How to Build and Maintain Your Own Koi Pond
There is something about a koi pond that brings relaxation and tranquility. Koi fishes are very entertaining to look at and they are certainly very colorful. Koi fishes are bred originally in Japan and are kept by serious hobbyists and proficient fish farmers because keeping koi fishes demands time, money and effort.
If you are planning to have a koi pond at home, then you will have to start from scratch and t\from the very beginning. You can make your koi pond but you can’t put the koi fishes, not just yet, especially if this is your first time to keep koi fishes. You have to start with easy fishes first like gold fishes. This way, you will get the hang of maintaining a fish pond before moving on to keeping high maintenance fishes like koi fishes. Besides, gold fish and koi can live harmoniously in one pond.
But before dreaming of breeding koi fishes, you have to build your koi pond first. The first thing to consider is the area where you want your pond to be built. It must be in a big area where you can play with your pond design. If you have decided where you want your koi pond to be, you have to gauge the depth of the pond. The pond depth is important to ensure that your fishes will be protected from raccoons, cats and other animals who loves fish for dinner. The recommended depth is at least 4 feet. A deep pond also helps to keep water cool in hot summer days.
Next, if you have already calculated the depth of the pond, you have to make your pond as big as you can. Small ponds are not suitable for koi fishes because koi can grow quite large and they will need a lot of space. Also there are so many color variations of koi, that with time you will probably want to add more fish to your pond. So it is better to create a large pond from the start than rebuild it later. About ten thousand gallons is a good size for a koi pond, bigger would be even better.
Taking care of your pond in winter is crucial as well as taking care of it during the summer months. Unlike tropical fish, koi don’t suffer much from cold; however you should never let your pond freeze completely. Installing a proper pond heater will always keep an opening in the ice. Also keep in mind, that koi only grow when the water is warm, so with a heater your fish will grow faster. When selecting a spot for your pond, make sure it is out of direct sunlight. Also keeping water plants like water lilies in your pond are a good idea, not only they add beauty to the overall design, but they also provide shade for the fish. However, you should avoid building your koi pond under trees. Cleaning a fish pond of fallen leaves is no fun.
Not only land animals love fishes but also birds. There are many birds of prey that would love to steal your koi. Make sure that you can have the option to install a bird net around your pond. Besides, the net is dual purpose, not only will it provide protection from the birds, it will also catch falling leaves and other things. When landscaping your pond, always keep in mind not to use any kind of insecticide or herbicide near your pond. Even a very small amount of common garden poison can kill your beautiful fish.
A healthy koi pond needs proper equipments like a water pump, filtration system, water aerator and an ultraviolet sterilizer. This is especially needed is you koi pond is still because your fish will get sick and eventually die. Koi pond filtration systems are expensive, so as an alternative you can make your own homemade filters.
There is much more to building and maintaining a koi fish pond. In time, you will get the hang of it.