Designing An Outdoor Pond

When designing a pond, there are a few things you need to figure out before you start construction. 

  • Decide what kind of pond you want. Koi, Plant and Goldfish Ponds have different needs and care. 
    • Koi Ponds 
      • Part Shade
      • A minimum of 1,000 gallons of water
      • Minimum depth of 30 inches
      • No shelves in the sides
      • Bottom drain
      • Slopping bottom
      • Pump system to keep water circulating
      • Bio-filter rated to the number of gallons in your pond
      • UV sterilizer/classifier
      • Protected plants (Make sure nothing poisonous, Koi are omnivores and eat plants)
      • Skimmer (optional, but it makes for easy maintenance)
    • Plant Ponds and Goldfish Ponds 
      • Full sun
      • 18 – 24 inches deep
      • Plant shelves, approximately 12 inches deep and 18 inches wide
      • One oxygenating grass (Anachris) plant per 2 square feet of surface area
      • 60% to 70% water coverage (from either floating or emergent plants, or both)
      • Pump system to keep water circulating
      • No more than 1 inch of fish per 10 gallons of water (i.e. a fish that grows 4 inches long needs 40 gallons of water, 2 of those fish would need 80 gallons. Always use the mature size of fish for measurements, not the size you purchase them at.)
      • Skimmer (optional, but it makes for easy maintenance)
  • Select a location
    • Choose a spot from which you can view the pond most of the year.
    •  Select a site close to electricity or one that can electricity wired to it. Don’t forget a ground-fault-interrupt circuit.
    •  Make sure the area is NOT the lowest spot in your yard. If you have a low wet spot, make it a bog garden instead.
  • Avoid large trees. If using a skimmer system, a pond can be placed closer to trees.
  • How large you want your pond to be. While your minimum size is dictated by what kind of pond you’re building, you’re free to go larger.