Koi Ponds In Your Backyard: Creating The Sense Of Place With A Water Feature

A backyard koi pond may be the missing piece to an outstanding garden. Not only do they provide a soothing sound, but they can also serve as the centerpiece of your garden without taking up any extra space.

Setting up a koi pond can be expensive, depending on the size and style you want to achieve. It also requires more maintenance than what is needed when caring for a garden goat, so why do homeowners not seem deterred by these challenges? The final reward is worth all of the time and stress it takes.

Koi are sociable fish that like to live in pairs. They will cohabitate with other types of fish as long as their individual environmental and nutritional needs are the same. Additionally, Koi need a small pond for easy movement, and so they can survive during wintertime.

This guide will give you lots of koi pond ideas that’ll wow your visitors and make your garden a popular topic with friends.

Table of Contents

List Of Backyard Koi Pond Ideas

Backyard Koi Pond Surrounding Your Home Ideas

classy backyard koi pond surrounding your home ideas on shady trees

The fish swim among manufactured aquatic plants and small rocks. The pond is located by the side of a house, enclosed in an ideal location.

Building a backyard koi pond is time-consuming and expensive, but it can make your outdoor space feel more like an oasis. Planting bushes on both sides of the pond will make this project look even better!

Under The Deck Koi Pond Ideas

under the deck koi pond design ideas with metal constructions

If you want a koi pond in your backyard but can’t bear to take up space on the lawn, then consider placing it under the porch.

The pond is sheltered from the elements by a deck. This means that you can experience it even when the weather is not ideal. It also provides shelter for the koi in rainy, cold, or harsh winter months!

Pavilion Koi Pond For Aesthetically Pleasing In Your Backyard

pavilion koi pond for aesthetically pleasing in your backyard

Pavilions are the perfect place to have a meal with friends and family. Why not create an efficient and aesthetically pleasing pavilion in your backyard? Check out this article for ideas on how you can transform your outdoor space into a cozy, inviting area that everyone will enjoy! You might want to think about placing koi ponds close by so you can situate yourself near them while having dinner or entertaining guests as well.

Rocky Koi Pond Design Ideas

rocky koi pond design ideas with garden surrounded

The pond for koi fish can also be a rock garden in your backyard! Place large boulders and flat rocks to form the pond’s perimeter and use stones to create a walkway.

Rocks around the pond can also form a waterfall if there is a corner with a steep descent. Colorful flowers will make the area attractive to visitors.

Small Backyard Koi Pond Designs On Big Statement

maximize space with small backyard koi pond designs on big statement

Creating a large appearance doesn’t require much space at all. This koi pond takes up less room than the average design, but it still proved powerful in making a statement.

The pond has two adjacent basins connected by a flight of stairs, water flowing down the slope and into the other basin.

Small Backyard Koi Ponds

small backyard koi ponds design ideas

Some people are discouraged by the idea of a backyard koi pond because it seems too difficult to make room for. However, remember that you can maximize what space you have around your yard and use decks or simply a small corner of your yard to enclose the water area creatively.

Koi Pond Design With A Glass Viewing Area

koi pond design with a glass viewing area

The joy of having a koi pond is its ability to be watched from one’s backyard pavilion. So, any homeowner would enjoy the heightening of this pleasure by constructing an all-glass site beside the fishpond.

This glass shelter will include a sitting area and is made with open walk-in areas to help you enjoy your garden.

Koi Pond Just Beside The Wall

koi pond just beside the wall on backyard

Ponds can help transform a bland area around your retaining wall. You may consider placing the pond just beside the wall, using the front of the property as one corner, and sloping towards it while still keeping a small portion of it up at street level.

Planting some greenery around the pond is not only a way to help your baby fish find an environment more similar to what they’ll see in the wild, but it also helps add a bit of style.

Lit Up Backyard Koi Pond Ideas

lit up backyard koi pond ideas

Fixing warm lights will change your koi pond and the backyard garden. With a new view in the evening or at night, this is one way to make your favorite space even more beautiful.

