Bonsai Trees

Japanese Gardens

Ponds, Keeping Koi Carp and Water Features

Koi pond, with Japanese Granite lanternA water feature in a Japanese garden is an absolute must and if you really don't have the space for a pond, then a small meandering stream can be suggested by the artistic placement of flagstones.

However, many bonsai growers are also keen koi carp enthusiasts. Koi carp are extremely demanding, fast-growing fish and so planning a koi pond should not be undertaken lightly. Since koi carp can in theory eventually exceed 1 metre / 3 feet in length, a pond should be large enough to comfortably accommodate all of the fish, once fully grown. Popular koi varieties include 'kohaku' (red and white), 'sanke' (red and white, with black) and 'showa' (black, with red and white).

Pond viewKoi carp will need deep water of at least 1.2 metres / 4 feet, so that they can exercise adequately. Many keepers prefer deeper water still, which can make the pond extremely hazardous for young children. When building a pond for koi, it is also worth given thought to potential predators. Straight sides certainly prove to be a major obstacle for wading birds, such as herons.

Since koi carp excrete large quantities of ammonia waste into the water, a substantial filtration system in essential. These generally comprise a series of different chambers, with filter media such as brushes, flow core (pieces of small pipe), sponge, specialist matting and coarse gravel. An ultraviolet (UV) light should also be added to help clarify the water, since it removes the algae by making it clump together (flocculate), ready to be filtered out.

Fountains, waterfalls and gentle streams can all be tied into the main pond in a Japanese garden. Ornate oriental-style bridges may be utilized as a way of crossing the water, as well as simple stepping stones.

Photo of koi carp in garden pond

Pond photo, showing Japanese-style landscaping

Maples, bonsai and decking

Adding an Oriental Flavour to Your Garden
Displaying Bonsai in Your Garden
Plants Suitable for Japanese Gardens
Planting Bonsai in the Garden
Stepping Stones and Pathways
Ponds, Keeping Koi Carp and Water Features
Japanese Lanterns and Pagodas
Zen Gardens / Japanese Rock Gardens
Japanese Gardens - Finishing Touches

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