so you want a koi pond...

A backyard pond can be an amazing addition to your property and lifestyle. But if you build poorly, your backyard paradise can turn into a source of frustration. This website is all about showing you how to avoid the common pitfalls most make with their first pond

The biggest mistakes we see include:
  • A lack of research to educate yourself
  • Rushing to get the pond built - remember, good people are busy
  • Placation - I like what I hear, must be true
  • Unrealistic Budgets - cheap ponds will cost you more
  • Realizing too late your pondbuilder is not a pond expert

    These 5 common mistakes lead to a long list of "should have's"
There is a lot of conflicting information out there. You need to carefully consider the source of your information before acting. Feedback from clients reveals a shocking level of misinformation. Of course their is subjectivity, but our approach is to build measurably better ponds with the proven bottom drain system and superior design concepts

At Clarke Koi Ponds, we encourage you to do your research - then stop in with your list of questions. We are happy to discuss your build at our shop and explain to you in a logical scientific manner the right way and the wrong way to proceed. A visit to some or our pond builds can be also arranged during onsite consults

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Wade in, Don't dive
Poorly constructed ponds are perfunctory at best. We see a lot of them, and speak with many clients with a long wish list of "should have's". Deficiencies include a lack of filtration, shallow depth and poor pond plumbing. Unfortunately this translates into high maintenance, poor water quality and fish health issues. This is why most hobbyists end up building 3 ponds to get to their ideal design. Our mandate is to save you those steps because going through them just costs you a whole lot more
Construction Warning Signs:
  • Your pond will be built in just a few days
  • Your pond will be less than 3 feet deep
  • Rocks will be installed in the bottom [see pic ->]
  • Your builder can start the job tomorrow
  • Your builder suggests you don't require a bottom drain
  • You are getting very little equipment for the money
  • The builder recommends box or small canister filters
  • Your builder can't answer all your questions
  • Your builder doesn't have their own pond
pond sludge

80% of our pond work is rebuilds

Most of our work comes from repairing, upgrading or completely rebuilding existing ponds. Many times a concrete collar wasn't installed and the waterfall is collapsing. Or the pond may be too shallow and full of stone - and the client has realized these costly short cummings. Whatever the reason, the bottom line is most ponds are not built properly [see the waterfall rebuild pictures below for an example of the prototypical poor stone work we encounter]

My biggest recommendation to everyone is to take your time and get educated. Whether it's the fabulous looking website that has no actual content, or the business first capitalist who sends a team of teenagers - the red flags are usually pretty obvious and you need to make sure you are dealing with the right company

It amazes me how many clients visit us looking for solutions to their pond problems. We often find out they had an expensive pond built by the wrong company and/or have been receiving the wrong information. Pond building is hard. Really hard. It takes skill and creative talent, equipment and know how to get a good result

  • The client didn't like all the rock and how it was placed
  • We removed everything to start with a clean palette
  • Now the bottom of the waterfalls is in the water

I would like Clarke Koi to Build Me a Pond

If you would like to contract Clarke Koi to construct your pond, your first step should be to visit the shop so your project can be discussed. If you provide dimensions, and site info, we can calculate an estimate of the costs on the spot. This process can also be done via email or over the phone. This is important to make sure that both parties are on the same page in terms of timelines and budget

A statement of work [estimate] is then provided. This document provides a work schedule, cost estimate and payment schedule. We will also provide you with our 22 page Pond Pricing Guide which is an overview of our construction procedures and answers most questions

An onsite consultation can also be arranged, as well as visits to existing ponds we have constructed. There is a charge for this service as it involves a visit to your site and possibly others - most clients opt for this level of interaction and assurance

After we agree on the
parameters and cost, a nominal booking deposit is paid and your projects time slot is reserved. We then we bring our passion and expertise to your backyard to create an exceptional result

Be Prepared for sludge if you fill your pond with stone....