Koi fish are one of the most popular breeds of ornamental fish and for good reason. Koi ponds provide hours of entertainment as you watch your new friends swim around their home. But before they can get to that point, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to building a koi pond.

The overall setup cost plays a big role here and that’s why you need to know how much does it cost to build a koi pond before making a worthy plan. As the expense of setting up a koi pond varies depending on the size, type, and complexity of the project, use the following information to calculate the building cost of your preferred koi pond.

The Total Expenditure of building a koi pond

There are some factors which you need to understand properly and then go for implementation of your koi pond. These are not straightforward, and we have to look at them one by one. Let’s explore a bit:

Consultation Cost

When you’re making a koi pond for the first time, you’d definitely want to get some good consultation. Firms that are providing koi pond construction services usually ask for a hefty amount of money.

Such an amount could range anywhere from $40-$50 up to $200-$300. A highly experienced firm may ask for a very high price. But they’re worth the investment.

They will send their team to visit your selected site, conduct research and provide you a complete plan with expenditures and contingency.

This is why you should consult with a good service provider and make a proper plan. It is better to have a foolproof plan rather than having to improvise halfway into the job because the unseen costs from fixing errors could be way over your head.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Koi Pond

Koi Fish Price

The most important part of a koi pond is… the koi itself.

Koi fish has always been a sign of luxury. The original breed of female fish is going to cost you more around $10000 and male would cost like $5000. These fish usually have a longer life period than any average human. In some rare cases, more than 80 years.

Female fish are so costly because their color is so vibrant which is nothing less than magical. On the flip side, the male has some color shade and patterns which start to fade after 3 years.

A big part of your budget will be spent here. In the market, you will also find cheaper koi fish between $30 up to $150.

Size of the pond

The cost of a koi pond will vary from smaller to bigger. Many other factors also play a role in the total costing of a koi pond project.

Pond Type Small (4×6 Foot) Medium (6×8 Foot) Large (8×11 Foot)
Excavation Cost $400 $960 $2,800
Liner Cost $1,200 $2,400 $4,400
Pump Cost $200 $450 $2,200
Filter Cost (Natural+Biological) $650 $1,700 $4,000
UV Sterilizer Cost $185 $390 $4,500
Pond Lighting Cost $250 $550 $1,700
Waterfall Cost $1,500 $3,000 $5,500
Landscaping Cost $500 $2,500 $4,000
Pond Heater Cost $850 $1,500 $3,500
Total Cost $5,735 $13,450 $32600

1. Small Size Ponds

A small koi pond will cost you around from the range of $4500 – $5500 depending on the level of quality of your pond. If you want a high-end one, it will cost you more than $7000.

You can start with a small one because less space means a more affordable budget. So, it will save money for sure.

2. Medium Size Ponds

Moderate size ponds are usually around 6×8 feet. Typically this kind of pond requires a budget range from $8000-$15000. The add-ons and various features will multiply the overall cost. Since you’ll have more space, your expenses will be more too.

3. Large Size Ponds

Generally, you can’t even think about making a large koi pond unless you have at least $20000. To make a large pond, you’d be using a lot of tools and equipment, you might even hire manpower.

So the cost may multiply exponentially, compared to a small pond.

Take your time to research, but come with a definite plan. I’ve seen a lot of work go unfinished just because people didn’t understand that the cost for a large construction is much much more than a small one, it’s not a linear relationship. That’s why, I thought I’d give you a heads up.

Excavation

Excavation cost is another major factor in budget calculations. As the size gets bigger the excavation cost will go higher as well. The contractor company could ask you for $20-$50 per square foot of yard.

Pricing may fluctuate from one company to another.

Things like rocks, boulders, electricity wires/poles, and the sloped ground will be the usual suspects that raise excavation costs. You can save some cash here by choosing a good location.

This process may cost you from the range of $400-$1500 and $4500-$6000 respectively for small and large ponds.

If you are planning to do the entire thing by yourself, you may be able to reduce the cost. But, it definitely won’t be the same as clean as a professional work. You may end up having a bad excavation result.

So, it would be best to hire people for a few hundred dollars.

Pond Liner

After excavating, you need to go through the pond liner installation process. This step is crucial for your koi pond. A proper pond liner will ensure the water of your pond is not going to leak.

In the market, there are usually various types of lining materials available. Each one of them comes with a different range of prices.

1. Plastic Liner

A plastic liner is good for a small koi pond. The price of plastic liners is quite low. The price range may vary from $0.25-$1.30 per square foot. One thing to keep in mind is that plastic material quality will lose very fast. It can’t withstand harsh weather.

