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Building a Koi Pond (Page 2 of 4)




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Your decision-making on whether you want a large pond or a small one must be infallible.  The choice of your pond size will pretty much influence everything else:  the number and size of fish you can keep, the size and complexity of your filtration system, the location of the pond, the cost of your daily upkeep, and even how it will affect the look of your house. 


Large ponds are beautiful, of course, but they're also more difficult and costly to sustain. However, if you genuinely like koi, then you should follow the general rule given by koi experts: build the largest pond that you can afford.  Many koi enthusiasts end up building many ponds because they constantly outgrow the first ones they've built.  


Remember that koi pond size doesn't just pertain to the length and width.  Just as important is depth.  Koi ponds must not be less than 4 feet deep if you want your koi to have good body conformation.  The pond must likewise have a minimum length of 12 feet.  The pond surface must also have at least 140 square feet.  Of course, you can still enjoy a pond that has smaller dimensions than these, but keep in mind that you can not house the same number of fish in a smaller pond.  Studies also show that koi in small ponds don't usually grow as big and as nicely as those in larger ponds.




It's time to choose the location of your pond once you know how big it will be. By the way, if location is a bigger factor for you than pond size, then you should choose the location of your pond first and just define the size based on this. It's up to you.


Choosing the location of the koi pond is not as easy as pointing to a spot and saying you want it there.  When choosing a location, make sure that you are considering the following.  


1) Accessibility. Your  pond should be easily accessible to you.  Otherwise, the extra effort you need to get to your pond might ebb away your desire to pay a visit to your fish.  This is especially true during harsh weather conditions.  Though not everyone can have a large indoor pond, you can try to have one that's close enough to your house that you can see and feed your koi even if you're indoors.  


2) Proper Light and Shading.  You don't want a completely shaded or completely lit pond 24 hours a day.  Koi need sunlight a few hours a day, preferable in the morning and late afternoon.  Direct noon sunlight can burn the skin of your koi, so you must provide your koi with refuge from such a condition. The issue of sunlight on the pond becomes even more important if the pond is shallow, which doesn't give the koi enough depth to escape the heat of the sun. Also, beware of inadvertently building your pond on a spot that's too glary, or one that reflects too much light.  Doing so will prevent you from seeing your fish, because all you'll see is sunlight bouncing off the water.   



Figure 3.  Excessive glare hampers

viewing pleasure



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