Over the years we have heard just about every misconception there is about koi ponds, and how these common lies about your koi pond have made people turn down the idea of installing one. We are here to set the record straight and hopefully change peoples’ perception about koi ponds that these lies have created.
A koi pond should be located in the lowest part of your yard!
This is probably the worst location for your investment because of the run-off that can creep its way into your pond. When your pond is positioned near your house, you can take in the beauty and tranquility of your pond when entertaining friends or lounging on your patio. In addition, nothing compares to being able to wake up and see a gorgeous koi pond right outside your window while you are enjoying your morning coffee.
You can’t be a koi hobbyist and a water gardener
We hear this often and want everyone to know it is not true! You can raise healthy koi fish and have a beautiful water garden. The koi fish will grow to be as vibrant and healthy as koi in a traditional koi pond, and your water garden will still flourish.
You have to bring your koi fish inside over winter
Just as we stated above your pond water will only freeze a few inches down, so as long as you have around 2 feet of water your fish will not become a fishcicle. Koi fish can survive the coldest of winters as long as they have sufficient depth, oxygenated water and a hole in the ice to allow the natural exchange of gasses.
More filtration means a better pond
Believe or not, you can over-filter a pond. Tight filter pads in your skimmer pick up the smallest particles of debris, causing you to be cleaning the filtering mechanism out constantly. Fish in the wild certainly don’t swim around in bottled water. If you can see a dime on the bottom of the pond, then the water clarity is just right for your fish and filtering past that create headaches, not eliminate them.
UV lights are the only way to keep your water clear
UV clarifiers are one of the ways to keep your pond water clear, but certainly not the only way, and arguably not the natural way. The fact of the matter is that if you have a pond that’s naturally balanced, in which the aquatic circle of life is rotating the way that Mother Nature intended, you don’t need UVC at all. A naturally balanced pond is a low maintenance pond because Mother Nature is doing the maintenance work for you.
Rock and gravel make cleaning your koi pond very difficult
Rocks and gravel offer a natural place for aerobic bacteria to colonize and set up housekeeping. This bacteria breaks down the fish waste and debris that would otherwise accumulate in the pond and turn into sludge. Regardless of your pond’s location (i.e. close to trees and loads of leaves), or how many fish you have in it, you’ll find that having rocks and gravel in your pond not only makes it look better, but it makes it healthier as well. So contrary to the myth, having rocks and gravel on the bottom of your pond actually allows Mother Nature to clean up after herself.
Predators will eat all of your expensive fish!
Raccoons don’t enjoy swimming. That’s not to say they never swim, or couldn’t stand on the edge of your pond and take a paw swipe or two at your fish. Fortunately, most fish will swim to a deeper, more protected part of the pond when a predator is threatening them. The one predator with legitimate credentials is the blue heron. Planting water lilies will give your fish some extra protection, and will work to minimize attracting a heron in the first place. Other protection measures include a cave-like structure that we refer to as a fish cave. These can be built in during the pond’s excavation, or if you already have a pond, they can be added with a little pond remodeling. In addition, if you notice a heron that just wont leave your koi pond alone we offer another solution called a scarecrow. The scarecrow is a sprinkler equipped with a motion sensor that will detect movement around your koi pond and shoot a jet of water across it successfully scaring away but not hurting the protected blue heron.
Koi can’t be kept in a pond that also contains plants
This is another common misconception, but trust us when we tell you fish and aquatic plants love each other! In a naturally balanced ecosystem, koi and plants complement and need one another. In nature, fish feed on plants. As a result, the fish produce waste, which is broken down by aerobic bacteria on the bottom of your pond, which, in turn, is used as fertilizer by the plants to grow and produce more natural fish food.
Your koi pond must be at least 3 feet deep to contain fish
There are thousands of two-foot deep ponds around the country, full of happy and healthy koi. The water in a two-foot deep pond will generally only freeze eight inches down, even in the coldest of climates, because of the insulating qualities of the earth that surrounds the pond.
You can put your koi pond on a timer
Please don’t! Your koi pond is a living, breathing ecosystem that needs constant oxygen, just like the human race. If you shut your system down at night, then you can never have sufficient growth of beneficial bacteria to fight algae blooms, and your finned friends will have a hard time breathing. However if you are interested in having a water feature on a timer you can shut down a pondless waterfall system whenever you would like.
You can’t have a koi pond in an area with a lot of trees
Yes, you will have more leaves in your pond in the fall, but you can minimize this by adding a pond net during the fall months. Also, the shade provided by the trees will help minimize the algae bloom in the summer. Furthermore, if you have a skimmer sucking the top quarter inch of water off the top of your pond, it will pull most of the leaves and related debris into the skimmer net which can be easily cleaned out.
A koi pond means there will be a lot of mosquitos!
Mosquitoes will generally only lay their eggs in still, stagnant water. If mosquitoes do happen to lay eggs in your pond and the mosquito larvae hatch, the fish in your pond will consider them a treat and will pick them off the water’s surface with great enthusiasm.
Koi ponds are not safe, and you are liable!
It’s natural to have these thoughts and concerns, but it is important to remember that a professionally-installed water garden has steps leading into the pond. The first shelf is only ankle high once the gravel is laid down. The next shelf is up to your knee, while the smallest area in the bottom is just above your knee, so it is not constructed like a swimming pool with harsh drop offs. We do recommend that you make your neighbors aware of the water garden and educate your own children and friends about the safety of any body of water. If liability is a true concern, you may consider the option of a pondless waterfall or a spillway bowl!