A well-designed koi pond is a beautiful addition to almost any yard or garden. We would encourage anybody planning on building/digging a pond to design their own pond so that the finished pond looks the way they want it to look. Here we offer some general design tips to reduce/prevent common pond problems (these are just our own thoughts, there are always exceptions). Please remember these are just our thoughts, and these are just guidelines.
Too Small! - Typically, after building their first pond and introducing some koi many people, soon realize that the pond they have built is too small. So, we would recommend that you build your first pond bigger!!! This will cost more in the short term and but not having to upgrade pumps, UV lights, and filters when you extend a small pond will be avoided.
Too Shallow! - To you and us koi are beautiful creatures we watch and care for. But, herons, cats, otters, and countless other furry/feathered beasts regard koi as breakfast, lunch, dinner, and/or a midnight snack. Piscivores regard brightly colored fish in a shallow clear pond as an easy meal and they will return and eat every fish until the pond is empty of fish, it is just their natural instincts (they can't help themselves). Protecting your pond fish from predators is a very common problem. When designing a koi pond we would recommend deep edges, at least 3ft, with the rest of the pond being deeper. So many garden design books show pond designs with shallow edges for plants. These look great but make perfect fishing spots for herons and fish will commonly move to these shallower areas as the water can be slightly warm whenever the pond is heated by the sun. Protect your wonderful fish and do not give the neighborhood cats too many free meals, dig a deep pond with steep sides!