How to Take Care of Koi Ponds for Beginners

It can seem intimidating to start a new koi pond. 

Many things are to be learned and a dozen or more fish depend on your success. This can be terrifying! 

There are plenty of resources available to assist you in creating the perfect koi environment and regimen. 

Check out our guide to koi pond care for beginners!

A few tips for you

So, assuming you already have the pond ready to go (if not, click here for our comprehensive, step by step guide to building your own koi pond at home).t to do once everything is ready for your fish and the water has been properly cycled.

1. Careful Introductions

Before introducing koi to a new pond, it is important to allow them to acclimate and stabilize before dumping them straight in.

The fish should be quarantined in tanks with a volume of around 50 gallons per three fish and gradually exposed to pond water. 

The holding tank must still have adequate filtration.

Introduce tiny bits to the water until around half is pond water. Keep doing this over the course of a few days.

When everything is ready, place your koi in plastic fish bags and let them float for at least thirty minutes to acclimate to the water temperature. 

It is important to do this to prevent shock from the temperature change.

Before dumping koi into a new pond, it is a good idea to let them acclimate and stabilize.

2. Feeding the Koi

Give them a day to rest in their new pond then try offering them food. 

Then scoop off any leftovers after their feeding frenzy has subsided and add about what seems reasonable for them to eat within five minutes.

Do note that if they are not fully adjusted to their new pond, they may not eat. 

This is normal, but they should start eating by the third or fourth day. 

You may need to troubleshoot your pond if the koi are stressed for some reason.

3. Filtration

Your fish's survival and longevity are dependent on the quality of your pond's filtration. 

Fish without proper filtration are merely surviving. 

This isn't right for the fish, so if you're looking for a place to invest, filtration is the way to go.

Make sure you purchase a filter that both cleans the water and promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria. 

UV lights and other extras may assist in keeping your water clean and clear, especially if you are experiencing algae accumulations, so be sure to check out features like those while you are filter shopping if you have any concerns.

4. Water Quality

One of the most important things to keep in mind is the quality of your water.

You should also ensure that the water is at the right temperature and properly shaded in addition to filtration.

Koi like shady areas and do not do well in overly sunny spots, plus algae will overgrow if the pond is overexposed to the sun.

Koi prefer water between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, but they can tolerate a few deviations.

They are generally very hardy fish but still deserve proper temperature regulation where possible, as it helps them be happy and healthy.

Over time, rust can accumulate on pipes and valves that deliver water to the pond. Make sure to update them after a certain number of years, and check the water quality regularly. Choose quality sprinkler valves that are tough and durable.

5. Use safe decor.

You may see koi ponds with angular rocks and embellishments, but this is not a good idea. 

In addition to digging, koi are known to rub against their enclosures. 

Sharp rocks can injure your fish, resulting in infections that may spread to the other fish in the pond.

Opt for smooth, rounded decorations and rocks when making your pond and be sure to regularly check them to ensure no breakage has occurred and no sharp objects have fallen into the pond.


If you plan well before you start, caring for koi is surprisingly easy. 

They are very hardy, durable fish that can survive a lot, so they should do well under most conditions. 

When you strive for the perfect balance of temperature, water quality, and food, you will be rewarded with years of stunning, vibrant koi. 

There is a great article on the Cost to Install and Maintain a Koi Pond for you to read if you're just beginning your journey into Koi keeping and would like a better understanding of the costs and what is involved.

Good luck!