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How deep should a koi pond be?

Before your shovel hits the dirt, it’s best to have an idea of how deep you should be going.  Your pond’s depth is an important factor for the health of your fish and for the longevity of your pond.  Any backyard pond, especially if you plan on having fish should be at least 3 feet deep.  At this depth it would be beneficial to have your pond at least 8 feet wide or larger.    


Pond depth breakdown

A properly built koi pond is divided into shelves that can be compared to steps that take you deeper into the pond.  These shelves hold the structure of the pond and keep your rocks from collapsing into the pond over time.  Each shelf is at least 1 foot wide.  So although your pond might be 8 feet wide from the top it would be smaller in the deepest part of your pond.  

If you plan on stocking your pond with larger fish you may want to make your pond deeper and wider. 


Why is pond depth important? 

Building your koi pond with proper depth is important for the overall health and function of a balanced ecosystem pond.  Below are a few reasons you should follow these practices when considering the depth of your koi pond.  

  • -If the pond is too shallow, the water will quickly evaporate in the summer. Hence, you will likely need to fill your pond often to maintain its water level.
  • -I shallow pond will make it easier for predators such as herons, foxes, and raccoons to attack your fish.
  • -Koi ponds freeze from top to bottom in the winter. Your fish will want to be at the deepest part of the pond and must have enough space to thrive in the winter.
  • -If your pond is shallow, the water will be hot quickly in the summer and that may be dangerous to your fish health.
  • -Optimum depth of at least 3 feet is key to maintain a good ecosystem in the pond.