25 Inspiring Koi Pond Ideas for Your Backyard

A koi pond is a beautiful water feature that can liven up any dull space. Imagine relaxing beside your very own gorgeous koi pond design after a long day… the water running and the fish swimming immediately calms your stress and anxiety away. Not to mention, your landscaping will be at a whole new level of amazing. Check out these koi pond ideas to see how you can incorporate a koi pond into your yard.

1. DIY Garden Pond & Deck

Over at Family Handy Man, they give you detailed instructions on how to make your very own stunning koi pond with a deck. It is elegant and the perfect place to getaway. Check it out.

2. Recycled Bathtub Pond

Empress Of Dirt shows you how to take an old, yucky bathtub and turn it into a gorgeous pond. Your landscaping is sure to have some extra character now! See how she did it.

3. Stock Tank Koi Pond

Who would have thought to make a pond from an old stock tank? Well, Pam over at Digging, came up with this fantastic idea, and it turned out lovely. It is so beautiful and relaxing. Try it out.

4. DIY Pond With Waterfall

Oh My Creative gives you a detailed look at what it takes to make your pond with a waterfall. Add some fish and plants, and you will have a unique landscaping idea like no one else! Make your own.

5. DIY Yard Pond

Over at Mom Dot, she built a gorgeous pond for her front yard. It is amazing how much character the pond added to their landscape. See what she did here.

6. Tire Fish Pond

Finton at Instructables gives you a tutorial explaining how he turned old tractor tires into a fun fish pond. You can do it, too! Just follow the steps here.

7. Build Your Own Koi Pond

Russell Watergardens explains all about how you can make a marvelous koi pond for your garden. I love how they give detailed instructions, so it takes the guesswork out of it. How they did it.

8. DIY Mini Water Garden

What’s Ur Home Story shows you how to set up your mini water garden with pond plants that will fit right on your porch or deck. It adds such a beautiful touch to your outdoor living space. Check out how they did it. 

9. Tire Pond

The WHOot shares how to transform some tires into a koi pond that is perfect for your outdoor living space. You can add as many plants and fish as you want. See how here.

10. Boxed Pond

Family Handyman shows you just how simple it is to make an above-ground Koi pond. This will save your back from digging, and it turned out fantastic. Find out how. 

11. Patio Pond

Have you ever wanted to have a pond on your patio but you weren’t sure how to make it happen? Well, you are in luck because DIY & Crafts shows you precisely what you need to know. Make your own patio pond here.

12. DIY Backyard Pond

Jennifer at This Old House how to create an outdoor pond for your backyard that will blow your socks off! She also provides lots of helpful tips! Your outdoor living space will be such a relaxing oasis! Do it yourself. 

13. DIY Garden Pond

Make your own ravishing backyard garden pond that your koi fish can enjoy! Empress of Dirt will show you exactly how she made her garden pond and how you can, too. Don’t hesitate to get started now.

14. The Ultimate Koi Pond

Instructables has made a beautiful koi pond that you need to see. It does take some time and effort, but you will be left with a breathtaking pond that you will love! Check it out!

15. DIY Raised Pond

Over at Let’s Go Junking was inspired to build a pond box which is essentially a pond that is above ground. They provide you with plenty of instructions on how to put one together yourself. See how they did it!

16. Build Your Own Pond

Joseph at Popular Mechanics has developed an excellent tutorial the explains precisely how to make your outdoor pond. It will take a couple of days to build this serene pond. Check it out!

17. Tranquil Koi Pond

The Navage Patch has a 3 part series tutorial on how they made their gorgeous koi pond. After you see this, you are going to want to make one too! Find out how to make it.

18. Backyard Pond With Waterfall

DIY Network gives you all the information you need to know about making a backyard pond with a waterfall in just a weekend. It takes some work, but it will end up beautiful! How they did it.

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19. Koi Pond

Learning As I Go Tips made a charming koi pond with some hard work and some creativity. It turned out lovely! You should make one, too.

20. DIY Pond

The Dollar Stretcher gives a guide to help you make a pond in your backyard in about a day. So, it is tranquil and straightforward to make! See their ideas, here.

