Like most other major projects, planning ahead will save you time, money and loads of frustration. Well planning your Koi pond design is no different. Take the time to plan out the project in detail before you turn the first shovel of dirt.

Decide on the shape of your Koi pond. There will always be constraints on the design that you can’t control – existing landscape, slope of the ground, other structures, etc. Lay out several shapes for the pond using lengths of rope or garden hose. Make sure you check out the design from all angles. Don’t forget to look at the design from inside your home. If you have an upstairs, look down on the designs as well.

The depth of your pond is a critical consideration for several reasons. Koi get to be big fish. They can grow 3 to 6 inches a year. They need room to swim not only laterally but up and down as well. You need to have a minimum depth of 4 feet. Ideally, 6 to 8 feet will give your fish all the room they will need. This greater depth also helps to stabilize the water temperature being cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter months.

Certainly the bigger the pond, the more fish you can put in it, but there are always limitations. The smallest practical size for a Koi pond is about 6 feet by 9 feet, and 4 feet deep. This size pond will hold about 1600 gallons of water. In calculating the actual depth of your pond, don’t forget that there is usually about six inches from the water line to the top edge of the pond.

The best Koi pond design concept to keep in mind is “keep it simple.” A very simple design will allow for better water movement and thus better filtration. A very complex design may look spectacular, but cause other problems when it comes to keeping it clean. Keeping your pond chemically balanced is critical to the health of your fish. A simple design will make this much easier.

The best shape for your Koi pond is just a rectangular or oblong pond. This shape is the easiest to keep clean because it can accommodate multiple drains. A pond like this will have no dead areas with poor water circulation.

The location of your pond is a very important part of Koi pond design. It should be where you will enjoy it the most. Most people prefer to have it as the central or focal point of a backyard or garden. Being able to view it from a balcony, deck or back porch can be very spectacular.

As you determine that perfect place, consider these issues. A pond in full sun is perfect for algae growth. Incorporate elements into your design to provide some shade. A pond under a tree is going to get dirty with debris and eventually cause the acidity to rise if not watched carefully. A pond next to large trees could find the pond liner pierced or concrete cracked by the roots. Keep your pond away from any locations that can have excessive rain water runoff. Make sure your pond not located to close to plants that require the use of harmful insecticides.

John Stoner is an author and Koi Fish Enthusiast. Learn more about Koi pond design and many other secrets of koi care by visiting

Photo by Diana Parkhouse

Originally posted 2017-08-19 21:43:26.