Uncle Bobs Tips

Koi Care- Because You Care

Koi Care- Because You Care

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Welcome to part two of koi pond exploration. (Part one discusses natural stone for koi ponds and construction.) When koi are properly cared for and fed, their colors and patterns will be radiant. The koi themselves will be responsive (often recognizing voices) and active. And isn't that what we want from our pets? That's why it's important to care for them properly, giving them a comfortable, clean and safe environment to live in. Below are some vital koi care equipment, as well as tips and ideas on how to keep your koi fish pond beautiful and safe.

Filter system: Filtration and aeration systems keep your pond clean, oxygenated, and flowing. It's important to keep your koi fish pond clean and flowing because dirt build ups can actually kill the fish, as does an insufficient amount of oxygen in the water. Factors to consider are size, type and material.

Beneficial bacteria: As strange as this sounds, these bacteria actually help you out. Beneficial bacteria break down toxins and waste products, allowing the filtration system to clear the debris from the water properly.

Bottom drains: are a must have. These simple ducts aid your filtration system far better than any skimmer can. Constructed at the bottom of the slope, the bottom drain (or filter aid, if you want to be more accurate) has a trench that leads to the settlement chamber, a lip that is covered and sealed with the liner and flange to prevent leakage. For more than 15000 l, you'll need additional drains. Don't make the piping system too long as heavier sediments tend to settle and cause blockage within the pipes. 110 MM piping is recommended. The 50 mm stuff just doesn't cut it. Use gate valves to control multiple bottom drains individually.

Settlement chambers: (Includes waste flush valve- I think we can all pretty much figure out this one) will require the use of stand pipes for each bottom drain to allow for flushing the chamber.

Fountains: come in many shapes and forms. From spouting pipes to magnificent waterfalls, there are tons of lovely options for this decor piece. Lights, colored and tinted, add even more ambiance and effect.

Skimmers: keep your pond clean and your fish visible. (tip: build your skimmer near the settlement chamber. This way you are skimming directly into the chamber where the muck can easily be contained and disposed of.)

Water return pipes: have two functions. One is to get the filtered water back into your pond. The other is to keep water moving evenly. Dead spots cause problems in that debris settles and deteriorates the conditions within the pond. Keep your water return valves away from your bottom drains or you risk having the same water filtered constantly while everything else just sits around. Locate them somewhere around four or five hundred mm below surface. You can even give your koi a good workout regime with properly positioned water returns. In prime season (summer/spring), koi will enjoy building muscles by swimming against the current created by the returns.

Air pumps: Pumping oxygen into your pond is vital for the koi's survival. Koi cannot live with insufficient oxygen levels.

Filtration systems: are particularly important when using natural stone for your koi pond because the stone itself is actually more susceptible to bacteria.

Last minutes

During the initial loading, don't add all your fish at once. The waste products produced might be too much for your filter system.

Koi fish like to live in waters 61-75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Stop offering fish food when temperatures fall below 50 degrees. At this time, your fish will be in hibernation mode.

Keeping live plants in your pond will help to keep the algae growth down. Remember that the quality of your water will determine not only the appearance and beauty of the pond but the health and well being of your fish.

Microbial products keep the nutrient levels reasonable. If nutrients are too abundant in your pond, algae will bloom rapidly and cause untold sorrow and hardships for you and your koi.

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