21. Make Your Own Pond

Lowe’s shares a guide to help you put in your pond and tips on how to maintain it. After you have your pond finished you can add some Koi fish, and you have a quiet resting place. See more here.

22. Miniature Pond

Heather at Gardening Know How provides information on how to make a small pond in your backyard. You don’t have to have a significant and fancy pond to enjoy it. Take a look.

23. DIY Koi Pond

Doctors Foster and Smith share a very detailed look at what it takes to put in a koi pond yourself. They even added a waterfall. See how it looks.

24. Building A Pond

Over at the Gardening Glove, they have several inspiring ideas on putting in a pond. They even include a photo of their finished product. Check it out.

25. Make A Pond

Handyman explains how to put the pond in and how to select fish as well as plants. After you have your pond in place, you are going to love how peaceful it is. See it now.

Best Water Plants for Koi Ponds

Now that you have an idea of what you want your Koi pond to look like, you’ll need to decide what plants to decorate your backyard oasis with! In this part of the article, we’ll be taking a look at the best water plants for ponds that are both beautiful and safe for your fish.

Benefits of Pond Plants

Before we jump into our favorite water plants for koi ponds, let’s briefly go over their benefits.

It goes without saying that plants play a vital role in a healthy ecosystem — even manmade ecosystems! And because live animals will be introduced to this manmade ecosystem, you’ll want the healthiest, most natural environment possible.

Aquatic plants are great for introducing fresh, clean oxygen into the pond water. They also provide cool spots and shade in the water to prevent the water from getting too hot during the warmer seasons. If you plan to allow your Koi fish to breed, submerged plants are essential for egg-laying females, as they attach their eggs to the leaves.

Lastly, water plants help to keep the water clean and prevent the filters from having to overwork — which means you also won’t have to replace filters as often. Aquatic plants help to keep Koi ponds clean by preventing algae growth. They do this by shading the pond, thus inhibiting sunlight to penetrate and feed algae.

Which brings us to the point of this section: the ideal water plants for Koi ponds…

1. Water Lettuce

Affordable, beautiful, and easy to care for, Water Lettuce is a great addition to any Koi pond. They float beautifully on top of the surface of the water and form tight clusters of leaves to protect your pond from potential predators. Water lettuce also provides ample shade and places for females to lay their eggs.

This plant is best for warmer climates, and may not do well in areas with colder than mild winters.

2. Lotus Plant

Boasting bright, beautiful pink, white, and purple flowers and deep green leaves, Lotus is a vibrant aquatic plant for Koi ponds. Often confused with Water Lillies or Lilly Pads, Lotus have wide, flat leaves that float on the surface of the water. They provide optimal protection for your Koi, along with shade, and their deep root systems provide a place to hide.

Not only are lotus plants pleasant to look at, but they’re also fragrant plants, and have a sweet smell that will certainly add to the appeal of your Koi pond. Keep in mind that these are large aquatic plants and grow and spread quite rapidly. Thus, they’re best used in large Koi ponds.

3. Creeping Jenny

If you’re looking for a water plant that will cover a lot of rock or encompass the outside of your Koi pond, Creeping Jenny is one of the best plants to achieve this look. It’s a low-lying, vined plant with light green, rounded leaves. In the summer, Creeping Jenny will blossom in bright yellow blooms all over the vines.

These plants are often found alongside river beds and creek beds, enveloping rocks. Note that these flowers shouldn’t be in parts of your Koi pond that are submerged and are best for planting along the outside of a pond. That way, they can “creep” closer to the water as needed.

4. Marsh Marigolds

Adorned with brilliant yellow blooms, Marsh Marigolds are water-loving plants that (like Creeping Jenny) are most commonly found on the outskirts of river beds and streams. These are foresty plants and are used to being shaded by overgrowth and trees.

Marsh Marigold shouldn’t be put in a position where there’s a possibility for submersion in your pond but will fair well when planted very close to the water’s edge. These plants are easy to maintain and will generally take care of themselves, slowly spreading around bodies of water.

