Installing a Koi Pond in your Backyard? Here’s a few tips before breaking ground
There is a lot of material related to installation of a koi pond, and if any landscaper wants to learn more about them and better understand them, we suggest learning as much as possible before breaking ground. Wes Glenn, the owner of Lake Management Inc, a company located in Orange County, California, has purchased many koi pond related books. He’s browsed various websites, asked around, and even looked at manufactures materials, and he realizes that koi ponds aren’t simple as people think.
Where to find Pond Supplies for your Build?
Glenn suggests gathering your pond supplies before you build. Most can be bought online or at a local Orange County pond store. Glenn and the owners of Indland Koi have been working together for over 10 years, Lake Management Inc has referred people to the pond store for supplies, and in return the pond store referred customers to LMI for builds, maintenance, and repairs. Both companies trust each other to keep their customers happy and work well together.
Glenn says that there is more to designing and building a koi pond than putting a hole in the ground, adding some liner and adding water, and realizing this is the key to making a successful koi pond. The size of the components used in one koi pond can differ from the next, and different water flow calculations will be needed for these components. According to Glenn, the amount of water being driven through the skimmer, as well as the UV light, pond and waterfall, will be important, as well as the speed of the water. Both high flow rate and low flow rate skimmers exist. Figuring out the right design elements can take a bit of experience. In some ways, a koi pond building is similar to a swimming pool, in that both have skimmers, pumps, and filters that will have to be installed. A sand filter filter or pressure filter, two skimmers, and two centrifugal pumps are usually used when we build ponds that are larger in size.
Proper Pond Equipment in Key
Lake Management Inc recommends that a UV light be used in ponds that get a lot of sunlight to prevent the growth of floating algae, and with “slow-flow” technology build in if possible. Glenn says that while the fish won’t be harmed by the algae, it will be harder to see them when it is present.
For the ponds that he makes, a 30-45 mil liner is used. Figuring out which pumps and filters are the best was a process of trial and error by Glenn but is vital to a successful pond build and should not be neglected. He says that it’s necessary for him to shop around, because the skimmer offered by a company may not be as good as their exceptional filter. Instead of using one supplier or sticking with only common brands, Glenn insists that landscapers shop around as well. To him, the quality of the products can vary greatly but he has a list of products he always uses. “Never go for products with bead technology” he says. “There are better options than these products, as they are heavily marketed and over-priced for what they offer, gravel and sand can do the job just fine” he said.
The aquatic management firm that Glenn owns is just one in the tiny amount of firms that deals with koi pond construction. Other companies build specialty ponds, but don’t handle koi ponds. Glenn believes that being able to build koi ponds and perform landscaping is good. He says that people who want a good looking landscape are the people who are likely to have a koi pond installed. His company discusses the options that are available when people want a consultation. A still landscape can’t match the beauty of a moving fish and water in a koi pond, so Glenn tries to stress the importance of koi ponds and waterfalls to the customer. He says that they are attractions that people will actually go outside to see, unlike a flower.
The idea of a fish may not be appealing at first to people who just want a pond with a waterfall. According to Glenn, not everyone is keen on the koi because they require some amount of care. Like any household pet, koi will need to be given food. Unlike most pets, koi don’t have to be fed every day. Still they must be cared for, and the skimmers needed to be cleaned often. Those who travel a lot will find it more difficult to take care of them.
Koi Fish or No Fish?
Glenn states that while the initial reaction for many is to decline the fish, usually they will start to want them after having the pond for a bit. Once they add some fish to their pond, he says that they marvel in their beauty and want to add more to the pond. Even if the customers have no desire for koi, Glenn does his best to convince them into getting a pond that will be able to house them. He says koi are bigger than other smaller fish and need a pond to accommodate their size.
There are financial and practicality issues with altering a small pond. Making a small pond bigger isn’t easy to do and may require an investment that is hard to make. A minimum pond that is 32 inches deep and 20 by 15 feet in size is recommended by Glenn, with the option for bigger ponds existing. There won’t be any room for koi in a pond that is smaller than that, and they’ll have stunted growth.
How Deep Should The Pond Be?
Glenn does mention that the ponds can be too deep and they shouldn’t be made this way. A homeowner may be pleased at the idea of having a 7 feet deep pond when a builder tries to sell them on it. A pond that deep will have fish that are harder to see because they’re all at the bottom. Homeowners are more likely to interact with the fish in ponds that are 3 feet deep. When the koi see you coming, they know it’s feeding time and act like pets, which is an entertaining experience for the owners.
Glenn says that koi ponds can be added to many yards due to their adaptable nature. Homes with septic tanks are the exception, as the pond shouldn’t be anywhere near a septic field. Yards with mature trees that are large may also present a problem, as the trees roots can become a problem for the pond.
Pond Plants Add Beauty
The koi ponds that Lake Management Inc builds often times has aquatic plants mixed with them. For Glenn, the look of a koi pond goes hand in hand with landscaping, and he feels this is what sets his ponds apart from others. Other companies often leave the landscaping task to the homeowners after creating the pond. Many ponds don’t have a good visual style because they’re nothing but rocks with no landscaping. According to Glenn, people enjoy his water features because of the landscaping.
There’s a lot of information on Glenn website about koi ponds. Customers can learn about topics such as lighting, filtration, and even nitrogen cycles. Videos of the pond projects can be seen, and homeowners can sometimes get a first hand look at ponds Glenn has constructed. For Glenn, people put more trust into him as an expert when they learn more, and believes it’s what makes the company more noticeable than other companies.
Glenn has a great passion for the koi and doesn’t simply view them as a way to make money. While landscaping is his job, Glenn genuinely loves koi and water features. Ultimately, he just wants to provide his clients with ponds and water features of the highest quality.
Want to begin your pond build but not sure where to begin? Feel free to give us a call (714) 312-1260