Adding a koi pond to your backyard or garden is a wonderful way to enhance your everyday scenery. It draws you to your backyard and keeps you lingering outside- not to mention, it’s extremely therapeutic.
Whether you’re planning on building your own pond or hiring someone to do it for you, a bit of inspiration is required, regardless. From upcycled materials to shiny new stones for your fish to be mesmerized by, we’ve got you covered in everything you need to know when it comes to finding that perfect outdoor koi pond.
Modern Koi Pond
Who doesn’t love a white aesthetic?
When trying to match your backyard to your home design, there’s no shortage of thought when it comes to the beautiful idea of a DIY modern koi pond. Surround your pond with grey and white stones, rocks and flourish it with green succulents. Keep it classy, but bring in greenery to make it come alive.
Waterfall Koi Pond
With a bit more work, a waterfall is a gorgeous addition to any pond.
There are numerous ways to add all types of falls for your fish, so don’t be a stranger when getting creative and finding something that’s perfect for your backyard. Waterfalls are also extremely beneficial for your koi fish, allowing more flow of oxygen through the pond.
Stone Koi Pond
Stack, stack, stack your stones!
It’s a no-brainer that stones are so commonly used when building koi ponds. Not only do they help with the overall structural support, but they also function as great decor. Stones these days come in a multitude of colors, making it easy to match the exterior of your house and the plants you choose to surround your pond.
Boxed Koi Pond
So many above-ground ponds to choose from, how to pick which one?
Imagine a wide, open backyard with a large, boxed pond and a fountain spewing out of it- that could be you! There’s a plethora of different wood finishes to choose from when designing your perfect pond, so map everything out, get creative with your fountain placement and get working.
Patio Inspired Koi Ponds
Why not give your fish a patio of their own? They deserve some shade too!
This an above ground pond idea, where you essentially add a roof over the tank. It’s a great opportunity to add potted plants around the area, and you can keep it close to your actual patio too. Build it low to the ground, or reach for the sky and add glass for that traditional fish tank feel.
Traditional Koi Pond
Stones, greenery and fish- these might be some of the first things you think of when picturing a traditional pond, that makes two of us.
There’s nothing wrong with sticking to tradition! You’ve got your stones, a small waterfall and plenty of fish to keep company with room for opportunity when adding plants and garden decor.
Small Koi Ponds
Not every pond has to be big and luxurious!
Perhaps your smaller backyard is the perfect size for a serene, little pond. Add a few fountains or falls to spruce up your pond and give your fish a desirable, miniature home! It’s a great eye-catcher and still leaves room for opportunity when furnishing the rest of your yard.
Circular Koi Ponds
Circular ponds are a crowd pleaser and nothing less.
Not only are they more aesthetic to the eye versus a square outline, but a circular pond can also be easier to keep small. With no sharp edges and corners, this spherical pond might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Glass Koi Ponds
A glass koi pond- what an exceptional concept.
There are hundreds of photos online when choosing inspiration for an above-ground glass tank, but don’t let it stop you from keeping that classic koi pond vibe. Give your fish friends some pebble decor and lily pads. Keep in mind that plants are your best friend, too! You truly can never have too many plants when it comes to decor (both indoors and out).
Glass Tower Water Features
Keeping the glass theme, why not turn your pond into a double-decker?
A fish motel, if you please. Adding specifically a glass tower or any old large vase can instantly transform your pond into a fun viewing point. Take a vase and fill it with water, then turn it upside down and your fish can swim inside (above the water)! Have you ever wondered what your fish are doing down below? This makes it easy to see what they’re getting up to from a safe distance, not to mention that it doubles as an interesting photo opportunity.
Bridge Koi Fish Pond
No budget? No problem. Build a bridge and get over it!
If you’ve got money to spare and are looking to add a little something extra to your existing pond, why not build a bridge? They can transform any pond in seconds, giving it a range of decor opportunities like a zen garden or a fairy cafe. Whatever you have in mind, there’s nothing that a bridge can’t make better.
Looking to expand your deck? Why not add a pond?
There’s such a calming feeling of having the water so close to your home. Whether sitting outside to eat dinner or tanning during the summer, having a koi pond close to your reach is a great opportunity to take. It’s also nice to keep close to your home windows so you can check how maintenance is going without having to walk halfway across your yard!
