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Building a Koi Pond

by Elmer Epistola

Posted: September 6, 2004




You walk into a new pet shop and see for the first time a gigantic crystal-clear pond teeming with brilliantly-colored and elegantly swimming 2-foot fish.  The store owner throws a few pellets into the water and you get mesmerized by the feeding frenzy of the fish you think you've never seen before. Immediately you tell yourself that you've got to have such a fish pond yourself.  You've just been bitten by the koi bug.


Almost every little pet shop in Manila sell koi, so koi per se are seen by Filipinos everyday.  These, however, are the scrawny, dull-colored,  locally-bred ones  that are just 2 to 6 inches long.  Deeply-colored jumbo koi that trace their immediate roots to Japan are still a rarity in the Philippines, although more and more of them have been finding their way into the country these past few years.  In fact, koi business is starting to do well hereabouts, with more and more people having ponds built right in their own yards.



Figure 1.  Seeing a beautiful pond with beautiful koi

like this makes one wish to have a pond of his own



People who get bitten by the koi bug shouldn't rush into building a koi pond right away.  Koi ponds are more complex than a water-proofed hole filled with water.  Koi are hardy creatures, but they have special requirements that need to be satisfied before they can give their owner many years of enjoyment. 


Every koi hobbyist has his own idea of what koi pond he wants - how large it is, what shape it will have, where it will go, and the like. However, the koi pond that a hobbyist can get is constrained by several factors: how much he's willing to spend up-front and in maintenance, how much space he has, how much time he can spare to build the pond and attend to it later on, etc.   Thus, every koi pond, influenced by the owner's desires and resources, always comes out unique. 


Regardless of concept, however, all koi ponds must be properly planned, designed, and built.  Unique as they may all be in design, koi ponds have the same requirements in terms of structural integrity and efficiency. There are already well-established guidelines in the hobby on how a pond should be built.  Koi enthusiasts who want to stay long in the hobby are always advised to adhere to these guidelines.


Pond Shape and Size


First, a prospective pond owner must have an idea of what pond style he wants.  Does he want a fashionable and formal European pond, or a relaxing, natural-looking Japanese-style pond? A formal pond is defined as one that has a regular shape, e.g., circular, rectangular, hexagonal, etc. Once the owner has defined the general concept of his project, he can start looking at more specifics, like the size of the pond for example.




Figure 2.  Do you want a formal pond (left) or an informal one (right)?   


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