Koi Fish Pond Landscaping and Care Guide – 2020

A Koi fish pond can be a great addition to your garden or yard. Koi are a beautiful fish that can live for decades in the right conditions. Watching them swimming calmly in water can be incredibly soothing and relaxing.

In this guide, you will find out about Koi fish pond ideas and care tips. With proper care and maintenance, your Koi fish pond can last long and serve as a meditation retreat in your house.


Category Rating
Care Level Moderate
Family Cyprinidae
Koi Fish Lifespan Over 60 years
Koi Fish Sizes Up to 36 inches.
Koi Pond Water Conditions 650F – 750F (180C – 240C)



koi fish pond



What is a Koi Fish Pond?


Koi fish is a Japanese variant of the Amur Carp (Cyprinus rubrofuscus). The fish belongs to the family Cyprinidae that also includes Goldfish.


The first known variety of Koi fish was the Narumi Asagi Koi fish bred in the 1800s by fish farmers in Asia.


A Koi fish pond has become popular across America and Europe for their mesmerizing array of colours. The pond specifically built to house the fish so that they thrive and display their best color.


How to Build a Koi Fish Pond?



You can buy a standard or above-ground Koi fish pond kit online for building a Koi pond.


The benefit of using a kit is that you won’t have to design the pond. You will only have to dig a hole for the installation of the equipment. But using a kit has a disadvantage due to the limited design and size options available.


That is why you may want to construct a Koi pond yourself. Here are the steps involved in the DIY construction of a Koi pond.


Step 1 – Choose an Appropriate Size


Building a Koi fish bond is not that difficult. A Koi fish pond size of 13 feet x 10 feet (3.96 m x 3.04 m) can hold a group of 10 mature fish without being overcrowded.


The pond’s width and depth should not exceed 13 feet (3.96 m) and 4 feet (1.22 m), respectively. Its is essential to make it easier for you to catch the fish when changing water or cleaning the pond.


If you want to raise the fish, the Koi pond’s depth should be about 8 feet (2.4 m). Beginners and fish enthusiasts avoid the deeper pond


Another essential factor of the Koi pond is the volume. Can calculate the required work by multiplying the length, width, and depth of the pond. 

It will give you the volume of the pond in cubic feet or meters. Calculating the pond’s magnitude in gallons multiplies the volume in cubic feet by 7.48 or cubic meters by 264.17. The volume measurement will allow you to determine the amount of water you will require for the pond.


Step 2 – Choose an Appropriate Location


The next step is to locate the right location for the Koi pond. A good place for the pond is close to the home window so that you can get a clear view of it.


Once you have selected the pond’s site, mark the area where you want to build the pond with chalk. You can define the space in whatever shape you desire. The Koi pond can be a polygon, round shape, L-shaped, rectangle, or whatever form that seems suitable to you.


Step 3 – Build the Koi Pond


Clear the area where you want to build the pond. You may have to remove the vegetation surrounding the area or pull up the paver covering the ground. Now, start digging with a shovel. Dig the pond’s sides, so they slope steadily downwards towards the centre of the pond.


Next, line the pond using a rubber or plastic liner. You can buy a pond liner from your local or online landscaping supplier. Should install the liner as per the recommendation of the manufacturer.


Roll the liner out over the pond but make sure that it overlaps the edges by about 3 feet (0.91 m). To prevent damage to the liner, remove any sharp stones and rock in the hole before installing it.


Secure the liner by placing large rocks over it at the edges. About 1 foot (0.30 meters) of the liner must expose beyond the stones. Dig a ridge around the perimeter once you are happy with the layout of the rocks.


You can also use a spade to shift dirt into a ridge formation with the liner reaching into the ridge. The small height will run along the pond’s outline beyond the rocks that will prevent soil, rainwater, grass clippings, and lawn fertilizers from reaching the pond.


Step 4 – Add Water


After you have built the pond, fill it with water using a garden hose. Use a de-chlorinator, water conditioner, or charcoal filter to add tap water to the pond. It will remove chlorine from the water as chlorinated water can harm your fish.


The water should be slightly alkaline with a pH value between 7 and 8.6. You can buy a water testing kit to ensure that the water’s nutrients and pH levels are suitable for the Koi fish. Adjust the water temperature to ensure that the fish stays healthy.