You can place water bulbs inside the pond or use regular outdoor lights near the area.

Wine Barrel Waterfall Backyard Koi Pond Ideas

wine barrel waterfall backyard koi pond ideas

If you are looking for a more stylish koi pond idea, this idea uses everyday items like wine barrels to make a waterfall pond.

The water is released from the side of a barrel on one end and flows into a pond with rocks lining its surface. Colorful koi fish will brighten up this space that acts as your first point of call for visitors in your home.

Less Expensive Option With Shallow Backyard Koi Pond

less expensive option with shallow backyard koi pond

For those looking to save money on their next backyard project, a shallow koi pond is an excellent choice.

The koi pond comes with relatively shallow depth, which requires less digging when constructing, and it is easy to see the fish from the outside.

Koi Pond Design In Tropical Theme

koi pond design in tropical theme

Building a backyard koi pond is an excellent way to bring life into your tropical garden. Unlike many other koi ponds, this design does not have a deck because the trees and foliage around it are enough of a distraction.

Use natural boulders to blend the pond with its surroundings better.

Walkover Bridge Over The Koi Pond Ideas

walkover bridge over the koi pond ideas

Constructing a koi pond in your backyard and installing a small bridge over the area will not only make it look natural but create an excellent view standing on the bridge.

This backyard feature is sure to delight kids, but parents should consider installing safety rails for the bridge.

Puddle Drop Koi Ponds On Backyard

puddle drop koi ponds on backyard

Creating a backyard koi pond is a natural-looking option for gardeners and hobbyists. You’ll want to have an attractive background, which will make your pond look like it belongs in the area.

This pond is a comfortable design that blends into the surroundings while standing out as a focal point. Rocks of different sizes line the pond area, and leaves float on top of the water.

Stock Tank Koi Pond Ideas

stock tank koi pond ideas

If you’re looking for a backyard pond that will be quick and cost-effective to build, this is the idea for you.

Not only do you get to choose the location of your pond, but if it doesn’t work out for some reason-a common occurrence when homeowners change their minds about where they want to install a water feature-you can just move it. You can either go with pre-manufactured outdoor tanks, which are available from stores or online or if you have the tools and time necessary and the room for a larger tank, you might be interested in creating your own.

Glass Wall Koi Pond For Backyard Accent

glass wall koi pond for backyard accent

This best koi pond design will give you the ability to view your backyard fish like never before. This raised pond includes a glass wall on one side, which lets you see what is happening below the surface of the water – even with these ferocious beasts!

However, these ponds take time and money to build. They also require regular maintenance to keep them looking sparkling clean.

Backyard Walkway Area With Koi Pond

backyard walkway area with koi pond

Your backyard koi pond is lush, and in this instance, the walkway has a Zen feeling about it with its calm ambiance and relaxed nature.

Blended Backyard Koi Pond

blended backyard koi pond

This design is very different from others. There are ways to make a good pond, and Koi enthusiasts know it. The channel design, layers, bridge, waterfall, and more help provide clean water for the fish. Fish need that to be healthy; otherwise, they can get sick or die quite easily. This design will also require you to hire someone else to set up your koi pond because this idea was not one you could DIY on your own as a beginner at best. It might cost some money, but it’s worth doing right, just like anything else that happens in your life which costs money!

Things To Consider Before Starting A Koi Fish Pond

things to consider before starting a koi fish pond in backyard garden

A koi pond requires time, work, and money to maintain. It can be a rewarding experience when you see your animal living in the wild underwater! Here are some considerations to take before starting a Koi pond.

As with any backyard pond, a pond dedicated to keeping colorful Koi fish can be a great way for you to enjoy them while also providing your pet with a large habitat.

Garden ponds are different from fish tanks, and they come with their own set of challenges. Additionally, Koi fish require some unique considerations. Before starting a Koi pond, you should be aware of the challenges.


Koi fish can be a costly hobby. One of the most inexpensive Koi, for example, ranges from $15 to $1,000+, with the size and markings dictating its value. The rarest type – Premium Koi – is valued at upwards of 5 thousand dollars because they have fewer defects than others.

