Once considered a feature for the elite, the popularity of indoor ponds has skyrocketed in homes and businesses in recent years. In fact, many indoor ponds can be less expensive and easier to maintain than their outdoor counterparts.
An indoor koi pond can be a beautiful addition to any home or workplace. Offering a tranquil treat for onlookers, indoor ponds have many potential benefits. However, an indoor pond involves a serious commitment that requires careful design and diligent maintenance for your koi to thrive.
Benefits of Indoor Ponds
An indoor koi pond combines the best features of an aquarium and an outdoor garden pond. There are many benefits of choosing an indoor pond, both for your family or workplace and your fish.
Indoor koi ponds come with a variety of emotional and physical health benefits. A 2019 study by the American Association for the Advancement of Science found that regular exposure to water features increases psychological well-being and reduces risk factors for mental illness. Other research suggests that indoor ponds reduce blood pressure and that people who visit blue spaces frequently report better overall well-being than those who don’t.
One reason for this is the calming effect of both the sight and sound of moving water, as well as the beautiful fish gliding through it. At the office, water features may reduce stress levels, and increase morale and productivity. The sound of moving water also offers a gentle white noise that can help block distractors and increase productivity. Coming home from a stressful job to the relaxing presence of a koi pond also can help you unwind from a busy day. It also is appealing for your guests.
Koi are hardy fish that can thrive in a range of climates and temperatures. However, in areas where the temperatures can become extreme, an indoor pond will keep you from worrying about how your koi will handle the weather, or whether you will need to move them inside for part of the year. An indoor pond allows the opportunity for anyone to be a koi owner, no matter where they live. Additionally, an indoor pond does not require the same type of winter preparation that an outdoor pond does.
Even if you’ve done everything in your power to make your outdoor pond as safe as possible for your koi, there will always be that nagging knowledge that something could go wrong. Koi appear as tasty snacks to many outdoor critters, and the pond can suffer damage from debris and other pollutants. Indoor ponds also protect the koi from the effects of excessive sunlight or precipitation.
The impact of an indoor pond on your home’s resale value largely depends on the preferences of the prospective buyer. Therefore, if you decide on an indoor koi pond it is better to make that decision for your own personal enjoyment. However, with pond construction comes a number of opportunities for you to create a work of art. Different lighting elements and unique features like underwater rock shelves are ways you can customize an indoor koi pond to suit your design aesthetic. You can also customize the exterior by choosing from materials such as wood, cement, or stone to complement your design.
An indoor pond offers the opportunity for you to get close to your koi frequently. This means you are more likely to notice any illness or injury that is afflicting one or more of your fish. Often early detection is the key to successful treatment, which can be another great benefit to having your koi indoors and close by.
Considerations for Indoor Ponds
If the idea of creating an indoor aquatic wonderland has you intrigued, you will want to consider some of the unique restrictions and requirements for indoor ponds that will differ from ponds outdoors.
Many indoor pond owners enjoy the humidity their ponds provide, especially in dry climates or dry atmospheres created by heating and air conditioning systems. If you don’t desire increased humidity, you will need to use a dehumidifier or ceiling fan to disperse the extra moisture and heat.
Location And Space
Though this will vary depending on the size of your home, most people will not have room for as many koi and other aquatic life indoors as they would in an outdoor pond. It is important not to overcrowd your pond as this can stress the koi, lead to illnesses, and make water maintenance difficult.
There are limits to where in your home a koi pond can exist safely. Water is heavy, at about 8.4 pounds per gallon, with the size of an average indoor pond being about 300 gallons. This means that without factoring in other support structures needed to hold the pond, it already will place more than 2,500 pounds of pressure in a relatively small space.
The ground floor or basement of your home probably is the safest place for your indoor pond. It also will need to be close to a load-bearing structure, such as a wall or column, and will need to have proximity to available water and drainage. Eighteen inches is the standard water depth that most floors in the United States can handle.
When selecting the location for your pond, it is important to avoid proximity to shelves, lamps, electric outlets, light switches, and other appliances. Also, make sure there is at least a six-inch gap between the top of the water and the surface of your pond so that the fish are not able to jump out.
Your pond will contain a significant amount of water, some of which will require regular changes. Water testing is an important part of every koi owner’s life, but it is even more crucial for owners of indoor ponds. A pH imbalance, or the presence of ammonia or nitrites in the water, can quickly become fatal for your indoor koi.
A high-quality filtration system also will be necessary to keep the koi safe. Filters (biological and mechanical) and aeration apparatuses are a must when constructing an indoor pond. The good news is that many configurations and options exist that can meet your needs and budget.
It is difficult for indoor ponds to receive enough natural lighting to grow healthy algae and plants that prevent the buildup of harmful chemicals. Many koi owners who build indoor ponds install special windows, skylights, or other means of allowing natural light into the home. If this is not possible, consider incandescent lighting with UVA and UVB bulbs. This will also help pond plants to grow.
Though unlikely if your pond is well-constructed, the potential always exists for an indoor pond to leak. This can cause significant damage to your house or office, so a precautionary part of owning an indoor pond should be regular checks for leaks. Catching any problem early can make a big difference, as water damage can be quite costly to repair. Monitor the perimeter of the pond for pooling water or any other moisture.
Children And Pets
An indoor pond generally will be shallow enough that it won’t pose significant dangers for your children or other pets. However, you might need to worry about the dangers that children or pets could pose to the fish. You will need a plan for ensuring that no family resident gets inside of the pond and inadvertently harms any of the koi.
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