Koi Pond Swimming Pool | Swim with Your Koi?

Become Familiar With the Pros and Cons of Swimming in a Garden Pond With Koi Fish

A Koi Swimming Pool in the Backyard filled with Different Varieties of Koi
A Pond Loaded with Koi Fish in Your Backyard will add to the Beauty of your Garden

Imagine creating a Koi pond that you can swim in. You would be able to step into a pool and share it with beautiful Japanese Koi fish.

Then again, maybe you are a little disgusted by the idea of swimming along and running into some Koi waste. Or, perhaps the idea of swimming in an enclosed space with fish sounds unappealing.

Let’s examine the pros and cons of creating a Koi pond swimming pool.

A Swimming Pool Photo
A Photo of a Swimming Pool in a Backyard

Pro #1: Interacting With Water Features and Pretty Fish

You do not often get fancy water features in a regular swimming pool (unless you have a grotto), and you especially do not get to share that space with pretty fish. 

Children might enjoy the chance to step into a natural swimming pool pond and swim or snorkel alongside some fish. There is even something kind of magical and nostalgic about swimming in your backyard pond.

Koi pond swimming pools also function all year round, meaning you do not have to cover or empty them when winter comes. They are not naturally heated, so we do not suggest treating them like a hot tub.

A Photo of Kids Looking at Fish in a Koi Pond
Children Enjoying Watching the Koi Fish Swimming in a Pool Pond

Pro #2: Low Maintenance and Environmentally Friendly

Regular swimming pools require frequent emptying, filtering, and cleaning, while swim ponds do not require vigorous maintenance. You will not have to empty them as often, so you'll use less water in the long haul. 

You also will not have to cover it (some swimming ponds can get pretty big), and you will not have to empty it for the winter. Still, you should cover the surface so gravel or debris does not have a chance to settle on the bottom of the pond.

Feeding a Variety of Koi with Different Colors and Markings
To Maintain Happy and Healthy Koi, Keep your Swimming Pool Environment Friendly

If you do not like the smell of chlorine on your skin after swimming, a Koi pond swimming pool might be worth a try. You will not have to wash off the smell of chlorine, though it might be a good idea to rinse off any bacteria when you get out.

Keeping plants in and around the pond provides some natural filtration, and you will not need to add any chemicals to the water. Installing a small pump or waterfall somewhere in the pond can help keep the water moving and prevent algae growth. You can consider adding plants like peach grass, water lilies, or flag irises.

That is not to say you should never clean your pond. You can call a professional cleaning service every one to three years to ensure it runs well. 

Pro #3: You'll Attract Natural Wildlife

Any natural pond with natural water will attract some semblance of wildlife. Dragonflies or birds, for example, not only help the pond look prettier, but they will also help control pests around the water. Frogs or turtles might even hang around on the edges.

A Kid Overlooking a Koi Pond Swimming Pool with a lot of Different Colored Koi
Koi Pond Swimming Pool Helps Reconnect with Nature

In some ways, a Koi pond swimming pool allows you to reconnect with nature. You can enjoy natural plants and animals and bring a little bit of natural beauty to your backyard.

Pro #4: Natural and Pretty Filtration Systems

Many Koi pond swimming pools have a "one-pot" design, which is a single body of water that includes a swimming area and a regeneration area. The regeneration area, which can sit around the pool, on one side, or over half the pool area, acts as a wetland filter for the pond water.

The plants grown in the regeneration zone are developed over a filter substrate, which works together to purify the water. Such a filtration system consequently destroys many forms of bacteria and anything that can produce algae.

A Kid Watching the Koi Swimming in a Pond
Make Sure to Have a Swimming Area and a Regeneration Area

You might choose to keep the regeneration area separate from the pool, connecting the two only through plumbing and robust pumps. 

Either way, you situate the regeneration area. It acts as a natural-looking and simple filtration system for your water without needing copious amounts of chlorine. 

Con #1: You Might Expose Yourself to Dangerous Bacteria

However magical the idea of swimming in a natural pond is, we have to remember something important. People chemically treat swimming pools so the water is safe for humans, wiping out any dangerous bacteria in the water. 

There are several documented cases of people swimming in untreated water with dangerous bacteria that almost cost them their lives. 

A Child Playing with Different Koi
A Photo of a Child Happily Playing with the Koi in a Swimming Pool

One girl named Aimee Copeland, for example, cut herself on some rocks, and a flesh-eating disease began destroying her skin, requiring that a majority of her limbs required amputation. Had doctors not acted quickly, she could have died.

Keep in mind that this happened because the bacteria entered Aimee's body through the cut. Plus, people swim in untreated natural water all the time. Still, it is essential to be aware of where you're swimming and to take care to wash yourself down after swimming in the water.

Con #2: Risk of Electrical Shock

Many Koi pond swimming pools come safely equipped so the fish and humans can enjoy them. However, this equipment is primarily electrical, posing the risk of fish or humans getting electrocuted. 

A Photo of a Woman Sitting Beside a Koi Pond Swimming Pool
A Woman Enjoying the Well-equipped Pond Swimming Pool

Things like lights, basins, and pumps need the proper grounding and bonding to be safe around water. The problem is that equipment for swimming pools and swim ponds is not rated the same because pond equipment is not made for human contact.

Con #3: Stressing Out Your Koi 

Do not touch your Koi fish or interfere with their habitat while swimming. You should only handle your Koi with a bucket or net when moving them. If your kids are swimming in your pool, make sure they know that Koi are living animals that deserve space. 


The idea of a Koi pond swimming pool is beautiful and magical, but some hard truths come along with maintaining one.

If you are going to swim in a Koi pond swimming pool, you will need to be careful not to cut yourself if there are any bacteria in the water. You will need to really do your research and sit down with an actual swimming pond developer, so you cover your safety bases. 

Maintain a Beautiful Koi Pond Swimming Pool

You might also sit down with a swimming pool developer, though you should ask if they have experience with swimming ponds, specifically. Some teams might not know the difference between the two. 

As long as you have done your research, you should be clear to make one of your own. Remarking on the beauty of a natural pond is well worth all the work put into one.

Frank Salvatore

In 2015 our family moved into a house south of Denver, Colorado with a  koi pond.  Since that time I've learned to really enjoy the koi fish and the pond. This blog is dedicated to providing helpful hints and information for koi pond hobbyists - as well as those of you who just inherited a koi pond and are thinking NOW WHAT?

About Me

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. In 2015 our family moved into a house south of Denver, Colorado that had a Koi pond. The problem was I knew absolutely NOTHING about koi ponds.

This blog is dedicated to providing helpful hints and information for koi pond hobbyists - as well as those of you who just inherited a koi pond and are thinking NOW WHAT?
Learn More About Me

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