A Fish Pond For Koi – The Basics

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Written By Mark Washburn

Mark has 20 years of experience as a professional pond management consultant.

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A fish pond in the backyard is something that many people dream of owning. Yet for all of the relaxing benefits of a small pond, they can also be a source of many headaches if they’re not built or set up right with the proper equipment. In the article that follow’s we’ll cover some of the basic materials that will be useful in any type of fish pond.

If you are looking to construct a fish pond for koi, it is important to follow some basic steps to ensure the success of the pond and the heartiness of your precious koi. Where to construct the pond and what shape to design it in are two fundamental elements that should be decided upon first. It is best to locate the pond where you can access it easily while keeping it protected from the natural predators that will look for your fish. The shape of the pond also is important, not only to increase the pond’s aesthetic value but also to increase the chances of bringing your fish to their full potential.

There are a few supplies than one cannot do without when introducing a koi pond into the landscape of their backyard. These include pumps and filters as well as drains and skimmers. There are also lighting considerations for illumination and controlling algae. The easiest of these to attain is the skimmer, which serves the same purpose as the large scoops that you would use to clean the surface of a swimming pool. The skimmer will be used to collect leaves and other debris that may fall into the pond in order that the pond be kept clean and so that the fish remain healthy and free of disease.

A number of different filtration systems can be implemented in order to ensure a thriving pond. The primary one is the biological filter, which serves the purpose of converting the nitrogenous waste of the fish. This is known as the nitrogen cycle. It is of the utmost importance that the biological filter be kept immaculately clean so take extra care in choosing one. Be certain it is easy to service and that you will be capable of doing so. An unclean biological filter is the undoing of many a backyard fish pond. Bio-filters come in two distinct types, the aerated and the non-aerated. Examples of aerated filters include the Moving bed type as well as the trickle or bakki shower filter. Examples of the non-aerated kind include the Cross flow and the Sand filter.

Many types of algae can be kept in check with a good working biofilter but there are others where a different type of technology may be needed. In order to control and discourage the growth of planktonic algae you may need a source of ultra-violet or UV light. The UV light is used to prevent a condition that can afflict an unhealthy pond known as green water. This occurs when the filtration system is incapable of filtering out all of the naturally occurring nutrients that the algae feed upon and even the single cell algae itself.

A second type of filter that you may need is called the mechanical filter. The primary purpose of this system is to get rid of solid waste that could clog the Bio-filter. This filter must be kept very clean, so it should be place in an area where it can be cleaned and checked often. Sometimes referred to as a settlement chamber, this system can often be accomplished using gravel, sand or a sieve screen. Also many of the new biofilter designs have a sort of pre-filtering mechanical component in them as well.

Finally, you will have to choose a form of liner to protect the base of the pond and to line the walls. Leave room in the liner to cut out a bottom drain, so you will be able to give the entire unit a thorough cleaning.

As you can see, there are several key considerations on equipment and pond supplies that will be useful for fish pond construction and management. And while it may seem to be complicated, the layout of a fish pond is fairly simple and particularly when you understand the basics of what each piece of equipment will do and why it’s important.

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