The ideal pool temperature should be between 650F – 750F (180C – 240C). Use a thermometer to measure the water temperature. Add cold water if the pond temperature is getting warm. You may want to use a heater if the temperature goes below the freezing point.


Your Koi fish can survive in temperatures between 34–90 °F (1–32 °C). But it would help if you kept the water temperature at the recommended setting to ensure that they remain in the best health. Additionally, a change of about 10% of the total volume every week: avoid changing too much water at one time as it will cause the fish to go into a shock that will be fatal for the fish.


Step 5 – Koi Fish Pond Setup


Dirty water can kill your Koi fish. A filtration system is essential to ensure that the pond water remains clean. A pond filtration system consists of a setline chamber, biological unit, mechanical filtration, and a bottom drain.


Should the filtration system be set up next to the Koi pond? You may have to dig the ground slightly to install the individual parts of the filtration. The biological filtration unit will add beneficial bacteria that will reduce the nitrate and ammonia in the water. Moreover, the mechanical filtration part will catch any debris that floats through the water.


Consider placing an aerator in the pond that will keep the water moving. It will keep the water from oxygenating the pond and promote the exchange of oxygen. It will also prevent the pond water from freezing during frigid winter months. The aerator should be suitable for the size, shape, and depth of the Koi pond.


Step 6 – Place Your Koi Fish


Before adding your Koi fish to the pond, you should turn on the aerator and the filtration system. Add the fish in the pond but keep in the plastic bag for about 30 minutes to adjust to change in temperature.


Next, add a small amount of pond water in the plastic bag and let the fish float for 30 minutes more. Release the Koi fish in the pond once it has adjusted to the new water conditions.


koi fish




Koi Fish Care Tips


Koi pond requires a moderate level of care. You should make sure that the water is kept clean at all times. Additionally, Should also hold parameters at the recommended settings. Use a de-icer to prevent water from becoming frozen during the winters.


Check the pond at least once a day and clean any debris. Ensure that you remove sticks, leaves, and other materials inside the pond as they will decay and pollute the water. Consider putting a net inside the pond that can catch leaves and other debris inside the pond.


If you live in an area that gets extremely cold during the winters, you should consider turning off the pump and the filter. The shallow temperatures will result in the freezing of water inside the pipes. It will result in cracks and damage to the pumps, filter boxes, and pipes.


Koi Fish Mates


Koi fish are compatible with a wide variety of fish as long as they are the same size or slightly smaller than Koi fish. You can add fancy Goldfish or imported fish to your pond. Examples of fancy fish include the Wakins, Fantails, Come Moors, Ryukins, Orandas, and Ranchus.


Golden orfe is also a suitable mate for the Koi fish. Moreover, you can add bottom feeders such as golden tench and barbell into the pond. Chinese Ha Fin branded shark fish will also make a good companion of Koi fish.



Koi Fish Feeding 



Koi fish are omnivores that can eat algae, plants, small insects, and algae at the tank’s bottom. They also eat vegetables such as rice, peas, and lettuce. Moreover, you can feed them cereal, rice, watermelon, and shrimp.


Small Koi fish feed on flake or small food items, while adults prefer pebble food. You should provide carbohydrate-rich food to adult Koi fish during the mating season that occurs in early spring to late fall.


Avoid feeding the fish during the storms as they need oxygen to digest the food. Oxygen levels in the air fall when it rains that is harmful to the fish when feeding.


Koi fish also feed on plants. You can plant fanwort and American waterweed in the pond. Moreover, it would help if you planted water lily as it will serve as a cover for the fish from the intense rays of the sunlight during the summers.


Wheatgerm is a recommended food product for Koi fish. T carbohydrates and healthy fats.


They are particularly recommended during the winters when the digestive system of the fish slows down. But sometimes the fish won’t eat the food. You should keep an eye on the feeding behaviour and adjust accordingly.


koi fish diseases




Common Diseases in a Koi Fish Pond



Koi fish are a hardy species. But the fish becomes susceptible to parasitic and bacterial infection during the winter season. The cold temperature slows down the bodily functions of the fishy ar, including the digestive system.


