Koi are very colourful and gracious creatures which make a great addition to your pond. It is incredibly relaxing to watch these beautiful fish swim through the water. Koi usually live for an average of 25 years, however it has been documented that some koi live to twice this age. In order for your koi to live a happy and healthy life they need the right environment and the right nutrition. Choosing koi carp however, can be a very challenging and time consuming exercise as they vary greatly in price due to country of origin and specific colourations. It is a good idea to do some research on the Internet to find more about different breeds.
It is also very important to remember that koi need lots of room to live so you must ensure that your pond is the right size. As a rule of thumb, a minimum of 1, 000 gallons and 20 inches deep is recommended. If your pond is currently empty of fish, always make sure that your filter and pump have been running for a while as to ensure beneficial bacteria have had the time to establish themselves. These healthy bacteria are important for maintaining the right chemical balance in a fish pond.
It is always a good idea to view koi carp before you buy them. Koi should look healthy with clear eyes and healthy fins. Usually, smaller, younger koi are considerably less expensive than larger varieties. It is usually a good idea to make sure you don’t buy too many koi in one go. This is due to the fact that if too many koi are added, the bacteria in your pond will not be able to handle all the fish waste. This could lead to health problems in your koi.
With regards to feeding koi, there are a few simple rules to follow. Firstly, in the Winter a koi carp’s metabolism considerably slows down and they become a lot less active, which reduces their need for food. When the temperature falls below 4°C you should not feed your fish at all. During the winter, when the temperature is between 4°C and 10°C, a good quality wheatgerm food should be used. When Spring arrives and the temperature is between 10°C and 18°C, a good quality staple food should be used which contains moderate levels of protein along with essential vitamins and minerals. When finally Summer arrives, koi carp become significantly more active and their appetites increase substantially. During this period, a good quality growth food should be used. These products contain high levels of protein along with all the vitamins and other trace elements needed for your koi to thrive.