Self-Sustaining Live Wall and Koi Pond – Mankato Minnesota

An Immersive Natural Experience.

We wanted to create a fully immersive environment where one could be in a wam tropical environment in Minnesota Year round. Listening to the sounds of falling water, feeling the breeze of a nice afternoon and the warmth of the “sun”, seeing all of the plants and fish, while smelling the fresh smell of chlorophyll and clean air.


Office Space Design – Mankato, Minnesota

Bringing the outside in

The client wanted to add life to their space on a big scale while also being ecologically conscious.  So we made an entire closed loop where the plants live in a clay media that supports bacteria and microfauna to act as a filter for the water.  The fish in the system provide nutrient breakdown and a source of ammonia for nitrification to provide food for the plants. So the fish feed the plants and the plants clean the water for the fish.  

Aquascape / Environment

The entire project was designed with the number one priority being the quality of the overall ecology. These plants and fish were specifically chosen for their specific role and environment in this project. With 141 plants in this wall and 9 koi. There should be plenty of room for everyone to grow and thrive.

System Function

The 14 foot long pond is approximately 500 gallons. With a small pump and mechanical filter to supply water to the waterfall and a secondary pump programmed to run to the plant wall for 30 minutes five times per day we are using under 60 watts of power to move all this water. The HID lighting provides the most complete lighting for growth and then needs only a 4 foot additional LED supplement to cover the whole project.


The Koi fish and plants are thriving well at the one year mark and only showing signs of continued success. There are no water quality issues since food is the only input and the plants remove any additional Ammonia or Nitrogen. The project is completely maintenance free for the client with all components being automated and evaporation being compensated for by a Reverse Osmosis system with an auto top off float valve. All they have to do is hand feed their fish and enjoy the environment.

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