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Thread: What is the optimum shape of a koi pond?

  1. #1
    Lee
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    What is the optimum shape of a koi pond?

    Interested in knowing what 'you' believe to be the 'best' shape for a koi pond and if 'you' believe it 'best' to have the deep end 'centred' or at the farthest end (or,at either end) of the pond?



    And...thirdly, what is your reply - should the pond water 'circulate' around and around the pond or should it all flow towards the farthest and deepest point - away?



    Hum?



    Hopefully, someone will keep score as to the variety of replies to the above query?



    Lee

    Grand Cayman

  2. #2
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    System philosophy

    Lee: This is the neverending discussion. I have not reached a conclusion on the British-style circulation vs the Japanese "endless" systems. I have concluded that the British-originated systems centered on the permanent revolution around bottom drains are derived from what is best for filtration as the start point. On the other hand, the Japanese systems begin with what was seen as best for the koi [1970s pseudo-naturalist perspective, I think?] as a start point. Then each moves toward the other. I think the British system is far more efficient in both waste removal and water consumption, but I like the Japanese avoidance of the whirlpool effect and not having diffuser drains churning the water so that nothing is visible without flipping off the air pumps. Have not figured out how to get the best of each. Perhaps not possible.



    I'll post later some thoughts about sizes.

  3. #3
    Daihonmei
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    Two shapes: BIG and..

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    deep

  4. #4
    Nisai Mike Mazur's Avatar
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    shape

    as big as you can afford and be creative with this part go for the biuggest liner you can get and hope you do it big enough the first time around. liner is the biggest hassle to deal with later. you can always upgrade filtration and circulation as your fish grow min size and number. landscape can be put off as well. fo shape it needs to either fit and look natural or depending on style of landscape it can be formal. as far as shape stay away from sharp corners. they cause areas of poor water movement and stress for liner. concrete doesnt care as long as it is reinforced of course. flow through or circulating depends on constrictions to that much water use and a source for water and the waste water. waste water does a nice job for watering the landscape. A jet pump cam be plumbed to the outlet and plumbed to the irrigation system and there ya go water for the lawn. keeping in mind the salt level you choose to run makes this a go or no go. otherwise Steep sides and a sloped bottom to the drains. circulation can be acheived many way through jets is one way I let my waterfall do the job. as it enters the pond it comes in along one edge and gently rotates around the perimeter a full 90% untill it is picked up by skimmer and a far end botom drain.

    As to which is best? opinion and experience with your setup and your fish and your method of keeping play a large role.
    " I'd rather a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy "

  5. #5
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    best pond shape

    Hi Lee,

    I think you know where I stand on this topic from our discussion off the board with the Philiipines.

    For example let's take a side track for a moment. Sakai of Hiropshima has thier koi raising system automated. Ph,Temp, Feeding etc. they breed thier koi artifically.

    momotaro checks his customers koi in his 1500 ton pond close to a dozen times a day. he still breeds koi the natural way thru pairing.

    Both of these people are very sucessful! The UK was so far ahead of koi keeping over other countries and a current method evolved from that

    that makes thier koi develop very well. when the japanese judges began going to other countries for judging they were impressed with the quality of water and koi.

    When you look at the japanese system of endless filtration close to nature or emmulating a natural river I think it comes from the basic

    foundation of the culture. Natural. look at thier gardens. you can see the hand of man yet it looks as if the creator allowed it to happen.

    I think the koi keeper has to look within his make up and decide which way he will go. Maybe it will be one way or another or maybe a melding of two systems.

    When I was studying under Kyoshi Seiki for two years with japanese gardening techniques, he confided in me when he allowed me to prune his garden the next spring " that inside the body of this foreigner is trapped the soul of a japanese." It was the highest compliment i could ever receive.

    that said, I think you know which method I believe in and over the past 25 years it has worked for me. So rather than select one size to fit all let me encourage everyone to study both methods and decide for themselves which path they will follow based on what makes sense to them.

    What's incredible to me is when I first started this hobby, there was nothing to turn to in the way of information. now thanks to magazines and discussion boards ( like our koi-bito) literally a world of knowledge is available as quick as a mouse click away. incredible really!

  6. #6
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Pond Theory

    Dick: That was inscrutable. :lol:

  7. #7
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Pond Size

    Lee: Thinking about the pond I want some day, I start with what I want to keep. Let's say 20 koi 30" in length is the goal. Optimum gallonage is a matter of opinion. Seems to be general concensus that 500 gal per fish is bare minimum to get worthwhile results, with 1,000 gal per fish much better and 1800 gal per fish pushed by some. So, let's go with 20,000 gallons as the goal.



    Then I figure a fish should be able to turn around while swimming without having to come to a stop. A width 5 times the fish length seems to allow gliding movement without risk of rubbing against the walls. So, for 30" fish I'm thinking a width of 14-15 feet, with more being better.



    Then I figure the fish need to be able to have a burst of real speed when they want. For that, I think at least 10 times body length is appropriate. That calculates to be 25 feet.



    Depth is also debateable. It does seem deeper is better where temps get really cold. It does seem to me that depth should be at least twice the body length so the fish have a sense of actual depth from security perspective, and then multiple swimming layers can exist. So, that gives 5-6 feet as minimum depth.



    Then to accomodate these figures, one can use any regular shape, but we know that square corners catch glarf, disrupt circulation etc. So, oval or round seems better.



    Then adjust to fit available space, enlarge dimensions to get to desired gallonage (hire a mathematician to calculate gallonage :roll: ), and then make it bigger to accomodate the 3 really great ones that put you up to 24 fish :wink: .



    Now, if your goal is 40" koi, it may be easier to just board at Momotaro!

  8. #8
    Jumbo Bern's Avatar
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    Taking on board the big and deep concept, I want to share the shape of a friend of mine's pond.



    It it 28feet long from front to back running diagonally accross his garden with one end encroaching onto his patio to line up with his favourite chair inside a conservatory built onto his house. From this swivel chair he can swing around to look directly up the length of the pond.



    At the far end, at it's broadest it is 8feet wide, with the pond finishing in a half moon. At the near end it is 12feet wide at its broadest finishing in another half moon. Along its length, it uniformly tapers from 12 to 8feet.



    With some carefully pruned shrubs and trees, smaller at the back, larger at the front, they and the shape of the pond makes it look far larger than it acually is, and it has the same effect on the garden itself.



    The pond bottom slopes from 6feet at the wider end to 8feet at the narrow end, with the exception of the wide half moon end which has a 3feet deep feeding area.



    If I ever rebuild I will have this in mind.



    rgds BERN
    South East Koi Club


  9. #9
    Lee
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    Dear All,



    Wanting to keep this thread on focus...



    The query being asked....is, in your opinion, which shape of koi pond is 'the best' shape for raising the best koi and maintaining the best water quality?



    And. What is the best method of circulation (is it round and round OR is it front to back or back to front)?



    Therefore, is a rectangular koi pond as evidenced by the preferred Japanese method best?



    Or, is it the oval and/or round -that is "best'?



    Yes, of course...I already have my own opinion and it is unalterable. Nonetheless, I am still anxious to know the opinion of my brother/sister koi keepers?



    O'k, what is your opinion of what's THE 'best'?



    Hum?



    Lee

    Grand Cayman

  10. #10
    Daihonmei
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    alright lee,

    A small perfect shape won't be as good as a very large bad shape. But the perfect shape in my book is a very stretched oval something like 10ft by 30ft, and 6+ft deep. I wouldn't make it shorter than 15 ft or less wide than 6ft.



    Simple answer: a long rounded-off rectangle

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