To prevent diseases, you should treat the water before e the onset of the winter season to ensure that the water remains free of parasites and bacteria.


Flukes and internal worms are the most common diseases. You can prevent these diseases by using praziquantel on the online pet store.


The medication, when given as per the recommended doses is effective in killing internal and external parasites. You should provide a dose of the medicine before starting the winter season and again at the beginning of the spring season when the fish become active also.



Related Questions



How Much Does a Koi Fish Pond Cost?



 Building a Koi fish pond is not that expensive. DIY ponds can cost between $500 and $1000. On the other hand, you can find a pre-built Koi fish pond for sale in the range of $2,000 to $15,000. The cost of a healthy Koi fish is between $20 and $30.



Can I Install Waterfalls and Fountains in my Koi Pond?



Waterfalls and fountains will significantly improve the look of the pond. They will also provide extra aeration and prevent ice formation. However, they also act as large heat exchangers that can cause heat loss at the water surface.


They will stir up the warm water in the deeper areas that will decrease the water temperature at the bottom of the tank where most Koi fish tend to spend time. So, while waterfalls will look great, they will reduce water stability, So it’s not recommended for the Koi pond.



Can Koi Fish Survive in an Outdoor Pond during Winter?



Koi fish cannot survive if the water temperature goes beyond the freezing weather. You have to winterize the fish pond to prevent your fish from dying due to frigid temperatures. 



Do You Have to Feed Koi Fish in a Pond?



Koi fish eat plants and can survive on the plants in the ponds. But they need a wide variety of food items to remain healthy. You should follow the recommended feeding tips mentioned in this article to ensure that they get the most nutrients.



How to Winterize a Koi Fish Pond?



You should use a de-icer during the winter if the temperature goes below the freezing point. Keep a breathing hole in the pond that will allow harmful carbon dioxide from accumulating inside the pond.


The easiest way for doing this is to install a de-icer before the water freezes. The de-icer will float to the surface and increase the surrounding water temperature. It will create a hole in the ice to remain open. Koi will be seen near the heater and occasionally come to the surface for air.


De-icers not made to heat the entire pond. If you install a powerful de-icer, it may cook your fish. A de-icer should also not put in a pre-formed pond. Also, make sure that the unit is compatible with the Koi fish pond size.



How to Prevent Algae Formation in my Pond?



Algae require two things to grow: sunlight and nutrients. Cleaning sludge will reduce nutrients that algae need to thrive inside the pond. 


Installing a UV clarifier will further prevent algae growth inside the tank. The device will also reduce harmful bacteria that cause bacterial disease in fish. Clarifiers are safe for the fish. Water passing through the UV chamber destroys algae in the water. You should install the clarifier soon after you turn on the pump after the winter.



How Many Koi Fish Can I Put in a Pond?



The number of fish you can put in a pond depends on the pond size. A 13 feet wide, 10 feet length, and 4 feet deep pond (3.96 m x 3.04 m x 1.22 m) size pond can hold about ten adult koi fish.


It would help if you did not overpopulate the pond with fish or too many plants as it will reduce the oxygen level in the pond that will be harmful to the fish.



How Often Should I Feed Koi Fish in a Pond?



Avoid overfeeding your Koi fish as it can get sick. Do not feed the fish more than three times a day. During the winter season, provide them just once a day. Should feed the fish for five minutes as long as they are eating.


If they don’t come up to the surface for eating, you should check and adjust the water conditions. The fish usually don’t feed when the water is too cold or warm. If the water conditions are right, the fish may not eat as they may not be feeling hungry.



How to Clean a Koi Fish Pond?



Drain the pond using a pump. Leave around a foot of water so that your fish can swim around. It would help if you cleaned the sludge and other debris at the bottom of the pond. After cleaning the pond, you should add water and use a de-chlorinator if it’s tap water.



Wrapping It All Up



A Koi fish pond can be a beautiful addition to your home. Caring for the pond requires a moderate level of care. It would help if you cleaned the pond to avoid the buildup of harmful chemicals inside the pond. With the right supplies, you can easily set up the pond to ensure that the fish thrive inside the pond.


The Koi fish pond ideas and care tips will help you install and maintain the pond in your home. The cost and effort required for building the pond will be worth it as it will help increase your property value.


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