2. PVC liner

It is budget-friendly and costs around only $0.70 per square foot. However, the low price of this liner may shoot you in the foot during winter as there remains a high chance of tearing when the temperature becomes  4⁰-5⁰ C.

If you live in an area of tropical weather,  then PVC liner would be a great pick.

3. Rubber Liner

Usually, these are pretty much flexible. It is available mostly in 15×20 feet and per square foot will cost around $.50- $2.00.

If you don’t have any plans to use a natural filtration system, it will not be right to use a rubber liner. Artificial chlorine cleaning will create a crack on your liner. So it depends on your setup.

4. EPDM liner

The Lifespan of this liner is pretty long. Weather resistant rubber assists it to stay in good condition even in the wildest weather, which ultimately protects your koi fish.

The price range starts from $.80 per square foot up to $.90 per square foot. It is suitable for medium and large size ponds because of its available shape and size.

5. Fiberglass

Fiberglass liner will cost you around $3.00 up to $6.50 per square foot. Though it’s a bit costly, it will give heavy protection to your koi pond.

6. Concrete

In my opinion, this is the best category among the liner. You can get it if you’re making a long-term pond with no adjustments later on.

No other liner can give you better water retention for your koi pond’s water than a concrete liner. It’s kind of a weather protection package. Per square foot price of this liner will cost you around from the lower range of $50-$60 up to a higher range of $110-$130.

Underlayment

A good underlayment is crucial for your pond’s safety. It will work as a cushion below the liner. The price of rubber-made underlayment will cost you around $2-$4 per square foot. By installing this, you can hope that your liner will be free from any kind of piercing from the roots.

Pumps and Waterfall

The ecosystem and aquatic life of the koi pond are far different from the natural pond and lake. So, you need a proper filtering and pumping system. Without these, you won’t be able to ensure the oxygen level of water and many other things.

Most of the koi pond owners keep a waterfall as a part of the beautiful design. Depending on the size of your pond, you have to buy a specific size of the pump.

As the water gallons are more in a bigger pool, you need a high-performance pump. For example, A mid-size 8×11 foot pond will require a pump that has a capacity of 7000 GPH or something similar. And the price of different pumps may range from $250 up to $850.

Skimmer

These filters are famous among koi pond owners. It’s going to keep your pond clean. You can stay relaxed about the maintenance. All you need to do is to make sure you are cleaning the net which comes with the skimmer.

Just do it frequently, it’s very easy. The price of a pond skimmer can vary depending on its performing level and size. The cost of these could be starting from $40 up to $220-$250.

Bottom Drain

The bottom drain is a must for your koi pond. It would be connected with the outer filter. A flexible hose will do a better job as the connection line between the bottom drain and outer filter. Hard pipes sometimes block debris and create problems.

A high-quality bottom drain costs between $69.00 and $84.00.

Your hose-pipe costs will depend on the distance of your bottom drain and outer filter. The price of the hosepipe is below given for you to calculate easily.

Type                                                Pipe Size   Price
Black PVC Hose Pipe 2’’x 25’ $55
Black PVC Hose Pipe 1 ½’’ x 25’ $42
Black PVC Hose Pipe 3’’x 25’ $138

Pond Filter

To keep the koi fish of your koi pond at a healthy level, you must install a pond filter. It simply cleans the debris. It also removes the biological waste generated from the ecosystem of your koi pond. The price of the pond filter may cost $110-$800.

External Filter

It’s also known as the settling chamber. Larger debris will be removed through this component. They are not usually made for underwater conditions. You can keep them outside your pond’s corner. These filters cost around $130-$500.

Ultraviolet Sterilizer

You won’t be able to see fully freshwater sparkling on it without an excellent ultraviolet sterilizer. It will help you control the level of bacteria in your koi pond.

Also, it will reduce the growth of parasites that might harm your expensive koi fishes. You will find this clarifier in 4-7 different watts. Prices for different watts are given below:

Watt Price Range
15 Watt UV Sterilizer $185-$365
25 Watt UV Sterilizer $390-$450
40 Watt UV Sterilizer $570- $650
100 Watt UV Sterilizer More than $1800

 

There are also biological filters you can add to your koi pond. These are good for the health of koi fish.

Natural Filter

Natural filters are an integral component of keeping everything balanced and clean because they naturally purify any waste products from your pond. The most common natural filters and their costs are discussed below.

