“I’m getting close to retirement” says my favorite pond builder.

Not from his day job, just koi pond building. This past weekend our koi finally moved to their new outdoor pond. It’s been about a two year process getting this pond built. While there are a number of tasks left to do, it’s a relief to have a real pond again.

The new pond is 10’ x 30’ x almost 6’ deep, and carries about 13,000 gallons. Pond builder calculated that we are dripping in about 438 gallons of fresh well water each day; resulting in 3.5% of the water being changed out daily. The equipment includes four aerated bottom drains, two bakki showers, a bead filter, UV lights, two no niche skimmers and two profi drums.

The profi drum on the left is dedicated to the bottom drains and the profi drum to the right is dedicated to the skimmers. Fresh water lines are available for cleaning the rotating drums. We were originally going to have each profi drum work two drains and a skimmer for redundancy but that plan was abandoned for some reason. We purchased the left profi drum “used” and were told that it was originally purchased in 2021 and used lightly. The control box was clearly an older model and wired incorrectly. Thankfully we were able to get some new parts and have things rebuilt by the crew at Koi Acres.

Work still in progress. A small bead filter will be placed under the aerators in the corner, the UV light still needs to be hooked up. The bakki showers sit on the edge of the pond. The fresh water drip currently enters through the right set of bakki showers.

Took a photo a little too early but the final waste line was created to send pond waste to the back area. We will need to be bury some pipe to a gully that is about 60 feet away. We also have an overflow pipe near our bakki showers and will need to find something for the exiting water. Maybe my Japanese iris garden…

The pond is now netted and we put up a shade cloth to provide the koi with a patch of shade throughout the day. We repurposed some beams we had brought from one of our old ponds. Eventually the temporary shade structure will turn into a pergola. Around the pond we will install decking, wood facade and wood top for the pond edge. Landscaping will take years.

Once the interior equipment is completed we will be putting up two narrow wooden panels and the black frames on the south wall. We have plexiglass on 2/3 of this wall to bring in light and for us to easily check on the equipment.

The koi are enjoying their new home. The visibility of our water is not great but improves daily. The pond still needs some time to clear out all the organic matter collected over the last few months, establishing a biological community in the bakki showers, etc. I have a feeding square for the koi to train them where the food will be thrown. It doesn’t take much time for them to figure out that this is the feeding spot. The koi are fed mostly JPD with a little Kodama koi food as well.

We moved two koi into the pond on Saturday just to make sure the pond water was fine. The canary koi did just fine overnight so we spent a few hours moving koi into the pond on Sunday morning. The process takes a little while because I use it as an opportunity to measure, photograph and video each koi. I have a chart printed up to record and then transfer the information to a spreadsheet. I currently have 23 koi in the pond, and two little tosai on their way this month. The koi range in size from 15 to 30 inches. Growth in length. since last year measured from nothing to 10 inches.

Catching the koi in a 8’ x 16’ pool sounds like it should be easy but some of these koi did not want to be caught. The smallest one was left in the pool and not caught until we had drained half of the water out. Pond builder did a nice job moving all the koi.

Another exciting fact is that we have our garage back. Pond builder was super happy to move the temporary pond out. Two years was a long time for us to maintain the indoor pond and the last two months we had more issues than we expected. I also think the tight quarters contributed to a few appearance issues. Two of my koi have ‘dings’ on top of their heads – super noticeable. I’m hoping the color will come back but not really counting on it.

The pond builder has worked very hard over the last two years completing this pond. He knows how important it is for koi to have the best water conditions you can give them and has created a great filtration system. He made sure that our koi had an oval pond because our koi do not like corners. He picked out smooth PVC panels which will not damage the skin of the koi. He rarely sits to watch the sunset since he tends to use every minute of daylight finishing the endless tasks. I am a lucky koi keeper to be married to a wonderful pond builder.