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Monday, July 30, 2007

Keep Heron Away From Pond

How do I keep Heron from eating my Koi? The Heron decoy did not work. Will I always have to use a net over my pond? -Peggi

The best way to keep a Heron out of your pond is to build it with steep walls. Herons like to wade through shallow water and they have a hard time getting into a pond with a steep pitch. Many people also have a dog in their yard to chase them away.

Can koi fish live in a salty water?

Koi are a freshwater fish. They can live with a small amount of salt in the water. The only time that they need salt is for parasite control or for a thicker slime coat (salt will irritate a Koi's skin, making it produce a thicker slime coat).

When do Koi start to breed?

How old do the Koi have to be before they spawn....or breed? We've had ours for a little over a month and we now have a minimum of 17 babies....we have three 5-6" koi and two 4" koi.... -Tonya

Koi start to breed when they are usually 2 years old and over a foot long.

I bought a lot of Japanese Koi for 1 year but they haven't born any babies. Why? How can I do to get fish babies? -Ei Ei Khine

Are you sure that they are old enough to even breed yet? Koi usually start breeding when they are at least 2 years old and over 1 foot long. The urge to spawn is usually triggered in the spring, with the rising temperature of the water. They also need a place to spawn, usually a thicket of plant material.

PH Level Dropping

Since the weather has turned cold here in Perth Australia over the last month my PH level has dropped continually down from 7 to around 5.5 - 5. I have adjusted it with Bi-Carb soda to bring it back up at a rate of about 1.5 Tsp per 1000 litres but then a week later it will have dropped again. All my other water levels are spot on. Can you tell me why this is happening as during the summer months it was OK. Is Bi-Carb soda the correct way to raise the levels? What can you suggest to maintain a steady level of PH? Thank you, look forward to your suggestions. -William

I would do a water change and I would do it regularly. All your Koi are doing right now when they are hibernating is breathing. They breath in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is acidic and will slowly eat away at carbonate levels in the water. As the carbonate levels go down, the water's ability to buffer acid also drops. That is why you pH keeps dropping. Doing a regular water change or adding Bi-Carb soda will keep the carbonate levels in your pond up.

I have algae floating in my pond. Is there anything I can do besides getting a UV Light? -Anthony

A UV light is usually used for taking care of the algae that turned the water green. In order for a UV light to kill algae, it needs to go through it. UV lights don't usually take care of floating algae. To get rid of the algae that floats in your pond, you can:
  • scoop it out by hand
  • do a large water change, on a regular basis
  • feed your fish less often (less food, less waste, less algae)
  • treat the pond with an algaecide or another algae killing chemical (not really good, algaecides can harm fish if not dosed right)

Do Koi mate with goldfish? Is it possible for my goldfish to spawn twice in two weeks? -Lynn

Koi will breed with goldfish. Usually the offspring look half goldfish/half Koi, with muddy colors. I'm not sure how often goldfish will breed, here's the wikipedia article on it:

Goldfish, like all cyprinids, lay eggs. They produce adhesive eggs that attach to aquatic vegetation. The eggs hatch within 48 to 72 hours, releasing fry large enough to be described as appearing like "an eyelash with two eyeballs". Within a week or so, the fry begin to look more like a goldfish in shape, although it can take as much as a year before they develop a mature goldfish color; until then they are a metallic brown like their wild ancestors. In their first weeks of existence, the fry grow remarkably fast - an adaptation born of the high risk of getting devoured by the adult goldfish (or other fish and insects) in their environment.

Goldfish can only grow to sexual maturity if given enough water and the right nutrition. However if kept well, they may breed indoors. Breeding usually happens after a significant change in temperature, often in spring. Eggs should then be separated into another tank, as the parents will likely eat any of their young that they happen upon. Dense plants such as Cabomba or Elodea or a spawning mop are used to catch the eggs.

Most goldfish can and will breed if left to themselves, particularly in pond settings. Males chase the females around, bumping and nudging them in order to prompt the females to release her eggs, which the males then fertilize. Due to the strange shapes of some extreme modern bred goldfish, certain types can no longer breed among themselves. In these cases, a method of artificial breeding is used called "hand stripping". This method keeps the breed going, but can be dangerous and harmful to the fish if not done correctly.

How can Koi be tamed to hand feeding? Is it just feeding at a particular time or are there attractant foods? -Arthut

Getting Koi to be hand tame takes time. First, get your Koi used to your presence. This can be achieved by first standing at the edge of your pond while you feed them. Then put your hand in the water and hold some food in it. Hold some food in you hand while it's in the water every day and eventually your Koi will get used to their food being in your hand. They will then eat from it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Koi and Other Fish

Can a freshwater shark and fighter fish co-exist and breed with carp fish in a large pond? How about adding turtles to the collection? -Adam

Carp and Koi are docile. That means they won't harm any fish. Those other types of fish, including the turtle, are aggressive. That means they will tear apart any other type of fish in the pond. They carp will be lucky if they last a day. I would not mix any of those fish together.

Freshwater Snails

Do freshwater snails filter the water and are they considered beneficial in Koi ponds?

Freshwater snails are good for two things:

  1. Eating Algea
  2. Reproducing
and reproducing and reproducing and more reproducing. Usually adding snails to a pond is a bad idea, they can overtake a pond, clog mechanical filters, and be tough to get rid of. A good filter system is the most beneficial thing for a Koi pond.

Koi In A Livestock Tank

A friend of mine was telling me that I could put Koi in our livestock tank to help keep it clean. I don't think this is right? What do you think? -Melissa

A Koi will keep it clean, until their waste builds up. They will eat any grass and bugs that get into the tank, but they will pollute it with their waste. You are better off just getting a filter for the tank. If you have Koi, they will need a filter, food, care, ect. It is much simpler to just put a filter on for the tank.

A friend would like to breed Koi carp, could he do it? -Barbara

Anybody can breed Koi. Although, not many people know how to cull, combine breeding pairs, ect. If your friend is serious about breeding Koi, tell him to get in contact with a local domestic breeder. He might be able to volunteer his time and learn how to successfully breed Koi.