Looking After Koi and Koi Types
When Koi are introduced to your pool, all other fish are outshone by their beauty. The range and variety of their colouring is amazing and they can easily become finger tame, and much more interesting as pets.
Koi are commonly known as Japanese coloured carp, and do best in pools where pumped running water can be provided, and this helps to avoid anchor worms – a parasite that can be troublesome. They are bottom feeding fish and can be fed on tubifex, daphnia, and pelletized goldfish food. Washed small earthworms will also be readily taken but should be fed sparingly. As with most pond fish, over-feeding and water pollution is the greatest single cause of fatalities. Once a day feeding whilst small, and once every two days for large fish is the norm. Feed only what can be seen to be consumed. Because of their bottom feeding habits, Koi should be kept in ornamental pools of concrete or fibreglass, preferably on their own.
Koi seem to thrive in most water temperatures and can withstand wide temperature variation, which actually assists breeding. Even in unplanted ponds, a bottom sludge eventually forms and this can be stirred up by Koi in their search for food, making observation difficult and dulling to some extent the exotic beauty of these fish. One way to assist in keeping the water clear is to install a sand and gravel filter. A simple filter can be made from a large box filled with sand and gravel, into the top of which pond water is pumped and allowed to drain through, before returning through an outlet in the base. Such a filter easily clears small suspended particles from the water, and gathers larger debris around the pump inlet, from which it can easily be removed.
The filter contents should be changed every 6 months to ensure continued efficiency. Very little has been written about the day to day maintenance of Koi, and for good reason, as they are easy to keep, providing pure water conditions can be maintained. Breeding is a different matter as they are not easily bred, and carefully recorded data about methods and results is still lacking. Koi can grow to a large size and are therefore expensive to keep and feed, besides being expensive to purchase initially. Their great beauty and the interest that they arouse, goes a long way to make this investment worthwhile.
Types of Koi