We’re always a fan of new landscaping projects to pick up, and a one landscaping feature that’s been increasing in popularity in recent years is a koi pond. Based in part on water features used in some asian architecture, a koi pond adds a sense of beauty and balance to your home. If kept healthy, a koi pond can become a center for wildlife in your yard, as it will attract frogs, turtles, dragonflies, and other animals to your yard that you might not otherwise get the chance to see. There’s a few basic questions you’ll want to consider through before starting this project.

How big will your pond be?

First ask how big you want your pond to be. You’ll want to give careful consideration to where you’ll put the pond in your yard and determine how much space you have to work with. You’ll also want to contact your utility company to identify the placement of any pipes or cables that run through your yard, as it can affect the placement and depth of your pond. The size of your pond will determine a number of other factors that you’ll need to consider, so this is the best place to start. Once you’ve selected the spot you’ll put your pond, use twine or brightly colored string to set the outline. Place wooden stakes in the ground to hold the string in place. This will let you measure the area of your pond. Determine how deep you plan to go. If you multiply the length of your pond in feet by the width in feet, then multiply that by the depth in feet, you’ll get the volume of your pond in cubic feet. Multiply this by 7.48 to get the total number of gallons you’ll have in your pond. Remember, you need at least 50 gallons per fish that will be in your pond.

Don’t skimp on the pump

Once you’ve determined the size of your pond, you’ll be able to make another major decision for the project, what kind of pump you’ll use. A pump and filter system is necessary for the pond for multiple reasons. First, keeping water moving will ensure the oxygenation of your pond as well as preventing some algae growth. A good filter will not only remove sediment from the water, but also protect against unhealthy microscopic organisms that may begin to grow in the pond. This equipment can get fairly expensive, but it’s important to make sure you invest in a good quality pump and filter system. This will protect the livelihood of the fish you’ll purchase for the pond, as well as ensure the clarity of the water, allowing you to enjoy the pond for years to come. The pump and filter will need to run almost constantly, so you want to get a setup that’s rated for this kind of constant use. (A swimming pool pump, for example, will not work) You don’t want to be replacing this equipment every few months, so an investment up front is worth it.

How will you protect against predators?

Your koi pond is going to attract some visitors to your yard, and not all of them will be welcome. You’ll want to make sure you have a plan for how you’ll protect the fish in your pond against predators. These predators will come in many forms, from predatory birds to the neighborhood cat. There are a number of different options and you can choose one or a combination of them. The easiest to use is going to be a protective net that’s placed over the surface of the pond. This net lays on the water and keeps predators from getting into the pond to snatch away your fish. While effective, not all owners like the net, since even though the nets are designed to keep out of site, they still can obstruct your view of the fish or simply be unsightly. You can also construct your pond to a sufficient depth to allow your fish to dive and hide from predators when they come around. Some pond owners even add small caves to the pond to allow fish to hide. Unfortunately, these options can make maintenance of your pond more difficult, and if a fish gets sick, you’ll have to put in some extra work to retrieve them for treatment or removal. Also, if this are able to hide, this can also defeat the purpose of your pond, if they stay out of sight, keeping you from enjoying them. No matter what method you choose, there will be pros and cons, so give careful consideration to it.

Adding a koi pond to your yard can seem intimidating, but it can also be highly rewarding, once you have a wonderful conversation piece for your backyard parties. No matter what choices you make though, remember that it will also affect how your lawn is cared for, as fertilizers and clippings can wash off into the pond. Contact our professional lawn care team for assistance with keeping your lawn at it’s best, while allowing your pond to still shine!