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Myth #1

I don’t need a waterfall. I plan on just circulating the water under the surface.

Fact #1

A very common mistake in building a pond is not introducing enough oxygen back into the water. Koi need oxygen to survive. A waterfall actually is a great source of oxygen that disrupts the water particles and introduces new oxygen into the water molecules as the water flows back into the pond.

Myth #2

I need a really big waterfall.

Fact #2

A very large natural rock waterfall may be appealing at first and can also be very expensive. Consider this though, you do not need a large waterfall to create that natural sound of water splashing and creating that natural stream that most desire to have in their backyard. In addition to having a large waterfall, this requires a lot of water to flow down it. Not only the pipe size to push enough water but also the pump size or having multiple pumps which will also add to your electricity cost.


For a well functioning Koi pond, a waterfall can serve many purposes. One main one is that it provides oxygen for the fish. Another great purpose is the looks and the sound that it can produce. Depending on the size of the pond you may even have more than one waterfall or sheer descent.

Best Practice

8’x10’ rectangle pond

  • Option #1 – a natural rock waterfall about 3’ high and with 2 or 3 water spillways.
  • Option #2 – 24” wide sheer descent about 8-12” above the water level.

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