How to Build Koi Fish Ponds

Updated November 21, 2016

Koi ponds are a great way to make your water garden different. A koi pond should be larger than a normal pond, roughly 1000 gallons in volume. You also need to make the pond area at least 3 feet deep, but 5 to 6 feet is much better.

Choose a location. Make sure that the area you choose is where you will see the pond year round.

Use rope and lay out the shape you want your pond to be.

Measure the length and width after you have laid your rope out. Add the depth twice. Take these measurements to determine your liner size.

Dig the pond in the shape of your rope. Ensure that you place shelves around the area of your pond. The shelves should be in increments of 1 foot deep and 2 feet wide.

Finish digging the hole for your pond.

Make the ground of your pond slope for the water run-off.

Place your external pond skimmer. The pond skimmer is used to keep the pond clean.

Put the external pond skimmer at the end of the pond. Dig a small hole that will place your pond skimmer halfway into the ground.

Pack the soil back around the pond skimmer to keep it in place.

Dig a ditch for the plumbing to attach to the waterfall.

Line the pond with your liner. Cut the liner with scissors. Tape small pieces together so they don't move once you place the liner down.

Position the liner evenly in the pond. Try to take out all the wrinkles.

Connect the pond liner to the skimmer. Place the pipe, leaving a few inches for the connections later.

Place stones around the edge of the pond. Fold the liner up into the stone to hide it and hold it into place.

Choose large stones so you don't have to mortar the stones for stability. If you choose smaller stones, get mortar to hold the stones into place.

Add a d-chlorinator to the pond. This will remove any of the chloramines.

Add your aquatic plants. Once your plants are placed into the pond, put in the package of bacteria to help seed them into the pond.

Add your water lillies or other plants that are used for surface. Let them sit for one week.

Add your koi fish.


Ensure that the position of the pond will have a great runoff from any rain or snow that you may get. Put your pond where it will get at least six hours of direct sunlight for any foliage to grow. Use an anacharis plant to feed on the algae to help keep your pond clean.


Don't put too many plants into your pond that your koi fish won't be able to swim.

Things You'll Need

  • Rope
  • Liner
  • Shovel
  • Skimmer
  • Stones
  • Mortar
  • De-clhlorinator
  • Aquatic plants
  • Packaged bacteria
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