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How to build a koi water garden pond.

Jul 18, 2008
I designed and built this Koi water garden pond after visiting Japan a number of times and admired their water gardens with Koi. The design has three ponds, the top pond is filtered by water hyacinths that float on the water, the water is crystal clear. The middle pond has a waterfall from the top pond and aerates the water. The bottom pond is the largest and holds about a 2000 gallons of water.

It is very soothing and relaxing to sit beside the pond listening as the water tumbles down a small water fall. The dragon flies are darting in and around shrubs and plants, crickets are chirping, bees are buzzing and humming birds are flittering around. I can sit for hours in a lounge chair listening and watching this while the Koi swim lazily around in the pond.

We have about 6 water lily plants with large pink and red blossoms in the bottom water garden pond. They cover almost all the pond in the summer time but they die off back to their roots in the fall and re-grow in the spring as the days get warm and long.

We have over 40 multi colored Koi in the pond. I purchase small Koi that are 2 to 3 inches long to stock the water garden pond where they will grow over 10 inches long.

We have had a lot of visitors to our pond. The most frequent ones are egrets. They land on our roof or the neighbors roofs then swoop down to our patio and wade into our pond. If I or the grandchildren see the egret, we let our dog out and he scares the egret off. He won't jump into the pond.

The raccoons like to play in the pond and sit on the water lily containers. I saw a mother and 3 baby racoons play and try to catch the Koi in our water garden pond.

I designed our do it yourself Koi water garden pond, with stakes and string. I installed a 3" PVC pipe from the lower pond to the top pond to pump water. I painted the block wall with an asphalt paste behind the pond to piled dirt on this wall. I constructed 4 railroad ties in an L shape, two layers high to make the front edge of the upper pond and the waterfall into the middle pond.

I made a 1/4 circle ridge with about an 8 foot radius from the ends of the ties to make a pie shaped middle pond where water would flow over this ridge into the bottom pond. I made the lower pond about 18" deep and put most of the dirt into the retaining walls of the upper two ponds. I enclose all the ponds with a PVC liner that was cut and glued to fit.

I bought and installed an above ground 1/5 horse power pump with a 2" inlet and outlet. This was the right amount of water flow over the waterfall. Some times I would have to re-priming the pump when the inlet pipe sucked air.

I found a submersible pump that is 1/3 horse power and was OK to use in a fish water garden pond. You need to check the fine print as some pumps cannot be used in a fish pond. I found this out the hard way when after about 6 months my pump failed and I tried to get a replacement pump.

I have rebuilt our pond about 3 times but we have had good luck with this design and the raccoons and egrets like it too. We've had this pond design for over 15 years.
About the Author
Can you build your own water garden or Koi water garden pond? Go to Bruce Contryman's web site for advice on a do it yourself plan and build a water garden pond. How to build a water garden pond How to plan a water garden water garden pond
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