So, you?ve finished building a koi pond, waited for things to settle down, planted your plants, added your fish, and now it?s time to relax, right? Wrong! While koi carp are not necessarily among the most time consuming of pets to keep, nevertheless, they do require regular care and attention to keep them healthy, over and above simply feeding your fish!
Read on to learn some tips and trips from the experts about koi pond maintenance…
Maintaining the quality of the water within your koi pond is vital to support the health of your fish, and will form the basis of how you care for your pond. Invest in a good quality water testing kit that will allow you to monitor the quality of the water, and if any trace elements are out of balance.
Also, treat any tap water that you use to top up your koi pond with a fish-safe dechlorinator before adding it to your pond.
Your pond will rely on the presence of good bacteria within the water to help to break down waste and keep the water quality in good condition, and your fish healthy. Take pains not to remove all of this bacteria from your pond – clean biological filtration carefully to avoid destroying the colonies of bacteria that will be helping to keep your pond healthy.
Cleaning the pond
Your koi pond is an ecosystem all of its own, and when in balance and well established, should require minimal maintenance in order to stay healthy and running smoothly. However, you will need to spend some time cleaning and maintaining your pond, in order to keep it looking good and support the health of your koi.
On a weekly basis if your pond is manually filled, change out 10% of the water within the pond for fresh water (treat before adding to your pond if using tap water.) If your pond is very full or it has rained a lot, this may not be necessary every week.
Remove leaves and any other surface debris from the top of the pond with a skimmer, in order to ensure that the pond receives enough oxygen and that you can see your fish! Also, trim and maintain any plants within the pond to avoid blocking the light.
Clean the sides of the pond, and any rocks and other ornaments as necessary, in order to remove algae, dirt and debris. Ensure that when you do this, the runoff of any dirty water from cleaning does not flow back into your pond!
Provide shade over at least 50% of your pond. This gives your koi the opportunity to choose bright or dark areas and keeps algae blooms to a minimum. If your pond water is pea green or all of the solid fixtures within the pond are covered in hair algae, the chances are that the pond is receiving too much light, something you will need to correct.
Check your filtration systems regularly to ensure that they are keeping up with the demands placed upon them, and not struggling to cope with the amount of waste generated.
Protect the delicate ecosystem of your pond by ensuring that your pond is not overcrowded, that your fish have room to grow, and that you do not overfeed.