24 Koi Pond Ideas

A koi is an ornamental fish that originated in Japan. They are typically kept for decorative purposes in outdoor ponds. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, including varying shades and combinations of blues, silvers, oranges, yellow, reds and whites.

Koi fish are beautiful and their movements are quite soothing. Many owners find watching them swim and caring for them to be a calming practice. Adding a koi pond to your yard is a great way to add a sense of tranquility to your outdoor space.

  • 01 of 24

    Minimalist Koi Pond

    A rectangular koi pond with lily pads on top.

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    At a minimum, koi fish need four feet of water in depth. A minimal koi pond could involve cement walls forming a simple rectangle shape in the ground. It’s also important to include a filtration system to filter out waste. Adding fish to a garden pond requires stronger filtration. Try out a minimal design like this one and start with a few koi fish. Koi are social fish and like to swim in a school. They can grow up to 3 feet long, though, so don’t add too many in a small pond.

  • 02 of 24

    Waterfalls in Koi Pond

    A natural-looking koi pond with a waterfall and rocks.

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    To give your koi pond an even more tranquil feel, add a waterfall or two. The gentle trickling sound of the water feature will add to the relaxing nature of your outdoor space. Plus, the waterfall will naturally aerate the pond water, which the koi fish will greatly appreciate.

  • 03 of 24

    Glass Walkway Over Koi Pond

    People walking on glass walkway over trees.

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    If you want to get up close and personal with your koi fish, install a glass walkway over your koi pond. Just be sure it’s secure and understand its weight limit before stepping on top.

  • 04 of 24

    Shady Koi Pond

    A koi pond shaded by green and red bushes.

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    Vegetation planted around your koi pond will ensure that the water stays cool. That’s especially important if you live in a warm climate as the shade will provide a nice, cool refuge for the fish and help keep the water from getting too warm. Cooler water temperatures also increase the dissolved oxygen in the pond to keep your fish happy and healthy.

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  • 05 of 24

    Koi Pond With Sitting Area

    Four chairs around a fire pit next to a koi pond with waterfalls.

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    Build your koi pond around a sitting area complete with a fire pit and a few chairs and you’ve got a relaxing escape right in your own backyard. All that’s left to do is grab the s’mores supplies and invite your loved ones over.

  • 06 of 24

    Rocky Koi Pond

    Koi pond bordered by rocks.

    Monjira Rungwongroch / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Add some decorative rocks to your koi pond to give it a more natural look. Not only will the rocks look beautiful, but they will also add complex habitat that koi fish enjoy. Natural rocks will also be useful if you add other animals, like turtles, to your koi pond.

  • 07 of 24

    Yard Takeover Koi Pond

    A koi pond and mossy boulders next to a house.

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    Yards without grass are more eco-friendly because they require less resources to care for them. Consider transforming your entire yard into a magnificent koi pond to reduce your carbon footprint and create your own personal oasis. If you turn your entire yard into a koi pond, you may even have room to make it intricate and complex, perfect for all kinds of plants and animals.

  • 08 of 24

    Small Oasis

    A small koi pond bordered by rocks and a small waterfall.

    EricVega / Getty Images

    No massive outdoor space? No problem. Create a small koi pond, about four feet deep at least. It may be smaller than other koi ponds, but its function remains the same. You’ll feel relaxed in no time. (Just make sure it's large enough for the amount of fish you have.)

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  • 09 of 24

    Diverse Koi Pond

    Rocks in the middle of a koi pond with a turtle and duck on top.

    Jun Takati / EyeEm / Getty Images

    You don’t need to limit your koi pond to koi fish only. Try adding other animals that do well with koi fish, like water turtles and ducks. They can coexist together beautifully in your backyard ecosystem. If you have kids, you can use your pond to help them learn more about animal behavior. Just be sure your yard and pond are designed to prevent the other animals from escaping and that they are protected from predators.

  • 10 of 24

    Hidden Koi Pond

    A koi pond hidden among bushes.

    Simon McGill / Getty Images

    If you have a large outdoor space, you can have multiple features in your yard. These can include a koi pond, a sitting area, a space for outdoor games, and more. Planting tall vegetation and adding structures will allow you to actually hide your koi pond, making it a hidden oasis. Whether or not you share this secret spot is up to you.

  • 11 of 24

    Extra Features

    A green koi pond with waterfalls, boulders and sculptures.

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    You can make your koi pond more dynamic by including extra features like sculptures, boulders, and waterfalls. This will make your pond so much more interesting to viewers compared to minimalist designs.

  • 12 of 24

    Koi Pond With Open Feeding Area

    A child feeding koi fish.

