Eco-System or Koi Pond or Water Garden Design, Which style pond construction is best for you, What style pond construction is best for Koi, and which style of pond construction is right for your budget?
We take a unique approach to help our clients determine which water feature best fits into their lifestyle, landscape and personal goals.
Our koi pond design approach is more like an interview process. We take pride and a great deal of time educating our clients on the different Koi pond construction technologies and philosophies available today. We cover energy efficiency, water conservation, pond maintenance, as well as the care of aquatic plants, Koi, goldfish and other pond fish.
There are some distinct differences between the serious Koi pond enthusiast and a Koi lover just getting started in the wonderful hobby. The better you understand these differences, the easier it is to make sound decisions regarding your Koi ponds design and construction.
Koi Pond Construction Fundamentals
There are 3 major fundamentals in the design of a DEDICATED KOI POND that all serious Koi enthusiasts will agree on and then debate FOREVER on how to accomplish.
The 3 fundamentals are as follows and in order.
- REMOVE ALL SOLID WASTE from the pond via bottom drains, pond skimmers and sometimes mid-water drains, such as leaf debris, pine needles, windblown debris, fish poop, and uneaten fish food.
- SETTLE SOLID WASTE as it is removed from the pond via bottom drains, pond skimmers and mid-water drains in a pre-filter. This is commonly accomplished in settlement tanks or physically removed with newer technology via a pond sieve pre-filter BEFORE the biological filtration.
- FILTER OR NITRIFY the pond water (converting ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate) return it to the pond via waterfalls and often times return circulation jets below the water level.
These 3 fundamentals will be the foundation of your Koi pond design. From this foundation planning can begin. The ponds length, width and depth will determine the total gallons. From here we quickly move in the equipment selections determined from turnover rates for the pond matching pumps to speed limits of bottom drains, skimmers, UV filters, pre-filters, biological filters and on. Each ponds design is very subjective to the homeowner’s goals and is often influenced by the landscape and a budget.
Still to this day, dedicated Koi ponds are being constructed with design philosophies that oppose the 3 fundamentals described above. The philosophies and theories of designing ponds for Koi unveiled over the last decade have been some of the most important; producing critical pieces to an extraordinary puzzle. Only in the last few years have some of the most important components to effectively accomplish these 3 fundamentals became readily available to contractors and retailers. If you are taking bids for construction of a dedicated Koi pond, be sure to weigh the philosophies we have outlined here against the technologies offered to you in your ponds design. Our construction team would love the opportunity to bid on you pond project. Please call us at 800-522-5043.
Eco-System Pond Construction Fundamentals
Over the last fifteen years the ECO-SYSTEM POND has dominated the industry and swept across North America in a big way. The eco-system pond offers a simple approach to pond construction with five key elements and a little magic from Mother Nature. The 5 fundamentals not necessarily in order are: 1) A Biological Waterfall Filter 2) A Mechanical Pond Skimmer 3) Rocks & Gravel 4) Fish and 5) Aquatic Plants. This simple construction style approach has inspired contractors and do-it-yourself homeowners across the nation to add eco-system ponds into their lives and businesses!
The eco-system pond can certainly be tagged as a WATER GARDEN; however, the eco-system pond that I speak of here breaks some rules of the conventional water garden! Many water gardens do not have rocks & gravel incorporated into their pond design or Koi fish for fear of harming water lilies, their most prized possession! More importantly, many water gardens do not have waterfalls! On the contrary, most ECO-SYSTEM ponds have fast moving water not conducive to the care of water lilies and 99.9% of eco-system ponds have waterfalls.
My intention here is not to dig to deep into the differences between a DEDICATED KOI POND and a WATER GARDEN, but to identify that an ECO-SYSTEM POND or a HYBRID of technologies is a viable solution to meeting the goals and expectations of pond keepers.
Let us offer 3 hybrid suggestions on how to bring a little Koi pond construction technology into the Eco-system pond world in order to make improvements in water quality, clarity and ultimately; the life expectancy of your Koi and other pond fish.
- Install an Ultra Violet Sterilizer on your pond. Contrary to some marketing efforts over the past decade, Ultra Violet Sterilizers do not kill everything good and bad in eco-system ponds. In fact UVs are beneficial to any pond and installed correctly not only keep green water at bay but helps control protozoa as well!
- The addition of an aerator to an eco-system pond is extremely beneficial, creating a completely new dynamic to the pond and is just the beginning of moving pond water with intention as done in dedicated Koi ponds. By installing an aerator in your eco-system pond, moving water from the bottom of the pond to the top of the pond, you keep heavy solids suspended in the water column longer giving your mechanical pond skimmer the chance to capture those solids for physical removal or send them to your biological waterfall filter to be digested.
- By designing your waterfall filter with a cleanout drain like the Helix Bio-Mechanical Waterfall Filter, you give yourself the opportunity to easily flush your waterfall filter on a regular basis instead of only annual cleanings as prescribed by many manufacturers of eco-system pond equipment. Additionally, by using higher quality filter media, your pond’s filtration capacity is that much more improved. To amplify the benefits of these 3 additions to your pond, if you do have an aerator installed in your pond, it could serve yet another purpose. With just a little effort you can send air into your waterfall filter at the time of cleaning to help loosen, heavy debris lodged in your filter media thus improving your filter cleaning by tenfold!
Hybrid Koi Pond Design
I want to challenge eco-system pond owners that keep Koi to step up their game and make these 3 simple changes to their Koi ponds. The results will happier healthier Koi fish and ten times better water quality and clarity than ever experienced!
Let us all learn from the great Koi pond construction debate on how to accomplish getting solids out of the pond, settling them and then nitrifying the water as it returns to the koi pond. The ongoing great debate on the best way to accomplish the 3 fundamentals of Koi pond construction is without a doubt the heart and soul of any Koi enthusiast’s or serious pond digger’s interest. This pertains to the care, maintenance, upkeep and total well being of Koi fish. In the last decade this ongoing koi care debate has turned out some serious technology that has yet to become common practice amongst the pond contractor community!
As a matter of fact, what has been turned out and implemented in the last few years is more exciting than ever. You can expect an exponential growth rate in dedicated Koi pond construction and the hybridization of Eco-System Ponds within the next five years. The future of Koi pond construction is very exciting. We tip our hats to the pioneers that are helping to pave the way. As the latest and greatest ground breaking technologies become main stream and a systematic approach to education on the installation of a dedicated Koi pond construction, these new philosophies and technologies will without a doubt shape and mold the future of ALL pond being built. If you are looking to design and build a Koi pond from scratch or have a pond and considering upgrades, let us help you determine which technologies best fit you.