Koi fish have a life expectancy of 20-30 years, though many may live longer. Older, larger, more beautiful koi will sell for higher prices as they grow throughout their lives.

Koi need a large environment, and this often costs a lot of money. The ideal size for the pond is about 1,000 gallons and at least three feet deep.

Koi Fish Pond Size

close-up pics on necessitates a large pond for koi fish

Koi require a lot of space. How big are 1000 gallons? A six-foot by eight-foot pond at 3 feet deep will yield 1077 gallons. But this is only the minimum requirement. The expansion will likely be needed if you try to fit more than just one or two fish in your pond.

If you plan to have no more than five Koi fish, a pond of about 1000 Gallons should be perfectly sufficient. More Koi necessitate more room. If you are hoping for fifteen fish, your pond will need approximately 3200 gallons!

Note Other Installations: Although Koi are hardy fish, they still need adequate equipment to keep them healthy.


Koi are very easily preyed upon, but they can be protected from outside predators using netting or electric fencing.


Your backyard koi pond will require filtration that includes biological and mechanical filters. It is also important to have a bottom drain for your pond, as this helps with the water changes. Water maintenance is just as important in a backyard koi pond as it is for an aquarium.


One point to consider is the climate. If you have a three-foot-deep pond, Koi can survive up to 6 inches of frosty surface water. A bubbler or de-icer will keep the water open for air contact and prevent the fish from becoming trapped inside. In addition, a fountain or waterfall is good for increasing the aeration of the water.

Common Koi Fish For Ponds

Koi fish come in over 100+ species. These have unique body shapes, proportions, color varieties, and scale patterns that make them stand out from the others. Out of the 100+, we’re here to highlight 8 of the most popular ones.

Kawarimono Koi Fish

a group of koi fish in a pond and kawarimono are type of beautiful koi fish

Keeping koi fish as pets is a little too mainstream for you? Keeping one of the unique breeds it is Koi come in, and it won’t be an issue.

The Japanese scientists loved the carps so much that they mutated some of them to achieve the colorful, energetic, and friendly carps we now know as koi. But a few fish deviated from their cause: They conformed to their original color and style. They showcased sequences of their own conventional patterns and markings, colloquially known as black koi.

Kawarimono is a unique class of black Koi fish that does not properly fit into any other classes. Kawarimono can be grouped into three categories:

  • Black Koi: Kumonryu, Karasu, and Matsukawabake.
  • Miscellaneous: Midorigoi, Matsuba.
  • Single-colored koi: Shiro Muji, Kigoi, Benigo.

The Friendliest Kawarimono

There’s a particular classification of koi called Kawarimono Koi that is considered the most adorable of all species for its unmatched aggression during feeding hours and ability to be active at other times.

The uniform brown-colored Chagoi Koi is the real brass of Kois.

The Chagoi Koi is known for two unique properties: It can outgrow other koi fish and has a friendly disposition.

Fun Fact About Kawarimono

Scientists have been making many attempts to get the green variety of Koi fish through Kawarimono mutations. The research is still in progress, but it seems that they’re getting closer! Although this line says there’s no way these colors did not darken with time, researchers hope their experiments will provide a breakthrough and find an answer one day soon.

Bekko Koi Fish

a group of koi fish in a pond and bekko koi fish are type of beautiful koi fish

One of the rarest but most striking types of Koi is Bekko. With its two-toned color, this type of fish has been domesticated for centuries—and people just love it for a good reason!

There are three types of koi belonging to the Bekko group: Shiro, Aka, and Ki.

The Bekko Koi features a colored base with a black Sumi pattern. The Shiro koi has white as its base, Aka; red, and Ki; lemon yellow.

The rarest type of Bekko Koi, the Ki is not an offspring but instead arises from a union between Shiro Bekko, Kigoi, or Snake.

Fun Fact about Bekko Koi

The scale-less variety of the Bekko Koi is known as the Doitsu Bekko.

