Looking to start a pond in my yard


Joined
Oct 24, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
Country
United States
Hi all. Building a koi pond has been a dream of mine for over a decade and I think I'm finally ready to get started on one since I'm rebuilding our yard. I have a million questions and am wondering if there are any posts, articles, or literature you could recommend to get me started. I've been keeping indoor tanks for over a decade so I do have some experience with that.

I'm eying replacing this flowerbed with a raised koi pond.
 

Attachments

  • pond-01.jpg
    pond-01.jpg
    264.5 KB · Views: 21
  • pond-02.jpg
    pond-02.jpg
    293.3 KB · Views: 21
  • pond-03.jpg
    pond-03.jpg
    302.7 KB · Views: 21
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 18, 2020
Messages
2,338
Reaction score
2,185
Location
Pacific NW
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
Welcome. There is tons of literature on koi pond building. First, though, are you attached to koi? Your planter area could be a very cool feature, but will likely be far too small for koi. What dimensions are you thinking?
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
Country
United States
Welcome. There is tons of literature on koi pond building. First, though, are you attached to koi? Your planter area could be a very cool feature, but will likely be far too small for koi. What dimensions are you thinking?
I'd strongly prefer them but if I don't have enough volume or depth for sustaining koi then I'm open to options. I know I'll have to have mosquitofish (got lots of mosquito's in the summertime), but other than that I'm open for direction.

If I stick to the dimensions of the planter that wrap around the house I'll have a total of about 730 gallons of water (front section ~19' long, side section ~8' long, ~2' wide). I could also incorporate the other raised planter space to the right of the long trough-like planter which might add about another 250 gallons of volume. The depth of the long pond space would likely bee about 1.5 - 2 feet deep.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2020
Messages
2,338
Reaction score
2,185
Location
Pacific NW
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
I'd strongly prefer them but if I don't have enough volume or depth for sustaining koi then I'm open to options. I know I'll have to have mosquitofish (got lots of mosquito's in the summertime), but other than that I'm open for direction.

If I stick to the dimensions of the planter that wrap around the house I'll have a total of about 730 gallons of water (front section ~19' long, side section ~8' long, ~2' wide). I could also incorporate the other raised planter space to the right of the long trough-like planter which might add about another 250 gallons of volume. The depth of the long pond space would likely bee about 1.5 - 2 feet deep.

Got it. 1,000 gallons would be the bare minimum I'd feel comfortable putting one or two koi in. 2' is workable. Deeper would be better. Especially for predator deterrence.

Keep in mind you also need space for pumps and filtration. Bog filters are awesome but will take up too much space in your pre-set dimensions to do properly and maintain space for fish.

Of course, you can do lots of fish in tiny spaces, but your margin of error gets incredibly small and you'll end up spending a lot of time and energy making sure nothing goes wrong. Fewer fish in a bigger pond is the key to stress-free pond keeping, I do believe.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2022
Messages
73
Reaction score
39
Location
franklin Va
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
United States
What about pop up a sidewalk and run a river there. Put back large flag stone or wooden bridge. Put the pond in the yard. Bog in the flower bed.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
10,404
Reaction score
8,246
Location
Ct
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
if you dug down a foot within the trench that would give you a much better chance of keeping the water cooler .
Now the standard in one koi for 1000 gallons mainly because koi give off a ton of waste. They are also river fish and with that narrow swim path if you pushed a lot of water in there that would truely give the fish a health exercise. Having three koi in there with a strong current with a few gold fish or shubunkins could be very cool.
The first question i have is how strong that wall is . I would lean toward making a support in the center of the long walls those will be the weak points.
The area would be lined with underlayment the 045 edpm rubber, would be my choice.
I like the idea of being under the overhangs in the mid day sun in la to help keep the uv and heat down.
As for a filter this site promotes the Bog filter for the most part myself being one. They keep the water crystal clear and do a great job at keeping ammonias and such under control.
What they are not good at is speed it takes time for a bog to mature cycle and handle a bio load.
Showers , sieves and rotary drum filters would be next on my list then your foam filters
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 28, 2022
Messages
73
Reaction score
39
Location
franklin Va
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
United States
If you do any digging do NOT dig passed your house's footer. Disturbing the footer is a world of problems you do not won't. (Seek professional advice)

Also since I'm pointing out bad ideas. Do not use your house to hold back the water. You should have a retaining wall far enough away to let air flow through. If you get an unseen leak it could rot your house away.

