There’s something serene about a koi pond. The gentle bubbling of the air pump or fountain, the patterns in which the fish swim through the pond, the bright colors and green plants that whisper “peace” – they’re all part of the serenity. Of course, you have to find the right design for your koi pond to have that perfect ease and relaxation. Do you have space for a large one or have to go smaller? Do you have small children who’ll be tempted to mess with the fish? Do you want a waterfall or fountain, or an air pump to keep the water from growing stagnant?
It’s also important to note that koi ponds need to be at least three feet deep for a long-lasting, healthy environment for your fish. So if you can’t dig that deep, you may want to consider an above-ground option.
As you think through your needs and space options, consider these styles and types of designs. You might get some inspiration and discover the perfect-for-you backyard koi pond.
Medium Pond with Waterfall
If you’ve got the space, you can build your own medium to large concrete-lined pond, using some rocks and small boulders to line and edge the pond. Build up a waterfall on one end, installing the pump with an easy access nook to avoid some of the main hassles of water pumps, and plant some koi-friendly pond plants at the edge.
Use Small Pre-Made Pond Liners
If you’re keen on having a koi pond but just don’t have the ability to do a large poured concrete-lined pond, you could locate some plastic, vinyl, or other waterproof pond liner-style products that work for your small space. Be sure to plant up around it to help the aesthetics, as well as the health of the pond, and maintain it with a good pump and regular cleanings.
Upcycled Above Ground Koi Pond
If you’re into upcycling and like the idea of an above-ground pond (i.e. less digging!), you could follow this tutorial on Instructables. Find an old sink to upcycle along with the other supplies (you can probably use pallet wood along with recycled bathroom tile) for this unique and fun backyard koi pond.
Golden Temple Steps Pond
Consider emulating these steps from the Golden Temple in Kyoto. Build a squared-off concrete pond with steps around the edges. This adds for a unique, modern, or ancient feeling perfect for a number of backyard pond and design styles.
Elevated Lemon Tree Aquaponics Pond
For a unique combination of elements, this aquaponics koi pond is worth considering. You’ll be able to produce some quality lemons (or other fruits, depending on your climate), enjoy some koi fish, and create a unique, sustainable resource for all kinds of pleasure and functionality in one small space. The Instructables tutorial for this aquaponics koi pond will tell you all you need to know for getting started.
Backyard “Temple” Pond with Gazebo
If you’ve got a sprawling space back there, you’ve got this incredible option. A combination of a large concrete koi pond with plenty of lounging space and a gorgeous gazebo or similar structure for shade and respite, this pond has it all. I know I would use this space for daily meditation, yoga, and other peaceful practices.
The Eclectic Pond at Patio’s Edge
Forget the styled, modern ponds and instead think eclectic and artsy! Build a pond like this one, line with rocks and stones, filled with lovely koi, and a rough-hewn waterfall, right at the patio’s edge. Add some waterfowl statues like the heron there or add statuary or barrel fountains.
Downhill Koi Pond
If you’ve got land that’s slanting downhill, this is the perfect way to take advantage of the hillside. Build a moderate-sized koi pond with a larger waterfall like this, using the natural slant to make things easier and more intriguing. Be sure to line the pond with plants, add some lights, and any other decorative touches you like.
Concrete Pond with Glass “Peek-aBoo”
This is a luxurious concept, this glass peek-a-boo pond. It’s also a lot of work. But if you love the gorgeous concept and know you’ll enjoy maintaining and admiring it for years to come, it’ll be well worth it.
Above Ground Patio Glass Koi Pond
If you’re looking for something a little different, above ground, and modern, then look no further than this lovely concept. The pond is contained in a glass and vinyl box with a grid top for added protection and safety for the fish, while still allowing airflow and easy accessibility. Perfect for the patio.
Multi-Level Deck Koi Pond
This unique koi pond combines multiple media (metal, concrete, laminate) to create an incredible, modern pond with an Asian twist. It’s perfect for a clean feel space in a small or large area.
The Ideal Koi Pond
The ideal backyard koi pond ideas are those which resonate with your imagination, space, and budget. Of course, your imagination may be much bigger than the budget allows for – or space is maybe limited. So take the best idea and adjust the size or means to fit your capabilities and add some flourish through planting beautiful plants like water lilies, horsetail rush, and some inexpensive statuary or a fun water pump for a simple fountain. Don’t be afraid to consider stocking fish besides koi in your pond – you find that some koi and catfish together do it for you.