Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wintering Koi

I have a small back yard pond, over the summer my friend gave me some pond lettuce and to my surprise there were 4 baby Koi entangled in the roots which I did not even notice until about 2 months later!!! The fish have survived wonderfully with no feeding or attention. Now, that winter is approaching I would like to keep my fish in the pond through the winter. What should I do? Last year my pond froze solid, is it even worth the try? -Lisa

There are two requirements that need to be met in order for your Koi to survive the winter, how you achieve them is up to you:
  1. A hole in the ice, so that fresh Oxygen can get into the water and Carbon Dioxide can escape.
  2. Make sure that the bottom 2/3rds of your pond stays un-frozen so your Koi have some water to live in.
Most people keep a hole in the ice with a 1,500-Watt Floating Pond De-Icer/Heater, this nifty little piece of technology will maintain a hole in the ice. When you compare this to a heater that heats the entire pond, its pretty cheap to run.

Another way to keep a hole in the ice it to agitate the surface of the water, with a good amount of aeration or with a strong aquarium power head. If you live in a region that is farther north, then I would not use this method because water can freeze solid easily when its -20 degrees Fahrenheit.

The two worst things that can happen in the winter are (hint, they both involve the pond freezing over):
  1. Mechanical Failure - ie. The heater or powerhead fails and the pond freezes over.
  2. Power Failure - Your power goes out so your heater or powerhead cannot run (consider yourself lucky if you have a backup generator.)
If once of these things happens and your pond starts to freeze over, don't hack away the ice with a pick, the vibrations will greatly distress your Koi. Get some hot, de-chlorinated water, and melt the ice instead of chipping it away (make sure there is no chlorine in the hot water I cannot stress that enough). If the pond starts to freeze due to faulty equipement, replace it right away.

Don't forget, you can always set up a tank indoors!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Egg Bound Koi

I Have a fully grown female Koi which has been egg-bound for about three months. What can I do about it? - Dave

I would get in touch with a local veterinarian who specializes in Koi health. They will probably be able to assist you with stripping the eggs from your Koi. It is better to get it done sooner than later, if the eggs become impacted, they could turn into a tumor.

Argulus Treatment

What is the best treatment for eradicating argulus? - Danny

A tweezers.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Baby Duck Feeding Koi

A baby duck feeds Koi with its bill. Sometimes you find the oddest things in nature.

Koi Questions

Do i have to have more than one Koi in a pond?
A single Koi can survive in a pond, but they are a schooling fish, so it is good to have at least 3 or more in a pond for them to be happy.

I do not have access to a pond for my Koi can i just buy a baby one and keep him in a small goldfish tank until he gets too big for it?
A Koi can live in a fish tank until he outgrows it. A Koi could live in a 30 gallon aquarium until it gets to be about 6 inches long, then it will nedd a larger home. Remember to have plenty of filtration.

Where can i buy baby Koi that are less expensive?
Get in touch with a local Koi dealer, he may have a special since its fall.

How big can Koi get?

Koi can get up to three feet long, although most will only reach 18 to 24 inches in length.

Is there special food i will need for my Koi?
Get a specialized Koi food. Feed them high protein food in the summer, and wheat germ food in the fall and spring. Visit for more information.

Are Koi warm water fish or are they cold water fish?
Koi are a cold water fish, but they have a wide temperature range that they can live in. They thrive when the water temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Leeches In Koi Filter System

Whilst cleaning out my filters, I found quite a few leeches. Is it safe to leave them there or should I get rid off them? How did they get in there? -Nigel

You should get rid of the leeches, they can damage your Koi with their mouths when attach to you Koi and live off of them. It is always a good idea to get rid of any parasites that are in your pond as soon as possible. The leeches probably were introduced by a bird or an amphibian. Make sure you use a fish safe chemical to get rid of the leeches.

Koi Eggs

Does anyone know how long Koi actually keep eggs inside their body before laying them to be fertilized? My sister has a Koi that is very rare and looks like it may have eggs in it, but has been that way for almost 3 months now. Is it sick or is it likely that its really eggs inside her? -Tanaya

Koi will usually keep their eggs inside themselves for a few months until they are ready to be ejected. If they don't eject their eggs, they will re-absorb them into their bodies. This can be dangerous though, sometimes Koi will get impacted with eggs, then they turn into a tumor. The best way to prevent this from happening is stripping the eggs, either naturally or artificially.

There is also the chance that your sister is over-feeding her Koi.

Air pump in Winter

In a Koi pond should I turn the air pump off in winter? - Dave

You should never turn off the air pump, it provides the Koi with oxygen. Make sure that the air stone is near the surface of the water, about six inches to one foot deep. You don't want it too deep into the water, otherwise it will mix the warm water on the bottom with the cold water on top and it lower the water temperature in the pond overall.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Baby Koi

I've had a pond with waterfall for several years but just last spring decided to put fish in it. I properly filtered, added a UV light etc. I then put in 4 fancy gold fish 4" in length and shortly later added 3 - 4-5" Koi. They've been together now for several months and tonight when I was feeding them I noticed a small fish about 1" or so in length. It appeared to be whitish in color with a dark vertical stripe. I have no clue where it came from as my pond has no access from anywhere but my house. So, not being a fish expert I ran to the internet in an attempt to find out if my fish bred. Is that possible to have a fish that size in 3-4 months? -Warren

Yes, it is possible for your fish to have bred. The new fish in your pond is probably a goldfish, since your Koi are too small to breed. Take a closer look at your pond, you might find more babies in there!

Egg Bound Koi

Can you get rid of eggs in the Koi carp that are egg bound? -Keith

There is only one way to help a Koi that is egg bound, surgery. Normally, carp are supposed to eject their eggs in the spring, when the water is warming up. If they don't do this, they should re-absorb the eggs. Sometimes this process gets gummed up, and the eggs turn into a tumor. The tumor will grow larger and larger, until it killed the Koi.

The best way to prevent a Koi from getting egg bound is by making sure that they release their eggs ever year, either by natural or artificial means.

A veterinarian can remove the tumor, but it is a very hard operation for a Koi to recover from. The operation requires that a large incision be cut on the bottom of the Koi, so that the entire tumor can be removed. Get in touch with a trained veterinarian who knows how to perform the procedure.

Compatable Fish With Koi

I have a 100 gallon tank in my tattoo studio. I have several Koi, several plecos and a few snails... My question is, what other fish will live well in a tank of Koi? -Ronald

Any type of fish that is considered docile will do fine in a tank with Koi.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Finding Baby Koi

Hey its me again!
Are Koi cold or warm water fish and do they sell baby Koi at stores? Where can I find them? -Rachel

Hey Rachel,
You can usually find baby Koi at a local pet shop. If you are lucky, you could possibly have a Koi dealer in your area. They are a great source for Koi of all sizes.

Koi are a cold water fish, they will live in a large temperature range, although they do best when the water temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Koi in a small tank

I really want a Koi i think they are soo cute but the only problem is that i do not have access to a indoor or outdoor pond, but i do have a small gold fish tank could I put one in that? -Rachel

A Koi could live in a small tank, just as long as it has some buddies in there with him and if he has plenty of filtration. He will outgrow the tank, so make sure you have a home for him when he gets too big.