A KOI pond design.
How to layout a
Koi pond design
for a do it yourself Koi pond. I used stakes and string to show the basic layout and then laid down 3" PVC pipes so water could be pumped from the lower pond to the top pond. I treated the block wall with asphalt paste so I could piled dirt against this wall. I used 4 railroad ties two layers high in an L shape to form the front edge of the top pond and made a water fall in the corner of the L.
Then I made a 1/4 circle dirt ridge from the ends of the railroad ties to make a small middle pond where water would roll over the full 1/4 circle dirt edge into the bottom pond. I dug out the lower pond to about 18" deep, putting most of the dirt into the retaining walls of the upper ponds. I fitted a PVC liner that I cut and glued to fit around all the ponds.
I purchased a 1/5 horse power above ground pump with a 2" inlet and outlet. This provided the right amount of water to make a nice flow over the water fall. The problem with pump was that it kept losing its prime if the inlet pipe would suck air and I would have to keep priming the pump.
I found a submersible 1/2 horse power pump that could be used in a Koi pond design. Check out warranty, some pumps cannot be used in a fish pond. I found this out the hard way when after about 6 months a pump failed and I tried to replace the pump.
We caught some crayfish one year from a local creek and placed them in the pond. They liked this pond environment as they multiplied and multiplied. I counted a least 10 per square foot on the bottom of the pond after 6 months.
Blue herons spotted them also and came a calling. They brought frog eggs on their legs. The frogs eggs hatched and the tadpoles grew up into frogs, the sound level in our back yard got up to about 90 decibels. Our neighbor complain, but it was a melodious and soothing sound.
Something didn't sound right one night so I went out and checked. The PVC liner of the pond was floating on top of the water. The blue herons had poked holes all around the bottom edges of the pond trying to get the crayfish.
I had large river rocks around the edges of the pond, so I put these rocks on the PVC liner to get it back down for the Koi to have some swimming area.
I filled up the kids wadding pool the next day, it was about 9' diameter and 30" high. I let the chlorine evaporate off for a few days and then transferred the Koi to this temporary pond. I placed a small fountain in there to keep the water aerated for the Koi. The crayfish didn't like this, they scattered and left, one of the neighbors thought they were scorpions.
I drained and removed the rocks from the bottom pond. I made a new pond design. I covered the PVC liner in all 3 ponds with 2 layers of chicken wire. I covered all 3 ponds with about 1/2" of cement over the chicken wire. I used a ratio of 1 to 2 of cement to sand as this is suppose to be more water proof.
I also added a 3" PVC pipe drain and plug in the upper pond design. Each spring of the year I drain and clean the upper pond. I also remove about half of the water hyacinths. They grow so fast during the summer months that with in a month they cover the top pond again. Water hyacinths are an excellent filter and keep the water very clean.
After the cement has dried for a week or so, I washed the ponds with diluted muriatic acid, the same acid as used on swimming pools. This reacts with the excess cement on the surface of the pond and dissolve it. This needs to be rinsed good and the excess water drained from the pond. The cement in a new pond will dissolve in the water and get in the gills of the fish so they cannot get oxygen from the water.
I refilled the ponds, and made sure the pump worked correctly. I waited two to three days to let the chlorine evaporate out of the water and then added some fish salts from the local Koi shop to get the water into a good balance. I transferred the water lilies and the water hyacinths back into the ponds and then the fish.
We've had this pond design for about 15 years and we have had good luck with this design. The raccoons and egrets like it too. I haven't put any crayfish in there so the blue herons haven't come back.
You can check out these other site on How to Build A
Water Garden or Fish Pond,
Pond supplies and Pond Construction
Koi Health & Pond Filtration Design Experts
How did you design and build your project?
Do you have a great project? Share it!
If you have questions on any of the design criteria or need help with your design, then send me your question and a picture to help explain the problem. I will try to help you with your design. Please fill out a "Contact Us Directly" form.
After you have completed your project, please send me information on how you designed it and a picture of your project.
Return to koi pond from pond design