One Summer day in 2008 I decided (rather ostentatiously) to dig up my parent’s backyard patio and teach myself how to build a koi pond. The process began innocently enough, I took a long hard look at the dilapidated corner of the patio that had been partially eaten away by an old fern in a half merlot barrel, and decided that a hole filled with water and koi fish would be a much better use of that particular section of the yard…the rest is history.
Tetra Pond makes fantastic pond products that are relatively inexpensive and easy to install and maintain.
If you are planning on making it larger than 5 feet in length and 3 feet in depth, you might need to rent a backhoe…but for an average sized koi pond a pick and a shovel will do just fine.
If you have some experience in plumbing ponds or aquariums this should be pretty straightforward for you. A good sized pond will be 5 feet long by 3 feet wide by 2 feet deep in the shallow end and 3-4 feet deep in the deep end.

Paint the frame with a water proof sealant to slow down the inevitable decay (after all, it is going to be underground) and make sure that it is level once it is in place and screwed together.
It’s very wise to double (or triple) up on the padding under the liner, as it will also tend to break down over time, and you really want to minimize the amount of sharp objects that can put a hole in your pond liner one day and ruin the party. Otherwise this might be the perfect time to go down to your local fish store and ask for some professional advice. Be sure to give yourself a shallow end and a deep end, this will give your koi fish a shallow spot to eat, while still giving them plenty of deep swimming space to cruise around and hide from predators in. Use stainless steel screws to join it all together and countersink them into the wood to prevent them from poking into the liner. The sun’s heat will loosen up the liner and make it more malleable and manageable, thus making your life much easier.

Do this slowly and pull and tug at the pond liner to get rid of any slack and wrinkles in the liner as you fill it with water. The water will do most of the work, but be sure that the liner fits snugly into your frame without too much gap at the bottom corners of the tub. If you aren’t satisfied with the fit, you can always walk around and nudge the liner into place.

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