Koi add a magical elegance to your surrounding and our Koi care tips will help you keep your Koi happy and healthy.
How many fish is too many? The rule of thumb for determining the appropriate fish population for a pond is to figure out your volume of water (LxWxDx7.5 - Gallons, or or round ponds: (Pi)xRadius2(inches)xDepth(inches)divided by 231 = Gallons). Then add up the total inches of fish ('guesstimate' if necessary). Golden Rule: One inch of fish per 10 gallons of pond water IF your filter is adequately sized for your pond volume. If you have too many finned friends, nothing will reduce the risk of illness until your population is reduced.
What do I do if I have too many finned friends? Either give them to a friend, or you can donate them to our display ponds at the nursery where they will be well cared for and you can visit them while enjoying our 5-acre oasis.
Cold weather transition - food
When fish emerge from a cold season and they will be eager to eat. Feed them sparingly a wheat-germ based, easily digestable, food to allow the bacteria in the filter enough time to mature and keep up with the fish waste. We recommend cheerios (hold the milk!) until the water temps reach 55. Once the water temps start rising, it is also a good idea to incorporate along with your wheat-germ pellets, a high-quality medicated food to help fight infection while their immune systems are trying to regain their full strength. It is always a good idea to keep medicated food on hand so you can help discourage any signs of possible illness when first recognized.
Cold weather transition - immune system
The transition from cold to warm weather is the most difficult time or the fish immune system to function optimally, leaving them highly susceptible to parasites and/or bacteria. To assist fish with their defenses, it is a good idea to salt your pond. The rule of thumb is 3 lbs of salt per 100 gallons of water. You will need a salt test kit to measure your salt levels to ensure you are somewhere between .03 and .06. Salt can be harmful to some water plants, so use with caution. If you plan to introduce salt toyour pond, consult us for additional tips prior to undertaking this preventative and highly effective measure. The use of medicated food, Dimilin for worms orlice, and Prazi for flukes, along with salting, can be highly successful against most parasites and infections during this difficult time.
Pond Clean Out (performed ideally when water is below 55 degrees)
1. Turn off the pump/filter/u.v.
2. Fill a holding tank withyour pond water to house your fish during clean-out. (Make sure the tank is rinsed of any possible contaminants, and cover to avoid fish jumping out. Us an air stone during this process to avoid stressing the fish.)
3. Drain the pond so you can catch your fish more easily in shallow water. make sure to keep the tank as close to the pond as possible to avoid unnecessary 'travel' time.
4. Once t epond is nearly drained, spray sides and rocks down with a pressure washer or high-pressure nozzle to remove sludge/debris on rocks and sides, while continuing to pump out dirty water. (This nutrient-filled water is great to pump into your surrounding landscaping.)
5. Clean (or replace, if necessary) the filter media.
6. Place new barlye material and Phos-X in filter for string algae prevention.
7. Trim and/or divide water palnts, if necessary. (This is also an ideal time to add fertilizer tablets into the pot soil.)
8. BEgin filling pond with fresh water and add a dechlorinator toprotect fish from possible chlorine/chloramine poisoning.
9. When water is covering submersed pump, turn back on pump, etc., and add beneficial bacteria (we suggest Microbel Lift for biological or bead filters) to begin circulation and seeding of filtration system.
10. Re-introduce fish to pond by first ading new pond water into the holding tank for approximately 20-30 minutes. Then carefully transfer each fish back into the pond.