Backyard koi pond

When it comes to adding a beautiful and calming addition to your backyard, few things can beat the allure of a koi pond. Koi ponds are low-maintenance, peaceful sanctuaries that anyone can enjoy no matter their age. While you can hire a professional to install one, you can also find out how to build a koi pond step by step and do it on your own.

If you’re thinking of installing a koi pond yourself, follow the steps below so you can start enjoying your beautiful and unique water feature!

How To Build A Koi Pond Step By Step

The process below only outlines one way you can build a koi pond step by step. There are slightly different processes for pre-fabricated tubs, pond kits, and professional installation. This process is for people who want to have more of an ecosystem pond. It’ll take more time and skill, but the end result should look much better and more natural than the pre-fabricated or pond kit water features.

1. Planning And Designing

Empty backyard before following how to build a koi pond step by step

Start by looking at your backyard and determining the best place and shape for your koi pond. You’ll want to place it in a shadier spot that you can see from inside and outside your home. The shade will help keep your koi happier and healthier. Trees help with shade, but they also shed leaves into your pond. It’s a necessary annoyance to keep your fish from overheating.

Planning also means calling 811 to make sure there aren’t lines running under your backyard. Clipping an electrical or water line isn’t fun.

As for the design, if you use a pre-fabricated tub, then that’s the shape that you have to use. You can also build your own design. Basic shapes like circles and rectangles are easy, while custom designs are harder to build.

2. Mark The Boundary

Marking the boundary of a pond

Take some spray paint, a garden house, flags, or something like those to mark out the design of your koi pond. This allows you to visualize what your pond will look like. You can use this to tweak the design to your liking. It also shows you where to dig so you don’t go outside the lines.

3. Dig The Pond

Starting to dig out a backyard koi pond

This is the most labor-intensive part of how to build a koi pond step by step. Dig down about a foot, move a foot closer to the center of the pond, and then continue digging down. This shelf is great for plants and to help you get in and out of the pond as you need to.

Most koi ponds need to be at least 2 feet deep. This allows your fish to have a place to hibernate during winter if you live in an area where the water will freeze. Some pond contractors recommend going as deep as 3 feet. In this case, dig another shelf.

You’ll need to excavate a trench from the pump to the BioFalls filter and then another trench from the BioFalls filter to the point where the water will flow back into the pond. It’s important to make sure that the trench slopes downwards so that water can flow freely. Dig the trenches and lay down the PVC pipe, and connect it to the pump and BioFalls filter. Then, backfill the trench and cover it with soil or gravel. Connect a return line from the BioFalls filter back into the pond. You can do this with PVC pipe or flexible tubing. Finally, test the system to make sure that water is flowing freely.

4. Lay Down The Underlayment And Liner

The underlayment protects the liner from objects that can cause rips and holes, such as tree roots and burrowing animals. Liner helps keep the water in the pond and out of your yard.

5. Install The Skimmer, Biofalls, And Plumbing

Installing plumbing and such

Take these parts and put them where they need to go according to your design. Connect the plumbing to the BioFalls and the liner to the skimmer and BioFalls. This ensures the water stays in your pond and out of your lawn area.

6. Add Rocks And Gravel

Adding rocks to a pond

This step in how to build a koi pond step by step helps to differentiate ecosystem ponds from other ones. Rocks and gravel help to make your pond look more natural. It’s better than just having a black liner or concrete on the bottom and sides. Plus, beneficial bacteria that help filter and clean your water grow on these rocks and gravel.

7. Install Additions

Installing a fountain addition

If you want lights, an auto-fill device, more filters, or anything else, now is the time to install them. They can help you enjoy your koi pond more, either by making it look better or making it easier to maintain.

8. Rinse The Rocks

You’ll want to do this part of how to build a koi pond step by step. This helps get the dust and dirt off of them before you start running your water. Your pond water will clear up much faster than if you skip this step. Just be sure to pump out the dirty water.

9. Trim Excess Liner

Go around the edge of your koi pond and trim or hide any liner sticking out. This helps your pond look more natural.

10. Add Water

Adding water to a koi pond

Now you can fill up your pond! This is a great time to make sure there aren’t any leaks.

11. Clean Up

No home improvement project is complete without cleaning up. This can involve tools, leftover materials, and any other waste. Now you’re technically done with the how to build a koi pond step by step process.

12. Post Installation Steps

You’ll want to purify the water before adding fish and plants. This step can also involve landscaping around your pond to make it look like you built your house around a natural pond.

Contact Amen Corner Ponds For Pond Information And More

If you’re thinking of building your own koi pond, we hope our how to build a koi pond step by step guide has been helpful. Remember to take your time and be patient – it may take a few tries to get everything just right. As with Rome, you can’t build most backyard koi ponds overnight!

If you run into any problems along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out for help by filling out our contact form. We’d be more than happy to answer any questions or offer advice.

We wish you the best of luck on your project!