Created by the Chinese centuries ago, Koi ponds are known for their tranquility and beauty — and of course, for containing koi. Koi fish are a colorful carp that are ideal backyard pets because they are social, playful, and hardy, but sometimes they get a varied reputation. For homeowners considering or on the fence about installing a koi pond, here are some common myths to be aware of:
- Koi ponds require too much maintenance
Koi ponds actually require much less maintenance than people estimate. As long as they are properly constructed with the right elements, they really only need semi-annual cleanings in the spring and fall — and that process does not require draining. Important ecosystem elements include rocks and gravel, aquatic plants, a biological filter, and a skimmer. In general, homeowners find that koi pond maintenance fits right in with their regular backyard maintenance.
- Koi ponds attract mosquitoes
Mosquitoes and other insects are attracted by stagnant water, which they use as a breeding ground. However, koi ponds feature running water so mosquitoes are not a realistic threat.
- Where is the best placement for a koi pond?
People often assume the best placement is in the lowest part of their backyard. While this may make sense aesthetically, the koi pond will actually function better on higher ground. When the pond sits in the lowest part of a yard, run-off is more likely to accumulate in it — which could potentially cause harm to the fish it contains.
- Koi ponds can’t sit near a tree-filled area
Many homeowners believe that trees and koi ponds do not get along since the tree’s leaves will accumulate in the pond during the fall. While this is true, on the flipside, those same trees will provide shade that can minimize the algae bloom in the summer. Plus, if you have a proper skimmer installed in your pond, it will easily pull most of the leaves and other tree-related debris off the top of the pond.
- The presence of rocks and gravel will make the pond hard to clean
Actually, having rocks and gravel at the bottom of a pond gives aerobic bacteria a natural place to colonize. This bacteria is good — it breaks down the fish waste and debris that might otherwise accumulate and become sludge. Ultimately, rocks and gravel tend to enhance the health and aesthetics of the pond.
- The pond needs to be more than three feet deep to successfully hold koi
Untrue! Many koi ponds are actually less than three feet because any more than that requires more work, more digging, and more additives. Though these ponds are shallow, they keep the water insulated so it can’t freeze more than eight inches down from the surface — leaving the koi plenty of room to swim around and live in.
- Koi can’t be kept in a pond that also has plants
Homeowners are often surprised to find out that koi and plants complement each other and have a naturally symbiotic relationship. The fish feed on the plants, create waste that’s broken down by aerobic bacteria on the bottom of the pond and is in turn used to fertilize the plants. Not only can koi and plants co-exist, but they are meant to co-exist.
- Koi fish won’t survive the winter
Many homeowners think they’ll need to take their koi indoors when the outside temperature drops. Koi are actually very hardy fish that can survive very cold temperatures. They just need room to swim, properly oxygenated water, and a hole in the surface of the ice to allow natural gasses to escape.
- The koi will be an easy target for predators
While it might seem counterintuitive, normal backyard visitors eating koi fish straight from the pond happens far less than one might think. Small mammals like raccoons won’t swim, and larger mammals like wolves likely won’t take the plunge into the pond when they see the koi swimming deeper to avoid them. Some birds might pose a threat, but with the inclusion of a little cave-like structure at the bottom of the pond and plenty of lily pads at the top, the koi will surely be safe and cozy.
- Having a pond might decrease the value of my home
Having a traditional swimming pool can be a problem when it comes to resale value of a home due to the maintenance it requires for potential buyers. Sometimes, homeowners assume the same thing is true about koi ponds. However, real estate agents will generally say that koi ponds raise the value of a home, especially as natural water features are on the rise.
Here at Reflections Water Gardens, we successfully install countless koi ponds each year for homeowners who desire the addition of serenity to their backyard. While many are apprehensive before they take the plunge, they are all-in once they realize their negative assumptions about koi ponds are just myths. For more information about our koi pond construction process, please click here. To find out more about our company and the landscaping services we offer, please visit us at reflectionswatergardens.com or give us a call at 815-769-5387.