Don't let My words scare you but only inform you.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
Country
United States
If you do any digging do NOT dig passed your house's footer. Disturbing the footer is a world of problems you do not won't. (Seek professional advice)

Also since I'm pointing out bad ideas. Do not use your house to hold back the water. You should have a retaining wall far enough away to let air flow through. If you get an unseen leak it could rot your house away.

Don't let My words scare you but only inform you.
Yup. The footer is a continuous pour and it’s in good shape there. Whoever installed the flower bed back in the day added a layer of brick and mortar between the house and the bed as well. Not sure if relevant but the house is on a raised foundation so it has a crawl space under it (house doesn’t sit on a slab). I’m going to get a structural engineer to give me some input regarding this as well just to be safe. The last thing I want is to introduce moisture into my home or undermine the footing.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2022
Messages
73
Reaction score
39
Location
franklin Va
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
United States
Yup. The footer is a continuous pour and it’s in good shape there. Whoever installed the flower bed back in the day added a layer of brick and mortar between the house and the bed as well. Not sure if relevant but the house is on a raised foundation so it has a crawl space under it (house doesn’t sit on a slab). I’m going to get a structural engineer to give me some input regarding this as well just to be safe. The last thing I want is to introduce moisture into my home or undermine the footing.
Awesome!
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
12,382
Reaction score
12,605
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
Welcome to the GPF and a whole new world of fun!

The first rule of pond building is “where”. And that always starts with view. Will you have a place to sit and enjoy your pond? Do you have a view from both inside and outside of the house?

While I think the area you’re thinking about would make a cool landscape feature, I’m not sure you’d enjoy it as much as a pond. Will you just sit or stand outside facing the house? Peer down out of your window? You could make that flower bed a beautiful water feature and still have a pond in a more desirable location.

Just an opinion though- you know best how you live in your house!
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
Country
United States
Welcome to the GPF and a whole new world of fun!

The first rule of pond building is “where”. And that always starts with view. Will you have a place to sit and enjoy your pond? Do you have a view from both inside and outside of the house?

While I think the area you’re thinking about would make a cool landscape feature, I’m not sure you’d enjoy it as much as a pond. Will you just sit or stand outside facing the house? Peer down out of your window? You could make that flower bed a beautiful water feature and still have a pond in a more desirable location.

Just an opinion though- you know best how you live in your house!
Hi @Lisak1. You're absolutely right regarding pond location. It's not the optimal location for viewing but all other things considered this feels like a decent spot. I could technically put it further away from the house so I could see it from the window but but my wife and I want a grassy area there so our kids can play in the yard which leaves this flower bed space. One other reason I like the space here is that it's shaded from direct sunlight. Summers here get into the 90s and even the 100's during heat waves and this area is covered by the roof.
 

mrsclem

mrsclem
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
5,194
Reaction score
4,665
Location
st. mary's county, md.
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
United States
The flower bed will make a nice raised pond but the 2' wide measurement may be too narrow for koi. They can grow up to 36". Shubunkins or fantails would be great and a lot less load on filters.
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
10,404
Reaction score
8,246
Location
Ct
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
If you do any digging do NOT dig passed your house's footer. Disturbing the footer is a world of problems you do not won't. (Seek professional advice)

Also since I'm pointing out bad ideas. Do not use your house to hold back the water. You should have a retaining wall far enough away to let air flow through. If you get an unseen leak it could rot your house away.

Don't let My words scare you but only inform you.
They are in LA there is probably no footings they are probably just a slab
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Donor
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
43,392
Reaction score
27,951
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Welcome to the forum!

Another nice fish for smaller ponds are fan tails. I have some in my 300 gallon hot tub pond. They now eat out of my fingers.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
10,404
Reaction score
8,246
Location
Ct
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Peer down out of your window?
[/QUOTE]

The absolute worst part of my build . i cant see the pond from inside my house except for one hallway window on the second floor.
but i have plans to fix that SOON
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
12,382
Reaction score
12,605
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
Peer down out of your window?

The absolute worst part of my build . i cant see the pond from inside my house except for one hallway window on the second floor.
but i have plans to fix that SOON
[/QUOTE]

We can see ours from the living room but the BEST view is from the upstairs bathroom. I’ve spent many a happy hour just standing there gazing down on my creation.
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Donor
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
43,392
Reaction score
27,951
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
We can see ours through all of our living room windows. All 20 feet of them. We look down on the pond at the bottom of our slope.

And from the decks.
 
Ad

Advertisements


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top