koi4u-2011 facebook  koi4u-2011 hoogland
You are here: HomeGeneral ArticlesChris on KoiPond Depth - A Sequel

Chris on Koi

Pond Depth - A Sequel

Browsing through the wonderful book - Nishikigoi and Ponds, published by the ZNA - I discovered information that may be of interest to society members.

Each pond has a picture of the owner as well as a picture of a chosen koi (possibly the owners favourite koi) and specifications on the ponds. These books are collectors items. The print quality is outstanding as is the quality of the paper and binding.

There were just over 150 Japanese ponds catalogued. Many of the top collectors of koi in Japan have their pictures and ponds are listed. A few mud ponds were displayed as owners ponds but these were from known breeders.

The interesting facts were - the average pond depth of all 150 Japanese ponds was 1,8 meters (6 ft) at the deepest point in the pond. The average length of the 150 koi listed and shown was 65.25 cm. (26 inches) In ponds 60cm - 1 meter deep were koi up to 90cm long.

Taking the facts a little further. A list was compiled of all the ponds of 2 meters or deeper. The average surface area was 36.45 square meters (392 sq. ft).  This is a pond of roughly about 6 x 6 metres (20 ft x 20ft).

The ponds in the UK listed in Nishikigoi and Ponds produced the following averages - pond depth at deepest point 1,92 meters. Average length of koi - 62,23 cm.

In Taiwan similar figures were anticipated - the average pond depth at the deepest point was 1,9 meters and the average length of the koi was 65,91 cm.

This seems to contradict a common fallacy that koi ponds have to be massive. Capacities of 100,000 litres and 2,5 meters deep are often quoted as minimum specifications.

From this it is obvious that it is far cheaper to dig down an extra meter than it is to extend the surface area to achieve water volume in Japan and England. Land prices are prohibitive. Not only this but the water temperatures in winter are very much colder for very much longer than in South Africa. At very low temperatures koi seek out the lower water to wait out the long Japanese and British winters in hibernation. Visiting Japanese experts have remarked that South Africa has an ideal climate for growing koi - long hot summers and short mild winters.

There are many fine examples of what are considered “shallow” ponds in South Africa that are about a meter deep with a surface area of 25 - 35 square meters that have grown koi to jumbo size of over 70 cm with good body shapes.

So, if you don’t have a pond of 2 meters deep or a tourist attraction of 3 meters deep - don’t worry be happy, enjoy your koi, neither do many Japanese enthusiasts.

Chris Neaves

Last Updated on Friday, 31 October 2008 11:57