Installing a Pond in Orange County? Here’s a few tips to consider before you break ground

You can always increase the aesthetic appeal and value of your landscape by installing a pond. However, installing a koi pond in Orange County (with fish and turtles) means that you may have to dedicate more time, effort, and money into your property landscape be it commercial or residential. For starters, depending on the water feature, if you decide to add aquatic plants, koi fish, turtles, and other natural elements, you’re going to want to install heavy filtration and pumps to make sure the water doesn’t turn murky and green.

The last thing any pond owner wants is their water feature to turn into a cesspool. Not only will the neighbors be unhappy due to the site and smell, any entertaining of any kind can also be forgotten about. Therefore we create this post to help educate any pond or waterfall owners before breaking ground


Here’s an example of a Turtle Pond we built

1. Koi Fish & Turtles can live a long time

More often than not, when you ask people which pets live the longest, you will undoubtedly get answers such as birds and tortoises. People rarely mention fish, especially koi fish. Most people consider fish to have a very small lifespan perhaps because they once a goldfish that did not survive for long when they were young.

However, koi are not your average type goldfish. Koi are carp, and these fish can live for between 5, 15, and even up to 125 years depending on the breed, size of pond and the care that they are offered. In Japan, some people tend to bequeath koi fish to the next generation since they tend to outlive their owners!

Pond vs Waterfall Suggestions

  • Do not install a koi pond unless you are ready to undertake the responsibility of caring for the fish for the next couple of years if not decades.
  • Consider installing a pondless waterfall or similar water feature.
  • Turtles can live just as long as koi fish, so expect the same result with a turtle pond
  • Good alternatives to a koi pond, is rock column fountains, fountain-bubblers, and other pondless systems.


empty pond with leak in liner

2. When installing any water feature, anticipate having to repair your pond in 5-10 years unless you build with cement

Over time items like equipment, UV-lights, filtration media, etc can end up with mineral build-up, and algae or other particulate such as landscape debris may cause the waterfall on your pond to clog. In order to ensure your koi pond operates at an optimal level, you will need to set some time aside to carry out regular repairs or use a third party service. All maintenance plans are different based on how the water feature was built and if it’s a natural water feature (similar to a koi or turtle pond) or sterile / chemically treated water feature (similar to a pool)

Similar to any home improvement addition, all water feature owners need to keep and eye out for repairs. Often leaks go undetected because of an auto-fill, yet the pond owner has no idea they are poisoning their aquatic animals constantly with city water. Filtration, pumps, liners, and more will need to be repaired every 5-10 years, most cement lined systems will need repairs every 15-20 years like a new reseal.

Let’s be honest – repairs are a common reality for any water feature, from a fish tank, to a pool or jacuzzi, let alone a koi pond with a natural ecosystem. Repairs are necessary in order for your fish and turtles to have a great environment for growth and also so that you can avoid an ugly water feature.

If you’re losing water, just a reminder that water is currently a precious commodity and if you are living in an area prone to shortages, you will need to carry out repairs to avoid wasting this precious commodity. Original content – Prior to installing a koi pond, ensure that you have a budget for carrying out any necessary repairs if needed.

Pond Repair Suggestions

  • Mark your water level and add a gauge to watch how often your auto-fill is running
  • Buy high quality equipment vs cookie-cutter all in one combo pump and filtration kits
  • Build it right the first time and you won’t need to do recurring maintenance as much


heron with koi fish in its mouth


3. Water features can attract predators to your residence or commercial property

It can be very frustrating if you have invested a lot of capital to build a pond only to find that your koi fish have been decimated by predators. Even worse, you’re a commercial property owner with apartments and have a rodent or mosquito population growing amongst your review-heavy tenants. People are critical of water, especially stagnant water, or really green and murky water. It says something about the property and when the water features are bad – all can be bad.

If you’ve recently installed a koi or turtle pond, your aquatic pets may attract predators such as cranes, gulls, pelicans, herons and even cats as they find koi fish to be particularly tasty.

In order to protect your pets, you can scare away predators using decoys such as wooden owls, fishing line, fence rollers, motion-activated water sprayers, or any other tactics you may come up with. Decoys can be very effective especially if they are not moved for a few days. To keep your koi fish safe, you can also install a net to cover your pond, but this should be a last resort as most want to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the water feature.

Ideally all water features should have a place for the fish and turtles to hide, we suggest you also add some rocks and plants in your pond to act as hiding place for your fish.

Pond Predator Suggestions

  • Motion activated water sprayers work well for herons and coyotes
  • Fence rollers will help keep raccoons and other fence-hoppers out of your yard
  • Fishing-line works great to keep the herons and other birds away, they can’t fly in easily, and hit their legs on the line if strung around your pond

As always we suggest either diving deeper into each topic before executing. This information is intended to give any future water feature owners a brief idea of what owning a pond, or waterfall can entail. While we don’t want to deter anyone (or we wouldnt have a job) we always like to educate as much as possible before people spend big money and end up slightly disappointed because they had to build a cover over their beautiful pond. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or would like a bid on maintaining, installing, or repairing your water features.

Why Orange County?

Orange County is our service area and we understand all the different environmental factors associated with living in this Southern California region. Not all regions are the same, some don’t posses the same aquatic pros and cons like that of other areas. For example, many of our OC residents suffer from predatory bird issues specifically from the Herons, but this issue is not common in all states – especially those without migratory birds or predators. A local farm can experience different pros and cons vs that of a suburban home with a koi pond. Although we do manage and build most ponds the same way, we do take into considerations where we are building and what factors will play into our services.

529 W Blueridge Ave #F110 Orange, CA 92865
(714) 613-0123
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