Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Are Koi able to be left out in ponds in freezing weather?

You can leave Koi out in ponds, but you will need to take some precautions to make sure that they will be able to survive the winter.

  1. Clean the pond out in the fall
    Leaves and fish waste will decompose during the winter time and will foul up the water.  Remove all the leaves and fish waste in the pond before winter.

  2. Keep a hole open in the ice
    A hole in the ice allows fresh oxygen to enter the water and it lets carbon dioxide escape.  If too much carbon dioxide builds up in the water, it can cause a pH crash (carbon dioxide is acidic and will use up the kh in the water.  Once all of the kh is gone, the pH drops).  You can use a horse trough heater and an air bubbler to keep the hole open.

  3. Do a regular water change
    Koi love fresh water.  Adding fresh water to the pond will also increase the kh levels so you will have a stable pH.

  4. Cover part of the pond with Styrofoam insulation
    It will help keep the pond temperature stable in the spring time when the temperature fluctuates rapidly.  Rapid temperature changes can interfere with a Koi's metabolism.

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