5. Water Hyacinth

Colored with dark green leaves and brilliant, clustered purple blooms, Water Hyacinth will bring an elegant appearance to your Koi pond. When planted at the water’s edge, Water Hyacinth will slowly begin to edge out onto the water’s surface.

Because these plants are so willing to enclose the entire surface of the pond, it’s important that you cut these plants back when they start to cover too much surface area. Water Hyacinth is best reserved for generously-sized Koi ponds and isn’t ideal for mini ponds because of their thickness and ability to spread.

Introducing Pond Plants to Your Koi Fish

Because all ecosystems are delicate, even the artificial ones, it’s important that you slowly introduce new aquatic plants to your Koi fish. This will allow them to get used to the subtle changes in the water rather than shock them with multiple plants and changes at once.

Here’s how to effectively introduce your Koi to new plants:

  • Start off by introducing one new kind of plant at a time. When you want to change up the landscape of your Koi pond, introduce a single aquatic plant to your fish and wait a few weeks for them to become acclimated. Then, you can introduce another plant, and another, until you achieve the desired look.
  • Don’t introduce plants into the pond that Koi fish feed on. If you don’t want your fish eating your new pond plants, avoid purchasing plants that they enjoy eating. These include Cattails, Water Lillies, and Water Lettuce (more on this in the next bullet).
  • Or, introduce your Koi to plants they’ll love to feed on. As we mentioned above, Koi like to eat the roots of plants such as Water Lettuce. Water Lettuce is an excellent water plant, and if allowed to grow without interference, can serve as natural food supplementation for your pond. You can also add Cattails and Lillies to your pond as a food source.

Be sure that you don’t overcrowd your Koi pond. Sunlight should still be able to penetrate quite a bit of the surface of the water. While shade and cover are important for a Koi pond, you don’t want to overdo it. A great way to balance plants and open water is by selecting one area for optimal plant coverage, such as with plants that float on the water’s surface; and another for only plants along the water’s edge.

Buying and Introducing Koi to a New Pond

Whether you’re buying your first gasp (or group) of Koi fish or are relocating your fish to a new pond, there is a right and wrong way to introduce them to their new home. Here, we’ll be providing you with a detailed guide to buying or moving your Koi fish.

First-Time Koi Owners: What to Look for in Koi Fish

Generally, when you go to purchase Koi fish, you’ll be taken to an area with large tanks containing multiple Koi. The first thing you’ll want to do is consider the overall health of the entire tank. Watch out for signs such as dull coloration, distress, wounds to the fins or scales, dirty water, or open sores. Even if one fish looks ill, ask to be taken to an entirely different tank to choose from those fish.

Koi fish should be brightly colored, with intense oranges, creams, whites, reds, and deep black colors. Their fins should be erect and not torn, and scales should be shiny.

Consider the Size of Your Pond and Don’t Buy too Many

Overcrowding in all aspects of life is negative, and this is especially true with fish in manmade ponds. Too many Koi fish in a single pond can result in a lack of oxygen and increase the risk for bacterial or parasitic infections among the gasp. It can also lead to heated competition for food and mates, and make the water dirtier faster.

For small ponds of 500 gallons of water or less, you should have no more than 6 small Koi fish (around 4 inches in length). For larger ponds of 500 gallons or more, it’s ideal to only have 5 or 6 bigger Koi fish (around 6 inches in length).

Placing Your Koi Fish in Their New Home

No matter if you’re moving your Koi from one pond to another, or bringing your Koi fish home for the first time from the store, it’s important to slowly add the fish to your pond.

If you’re bringing your Koi fish home after purchasing, they’ll usually come in separate bags or containers of water. Place these bags with the fish in the pond and allow the water to adjust to the pond’s temperature. This will prevent any shock from sudden temperature change.

The same goes for relocated Koi fish. Place the fish in the pond inside of a bag until the water temperature has had time to adjust. Then, you can open the bags and allow the fish to swim freely in the pond.

Over the next few months, watch your new fish carefully and keep an eye out for signs of disease or distress.

