When keeping koi fish, you obviously want to provide them with the best possible quality of care.
This means buying good foods, providing a safe space, and overall ensuring all of their needs are met like you do with any other pet you may have.
No one wants to see their fish unhappy or struggling so the effort is always welcome to help ensure everything is going smoothly.
Let’s take a look at some tips and tricks to help you understand how to keep koi fish healthy and ensure your koi keeping experience is a positive and fruitful one!
Filtration Is Important To Keep Koi Healthy
Filtration is perhaps one of the most important aspects of care that goes towards keeping your koi safe and happy.
Fish are generally fairly high waste animals, especially koi fish. Koi eat a lot and, in turn, need to pass waste very often.
This means that filtration is needed to ensure the water does not begin to build up toxic chemicals from the waste that could potentially destroy the beneficial bacteria colonies of the pond or otherwise cause an event that could harm your koi fish.
Choose a filter that is appropriate for the number of gallons your pond holds and check customer reviews and specifics to ensure it is a good fit.
Since koi are high waste and get large, most tanks are not suitable for them, even with filtration, unless you manage to have a custom-built model created or use it for just quarantine purposes.
Due to this, you should really consider opting for a pond-style enclosure with adequate filtration to support healthy, happy fish.
Avoiding Stagnant Water In Your Koi Pond
Koi require a lot of oxygen.
When water sits and becomes stagnant, it can become difficult for your fish to easily acquire a good amount of oxygen, which results in them becoming stressed and potentially developing illnesses or dying.
To prevent this, try to add something that will help create a slight current or movement within the water.
To do this, there are two popular methods.
The first is to simply add an aeration product.
These are mechanical devices that create movement in the water and increase the oxygen content.
Alternatively, you could opt to just add a more aesthetically pleasing waterfall to your pond or other similar water feature to handle the lack of aeration, as well.
Provide Your Koi a Healthy Diet
Your koi fish is hardy but still has some specific needs.
Historically, there has been sort of a joke among fish keepers that refers to koi as garbage disposals since they will eat just about anything they can.
These creatures have huge appetites and grow fast so if it lands in the water and can fit in their mouths, they’ll probably try to have it for dinner if they can.
This idea has lead to an unfortunate misconception that koi fish should actually be fed just about anything, including things like human food scraps and even cat or dog food.
While koi will eat these foods, they are not good for them.
They cannot digest carbohydrates and should have less than ten percent carbs within their regular diet since more can lead to digestive health issues, obesity, and fatty tumor development, among other issues.
Try to shoot for a very high protein, moderate fat diet.
The proteins should come from a wide range of sources to help the koi be exposed to the amino acids they need to form healthy skin, bones, scales, and other body tissues.
Additionally, an adequate amount of fats will give them enough energy to move about easily and grow while providing a means for fat-soluble nutrients to be absorbed.
Supplementing with extra vitamins and minerals can also be beneficial, especially vitamin C, which supports immune health.
If you are going to feed your koi human foods as treats, opt for healthy fruits, low-fat meats, dry cereals, and other basic foods that are not seasoned or flavored.
Greens are also a good option since they pack a serious nutrient punch!
Try to stay away from processed foods, meat fats, dairy, or lots of carbohydrates, including beans and peas.
White bread is especially dangerous since it actually contains a type of bleach in small amounts so if you are going to give bread as a treat, opt for a natural grain product.
Proper Stocking and Quarantine
It is very important that you do not overstock your pond.
This can be easy to do because you assume your large space can hold more fish than a tank, which it can, but must be stocked to accommodate for the koi’s eventual adult size.
Most shops sell young koi which can cause you to buy too many upfront, resulting in too many fish in the pond and an overcrowding situation once they mature.
If this happens, the koi can easily spread diseases, parasites, and become stressed, among other issues like waste overexposure.
Additionally, you should properly quarantine your fish when they first arrive.
Even if you buy a koi straight from a reputable breeder, you should still quarantine them for some time to ensure they do not have any illnesses or bacteria that could harm your stock.
Allow them time to adjust to the conditions of your own pond and living area without the added stress of meeting an entirely new population of koi fish.
It is a necessary step that allows adjustment and time for all koi involved to become comfortable and safe in the environment.
Monitor Your Koi Pond To Ensure Good Health
Keep an eye on your pond.
This is one of the best things you can do to help ensure your fish are safe and healthy.
Pay attention to how much your fish eat and if each koi is getting enough food.
Try and watch out for signs of illness so you can catch any issues early, especially parasitic ones that can spread quickly.
Understanding your koi, the water measurements of your fish’s pond, and their habits can help you comfortably diagnose issues and treat them effectively and efficiently with minimal strain on your koi population.