By Tom Burton

The move to incorporate water features or ponds into the landscape has been nothing short of astounding over the past five years. Pet shops, garden centers, aquarium stores, and nurseries have been quick to jump on the bandwagon. Unfortunately, knowledge of the "how to’s" is lagging far behind the demand. As a result, there are all too many second, third, or fourth tries before a person either gives it up or gets it right. This is especially true when speaking of fish ponds, but it is excruciatingly true when it comes to ponds that are home to the colored carp called koi.

The typical evolution from water feature, to adding a few goldfish, to adding koi is quite common. It’s in this last step that most of the trouble starts.

A water garden is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. The same is true of a koi pond. But, aside from the fact that both have water in them, the similarity ends there. It’s usually said that the only way to have a koi pond and a water garden is to have a koi pond and a water garden. Why? Let’s look at the differences.

As Peter Waddington, koi guru from England, once said, "A koi pond is an aquarium in the ground." Remembering that concept should make it much easier to build a proper habitat for koi and make it work.

To learn more about this wonderful hobby, look at the web site for the Mid-Atlantic Koi Club at makc.com. It’s the largest club in the country with over 1300 member families and a monthly full color magazine.