Managing Koi Ponds

A koi pond shimmering surface adds a feeling of tranquility to your backyard, but what lies underneath is its true magic. Koi fish, that are brilliant carp that can achieve lengths of 4 feet or more, insert vibrant sparks of color and life to any garden. While koi pond management plans vary depending on factors like where you pond is and how large it is, many general upkeep tasks can help you keep your koi pond’s natural beauty and wellness for years to come.

Water Changes

Koi fish excrete a lot of waste material. Combine this with natural debris in aquatic vegetation, dirt runoff in the edge of the pond and natural matter falling into the pond, and the koi pond water can quickly become contaminated. Every four to six months, 10 to 15 percent of the koi pond water must get eliminated and replaced with new water. Simply topping off the pond with clean water since the existing water evaporates won’t work, as that does not remove actual water contaminants but only concentrates them.

Feeding Koi

Koi are voracious feeders with large appetites to sustain their rapid development. For the best results, use pond fish food tagged for koi and goldfish, since these foods contain pigments that enhance the fishes’ natural colors. In pond temperatures of 86 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, a koi fish will consume 2 percent of the body weight daily. This falls to 1 percent in temperatures ranging from 68 to 85 F, and 0.5 percent in waters ranging from 50 to 67 F. Unless you plan to weigh your koi fish, which isn’t practical, simple observations should be sufficient. The koi needs to have the ability to eat all of the food you put in the pond in 15 to 20 minutes. You’re feeding the fish too much in the event that you become aware of a lot of food floating around the pond, or if the fish take on a bloated, round appearance instead of their naturally slender look.

Test the pH

A koi pond may be alkaline or acidic. Koi grow best in water which measures anywhere from 6.5 to 9.0 on the pH scale, which you can measure having a pH test kit in a pond or garden store. Water having a low pH, called acidic water, may also be corrected. Add a tsp of baking soda for each 500 gallons of pond water, wait for 12 hours then retest the water. Repeat as necessary until the water pH is in the acceptable range for koi. Similarly, water having a high pH, called alkaline water, may also be corrected using white vinegar. Use 1/4 cup of vinegar for each 500 gallons of water, wait for 12 hours then retest the pond.

Monitor Hardness

Water hardness describes how much potassium and potassium is frozen in the water, and can be examined with a water hardness testing kit readily available in most pond stores. Koi thrive best in water which has a hardness score between 150 and 300 parts per thousand. Measurements out this range affect the way the fishes’ gills function. If a pond’s water evaluations outside this range, over-the-counter pond hardness kits made from lime powder can increase the pond’s hardness. Follow the kit’s tagged guidelines, as instructions vary depending on the sort of lime used as well as the size of this pond and its existing hardness score.

Maintain Shade

Color serves several purposes in a koi pond. It helps protect the fish in sunlight, moderates the water temperature and will help decrease ultraviolet penetration into the water, which in turn helps decrease the risk of algae blooms. For the best results, roughly 60 percent of the koi pond surface should be dealt with in floating pond plants, like waterlilies. Once a month, check the condition of your pond’s vegetation and remove or add river crops accordingly.

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