I don’t know anyone who has regretted building a pond. However, I know several people who would have made some changes to their pond design if they had known how much fun and pleasure they got from their ponds. Especially if they store it with koi fish. These guys are pigs, they will eat from your hand and will never be satiated.
Here are five tips to keep in mind if you are thinking of building a pond:
1. Build the pond as big as your garden and budget allow. Most of us start with a pond that ranges in size from 500 to 2,000 gallons. And then, if the room is available, build another one.
The reason is simple. If we store it with fish, we start with a few and then we want more. There are hundreds of color combinations and many varieties of fish to choose from, and one is never enough.
Some, like Koi, get really big, and you should limit the number of fish to one per 100 gallons to avoid overcrowding. Fish may require additional water filtration and aeration equipment and that must be decided during the design phase. It is very similar to planning a pool. The considerations are almost the same.
2. Locate the pond where it will not be exposed to direct sunlight throughout the day. Fish, especially koi, need shade to prevent them from becoming stressed. Plants that grow well in water or potted plants located near the edge of the pond can be used. Anything that provides shade in the water will relieve them of direct sunlight.
Overhanging trees should be avoided to keep debris out of the water and reduce maintenance requirements.
3. Don’t skimp on the water pump and filtration system. And get an ultraviolet sterilizer. You can get these pond kits almost anywhere they are sold. Think of it like building a pool. If you can’t get a professionally designed filtration system, you can do some homework and build a home-made filtration system that does the job.
4. Get a water heater. If you live in cold weather and your fish are wintering outside, you may need an inexpensive water heater to prevent the pond from freezing. Cattle warmers are available at most hardware stores in 1,000 and 1,500 watt sizes and can be used safely. You can prevent it from freezing by simply moving the water or providing aeration. The important thing is to prevent the pond from freezing completely.
5. Avoid the temptation to put goldfish in your pond. These little boys are prolific breeders and will grow very large in a large pond. You could end up spending a lot of time trying to get the goldfish out of there because they reproduce so easily.
A pond, whether you call it a koi pond, a fish pond, a garden pond or whatever, it can be a pleasure to have. Building one is not an impossible task if you prefer to do it yourself, and there are many places to get help and advice when you need it. Think about it and make a list of what you want in a pond. Then remember the general rule of thumb about DIY projects. Take your time and estimated costs and double them. When you finish it, you will have something to be proud of.