You have been thinking about building a koi pond right? But you are not sure how big it should be.
Well, you are not alone. The information on the internet varies and can be confusing. That is why I always do in-depth research. I will explain everything you need to know to decide on the proper size of your koi pond.
The minimum size of a koi pond should be 8 feet (2.4 meters) long by 4 feet (1.2 meters) deep and 7 feet (2.1 meters) wide. This 1500-gallon koi pond can hold up to 5 average-sized koi. Before settling on a specific size, you will need to consider long-term factors such as the growth rate of your koi.
With that being said, as you read below, you will realize there is no “right” size. But above all, you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where the pond is not big enough. I will help you discover things you should consider when choosing the size of your koi pond.
The Ideal Size of a Koi Pond
The worst mistake other than building a koi pond with insufficient space is putting your koi fish in a pre-existing pond. This can only be done when you are sure all their needs are met. Though koi fish are resilient, it does not mean that they can thrive even if their needs are not met.
Since koi ponds are made from scratch, picking the correct size always proves to be a headache. Even a well-maintained koi pond won’t let your koi thrive if the size is not right.
So, the size is as important as any other factor. Since koi need a lot of space the ideal size will be about 1500 gallons.
This 1500-gallon pond will hold 4 or 5 average-sized fish. Note that the size of the pond will increase with the number of koi.
Use these points below to help you decide on the size:
Keep the Future in Mind
At first glance building a small pond seems economical. But, if you desire to add more koi later you will need to build more ponds.
In terms of costs, in the long run, you will spend more building extra ponds than you would if you had considered a bigger size pond in the first place. By building a larger koi pond, you will not only give your koi room to grow you will also have room for more koi that you might add later.
The most important factor when building a koi pond is sustainability and comfort. This is why you should keep your dimensions as close as possible to the ideal ones. Koi don’t thrive in unfavorable conditions. A spacious pond will provide exercise, and good health, and relieve stress from your koi.
Rules to Determine the Number of Koi, Depending on the Size of the Pond:
- Gallons to fish ratio, 10 gallons will allow one koi fish.
- For a healthy living environment, maintain the number to 4-5 koi per 1500 gallons of water.
All the dimensions are important in one way or the other. But the pond depth stands out, and it comes with multiple benefits too.
Depth is an important factor when deciding on size. It largely contributes to how much space your koi will have and influences other factors such as temperature moderation.
Interesting research on how the depth of a pond affects the growth of a koi fish is being carried out in South Africa. Most South African koi keepers build deep ponds. However, when compared to koi in shallow ponds, the size was almost similar. So, depth does play a part in other things but not so much in koi growth.
The pond should not be too deep. This may surprise you but most farmers prefer shallower ponds, or rather something in between. This is so you can actually see the beautiful koi fish that you paid money for. In deep ponds, you would rarely see the koi when you pass by the pond, although a koi pond should not be less than 2 feet.
Using the above information, next you need to find out how a koi pond’s dimensions are grouped compared to their depth. 6 feet or more is deep while around 2 – 3 feet is considered shallow. So, to be on the safe side pick a dimension in between deep and shallow.
Why Does Depth Matter?
- Exercise – Your koi will need enough space to move around and exercise their muscles. Koi swim at certain depths using different muscles and up and down using different muscles. Therefore, a pond with enough depth will allow the koi to exercise their muscles for growth.
- Temperature Control – A deep enough pond will control the pond temperature during the hot summer. It minimizes temperature variations in the pond. During cold winters, the depth pays off, as it protects your koi fish from the harsh cold weather since the deeper parts remain warmer.
- Protection from Predators – Besides protection from weather factors, the pond depth also protects koi from predators such as herons and raccoons.
Other Factors When Considering the Size of the Pond
The size of the pond will affect the work that will have to be done to maintain it. During the summer, the work to be done will be a lot. You will need to drain the whole pond and clean it, replace and clean filter pads, and add water treatments.
During the fall you will go as far as placing a net on the pond to trap leaves getting into it. The hassle of maintaining your koi pond will increase with the size of the pond.
Are you willing to spend a lot of time maintaining the pond? If your answer is yes, then by all means pick the biggest pond size to your liking.
Hope is not all lost if you cannot handle maintaining a large pond. You can always hire professionals to do it for you.
How much are you willing to spend on your pond? Your budget will be directly proportional to the size of the koi pond that you build. The budgeting consideration does not just end in the planning stage.
A big koi pond will mean more work will be done on it, and bigger equipment will be needed. But you should always remember that even though a bigger koi pond seems expensive, it is better especially if you think you will add more koi later.
Budgeting for one big koi pond is much cheaper than budgeting for multiple small koi ponds.
- The Size of Your Property
Having a large piece of property will give the designer a bigger canvas to work with. However, this does not mean that people with a small piece of property cannot have koi ponds. In fact, in Japan space is limited so more emphasis is put on depth. Japan also has the best koi fish (which grow up to 75cm or 30 inches).
Provided you can meet the minimum dimensions of the ideal koi pond there is no need to worry.
Your family will desire to hop in the pond to enjoy a swim with the beautiful koi at some point. Invest in a bigger koi pond to make it possible for them. Humans can only swim in a koi pond if the conditions are good and the space is enough.
Just make sure you are not impacting the koi with your presence. This can be achieved by finding a quiet spot in the pond so that both you and your koi can enjoy the swim.
Is There an Ideal Size for a Koi Pond?
As we have seen, size is determined by many factors. From more science-based factors up to personal and economic factors. This means that size will vary depending on the individual. But always note that the size should never go too far from the minimum dimensions.
Now that you know all the factors involved when planning on the size of your koi pond I encourage you to have fun planning your pond and eventually buying your koi fish.
As you have read there are many things to consider as well as many options available to you. One of the most important things to consider is figuring out the size of your pond. If you think you might continue to add more koi fish in the future then make sure your pond can hold that many fish.
Remember it’s not cheaper to build small and then continue building more ponds. Build the largest pond you can and your koi will grow into it and you can continue to add more fish.