A koi pond is a beautiful addition to any backyard. You’ve probably seen them in restaurants and pet stores, and are thinking about building your own. While building a koi pond isn’t difficult, you should take the task seriously if you want your koi to be healthy and happy.

The first rule is to make the pond as big as you can afford. Many start out with a pond 500 to 2000 gallons of water and expand to 10,000 or even 50,000 gallons because they want even more fish. You can’t fit more than 20 full-size koi in a 2000 gallon pond. Also make the pond at least four feet deep to keep out raccoons and other predators, and 12 feet long. The pond should also cover at least 140 square feet.

When choosing a location for your koi pond, make sure that it is not in a really shady area, as koi need a few hours of sunlight a day. You can add plants such as water lilies with plant stands to your pond to protect your koi from the direct sunlight. Also try not to build your pond in a spot that reflects too much sunlight, or else you will not be able to see your koi through the glare. Palm trees are good to have near a koi pond because they won’t litter leaves and their roots won’t ruin the pond.

After you have chosen your location and size and have dug a hole large enough, you need to choose from the many pond liners out there. Pond liners make the process easy as all you have to do is make sure that no sharp rocks are in the hole, put the underlay and then the liner on and pour water in. You can also use concrete or fiberglass to line your pond, but this often requires more expert installation.

Next, you’ll need a Koi pond pump to set up a proper filtration system which will keep your pond clean and your koi healthy. Your filter should not be less than 33% of the pond volume so that the pump will filter clean water into your pond 24 hours a day. An important part of the filter is the bottom drain, where dirty water is sucked into the filters. The whole pond should slope into the drain to promote a clean pond.

Now all you need to do is purchase some koi and watch your pond flourish! Consider purchasing an ultraviolet lamp system to kill algae that turns pond water green.  Be prepared to replace 5-10% of the water in your pond every week to keep it fresh. Koi ponds can provide you with many years of enjoyment with proper planning and hard work.

If you would like more information, I recommend Koi and Ponds, a very comprehensive guide to building koi ponds.

Choosing the right fish food

Is your fish getting the right kind of nutrition? We rarely spend the time to understand the food needs of our fish. We pick up the food from the aquarium store and toss it into the tank. Sometimes we even install automatic feeders and let them handle the feeding. Automatic feeders are not always a good idea. They are helpful for when you go on vacations but they shouldn’t be used all the time. It is always better to feed your fish yourself and monitor their eating patterns.

  • Fish food pellets are made of nutritional elements for the fish. They consist of frozen mosquito larvae and frozen blood worms. Fish flake food also consists of similar elements. They are made to be consumed quickly. It is always best to feed your fish yourself so that you can see how much quantity of fish food they consume.
  • Keep feeding them small servings of food till they stop eating. That way you will know how much they really need.
  • Never let the uneaten food linger in the tank. Scoop it up and throw it away. The uneaten food dirties the tank and makes it unhygienic for the fish.
  • It is recommended to feed your fish two medium sized meals a day rather than one large meal every day. It helps your fish digest easily and prevents them from falling sick.
  • Do not change your fish food often. Fish like a uniform and steady diet. It helps them feel settled and safe.