The Koi Pond Canopy That Made Us Curious; Why Would A Pond Need A Canopy?
There are few things we haven't built (or even thought of) and a fish pond canopy was once one of them. Thanks to a creative customer with a need, we were able to discover a question that we thought we should answer, why would a pond need a canopy? You're probably curious at this point as well, so let's look at why you might need a pond cover, some fun-facts about fish, and how we helped create a canopy using some pipes and fittings.
The obvious first question: What is a pond cover?
A pond cover, pond net, or fish pond canopy is, in its simplest form, a structure erected over your pond for protection and/or maintenance purposes. It could be temporary or permanent and made of different materials like nets, tarps, awnings, canvas, wood, metal, or PVC.
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Why would a pond need a cover?
Imagine you have a fish pond in your backyard. If you have lots of wildlife roaming through, you may need to protect the fish, let's say they're koi, from any predators that would treat your koi as a tasty snack. Koi pond netting would protect your koi from becoming dinner for a freeloading bird or an opportunistic fox.
Or, maybe you have a tree or two by your pond. Leaves, limbs, nuts, fruit — anything in a tree has the potential to fall into the pond. If it's some leaves, you'll likely just have a bit of maintenance. If it's a limb or heavier object, you could end up with some dead koi and damaged plants. A fish pond net will help to make the maintenance minimal and the pond life unharmed.
Or, let's say there's no wildlife, trees, or fish to worry about. A pond cover, especially in the form of an awning or canvas, could provide some much-needed relief from the sun. Too much sun blaring down into your pond can encourage excess algae growth and turn your pond from a small pool of water to a gaseous swampland (alright, maybe not that extreme). In addition, if you do have fish in your pond or other aquatic creatures, too much sun can raise the temperature of the pond to an uninhabitable level for the little guys. Once water temperatures rise above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, you risk the life of the fish and other life within.
Ponds aren't the only spaces that could use some shade! Need a solution for a shaded deck or patio? Check out these creative designs or create your own.
Not-so-fun Fact: Fish like koi won't typically die from the heat of the pond water itself. Instead, they'll die from the lack of oxygen in the water due to the rising temperature. We won't get into the nitty-gritty, but colder water is able to hold more dissolved oxygen than warmer water. Fish life requires around 5-7 ppm (parts-per-million) of oxygen or 5-7 molecules of oxygen per million molecules. Anything lower than 3 ppm won't support aquatic life.
Actually-a-fun Fact: In the winter months, as temperatures drop, it's important to decrease the number of times you feed outdoor fish. As water temperatures decrease, fish require less nutrition to survive because their metabolism slows down as their bodies slow down. Eventually, they start to hibernate when water temperatures cool down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
When do you need a pond cover?
While pond covers are never mandatory, they can be very useful for specific scenarios. In regions that have harsher or changing weather conditions, lots of wildlife (especially of the carnivorous sort), or high volumes of falling leaves and brush, pond covers could be helpful in keeping your pond safe and maintenance-free. It's typically easier to rake up some leaves than to "fish" it out when it's wet and heavy! (Not-to-mention there could something dead in there — gross.) One special consideration: winter regions. If you're in an environment that gets cold and sees winter weather patterns, installing a winter pond cover (imagine a greenhouse) can keep your pond warm, winter elements out, and pond life growing. However, this isn't required because most aquatic life will hibernate in colder temperatures as mentioned above.
How do you make a pond cover?
Building a pond cover can be as easy or as complex as each designer desires. There are premade, buy off-the-shelf models and there are custom-engineered options to choose from. You could throw some metal stakes into the ground around the pond and toss a net over top for a rudimentary cover, build a light-weight PVC-based cover that's easy to remove, or make the cover a grandiose feature of your yard. While there are varieties of size and style ranging from low-rising pond covers to oversized pergolas, we helped to create a koi pond canopy made from a wooden foundation with a pipe-based top. Definitely on the "feature" end of the pond cover spectrum. In this scenario, our customer came to us with an already designed concept:
Our job was to build the pipe frame on top of the wood foundation by adapting our product to fittheirdesign. This meant using a specific set of Kee-Klamp fittings, just a few out of hundreds of options: The Fittings Used in this Design
Because of our variety of fittings and their versatile uses, we are able to match almost any design a customer sends us. Here's the finished product (just without the net on top):
All-in-all, this project took about a month to be delivered from the time of order. The powder-coating process takes a few weeks but provides the opportunity for any color of railing and fittings you could desire. In this case, matte black. However, that time can be cut down by getting the standard galvanized steel finish that looks great on its own. For all our environmental friends, the powder-coating and galvanized steel pose no risk to the water or land around it, and both are built to last decades, maybe even outlasting the pond itself!
Maintenance, protection, aesthetics, gaining some shade — there are many reasons a cover could do your pond well. Whatever reason is your motivation, it's always important that it looks good and lasts long. We can help you build your pond cover or anything else you might need. Check out some of the countless sun shade canopies we've helped create over the years! Maybe you'll be inspired for your next creation.