A little while ago I wrote an article on the ‘Mini Koi Pond,’ which looked at keeping koi in smaller bodies of water.
A sensible way of getting started in the hobby.
I decided to take a trip to see a friend down south who owns a lovely little setup, unknown to me, Gary had recently given the pond a big overhaul of equipment.
Construction: Timber with Butyl liner.
Filter Feeds: Two side drains
Mechanical Filter: Filtreu 20 drum
Biological Filter: DIY fluid bed (125ltrs hel-x) & a Bakki-Shower with BHM and Crystal Bio.
Pump: 20,000 Vario - Aqua Forte
Aeration: Airtech 90 - 3 x 10cm air discs
koi: 16 pieces, ranging from 29-60cm
Gary purchased this timber constructed tank second hand and being rather skilled, he gave it a new lease of life by refurbishing it. He also fitted a lovely viewing window in the front panel with the added bonus of it facing his living room, what a bloke - true 'Koi TV!'
This is Gary's second pond and at 800gallons, not only does it qualify as a 'Mini Koi Pond' - it is also a heavily stocked "Mini Koi Pond' too! Gary won't mind me saying this, but his stocking levels are pushing it. It's not that it can't be done, it's just more of a balancing act. In this case with adequate filtration and water management, Gary keeps his koi happy, healthy and growing, but the likelihood is that the numbers may need to be thinned out to ensure the continued development and well being of the koi.
But that's a bridge to cross...or a new pond to build!
Gary has done really well on his koi keeping journey so far, I remember seeing him on a regular basis at the shop for a nose about and a catch up. But I found out there was another reason for the visits...Gary’s wife Julie, also a keen koi keeper struck a very good deal...
Gary got a koi fix - if Julie got lunch!
They would stop at the restaurant in the garden centre for a wee bite to eat, not a bad deal if you ask me! As a couple they like to select their koi together, believing that they both bring something different to the koi buying party - which I think is rather nice!
There is no doubt that this is a very well equipped "Mini Koi Pond' and I think it's safe to say that it's down to the large amount of filtration that the pond works so well. I think this pond is a great example of a smaller system that has prioritised the available budget on the equipment rather than the construction. The tank was a second hand bargain and with a clever bit of refurbishment it makes an attractive feature in the garden. It's great inspiration for those who don't have the budget for a premium fibreglass tank. Remember, the koi don't care what holds the water - as long as the water itself is spot on!
A few Questions for Gary
How did you get into Koi keeping?
”I started with a small preformed pond and got inspired after visiting you at the shop in Denham. I got the bug very quickly!“
What‘s your advice for those hobbyists with ’Mini Koi Ponds?’
“With a smaller body of water I would say the key is to treat it as if it were a larger pond. Over filter it and use a larger trickle of fresh water.”
What would you do differently?
“If I was starting again I would join some forums and get as much advice as possible early on. With the money I wasted on inferior equipment, I could have built a bigger pond! I would say it’s vital for anyone starting out to listen to the people who have good experience as I could have saved money and time from learning the hard way.“
Gary goes on to say...
”But even with all the ups and downs you just can’t beat sitting back and watching the koi gracefully swimming and growing in your pond.”
Not a bad thought to end on!