04 Jan The Basics of Proper Koi Pond Construction
The problem lies in the design of a Proper Koi Pond. Many times you hear someone saying that their koi pond is built by a contractor who built their house or a landscape contractor or a swimming pool builder. Sometimes, you may even hear someone saying that their Koi Pond was built by renovation workers. Most of the time, these guys merely built you a water feature pond without taking into consideration a proper habitat for Koi to live in. In most cases when you approach any of these guys they will say “Sure, I can build you a Koi Pond”. While you are eagerly waiting for your Koi Pond, they are actually building you a water feature pond not because they intend to cheat but simply because they are lack of knowledge to Koi Keeping. Most of these people think that Koi Pond is the same as water feature pond, some because of their lack of knowledge.
As a result, you get a koi pond with some of the common problems as below:
- Green Water. Single cell algae which causes your pond water to turn from light green to deep green. Sometimes, you can’t even see your fish even if the Koi Pond water level is only 2 feet deep. This problem can be solved by using an UV light provided if your Koi Pond water circulation and turnover rate is proper.
- Lack of Oxygen. Many times you see Koi gasping for air in an overly stocked Koi Pond. Some thought it was cute or fun to see the Koi behaviour and thinks that the Koi are asking for food. Little did they know that these Koi are suffocating because the Koi Pond is lack of oxygen. The main reason for this is wrong piping sizes chosen by the builder which causes the turnover rate of a Koi Pond to be too slow and also bad circulation of water in a Koi Pond. This problem can be avoided if the Koi Pond was built with prior consideration and calculation done to the water turnover rate, flow rate and water circulation.
- Poor Water Quality. Most of you may think that, “A Koi Pond with the clearest water has to be the Koi Pond with the best water quality”. Let me tell you that this is WRONG!! A Koi Pond with good water clarity does not mean that it has good water quality. A clear water koi pond with good water quality is a koi pond with the proper water chemistry for a Koi to live in. Water chemistry can be determined by using test kits supplied by most Koi Dealers.A properly designed Koi Pond Filtration System with sufficient biological filtration helps to maintain proper water chemistry to keep your Koi healthy before the next Koi Pond filtration maintenance session.
- Hours of Work to Clean Your Koi Pond Filtration System. This is actually one of the most painful tasks in Koi Keeping. Most of the Koi Pond was not built by taking into consideration the maintenance of the filtration. You will often see someone takes up hours of precious time cleaning the Koi Pond filtration system. Then, again hours of precious time waiting for water to fill up their Koi Pond in order to start the pumps running. A properly designed filtration system not only saves you huge amount of water needed to clean your Koi Pond filtration system but also saves your precious time when it takes only minutes for cleaning instead of hours.
Today, I would love to share with you what I call “The Basics of Proper Koi Pond Construction”. Prior to building a Proper Koi Pond, we must first understand the needs of our precious Koi. Some of the basic needs for building a Proper Koi Pond are listed as following:
- Understanding of Water Chemistry. To keep Koi healthy, we must first understand the suitable water chemistry for Koi Keeping. Few of the most basic water chemistry that you must know are the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and PH levels in the Koi Pond water. These can be controlled with a properly stocked Koi Pond with a proper biological filtration. There is many more water chemistry which should be kept in proper level to bring out the best in your Koi.
- Understanding of Water Volume & Koi Pond Dimension. It is important to know the dimension of your Koi Pond and also the total volume of water in your Koi Pond including water in the filter system. Only with this information, you shall determine the piping layouts, sizes and position for different purposes from the pond to filter chamber, from pump to pond for circulation purposes. Proper water circulation and how fast should the turnover rate (commonly called cycle per hour) and flow rate should be calculated to ensure that your koi lives in a properly circulated Koi pond with enough oxygen and maintaining a good water chemistry as the waste from you Koi are being carried to the filtration system at good rate while your koi exercise in the right water current.
- Understanding the Correct Pump to Use. When you had already determined the turnover rate and flow rate for your Koi Pond, it is important that you choose a correct pump with the right flow rate. Most of the specification of the pump is written on the box in Gallon per Hour/Min or Litre per Hour/Min. Please remember that these flow rate decreases depending on the height, length and how many corners the piping connecting to the pump has.
- Understanding the Correct Piping Sizes Needed. Water circulations, turnover rates and flow rates determine the choices of piping sizes and piping locations in your Koi Pond as mentioned above. This may be the toughest part in a proper koi pond construction as you may need to determine how many pipes to be used as the correct sizes of pipes depends on the number of sizes being used or the number of branch out for each pipe.
- Understanding Biological Filtration. Biological Filtration is the most important part of a Koi Pond. There are many different types of biological filtration available in the market, however the quality and efficiency differs greatly. It is also important to understand how to use the biological filtration correctly by providing a correct placement in your filtration chamber and also providing proper water turnover rate. This is because in a biological filter, we are keeping live beneficial bacteria who keep your water chemistry in a healthy level so that your Koi live healthily. Depending on the quality and quantity of biological filtration being used, the interval of filter maintenance period varies. This simply means, if high quality and high quantity of Biological Filtration Media is being used, you have a longer time period before the next filter system maintenance session.
This information can easily be found in books or the internet if you have the time to sacrify for your hobby. Otherwise, you may need to leave it to the expert. I advise you to engage with a truly professional Koi Pond Builder. How do you determine if you have found the right guy? With the basic understanding of what I called “The Basics of Proper Koi Pond Construction”, you can easily determine if the person is an expert or not. You can also determine if the person is an expert by the following:
- A Koi Pond expert always visits your koi pond before quoting you for rectification or modification works. The reason behind is that, they need to calculate your pond water volume and also determine all the basics as I mention earlier before designing a proper system for your Koi Pond.
- A Koi Pond expert must be able to carry out water chemistry test to determine the water quality of your koi pond.
- A Koi Pond expert must be able to determine the problems in your Koi pond and proposes a proper/better system and explain them to you in facts and figures which are directly related to the basics as I mention earlier.
If you follow my advice, you are more likely to get yourself a proper or a better Koi Pond instead of getting another headache. Over the years I had helped solve the problems of many customers who had at least got their Koi Pond modified by unprofessional Koi Pond Builder for many times but not solving their problems.
“Keeping Koi can be much easier and enjoying if you have a proper Koi Pond from the beginning”
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