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How To Build A Koi Fish Pond

How To Build A Koi Fish Pond

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A koi fish pond is no simple endeavor. It involves consideration, construction, and maintenance. Building a koi pond is a complex and complicated endeavor. Koi fish ponds require specific equipment as well as chemicals to keep it running smoothly. Not to mention extra expenditures to protect against inclement or changing weather conditions. And that doesn't even take into account dressing it up with the extras. Nevertheless, koi fish pond owners the world over will attest to the fact that this is one of the most beautiful and worthwhile additions a homeowner can make to his or her property.

Building a koi fish pond is not for the average DIYer, though. It involves a lot of knowledge in several areas and can be extremely expensive and aggravating if not done properly. A professional contractor should be hired to create plans and dig, install and fill your koi fish pond. This is really the only way to get satisfactory results.

Having said that, the ardent DIYers who wouldn't hire a professional for any amount of money (it's not about dollars and cents, there's a man's pride involved here) can benefit from some sound advice. [Note: I am in no way recommending this mode of behavior. I'm merely trying to save as much heartache to those bent on doing it themselves.]

There are a few questions you need to ask yourself before you start digging. Size is going to be your first question. The general rule for koi fish ponds is the bigger the better. Too shallow is no good because the poor fish have no room to move about and get their necessary exercise. Make your pond at least 3 feet deep, 4 or 5 is better yet and a minimum of 10000 liters capacity. In colder areas, though, it should really be at least 4.5-6 feet deep to avoid freezing completely.

The second question is location location location. Where is the best place for building a koi pond? You want it close enough to the house so you can view it often (after all that's what it's there for), yet there are a few issues to consider. You don't want the runoff from rainwater flowing into your pond and sullying it with debris. Same goes for leaves, so don't put your pond under big shedding trees. Big trees with deep roots should be far from your pond, as the roots will go on seek and destroy missions to get to the water within a pond. Also, ponds need sunlight to keep things chemically balanced. Finally, ponds will attract wildlife from time to time. Depending on where you live this can be an exciting experience in ecology or a nightmare and a danger. Consider all these factors when laying out your plans for koi pond construction.

Waterfalls may seem like an addition that needn't be thought about during the initial planning stages, but that's wrong. Waterfalls are a great way of adding motion, oxygen and design to your pond. This will eliminate the need for an air pump to oxygenate the water. Adding or subtracting a pump is something that needs to be put into the project plans. Remember once you've set your pond, any changes or additions will be phenomenally frustrating and expensive. Note: Before you turn off your waterfall, ensure that it is not your only source of oxygen input. This can literally be fatal for your fish.

And now comes the question of lining. To line or not to line, that is the question. Some people prefer the pre-made butyl lining because it's cheaper, simpler structure and means lower maintenance. Others swear off of the stuff (colorfully, at times) because of the difficulties in creating a completely smooth and creaseless lining. These things are also killers to replace. Liners are also more difficult to find or piece together for curvy or unusual shapes and can be punctured. Concrete is the other option. This is often covered with a fiberglass coating. This coating should be detoxified and applied by a professional. Otherwise, the results could be deadly to your fish.

Then there's a whole bunch of talk about pumps, filters, bottom drains and settlement chambers that we'll get into in another article. The last step involves the extra touches. We're talking about the finishing material, the flora and fauna, the fringes. Probably the most realistic option available for creating that stellar outdoor garden pond look is natural stone. For koi ponds, especially, there's nothing better. Not only are you getting the most realistic replication of Mother Nature's version of gathered water, but also you are getting a clean, weatherproof, environmentally friendly and beautiful addition to your property. Natural stone for koi ponds are resilient and won't fade like most manmade materials do after time. There's none of the usual maintenance that's involved in metals and woods either.

As far as design is concerned, natural stone is the material of choice. Using natural stone for koi ponds also gives a more realistic impression of continuity. What this means is your pond will look like it is a part of your landscaping, not just an afterthought that was thrown in there. Also, consider the options available to you when using natural stone. For koi pond lining, natural stone is sturdy, durable, weighty and attractive. Stones can be used to create a waterfall or stepping-stones across the pond. They can also be used to create multiple levels, tiers or asymmetric forms.

Ok, that's all for now folks. We'll talk more about this next time.

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