Adding koi to ponds is popular across all cultures. They are playful and ideal for most backyard water gardens. Many people report that the addition of these creatures aid in stress relief and relaxation. As part of feng shui, the concept of bringing harmony into one’s surroundings, it will extend the feeling from inside to outdoors. Koi are very low-maintenance fish that are brightly colored and patterned. They are known for swimming upstream, no matter the conditions and inspire others to survive through trials.
There are some interesting ideas about the pond. The walls should be straight up and down to deter predators. Some prefer to treat the area like a water feature with aquatic plants but others prefer it unobstructed from rocks or gravel. In either event, there is agreement that the koi pond will increase the property’s value.
There are some basics that you should be aware of before embarking on a koi keeping adventure.
- It is necessary to have a good filtration system in place.
- Recirculation systems will give the fish the necessary oxygen levels as well as any plants you choose to include.
- Rocks and gravel will help the pond liner from degradation from UV light as well as increase the surface area for beneficial bacteria to breakdown the nutrients in the water.
- Using fish in the pond will reduce the maintenance since they feed from the bottom of the water feature.
There are some maintenance issues you should consider:
- Water should be kept clean. You can tell it needs some work if there is an odor or it looks murky. It can be green from algae or brown from tannins. The algae is most prominent in the spring but the plants should extract nutrients from the water and starve the algae out. You can also add shade to the pond surface with floating plants like waterlilies or water hyacinth.
The koi will also consume some of the algae but if it becomes overwhelming, you may need to add some water treatments.
Included in the filtration system should be a mechanical skimmer to remove leaves, twigs, or other debris. The skimmer contains the pump to circulate the water and a biological filter is opposite that can create a waterfall effect. The filter also breaks down waste material and converts them into compounds that will help the plants.
- Maintaining a healthy pond also means population control. Too many fish will result in over-crowding and excess waste, which will foster water quality. The general rule is 10 gallons of water for every inch of fish length.
- Although most of their food will come from algae and insects, you may want to supplement the fishes’ diet with quality fish food. Look for something that contains high-quality protein, stabilized multivitamins, and probiotics. Only feed what they can consume in less than five minutes. Spring and fall you only need to feed once per day, in the summer twice a day, and after the pond temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, not at all.