ideal pond design

The key to planning and building a successful pond is to become educated, determine your expectation level and then strive to get the most out of your budget

Good pond design is focused on filtration and ease of maintenance. Of course jets, skimmers, choice of UV and bathymetry all deserve merit, but the filter system is the key. Your goal should be to have things work in concert delivering a clear healthy pond that you don't spend every weekend maintaining

This often means recognizing what you don't know and taking your time to get things right. It takes most people 3 to 4 ponds and 10 years to arrive at their ideal
pond puzzle

Logic, Nature and Science

In this hobby there are certainly different ways to achieve success. From the home built filter to the polished store bought systems on offer, there are many opinions on what works best. However, some viewpoints don't always stand up to closer scrutiny. I often meet with clients who are confused with contradictory information they receive, especially on the web. I often find some impressive websites with great information ....but then suddenly, I read "you don't need a bottom drain" or "Our bead filters is all you need to filter your pond". These statements are not about a different opinion, they are plainly incorrect and just expose an agenda

If you are logical, look to nature for answers and garner a basic understanding of chemistry, physics and biology, you will be able to wade through the falsities that come your way. Needless to say this ability comes in handy when designing your pond and purchasing the right equipment

At Clarke Koi, our mandate to relate our experience both positive and negative to help you make an properly informed decision
Essential Equipment and Concepts for a Koi Pond
  • 200 square foot surface area at a minimum [I find 300+ promotes better fish growth]
  • 5,000 gallons minimum volume, 8,000+ for the serious
  • Shallow area of not less than 2.5 feet deep
  • At least 6 foot deep in one area, 7' – 8' is better
  • Plumbing makes the pond. Ensure things can be readily removed and understand head loses
  • Flex hose is better than rigid pipe in my opinion
  • At least 2 pumps operating which are capable of 125% pond turnover
  • A high quality UV Sterilizer to control planktonic algae and reduce bacterial levels
  • An air system with aquacultural grade airstones to maintain adequate oxygen saturation
  • Three or more jets to re circulate and exercise the fish
  • At least 1 skimmer dependent on surface area and particulars of the site
  • One or more 4 inch bottom drain[s]
  • Properly manufactured vortex chamber[s], one for each bottom drain
  • An external gravity fed filter system as the foundation of your filtration system
  • A bead filter to remove small particulate and boost bio filtration
  • A rotating media or trickle tower filter to augment bio filtration
  • A heating system is helpful in colder climates for growth and long term health
waterlily and waterfall