Maintaining Your Koi Pond

In this section of our Koi pond ideas article, we’ll be providing you with a few tips on how to properly maintain your new Koi pond.

  • Don’t overfeed your Koi fish. Overfeeding your fish, or feeding them more than once a day, can result in uneaten food settling at the edges and bottom of the pond. Over time, this food will begin to decay, resulting in dirty water and unhealthy conditions.
  • Be on the lookout for overbreeding. If you have an exceptionally large Koi pond that can accommodate more than a few fish, breeding is acceptable. However, watch out for overbreeding. Overbreeding leads to overcrowding, and overcrowding leads to an unsanitary, oxygen-lacking environment for your fish.
  • Get a good pump and filtration system for your Koi pond. While aquatic plants will provide some filtration for your pond, manmade Koi ponds still require a good pump and filtration system to remove the excess of impurities from the water. Check out this review for the Best Filters for Koi Ponds for a better idea of what you should purchase to maintain a healthy ecosystem.
  • Keep the temperature consistent. As we mentioned throughout this article, pond plants are essential for providing shade for your Koi pond. They also keep the temperature cool during warmer months. During the spring in summer, you should closely monitor your pond’s water temperature. Be sure that it doesn’t get any higher than 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Water above 75 degrees will start to negatively impact the oxygen content in the pond.
  • Be careful during the winter. If you live in an area that has particularly harsh winters, you’ll need to take extra precautions to keep your Koi fish safe and comfortable. These steps include watching the temperature and ensuring it doesn’t drop below 59 degrees Fahrenheit and possibly investing in a heater and de-icer. Take a look at this review of the Top 6 Best Pond Heaters and De-Icers for more information on this topic.
  • Watch out for predators. Predators such as raccoons will prey on your Koi pond if you aren’t vigilant to deter them. Decent plant coverage will give your Koi fish places to hide when threatened by a predator. Installing motion-sensor lights around your pond, sprinklers, or other decoys may also keep predators at bay. Pond netting is also an excellent option for deterring predators. When placed over the pond at night, predators won’t be able to pull the fish out of the pond or get their faces close enough to the water to catch one of the fish.

With the right maintenance and care, your Koi pond will build its own, unique ecosystem that will provide a safe, clean, and happy environment for your fish.

AlpineReach Koi Pond Netting Kit 15 x 20 Feet Gift Box - Woven Fine Mesh Heavy Duty Stretch Net Cover for Leaves - Protects Koi Fish from Blue Heron Birds Cats Predators UV Protection Stakes Included
  • RELIABLE FISH PROTECTION – Brilliantly designed to keep your fish safe against Blue Heron birds, cats and other predators. The protective net is knitted using premium UV-resistant material and provides safeguarding from the Sun. The lightweight net floats above the waterline so your fish don’t get caught.
  • 3/8 INCH HEAVY DUTY FINE MESH – The net’s extra strength comes from a tightly woven mesh and works extremely well. The 15’ x 20’ size is suitable for the majority of ponds & pools and may be effortlessly cut down to size.
  • KEEPS OUT SMALLEST LEAVES & DEBRIS – The dense mesh will keep your pond & pool staying beautiful and clean; capturing the smallest leaves. It is adapted for enduring through the Fall and Winter. Perfect for gardeners, aquascaping, watergardens, waterfall features, DIY and people who appreciate a tidy look.
  • QUICK SETUP & VERSATILITY SAVES TIME – All durable stake accessories are easy-to-use and included. Just follow the simple instructions or for multi-purpose use. Our net is highly versatile for outdoor activities.
  • QUALITY ASSURANCE – The original woven fine mesh netting recommended by pond owners worldwide. Beware of cheaper imitations. AlpineReach products go through a rigorous design and testing process so our customers receive top products with top customer service.

Last update on 2020-10-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Final Thoughts

As you can see, there is a vast variety of ways you can install a pond and even more options for decorating and making the Koi pond your own. No matter which way you choose, I am sure you will be loving your new water feature and Koi fish in no time.