You have been eyeing that empty corner of your yard for years thinking how beautiful it would look with a pond full of “living jewels,” or Koi fish, aquatic plants, streams and waterfalls. Though the project is easy to do, proper planning and construction require effort and concentration. First, join a Koi club and go visit other ponds, learn and get an idea of what you want to create, and then begin to plan your own dream.
After you have a basic understanding, sketch out your design or even use a garden hose to make the outline in your yard so you can live with it a few days before digging. You want the pond to be visible from the home, but not obstructing access or the use of your yard. Try to avoid all-day direct sunlight. Beware of trees or plants that will deposit leaves into your environment, or any runoff that could enter the pond. Use the natural shape of your yard to include waterfalls and streams. Make a shelf along the edge of your pond for aquatic plants to further the illusion.
A good sized pond should be about 20 to 25 feet long by 10 to 15 feet wide and 3 or 4 feet deep giving enough volume of water for 15 to 20 mature fish and not make it appear too crowded.
When you begin construction, keep in mind that you want the very bottom to have a drain for your filter and circulating pump. Your circulating system should include the drain, settling chamber, mechanical filtration, biological processing and a pump – powerful enough to move the water you need, but quiet enough to not disturb the beautiful scene you are creating.
Once you have dug your hole and laid out your plumbing, you will need to make the bottom of your pond waterproof. This can be done with poured concrete, sprayed gunite, natural boulders or a rubber EPMD liner, a thick rubber sheet. Surround the edge of the liner with stone to make the scene look natural.
Now that the pond is installed and the systems are in place, you have to prepare the water by neutralizing the chlorine and testing for ammonia, nitrite and pH. You will also have to replace about 10% of the water every week. Before you introduce fish to your new pond, wait between a week and a month to make sure that the pond and its biological and plumbing systems are working properly.
With a little planning and investment, you will be able to create the pond of your dreams. Many people, whether a local club, friend or waterscapers are there to help you. Have fun!