with your pet store or purchase a good book.

Step 2

Financial planning: Determine how much money you are willing to spend up front and in the maintenance, as well as how much time you have to devote to your new hobby. Your finances will determine much of the decisions to be made in the next few steps.

Step 3

Location, location, location: Choose the location for your koi pond. The area should be at least 12 feet in length and be close enough to the home to have access to the outlets. You want the pond to receive sunlight, but not direct sunlight for long periods of time throughout the day.  Most importantly, the pond should be easily accessible by the person who intends to maintain it.

Step 4

This is where the fun begins: Spray paint the shape of the koi pond onto the ground and start digging. The pond should be 4-5 feet deep and should slope evenly toward the center of the pond where you will install a bottom drain.

Step 5

Lining and filtration: Once dug, line the surface of the hole with a pond liner. Also install the bottom drain at this time. Next, install a filtration system and skimmer. Install a 3 way valve on the filter system so you can determine how much water comes from the bottom drain and the skimmer.

Step 6

Check your levels: Purchase a test kit that will test for ammonia, nitrates, ph levels, salt, chlorine, etc. Also purchase a thermometer and, if necessary, a water heater.

Step 7

Rock bottom: Place pond rocks and water plants throughout the pond. The rocks should be decorative but will also provide shade for the fish.

Step 8

Allow a week to pass: This allows you to regulate the levels of the pond water (use the test kit).  Introduce goldfish first into the pond and be prepared for the fact that these first fish might perish. After 2 successful weeks with goldfish, add koi or more goldfish. During this time, do not clean the filters as the bacteria are necessary for the pond. 

Finally, after an uneventful month you will be ready to add more fish and begin enjoying the beauty of this ecosystem.

This Article was provided by Shelly Seigler who also writes for a pet supply shop online that features dog carriers and pet crates

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If you live in an area where it freezes over the winter months you'll need to check the freeze line in your area. You'll need to dig atleast an additional 2' below this line; you'll also need to consider a heater to leave a small opening from the surface to below the freeze line water.

By Stephen Sandecki