How to Build a Koi Pond in Your Backyard

How to Build a Koi Pond in Your Backyard

A Koi pond is one of the best ways to create a tranquil space in your backyard. Once built, you will want to spend hours watching the fish swim. Thankfully, installing the Koi pond shouldn’t be a difficult task, allowing you to build it yourself. Let’s look at the steps that you will need to follow.

1.      Start Planning the Pond

The first step is to make sure that you come up with a clear plan about how you intend to install the pond. In this area, there are a few things that you will need to think about. First, you want to choose the right area for the Koi. You should try to pick a place that offers plenty of shade, this will make sure that the water doesn’t get too hot during the summer months.

The next thing that you need to do is plan how big the pond will be. As a general rule, Koi will require a lot of space to be happy and healthy. As a result, you might want to make sure that the pond is at least 1,500 gallons. To accommodate this, you’ll often want an area that is 12 feet (3.7 meters) long and has a width of 10 feet (3 meters). With this type of size, you will be able to hold up to 10 adult fish without overcrowding them. Generally, you’ll want the hole to be around 4 feet (1.22 meters) deep.

How to build a Koi pond and using the correct water filter
How to Build a Koi Pond in Your Backyard

2.      Prepare the Area

Once you know these requirements, you will be able to start planning where you want to put the pond. When you’ve found a great space, you can start preparing the area.

The best way to prepare the area is by clearing everything out. In this case, you want to make the area as easy to access as possible. In some cases, you might want to remove debris, like paving stones or shrubs that could be blocking access.

Next, you need to mark out the outline of the pond on the ground. In most cases, you will be able to use spray paint, to create a strong outline. To help you get the shape right, you can use a garden hose or piece of piping, to get a better sense of how it will look once it’s finished. There are several types of shapes that you can experiment with. For example, you can have a rectangular, square, L-shaped, or rounded pond.

3.      Dig Out the Hole

Once you’ve prepared the outline, you can start digging the hole. In most cases, you will be able to do this yourself, using a shovel. This can be a great way of reducing the costs associated with putting in the pond. When digging, you should try to make sure that the sides of the pond slope slightly, with the center being the deepest part of the pond.

4.      Line the Hole with Plastic Lining

The next thing that you need to do is put the rubber plastic lining into the pond. This will make sure that the water doesn’t leak into the soil. To make sure that the lining is effective, you will need to remove any rocks from the hole before you put it in. These might slice through the plastic and reduce its effectiveness. When laying the lining in the hole, make sure to leave an overlap with the outside of the pond. You should have at least three feet (0.9 meters) over the edge of the pond.

Once you’ve finished laying the lining, you will need to make sure that you secure it properly. In this case, you can lay rocks along the outside of the pond, on top of the lining. This will ensure that it stays in place. Finally, you need to dig a small edge around the pond. This should be just before the layer of rocks. By doing this, rainwater gets drained away before it can enter the pond.

5.      Add Water

Next, you will need to put water into the pond. To make sure that you make a healthy environment for the Koi, there are a few parameters that you need to follow. First, you will need to make sure that you get the right Ph level. Ideally, you should try and have a 7.6 Ph level. You can get strips that will measure this. You’ll also need to make sure that you keep the temperature consistent, at around 68 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius). You’ll need to measure these regularly, to make sure that the fish are healthy. Once the water is ready, you can add the final elements.

6.      Add Filters and Pumps

Finally, you need to add a filtration system. This will keep the water clean. Though are generally two types of system available. You can either get a mechanical system, which removes dirt and debris from the pool, or a biological system that adds in beneficial bacteria. Within these types, there is plenty of variety to choose from. You might want a Rotating Drum Filter (RDF) which spins rapidly to remove contaminants. Alternatively, you might want a bead filter, which has small beads that the bacteria can grow on. If you want to get more reliable information regarding the filtration process and make the process of choosing a filter easier, here’s an informative article about durable koi pond filters.

The last step is to install the aerator, this makes sure that the water keeps moving around the pond, stopping it from freezing during winter and giving the fish plenty of oxygen. 

7.      Add the Fish

Now you will be ready to add in the fish. When you get them from the pet store they will often come in a plastic bag. You should put this bag into the water, letting them float for around half an hour. This will allow them to adjust to the new conditions. Then, you can open the bag and release them into the pond.  To find all the necessary information you can on the Pet Smart website.


A Koi pond can be a great way to add a relaxing element to your backyard. As we’ve seen, it doesn’t have to be expensive to build and install one of these. So, put in a pond today and experience the joy that keeping and caring for Koi can provide.

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