Backyard Koi Ponds

Koi ponds can make for beautiful additions to landscaped backyards or home gardens

While many people are drawn to koi ponds because of their aesthetic appeal, there are many additional reasons for homeowners to consider installing koi ponds in their backyards.

Ponds and water gardens can transform yards rather quickly. Ponds can add appeal to otherwise mundane yards and provide eye-catching, relaxing spots to sit and enjoy the scenery.

Koi ponds have gained popularity with homeowners in Central New Jersey, but this popular water features date back several centuries to Asia. Centuries ago, Chinese rice farmers began keeping carp in their rice paddies, and that practice eventually caught on in Japan. The fish started to breed and form slight color variations. Koi, often referred to as “Nishikigoi,” are actually descendants of the common carp, though the koi of today are more brightly hued and ornamental fish than carp.

Koi can become a low-maintenance family pet. These fish tend to grow accustomed to having people around, and will often interact with visitors at the surface of the water. It’s not unusual to have koi beg for food or take food from a person’s hand.

“You will want to inspect the fish carefully in spring to be sure the population is healthy and not showing signs of injury or disease. Remove or replace dead fish, and begin feeding your fish sparingly as the water temperatures rise. Do not overfeed the fish, however, which will only promote algae growth. Take care to keep the stress to your fish minimal, since they can be much more vulnerable as they come out of dormancy.” –Ed Brock, Brock Farms

Another benefit of koi ponds is that they create a miniature ecosystem within the yard. When stocked with aquatic plants and other fish that can help keep mosquito larvae and other parasites at bay, they can sustain themselves quite nicely. Ponds also can attract birds and beneficial insects, such as butterflies and dragonflies. By implementing straight vertical walls on the perimeter of the pond and setting up some natural barriers, homeowners can avoid unwanted predators from disturbing their koi ponds.

Koi ponds also provide some psychological benefits. The sound of the water can be soothing and relaxing. Sitting by the pond may help alleviate stress, as unwinding next to a pond and watching the fish swim by can help individuals decompress.