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    If you have kids, they will most certainly want to play with and feed the koi fish in your pond. That’s all part of the fun! Make sure to include an open area with level ground so that you or your kids have room to feed and ogle at the fish. Koi can even be trained to eat out of your hand.

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  • 13 of 24

    Water Garden Koi Pond

    A mini water garden with orange koi fish.

    Jon Roosmann / Getty Images

    Water gardens are outdoor water features that incorporate a number of elements, including waterfalls and beautiful aquatic plants. While plants are the main focus of water gardens, some may also include ornamental fish. Including koi fish in your water garden will make the area more dynamic and interesting. Just be aware that koi will eat some aquatic plants, so they need to be incorporated in to the pond in a way that protects the plants from the fish.

  • 14 of 24

    Koi Pond With Viewing Trail

    A family feeding and watching koi fish.

    Oliver Rossi / Getty Images

    Clearing a trail around all our part of your koi pond allows people, whether they are visitors or not, to maneuver around the pond to get a better look at the fish. Trails can take one deeper into the pond area and offer more solitude for those wishing to find peace at the koi pond.

  • 15 of 24

    Brick Bottom Koi Pond

    White koi fish swimming in a red brick pond.

    Rizky Panuntun / Getty Images

    Some koi fish, especially white ones, look stunning against a solid brick bottom. It’s a popular choice among many minimalist koi ponds that don’t necessarily prioritize a natural, green look. Just be sure the brick bottom is sealed to hold water.

  • 16 of 24

    Rounded Koi Pond

    A bean-shaped koi pond.

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    Experiment with different shapes to find the most suitable koi pond for your area. Rounded or bean-shaped ponds are popular choices as they give an interesting and modern look.

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  • 17 of 24

    Koi Pond With Viewing Platform

    A child kneeling down on a wood platform to view koi fish.

    Nattawat Kaewjirasit / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Whether you plan to regularly host visitors or you want to keep the koi pond to yourself, a viewing platform is a must. Viewing platforms allow you to get a good look at the beautiful fish as they swim. You can even put a chair on the platform and enjoy the bliss of the pond.

  • 18 of 24

    Extravagant Koi Pond

    Koi pond with various plants, rocks and sculptures.

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    Do you follow the mantra “go big or go home”? If yes, your koi pond needs to be extravagant. Ornamental plants, stunning sculptures and water features will make your koi pond look bigger and better.

  • 19 of 24

    Natural Bottom Koi Pond

    Koi fish feeding on a rocky shore.

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    Rocks, algae or clay soil all make natural-looking substrate materials for covering the bottom of a cement koi pond or one with a rubber liner. Utilize these materials if you’re going for a more natural look in your pond. These do make it harder to keep the bottom of the pond clear of debris, though. Some aquatic plants and soil types coexist with each other well, so do some research before choosing which ones to include.

  • 20 of 24

    Koi Pond Sculptures

    A woman feeding koi fish in a pond full of sculptures.

    Chanchai Duangdoosan / EyeEm / Getty Images

    If you have a favorite sculpture artist, you can put their work on display in or around your backyard koi pond. The sculptures will give your pond a more polished look and keep it aesthetically pleasing. Make sure all cement, sealants and materials used are safe for the fish.

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  • 21 of 24

    Stepping Stones in Koi Pond

    Large cement stepping stones going through a koi pond.

    Alex Walker / Getty Images

    Want a walkway, but don’t like how unnatural they can look? Stepping stones are the solution. Stepping stones look natural, but when placed appropriately, can provide wonderful viewing platforms to watch your koi fish swim.

  • 22 of 24

    Pond With Fountains

    A spouting fountain in a koi pond.

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    With the gentle sound and mesmerizing movements of falling water, water fountains are incredibly soothing. They look wonderful in koi ponds and, like waterfalls, they can increase the amount of oxygen in the pond and provide fish with cooler water.

  • 23 of 24

    Lily Pad Koi Pond

    A koi fish swimming under green lily pads.

    Masako Ishida / Getty Images

    Lily pads have a serene look about them. These unique aquatic plants seemingly float atop calm water in lakes and ponds. The plants provide shelter for fish and habitat for other animals, like frogs. The plants are also natural producers of oxygen, which is great for fish and beneficial bacteria. The lily plants may need to be secured in pots to prevent the koi from uprooting them.

  • 24 of 24

    Decorative Koi Pond

    A beautiful koi pond with plants, trees and a wooden walkway.

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    Ultimately, the way you design your koi pond is up to you and your personal taste. If you liked all of these ideas, consider implementing multiple (or even all of them). Add sculptures, waterfalls, and plenty of plants to keep your outdoor space interesting and your koi fish healthy and happy.