Gosanke Koi Fish

three koi fish in a pond and gosanke koi fish are type of beautiful koi fish

The Gosanke trio is comprised of Kohaku, Sanke, and Showa Koi fish. This type of popular Koi has lustrous white skin with red and black patches located all over the surface.

Kohaku, the most common type of koi known in Japan and abroad, is adored by many for its beauty. All three types of Gosanke are the same size, with proportional bodies and scales. However, the only difference is their color pattern.

Kohaku koi have red or orange and white patterns, while Sanke and Showa have a spectrum of colors, including red or orange with white spots.

Even though Sanke and Showa are almost identical, they have different color patterns. The reddish orange and black spotting on Showa are more pronounced than Sanke’s.

Hikarimuji Koi Fish

colorful koi fish in the pond and hikarimuji koi fish are type of beautiful koi fish

Hikarimuji Koi have metallic scales. They are most notable because they reflect light and bring color. Hikarimuji Koi is best for those who want a solid-colored fish to add more color to their Koi pond, whether it’s traditional white or some other good colors to sparkle. There are tree classes of Hikarimuji Koi: Ogon, Yamabuki, and Matsuba.

When selecting a Hikarimuji, solid color and sheen patterns are highly valued. They come in white, yellow, or gold.

Utsurimono Koi Fish

color contrast and plain color koi fish in the pond and utsurimono koi fish are type of beautiful koi fish

Utsurimono Koi is one of the most graceful and majestic because of its unusual color patterns and the striking base color.

As the name suggests, this colorful koi has a black base body with various patches that look like colors.

There are three varieties of Utsurimono koi, namely Hi, Shiro, and Ki Utsuri. The most popular is the Hi Koi variety with a red base. Shiro; white, and Ki; yellow.

If you want your backyard koi pond to be the star of the show, then it should equip itself with a variety of Utsurimono.

How To Spot The Rarest Utsurimono Koi

The rarity of Utsurimono can be judged by the placement of Sumi (black patches). The black pigment of Utsurimono Koi should spread across the entire body. However, a Sumi with ichimatsu (checkered) pattern over the tail and face would be considered the rarest kind of Koi fish.

Ki Utsuriis is the rarest variety of Utsurimono, with yellow patterns over a black body.

Koromo Koi Fish

koromo koi fish with a group of koi fish in backyard pond

If you are a koi connoisseur, then Koromo Koi might be for you.

Koromo is a Japanese word meaning robe or garment. Koromo koi, Commonly referred to as Ai Goromo, and these species are identifiable by their scales which give off the elegant appearance of carrying a blue veil on top.

“Ai Goromo” is an elegant breed of Koi graced with a crystal white skin base with intricate deep crimson hi, outlined with dark blue lining across the scales. The dark lining may appear thin initially and turn out dingy when the Ai Goromo reaches maturity.

Asagi Koi Fish

preety asagi koi fish on backyard pond

Asagi is a classic choice for Koi enthusiasts.

This type of koi also lacks the typical coloration seen in much of its family. It typically features bluish to light blue scales on the upper portion of its body.

However, the belly and mid-lateral sections of their body are highlighted with vivid red markings. These fishes are distinguishable by the reticulations that form on their blue scales.

Fun Fact about Asagi Koi

When selecting the perfect Asagi Koi, look for ones with a metallic shine on the scales.

The back of the Asagi Koi is covered in a pale blue color at the surface and dark blue near noon. The transition between these two shades captures your attention because your backyard fish pond has never looked more wonderful.

Shusui Koi Fish

yellow and grey color of shusui koi fish on pond

This type of koi has been drawn from traits inherited by German mirror carp and Japanese Asagi.

The Shusui Koi is identified by the distinctive orange swirls running on a white background. Despite this unusual pattern, what stands out about this koi type are its scales — they’re uniform and neat with no inconsistency in color or size.

Fun Fact about Shusui Koi

Sometimes, when Shuisui gets older, they tend to show black spots around their head region. However, white-headed koi with the spotless black spot on their heads are the most valuable type of fish.

