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Koi Ponds: Consult a Professional

Scales of bright orange and fiery red, somber yellow, black and white – Koi fish are ornamental domesticated varieties of the common carp. Historically, they were developed in ancient China during the Jin Dynasty for decorative purposes in outdoor pools. The fish have since gained popularity in Japan, Korea and the rest of the world for their symbolism of love and friendship.

While Koi Ponds are beautiful to look at, there are several misconceptions about how to properly build and maintain such a complex watering hole. First, consult a professional. Jeff Mansen, owner of Berkshire Watergardens on Declaration Drive in Jacksonville, helped Jacksonville Backyard understand some of the ins and outs of Koi Ponds:

Proper Filtration: “Without it, Koi fish can poison themselves from the ammonia and toxins from their own waste [excrement],” Mansen explains. “Their health is a major concern.” Unlike a natural waterway where water is constantly filtered, ponds need to be set up with the Koi in mind or they will turn murky from toxic waste and algae-causing nutrients. The pond needs to have a constant flow of oxygen.

Watergardens are for Plants: Mansen stresses that watergardens are not built to house Koi fish. “One pond is built for the beauty of the fish, one is built for the beauty of the yard and the landscape,” he says. While goldfish can survive in a watergarden, Koi are better left to their own domain. “Watergardens are generally covered with river rock and other sharp material,” he explains. “Koi can nick themselves on the rock and waste gets stuck in the crevices.”

Proper Depth: Bigger is better. “For every one foot of fish you have, you should have three feet deep of pond. So if you have a two-foot-long Koi, you should have a six-foot deep pond,” Mansen says.

Bottom Drains: Bottom drains count for the vast majority of circulation in a Koi Pond. Starting at the sides, the elevation needs to slope toward the drain situated in the middle of the pond. This way, waste goes into the water, settles to the bottom, gets pulled to the drain (“gravity fed”), goes into the filter and the filtered water goes back into the pond.

Get it Right from the Beginning: Koi Ponds are permanent fixtures. Koi generally live for 30 years – even 100 in some rare instances, so fixing a problem once the pond is constructed and the fish are in is nothing short of a nightmare. Also, make sure to put the pond somewhere you can admire it everyday, since you won’t be moving it anytime soon.

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References (2)

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    Jacksonville Backyard Hardscapes Landscapes Ecoscapes - Jacksonville Water Features - Koi Ponds: Consult a Professional
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    Small carp boilies are very healthy for koi fish

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