Upcycled Fountain Garden Pond
Have some old outdoor furniture that no longer serves a purpose? Turns out you can turn just about anything into your dream pond!
With a bit of work, any old furniture or household item can be transformed into the koi pond you want on a budget. People all around are getting creative with the existing items in their backyards, maybe it’s time to organize your shed out back and see what you’re working with.
Bathtub Garden Pond
Bathtub koi ponds are such a creative way to upcycle your old appliances.
Whether they’re built into the ground or sit atop for all to see, they serve as a nice and easy base for your new fish friends. However, I wouldn’t recommend converting your current tub into a pond no matter how tempting it may be… you might need it later.
Trough Koi Pond
You’ve heard of troughs for horses, but what about for fish?
That’s right, any old trough can serve as your new above-ground garden pond. They’re meant to hold pond water anyway, might as well add some filtration and a fountain. Just don’t let your horse drink out of this pond water.
Front Yard Koi Pond
Small front yard ponds are a great way to showcase your work.
The front of your lawn needs love, too. Show off your newly acquired building skills to all your neighbors and plant that beautiful koi pond front and center. You’re sure to get compliments from passerby’s, guaranteed.
Freeform Koi Pond
When you don’t want to conform to shapes, you don’t have to. Construct a freeform pond!
Map it out and plan whatever shape you feel like. Natural ponds don’t conform to shapes, so if you’re going for a natural look, draw out some random shapes of all sizes and see what looks best in your yard!
Garden-Inspired Koi Pond
With existing garden decor, you can turn your pond into a miniature garden.
Grab your birdhouse, gnomes and fairy statues- we’ve got work to do. Remember to plant plenty of flowers and have big openings in your pond to act as a birdbath. Fish are optional with this one, your pond might be better off as a “fountain”! But you’re the judge on this one.
It’s time to get handy and create some aquaponics!
What more is there to say besides it looks so intriguing? Actually, aquaponics are amazing for your garden! With a constant water flow, your plants and vegetables will thrive much faster. Not to mention, less maintenance. It’s a win-win situation for both you and your garden.
Zen Garden Inspired Koi Pond
Zen gardens are known to be relaxing and therapeutic, why not add a koi pond into the mix?
Be sure to follow the “zen theme” throughout the decorating process. Purchase statues, colorful plants, and many rocks during this process. Create a safe haven for your pond, and don’t stop until you feel perfectly at peace.
Recycled Tire Koi Pond
Have some old tires lying around? You can actually turn them into the perfect base for a miniature koi pond.
Seeing as tires are already a symmetrical circle, to begin with, your garden already has a great base when upcycling your old, unwanted tires. Be sure to bury the rubber so it’s unnoticeable, though. The idea is to create a beautiful pond without anyone knowing there are old tractor tires holding it all together.
Koi Pond Liner
Pond liners are a great way to add color to your backyard, just like a pool would.
In fact, some people even use recycled pool liners to line their new ponds. It’s a great substitute if you’re not looking to head to the store and buy all new material. That’s the whole idea of recycling anyway, is it not?
Indoor Koi Pond
It’s like a fish tank, only better.
Indoor koi ponds are desirable for just about anyone. The sounds of a flowing waterfall, the easy access to your fish, the protection from outdoor weather- sounds like a dream come true. If you have the precise corner in your home and are looking to add some new decor, perhaps an indoor koi pond is the way to go. Remember, some people have flowing fountains in their homes, so why should a mini pond be any different?
Stairway to Heaven
A bigger yard calls for a bigger and better pond.
If you’ve got a nice hill on your property, a small stairway is a gorgeous addition next to any pond. This is similar to adding a bridge, as it fills in an empty space while still serving a functional purpose. You still have the opportunity to use different materials as well, like stone or wood in all sorts of finishes.
Coat Your Koi Pond in Plants
Plants are not only good for decor, but they’re also friendly for the environment and your fish.
Smaller ponds require plants amongst the top of the water as it provides a cooling shade, whereas deeper ponds thrive with plants that the fish enjoy to eat. Whatever you decide to plant, be sure it’s beneficial for your fish, first.
Inspiration is a Click Away
There are hundreds of thousands of inspirational photos online to find the perfect koi pond for you. Remember to use your better judgment with this knowledge and find something that suits you and your garden.
Get different opinions from friends and family, and work together to create the perfect space for your home. Your new, dream koi pond could be waiting just a click away.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.