Type Of Plants To Use For Koi Pond

type of plants to use for group of koi pond on backyard


This luscious flower brings beauty to any koi pond and can grow in zones 4-10. Blooming from huge stems, these lotus leaves can be as big as 20 inches wide, with flowers blooming 6 feet out of the water.


A pot of Iris should be planted in three inches of water with the flowers blooming colors ranging from purple and blue on 24-inch tall, five-inched wide petals. This perennial plant is partially shade tolerant and does well in the wild.

Water hyacinth

This free-floating planet is perennial that grows in zones 9-11, and it may also grow as an annual in cold climates. It features lavender flowers on thick, shiny leaves.


These unusual plants grow in wet soil and water, best at the edges of ponds. Their shape is the spear with air-filled stems that can grow to be 10 feet tall when full-grown.

Koi Ponds Maintenance

pretty color koi fish under water view for koi ponds maintenance tips

A good koi pond does not need to be high maintenance, but it must be cared for regularly to ensure the health of your fish and plants.

Importance Of Water Quality

Maintaining a quality water ecosystem in your koi pond is important to the health of your fish. To have a true koi pond, pH levels, temperature, oxygen, and carbon dioxide concentrations are significant. To get the desired effect, you will need to add several ingredients. For example, nitrates and ammonia are key nitrogen elements that should be included in any good koi pond.

Cleaning And Filtering

To ensure your koi pond is in top shape for winter, you should consider filtering during autumn to remove debris and leaves. The filtration systems for backyard koi ponds help to control the movement of water and remove debris and fish waste. There are many filtration devices to choose from, including vortex chambers, pump baskets, and skimmers. Biological filtering for koi ponds consists of nitrates broken down into harmless substances to help keep the water clean.

UV Lighting

A UV light system is an important component of the upkeep of your backyard koi pond. The lights can fight against potential bacteria and diseases and limit the growth of algae: which can have adverse effects on a koi pond and its inhabitants. Inspect your UV light bulbs regularly and change them every six months to avoid bulb burning out too soon.

Set A Regular Maintenance Time

Setting a certain time every day to check on your backyard koi pond will ensure that it is maintained. Caring for your pond regularly is one of the best ways to ensure that it stays healthy and doesn’t become terminal. Remembering to check in with your fish regularly will allow you to notice when something has gone wrong, which can become serious if left unattended!

Backyard Koi Pond FAQs

backyard koi pond faqs with pretty fish take a breath on surface

How Long Can Koi Live?

Koi fish typically live about 20 to 30 years. One koi, Hanako, is 226 years old and was living in a pool that had been passed down through many generations of pet owners.

What Kind Of Food Should They Eat?

Feed your Koi fish a high-protein food during the summer when the water temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water reaches between 52-60 degrees Fahrenheit during the fall and spring, feed them an easy-to-digest wheat germ-based food. When water drops below 52 degrees, stop feeding your Koi.

How did Big Do Koi Get?

Domestic Koi usually grow to be between 12 and 15 inches in length. Japanese Koi grow to be slightly larger, with their lengths ranging from 22 to 26 inches. Jumbo-sized Koi are the largest of all at 34 to 36 inches long.

What’s The Difference Between Koi And Goldfish?

Goldfish and koi are members of the Cyprinidae fish family, but they have some very different features. All Koi have a similar body type and can grow to around three feet in size, while most goldfish are orange with black, white, or calico colorings that stay relatively small in size.

Can Koi And Goldfish Live Together In The Same Pond?

Koi are relatively docile fish that can live together with other species of fish.

I Have A Filtered, Thousand Gallon Pond; how Many Koi Can I Put In It?

You can put about 10 small Koi into a koi pond, but then you might need to find new homes for some of them as they grow.

Does The Size Of The Pond Hinder A Koi’s Growth?

It is not the size of a koi pond that will stop them from growing. Size, along with health, feeding habits, and water quality, also affect growth speed. A koi will keep on growing until it reaches its genetically predetermined size.

In Summary

Koi fish are beautiful social creatures that can spice up your landscape. Therefore, creating their home is a serious business. Check any of the listed ideas for the one best suited to you.

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