Rocks

You can add rock surfaces in your koi pond. These rocks will cost you around $200-$1000. In the case of a small koi pond, you can buy it cheaply. It will provide the perfect condition for the settlement of natural bacteria. Which will ultimately filter your koi pond water and increase the quality of water.

You can also add a different color of rocks on the bottom and the surroundings of your koi pond. Price values of different types of rocks are given below here for you to have an idea.

Type Price Range
Mini Boulder $50
Small Boulder $80
Medium Boulder $130
Large Boulder $150
Small Cover Rock $90
Medium Cover Rock $120
Large Cover Rock $150

 

Plants

Different types of plants will add a balance to your koi pond’s ecosystem. These little plants shade, root, and leave everything more or less will help your koi fish to survive easily. The required maintenance is also very low. It would be better to bury the root so that it doesn’t become the food of your fish.

The price of a water lilies plant is around $30-$40. Plants like Iris, Lotus, and Cattail usually have a price close to $8-$10, $40-$50, and $9-$12 consecutively.

Pond Heating System

A proper heating system will make sure your koi fishes will be enjoying a healthy ecosystem in the harsh winter. So let’s have a look at how much it adds to your total pond expenditure.

Pond Heater cost

Fish are cold-blooded. Although they might have a natural advantage to survive in freezing winter, you should not take a single bit of risk. If you add a de-icer, it’s usually enough for your koi pond.

If your koi pond is home to thousands of dollars worth of fish and plants,  you should install the best pond heaters available that deliver excellent performance. The cost of these heaters may vary from $50 up to $3500 depending on the size of the koi pond. Price varies depending on the depth, heating level, and heat coverage.

One drawback of a pond heater is that the electrical wire may get broken after one winter season sometimes. So, it’d be best to buy those ones from big brands as they come with a warranty, as well as good replacement policies.

Heaters are so similar that you will also see different companies are offering different prices for the same features. Try to buy the heater that is the best at its job.

Koi Pond Maintenance Cost

Depending on the size of your koi pond your maintenance cost may vary from $2500 up to $6000 yearly. As I have mentioned earlier, a bigger-sized pond will cost you more while a smaller one will require less.

After every major seasonal change, you need to do a detailed inspection of your koi pond maintenance. You can keep a budget of $500- $2500 for your summertime maintenance. For winter and fall, you can keep a budget cost like $500 and $1000.

All this cost will help your koi pond to maintain a healthy ecosystem for your koi fish.

Cost regarding beautification of a Koi Pond

It’d be a shame if you spent a few thousand dollars and your expensive pond still looks bland. A high investment must have eye-soothing aesthetics. Proper planning and budget for the beautification of the koi pond will simply add serenity to the backyard of your home.

After a hectic day, you might feel relieved and relax just by listening to the murmuring sound of flowing water from the fountain. An eye-catchy lighting system will also lighten up your mood on a sad evening. Here are some of the things you could add:

Pond Lights

If you want to enjoy a good evening, then you need bright light to see your koi fish. Lights can also be installed inside your koi pond. Different types of single and multi-colored LED lights are available in the market.

For outdoor lighting, your cost can rise from $2000-$6000.

Pond Bridge

If you have children then the pond bridge is an excellent feature. This add-on will simply help your child to enjoy the koi pond view from the middle of the pond. It will also make it easy to take care of and clean your pond.

A 7-10 footbridge may cost you around $600 to $1200.

Landscaping

This is one of the main parts of koi pond installation. Different people love different designs. A large part of the esthetic side of the koi pond is based upon landscaping design.

It would be best to tell the professional designers to provide some samples. Then you can go for your custom design. Landscaping a koi pond may cost you from a starting point of 500$-1000$ up to 10000$-15000$.

Waterfall

The waterfall of a koi pond is one of the most attractive sights, they also help aerate the pond. Adding a waterfall will cost a good amount of money. The cost might vary from one size and function to another. You should add a waterfall specifically on that area of your pond where the pond depth is highest.

A fountain pump starts from $25 up to 700$. But for mid and large-size koi ponds you can buy a $250-$400 pump with a range of 300-450 GPH. Overall a waterfall setup will cost you an average of $1500 to $2500.

Final words

After getting information about all the costs by this time you know that the price of a koi pond fully depends on many aspects. There is no fixed price.

Now it’s up to you to choose whether to do it by yourself or to hire professionals. Don’t expect a DIY project to be like a professional end product.

So, calculate how much does it cost to build a koi pond and take all the necessary steps according to your budget. Good luck!

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