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Old 06-25-2013, 08:21 PM   #1 
Racoon293
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Considering a Koi pond. Need advice?

Any of you guys got experience with Koi fish?
Recently the idea of a koi pond struck my mind kind of out of the blue and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.
I want to do a little research into it, see what some of y'all think.

1) Is a pond even possible on a $2000 budget? That amount would mostly be for the filters, pumps, plumbing, under-layment, and liner.
The labor, construction, and installation I can do myself.
2) with the above stated budget how big could I go?
(Hoping at Least 1000 to 3000 gallon. )
3) how many gallons per Koi?
4) are they like a social or schooling fish? Is there a minimum that should be stocked?
5) I live in Georgia, summers are brutal and winter is usually mild, How would they do in that kind of climate?
6) suggestions on equipment and suppliers.
7) books,articles, websites I should check out.
Those are just a few of my many questions. I'm just trying to see if its even feasible.

Thanks
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:25 PM   #2 
MattsBettas
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Definitely try to get TheKoiLady on here, she knows this stuff.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:57 PM   #3 
percyfyshshelley
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Raccoon, I'm jealous! I dug a koi pond many years ago, when I lived in Maryland. Not such a great idea inCanada lol. Your pond will do great in Georgia. The fish can stay outdoors all winter. Mine stayed in their pond even when it froze. I made an airhole for them and they were fine. They go dormant in the winter. Make sure the pond is deep enough so that they can find some cool deep water when it's really hot.

I'm sure you can do it on a $2000 budget. It was so long ago I don't remember what mine cost, but I'm sure it was under that.

Plants! Get some submerged plants to suck away nutrients from algae, bog plants like lilies and lotus, and some floaters like water lettuce and water hyacinth (both will take over and will need to be thinned out often). snails are useful, and if you're lucky you'll get frogs laying eggs in there and then you'll have tadpoles. Then more frogs! They are soooo cute when they sit on the lily pads.

An online resource is lilypons.com. (sorry not sure how to post a link). I used to work there, and they ship plants, equipment, etc. Theyre in Maryland. You could probably find something in ga., however.

Koi don't school like sardines, but I think they like to be around other fish. They are smart and fun. Stocking I can't answer specifically, I'm sure someone else can. They do need a lot of water per fish, and they do grow big! My filter was a DIY made out of a plastic trash can with tons of filter media in it for good bacteria to grow.

Ponds are so cool. I did mine knowing very little when I started.. I used a couple books to guide me. This was pre-Internet days! Lol. I started working at lilypons after I got my pond going. Pretty fun job actually.

Sorry it was so long ago I can't remember a lot of specifics, but it's definately doable!

Last edited by percyfyshshelley; 06-25-2013 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:54 PM   #4 
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Hey! I have some years experience with koi and ponds. They really are wonderful.

1) IMO you're going to be pushing it on a $2000 budget if you want something really nice. Mine was considerably more, but I did pay for labor and things like a small backhoe. That should get you the equipment. Unfortunately I can't offer you an advice on good brands.

2) Regardless if you want koi, aim for 1000+ gal. Go as large as your budget allows. That's mostly going to depend on the cost of things in your area. Remember, while it's easy to upgrade a tank, it's NOT easy to upgrade a pond.

3) I stock 1 koi per 500 gal. With basic filtration this is the stocking level you want to maintain. If you had better filtration you could have greater stocking levels.

4) Koi are highly social. Mine shoal rather often. I'd shoot for a pond that can at least accommodate 4. Also try to get them all about the same time and the same size. A lone koi or one that is much smaller than the rest will not feed as it should.

5) Koi do well with cold but not well with heat. You are going to need to make your pond at least 3 feet deep. This is to allow them refuge from the hot summer sun. Also try to put the pond in some kind of shade. I have mine under a canopy of trees, but if you can place it on a northern exposure that would be great. Try to avoid having it on the western or southern side of your house.

6) If you know what equipment you want, Amazon usually has great deals. Alternatively, you could look for a local pond store and see what discounts they offer.

7) I would certainly contact your local pond/koi club. The American Koi Club Association keeps names of pond clubs all over the US. From their website you should be able to find the one in your area. They will be able to help you a lot more as they understand the nuances of you microclimate as well as know places where you can get good local deals.

Ponds really are amazing. I've had mine since 2007 and am still in love with it as the day I put it in. It's in so much shade that I can't get floating plants in but at a few places, so I have a lot of marginal plants. I feel that it gives my pond a really natural feel.

As for plants, I'd go with floating plants over submerged plants. Koi are notorious for eating submerged plants. And floating plants will grow faster and remove more nutrients. Lotus are great if you have enough sun. Water lettuce and water hyacinth (be careful these may be illegal) are the best IMO. They are some of the fastest growing plants in the world and are excellent at keeping the water quality good.
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:06 PM   #5 
whiskandbowl
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Koi Maiden, can you recommend some reputable websites that has basics for pond care? My mom has a pond (just a plastic preformed one..I think it's maybe 75-100 gal) and she wants to upgrade...she just got 2 humonguous plastic pond forms- they're huge. I'm 5'9" and could sleep in this thing.
Her current small pond has a couple feeder fish, a shibunkin, and a resident frog who comes to visit. I'm almost positive it would be considered overstocked. I'm also pretty sure her filter is a cheap one, so advise on filtration for the larger ponds is appreciated as well. I'm hoping to get some research in, since she doesn't plan on doing anything drastic til next spring.

I don't know anything about proper filtration etc. I'm good with aquariums, but ponds are a whole 'nother ballgame.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:26 PM   #6 
thekoimaiden
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Bigger is always better with ponds! My next one will be 10,000 + gal.

As for websites, I've found that large koi club websites tend to have a lot of great information. Those are usually the sites that come up when I search for koi things. Two other websites that I've used time and time again are Koi Fish Information and Frequently Asked Water Gardening Questions. The second deals more with pond plants, but also has helpful tips about the design of ponds.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:08 PM   #7 
Racoon293
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Thanks for all the help Koimaiden. I found a local Pond store near work today. This project is still a ways off, I'm hoping ill be ready around tax return time next spring. In the meantime ill continue to research and ask questions. I want to be well informed and prepared before tackling such a big project like this.
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