View Full Version : Things to remember when building koi ponds

23-08-2011, 09:04 AM
Thought I re-post this from my blog www.kusukakoi.com for Koi-s Forum

The most efficient way to create a nishikigoi pond is to ď"do it once and do it rightĒ, this will ensure that you never have to renovate your pond because you missed something in the beginning, such as : the chamber flushing system wasnít installed properly, the pond is not deep enough for your jumbo fish, there is no Bottom Drain (BD) installed, etc.

I remember one statement that I read from a book or internet, couldnít remember exactly. It goes like this : If you want to keep nishikigoi, then you have to know how to keep the water, the koi will look after themselves. So, itís very important for any koi keepers to create a pond environment that will keep the water ideal for these nishikigoi to grow and thrive.

When it comes to building a nishikigoi pond, I have several things that I usually suggest new koi koichis :

Pondís Depth
 - The minimum depth of a koi pond should be 1m or 3.5 ft deep. If you are planning to have a medium koi pond (10,000 L - 30,000 L), the ideal depth a koi pond is 5 ft. But, if you are planning to have a large koi pond (60,000 L and above), I would suggest that you create 2 different areas whose depth is 2m (7 ft) and 1,2 m (4ft) deep. That way the koi can choose which pressure area that they want to swim. Note : Sloped pond floor between these 2 pond depths is always recommended

Water Circulation (Surface & Below)

Surface - The surface water circulation should be effective in preventing any dead spots both on the surface of the pond or the bottom of the pond. To my knowledge, there are two most widely used systems : The CIRCULAR surface current in the pond with BD in the center of the pond or The ONE-WAY directional surface current that pushes solid waste towards the BD. 
Note : If you use the one way method, make sure you install BD on the deepest side of the pond, otherwise the solid waste will not be sucked by the BD.

Below - This vertical motion mostly performed using aeration. When you are using the circular surface current, the best application is to place the aeration on top of the bottom drain. But if you are using the One Way surface current, you have to make sure that the aeration is located near the bottom drain where the deepest area is, otherwise itíll make a turbulence in the pond. The main objective of this below surface current is to push the solid waste towards the bottom drain(s). Note : You can put more than 1 BD if the pond bottom area is large.

Filtration System - In general, most koi hobbyist in Indonesia are using ď30% rule of thumbĒ, meaning the filter volume should be at least 30% or more from the main pond volume. But there is a more detail calculation how big your filtration system should be given the filter media and the number of nishikigoi youíre going to keep. Letís keep it simple for now. The ďUp and DownĒ filtration system is one of the most popular one thatís being used here, too. The filtration system should consist these elements : Mechanical filtration/Settlement chamber - Biological chamber - Pump chamber - Bakki Shower/Trickle Tower.

Mechanical Chamber / Settlement Chamber - This chamber is connected directly to BD and is very important chamber to separate the solid particle from the water, hence the name ber to separate the solid particle from the water, hence the name settlement chamber. The chamber shape is designed to let the solid waste sink to the bottom and get flushed away while cleaning the chamber. Most people use a round chamber with water inlet come in tangent to the wall, we call this vortex. It is very effective in doing its job if design properly. There is also a machine called RDF - Rotary Drum Filter that functions as mechanical filtration, but rather expensive. Note : Koikichi usually uses 1 to 2 mechanical chambers for their pond.

Biological Chamber - This chamber is the most important chambers of all, they are the one that do the nitrification, converting ammonia into nitrite then nitrate, so the water wonít harm the fish from ammonia poisoning. Thanks to the bacterias, Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter, thatís doing this conversion. In order to create bacterias in these chambers we need to put biological media such as bioballs, jap matt, crystal bio, algafrog, or any media that let has big surface area for the bacteria to live on. The larger the area the more bacteria can colonized, therefore the conversion process is more effective. We call this area SSA - Specific Surface Area. Donít forget to give aeration in these chambers as the bacterias need it to convert the poison. These Biological chambers consist more than any other chambers in the filtration system.

Pump Chamber - This is the last chamber on the filtration sequence. water in this chamber is ready to be returned to the main pond. UV lights usually put in this chamber. It is used to kill algae that grows inside the pond.

Bakki Shower / Trickle Tower - Although this is optional, this item is very useful to increase the oxygen level, releasing the nitrogen from final step of nitrification, and also lowering the pond temperature. This is very important if you want to go the extra mile in keeping nishikigoi.

Note : It is important to remember to design every chambers with a flushing pipe on the bottom of each chamber, so you wonít have to take all the media out when you want to clean the solid waste that settled on the chamber floor. The other thing to remember is how fast the water passes every chambers (flow rate). This issue has something to do with the chamber volume and the pump capacity. Why ? The smaller the chamber the shorter time water goes pass thru each chamber. On the other hand, the smaller the pump capacity the slower water goes pass thru each chamber. Ideally, the pump capacity should be able to recycle the pondís volume once every one to two hours. Also each chamber volume should retain the water at least 15 minutes in every chambers.

Surface Skimmer - This part of the pond filtration is useful to remove all the waste and dirt that float on the water surface. Usually, surface skimmer is located on the corner of the pond. Water from this skimmer will feed the settlement chamber on the filtration system.

Figure H - Surface Skimmer

Pondís Location - Last but not least, is the pond location. Obviously the pond should be located on the area that you can relax and enjoy this hobby, like backyard or your terrace. Once you decide where you are going to built your pond, make sure you locate where you are going to view the pond from. Use a bowl of water and put them on the location where youíll build the pond. Do you see glare on the water ? If so, move on the other location until you donít see any glare on the water (see fig. I) Thatís the best point to enjoy your nishikigoi from and you should design the pond with that in mind. Enjoy !

23-08-2011, 10:31 AM
Nice reading.. Thanks om waterkeeper!

24-08-2011, 12:00 PM
Thanks mrliauw ... just sharing my 2 experience, perhaps you can add more ?

15-10-2012, 09:41 PM
Excellent article om alvin

29-04-2013, 08:32 PM
Very interesting article.. Must read.. Especially for new koi hobbyist yg mau bikin kolam

30-04-2013, 06:18 AM
Principle rule, to build a koi pond, two tumbs up

30-04-2013, 08:11 PM
dimana terjadi denitrifikasi (pengubahan nitrate menjadi nitrogen) yang harus terjadi di lingkungan yang miskin oksigen?

18-06-2013, 12:26 PM
kalau bisa di tambahkan dengan penjelasan gambar..

anyway nice article....:dance:

Acht Tza
26-01-2015, 08:57 PM
Good job, thank sir :)

Acht Tza
26-01-2015, 08:58 PM
Setuju om...:)

Erwin Nayos
02-08-2015, 08:35 PM
Thanks for the enlightenment Mr. Waterkeeper
Its help me a lot

06-08-2015, 02:21 AM
nice article,