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Adding Koi To Your Pond

Koi are a wonderful addition to your backyard pond. It is relaxing to watch these graceful fish gliding slowly through the water. To live a a long and healthy life, koi need just as much care as any other pet. Koi live an average of 25-35 years, although some have lived much longer. If you want to provide the proper care and environment for your fish, you need to do some research.

Make sure you do your research before you go to buy your koi. Read through books on koi care, browse the internet, and consult with koi experts.

Before you buy your fish, your pond needs to be properly prepared. It has to be big enough for the koi to swim around. A minimum of 1000 gallons, and 18 inches deep is recommended. The koi also need a quiet corner that they can retreat to. It is also advisable to have a number of hiding places for the fish so that they can avoid predators, such as racoons, or your neighbor's cat. The pH of the water should be between 7.5 and 8.5. Make sure that the filter has been running for a while, and that the beneficial bacteria in the pond have had a chance to establish themselves. These bacteria are important for maintaining the chemical balance of your pond once you add the fish.

It is always best to shop for your koi at a specialty store. Be sure too look for healthy fish with clear eyes, no missing scales and erect fins. Many variables affect the price of the fish, including size, pattern, shape, and availability.T Younger fish are usually a lot less expensive than the older and larger fish. Younger fish, about 3-4 inches long will probably cost less than 10 dollars. Older fish, 22-24 inches long can range from $1,200 and up, occasionally ranging up to $10,000. Butterfly koi are more expensive than regular koi due to their long flowing fins.

Be sure to add fish to your pond gradually. If you put in too many, the bacteria won't be able to handle all of the fish waste, and the chemical balance of the pond will be thrown off. Start with just one or two fish, and then after a week or two, go ahead and start adding a few more. Because of their metabolism is slower in the winter, it is best to buy the fish in cooler weather if possible. Koi do just fine in cold water, but you should avoid rapidly fluctuating temperatures. Even though koi are a warm water fish who prefer water temperatures of around 78 - 80 degrees F., they are capable of surviving in freezing cold temperatures and water over 86 degrees F. Deeper ponds are also preferable, so the water underneath the ice would not freeze. If you live in an area where the pond will freeze over, be sure to use a floating heater to keep a hole in the ice.

When the weather changes for the warmer, their metabolisms will speed up. Feeding of koi is quite easy by just feeding them koi pellets which are found online or at a pet store. Make sure to feed them twice a day. With some training, it is even possible to teach koi to eat out of your hand. When the weather and the water temperature start to cool off, you want to gradually reduce the amount of food that you feed the koi. When the water temperature drops to 50 degrees, then you should stop feeding them altogether until spring, when the water warms up again.

Koi will add a brilliant splash of color to your pond. And properly cared for, they will be in your pond for a long time, and provide years of enjoyment.

Submitted by:

Tim Sousa

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