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Japanese koi pond principals.

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  • Japanese koi pond principals.

    Is there any standard or guideline for designing Japanese koi pond with natural looking. About selecting the right place, design elements, materials, pond depth, waterfalls or river, and filtration.

  • #2

    Reza, your question is not clear to me. If you are referring to a traditional Japanese garden with a koi pond, there are aesthetic principles going back centuries. These affect eery aspect of the garden, from the shapes of stones to where an odd clump of water iris is placed. The ponds in these gardens serve both symbolic and aesthetic purposes, with the koi being important as a living creature in the composition. But, these ponds are rarely designed to grow koi well, and as a result typically have few fish for the volume of water. There are books on the art of the Japanese garden that can be a start point.

    If you are wanting a pond intended to maximize the potential of the koi and also be natural looking, it gets difficult. There are some compromises that have to be made. Each person has to choose which compromises they are willing to make. My suggestion is to design the pond solely to promote the koi, and then make the area surrounding the pond look natural with rock and plants. Most people prefer a watergardening approach to create a natural appearance, but watergardens are not the best environment for maximizing the koi. Of course, most people really do not care about maximizing their koi. They just want pretty fish in a garden pond, which is perfectly fine.

    I checked around quickly to see if there were some websites with useful discussions of about creating a natural looking pond, but did not come across any. I mostly found Aquascape pond builders who promote rocks in the pond to make it look natural... a big mistake. I know you do not have easy access to books in English about koi and koi ponds, but I think the subject is so big it takes a book to discuss everything.


    • #3

      Dear Mike,

      Let me send you a photo Sakai Fish Farm pond:

      Click image for larger version

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      This is backyard pond of Sakai Fish Farm. This is very Eyecatching for me or this book's cover:

      I understand there are differences between koi pond and water garden, (water)lotus/ lily pond. I read in Wikipedia thousand years ago modeled upon Chinese gardens. Also using fish in water gardens also borrowed from Chines Gardens but goldfish replaced with koi after founding koi. There is also a brief but not enough Aesthetic principles about Japnese Gardens.

      As you said there is no much information over Net I tried to find some reliable information but as you said, most of them introducing stones over edges of ponds, a big rock in shallow place of the pond and adding some waterfall, plants and symbols in corners. But there is no well-described Logic or strong point of view.

      I think I had to study books in this subject but where and how to find it is a different subject.


      • #4

        These are incredibly beautiful. You definitely need to study the Japanese garden to do something like these, even on a much smaller scale. Both of these gardens seek to create a scene of mountains, forest and lake (sea). The structure is established by the placement of the rock... huge boulders only heavy equipment or an army of peasants could move. The ponds, however, are not designed to maximize the koi. The ponds are an element in the garden designed to contribute to the overall impact of the scene. The ponds are shallow and because they are shallow the koi are easily observed. However, the koi were raised elsewhere and then placed in the pond to add to the composition of the scene. Unlike most Japanese gardens, the water is clear. So, there is filtration. Often there is no filtration, the water is muddy or green and the bottom is covered with leaves. Both of these pond views show no path around the pond or anyplace to sit and enjoy it, because the photo is taken at the 'viewing spot'. It is intended for the scene to be viewed from this place. Smaller gardens may have only one viewing spot. Larger ones can have several viewing spots... and bridges so the viewer can enter the scene. The design is done with the viewing spots in mind. It is as if the viewer is the audience and the scene is displayed on a stage. You may be able to find photos of the large gardens on the grounds of old Japanese castles and temples.


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