Portable Koi Fish Pond

Pond Water Doesn't Necessarily Need to Be Confined to Your Backyard Garden...You Can Carry it With You!

Setting up a koi pond is a labor-intensive process that also requires some major changes to your landscaping. If digging a pond on your property isn’t an option, you can still raise koi fish in a portable koi pond.

Who Can Benefit From Using a Portable Koi Pond?

Portable koi ponds are ideal for those who need a habitat that is easy to customize or that they can transport if needed. It’s a great way of getting started with keeping koi fish if you’re new to the hobby, but there are other interesting use cases to consider:

  • You can use a small portable pond to isolate fish you suspect are sick or have parasites.
  • If you participate in koi shows and other events, a portable pond is ideal for transporting fish.
  • You can quarantine newcomers before releasing them into your permanent pond.
  • You can isolate fish during the breeding season and provide them with a safe place for laying their eggs.
  • When not in use, your portable pond can double as a storage tank.

Pros and Cons of Portable Koi Ponds

If you’re new to fish farming, you might not be quite ready for a backyard pond yet. Here’s why you should consider a portable pond instead:

  • It’s a great budget option. A simple search for a koi fish pond leads to many affordable options. You can even repurpose an old tub, fish tank, or swimming pool.
  • Portable ponds are easy to set up for inexperienced owners. There is no need to worry about managing a permanent pond, growing cover for the fish pond, or keeping wildlife out of the pond.
  • The smaller size of the pond makes it easier to observe the fish and other aquatic animals.
  • Controlling the environment is easier since there is less water and fewer external factors to consider.
  • You can move the koi pond and even bring it indoors in the winter.

There are a few drawbacks to consider:

  • A permanent pond will add value to your property. There is a higher initial cost, but it’s an investment if you plan on selling your home in the future.
  • Ideally, koi fish should have at least one square foot of space for each one and a half-inch of body length. Koi fish owners typically prefer ponds that are at least three feet deep and that have 1,000 gallons of water or more. Portable ponds are smaller and you’ll have to limit the number of fishes you keep.
  • A smaller pond means that nitrogen levels can increase quickly if you don’t have a good filtration system in place.
Different Kinds of Koi Fish Swimming in a Green Portable Pond
Koi Swimming in a temporary tank

How to Set Up a Portable Koi Pond

You can raise healthy koi fish in a portable pond if you follow a few tips.

Choosing the Right Pond

You should consider how many fishes you want to keep and how much space you’ll need for them to be healthy and comfortable.

There are different options available for portable ponds. Look at things like the size, depth, and material. Can you easily assemble and disassemble the pond to transport it?

Some kits resemble above-ground swimming pools that you can fold and transport while others are sturdier. The best option depends on whether you want a temporary or semi-permanent setup.

Find the Right Spot for Your Pond

You need to set up your pond in a shaded area in your garden, or perhaps on your patio, to shield the fish from sun exposure and high temperatures. It’s especially important to protect your smaller pond from the sun since the water might not be deep enough to shield the fish from the sun.

Colorful Koi Fish in a Portable Koi Pond
A Group of Koi Fish Ready for Feeding in a Blue Potrable Pond

Think about using awnings, a canopy, or a pergola to add some shade if needed.

Keep Debris Out

A small pond means that waste and debris can accumulate quickly. You can keep debris out by adding a leaf net over your portable koi pond.

Pond Liner and Clay

The purpose of a pond liner is to stop the water from seeping into the ground and keep sediments out. A lot of koi fish owners use PVC or rubber liners, but you can also use clay as a natural liner.

With a portable pond, the material of the pond will double as a liner. However, you can add some clay to your setup if you’re building a semi-permanent pond.

Clay is naturally rich in minerals and can help absorb nitrates. It will also support growth and improve immune system health.

Pond Plants

You’ll need some aquatic plants if you’re setting up a semi-permanent pond. Plants play an important part since they create shade and cover for the fish. They also filter nitrogen and introduce oxygen into the water.

You’ll need a mix of submerged plants like waterweed, some floating plants like fairy fern, and some emergent plants like lotus plants.

Filtration and Water Quality

You’ll also need a good filtration system for your portable pond. You can use an artificial or biological system, with biological systems being more practical to implement for small ponds compared to larger setups. Perhaps even add a water feature, such as a fountain or a waterfall, for aesthetics as well as improved water flow.

A photo of a filtration system
Use a Filtration System like the one used for this permanent pond

It’s also important to monitor water quality and water temperature frequently due to the small volume you’re working with. You should measure the nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, and pH levels regularly to make sure there is a healthy nitrogen cycle in the pond.


A portable pond can be helpful in certain situations to supplement your main koi pond.

If you're looking for a portable pond, we have a koi products and suppliers directory that you can check out to find a portable pond that will meet your needs.

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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