How to care for Koi

How to Maintain your Koi Pond

Once you have a koi pond in operation it is necessary for you to perform routine maintenance tasks on a regular basis. Daily, weekly, monthly and at times during spring and winter the pond will need to be maintained to ensure its beauty and quality is continued while providing a safe and healthy environment for your koi. If ever the routine tasks are ignored then eventually this can lead to the malfunction of equipment, clogging of the filters and in the worst case, the complete draining of the water via tears in the pond liner.

While you are maintaining the pond you should also keep an eye on the koi themselves to ensure they are not developing any serious disease problems. The best time to be able to examine to koi closely is during feeding time.

The preparations you will need to take in the winter season will vary according to your geographical region. In cold climates the preparations will include removing all the organic materials and leaves from the pond. If you have any tropical plants decorating the pond then they will need to be removed and stored indoors. In most areas the koi can be left in the pond throughout the winter months, however, where winters are more severe the koi will need to be moved inside until the season is over and the weather picks up. This will require you to set up a temporary holding facility in a garage or a basement.

A serious problem that can occur in cold climates is the reduced oxygen concentration during the winter months, which can make difficult conditions for koi to survive in. It could become essential that you maintain some gas exchange while preventing the pond from freezing. There are a few different courses of action you could take to prevent the pond from freezing such as covering the pond with plastic sheeting, hay or another material.

However, if you live in an area with severe winter conditions, covering the pond will not be adequate. The best choice you have in these conditions is to install a small pool heater, be aware that the running costs could be high, as it will need to be on all through winter. Enquire about small thermostatically controlled de-icing heaters that float on top and cover a small area of the pond, the running costs of these will be similar to that of a heater as it will need to be constantly running. Always speak with your local garden centre, pet store or koi breeder for their recommendations on winterising your pond in your geographical location.

In locations where the temperature does not get too cold then very little needs to be done. As mentioned above you will need to remove any debris and leaves from the pond. During the winter months the koi will go into hibernation as the temperature of the water drops, the frequency of feeding along with the amount of food given will need to be reduced. As the temperature drops koi will tend to remain in the deeper areas of the pond.

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