Building a Koi Pond

The word Koi is derived from the Japanese word, which means carp. It has both the dull grey fish and the brightly colored fish varieties.

Origins of the Koi

Koi also means love and affection. Koi fish are called nishikigoi in Japan and are ornamental domestic varieties of the species known as common carp or Cyprinus carpio.

These varieties of fish are said to originate from Aral, the Black Sea and Eastern Asia. In the early years of history, they were found in China and were widely spread in Japan.

Carp cultivation thrived under the Japanese Edo period and Chinese Qing Dynasty. Koi are generally related to goldfish. It is traditionally considered to be lucky if one has a Koi or their tattoos.

Koi Pond

Types of Koi Fish

Koi varieties are discriminated by their color, pattern and scale. One type of Koi named Ghost Koi was developed in the 1980s that are a metallic colored hybrid of wild carp and Ogon Koi.

Other types of Koi are named Butterfly koi, Dragon Carp or Longfin koi which were developed in 1980s and are notable for their flowing long fins. The Koi species have various colors like white, red, black, yellow, cream and blue.

Japanese Koi is one of the most gorgeous and pleasing fish that one can keep in his outdoor water garden. There is a mis-conception that these types of Koi should not be kept along with the plants.

Koi Pond Materials and Information

One can find various web sites and pet stores which suggest that Koi will destroy any kind of plant when a person puts the Koi in his pond. However, the plants provide shelter and shade to the Koi when they are afraid. The plants also add clarity to the water.

Koi breeding is an art form that has been practiced for over two centuries in Japan. For Koi to thrive in your water garden pond, you must understand that these species are bottom feeders that are frequently found on the bottom of the natural environment. Koi like to stay in the rubble or rocks in a pond.

By putting some layers of gravel in the pond enables the Koi to root in something which adds to the natural biological environment. Due to this, the plants are also benefited directly in the gravel.

You can remove the plants from the pot, rinse the roots to remove the mud and keep it inside the Koi pond. In doing so, the plant adds to the natural beauty of the water garden.

The Koi fish do eat plants. During the warm summer months the Koi are non stop scavengers. For this reason, certain plants are kept in the water pond for the Koi to eat without destroying them.

Some of these plants are the watercress and marsh betony which can be planted in a shallow high water flow area. The Koi keeps the invasive plants in check and the plants are excellent filters that helps keep the water crystal clear and the Koi happy.

Children will love to feed the fish and a trickle stream or water splash provides a peaceful recluse to escape. Ponds also will attract wildlife including birds, frogs and butterflies.

For pond products, many web sites and local home improvement centers offer the required water conditioning, the pumps, pond kits and the liners, along with the hardware needed to build your Koi pond.

Look for accessories and pond plants like submerged oxygenator plants, the floating oxygenator plants, the lilies, the lotus flowers and the bog and marginal plants.

Planning Your Koi Pond

Your pond will be enjoyed more if you build it close to your home. Select a location where you can see the pond from a family or living room window if possible.

To build a Koi pond in your back yard or garden area, begin by planning the shape and form and digging a shallow hole about two feet in depth for your pond in that shape. If you live in an extreme northern climate prone to winter freezing, it is better to dig the hole three feet deep. Be sure to run electrical wiring for your pump.

Position and build your pond so that runoff from rain will not carry fertilizers, chemicals, and organic debris into it.
You may need to make alterations to your terrain. If you place the pond too close to trees, leaves and other debris will need to be removed, increasing maintenance.

It is best to locate your pond so that it gets at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sun in order to grow water lilies, however a shadier spot is adequate for a fish-only pond.

Water Pumps and Filtering

While water circulation is not essential, a pump enables you to keep more fish and keeps plants healthier. A pump will be needed in order to run a filter, waterfall or fountain feature.

The sound of running water is also nice for added enjoyment. Your Koi pond should also include a biological filter, which is critical to keeping your Koi fish healthy.

You will want to use a good liner or else concrete to line the bottom of your pond. Add your plants and accessories after the pond is filled with water. Allow some time to make needed adjustments and conditioning the water before you introduce the Koi fish to your new pond.

When your Koi pond is complete, get to better know the various species of Koi fish like Gosanke, Metallic, Butterfly, Mixture and such other types of Koi fish. You will enjoy your new Koi pond year round for the tranquility and natural beauty it adds to your backyard or garden.

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