Koi are very resilient fish. That is why koi ponds are so popular. Koi (the Japanese word for “Carp”), are one of the most popular fish to have in your yard because they involve little maintenance, they live for years, and they are ideal for the Sacramento area climate.
Of course, like any living creature, you still need to care for your koi. That is why you should always keep in mind the following koi and koi pond maintenance tips:
- Oxygenation – Especially during Winter and Spring months, koi need to be sure their water is oxygenated. You can add an aeration device or use a system to keep water moving. If your koi appear to “gasp” for air at the top of the surface of the water, your koi pond may not be oxygenated enough. There are tests for dissolved oxygen that can be useful for monitoring oxygen levels.
- Feeding – Koi can feed off of the natural environment, but for safety it’s better to feed them koi pellets. They also hibernate when the weather is very cold, and during that time feeding may not be necessary or required, and in some cases can do more harm. Pay attention to the behavior of the koi. If they’re acting hungry, they probably are. In warmer months, your koi may need to be fed often.
- Predator Protection – The biggest threat to koi is predation. Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do about predators because koi are brightly colored and easy to spot and smell. However, if you notice signs of predation, set traps and/or call animal control to try to stop further predation. Once a predator sees a koi pond and gets their hands on a koi, they will keep coming back.
- Watch for Parasites – Koi do not generally get attached by parasites, but it’s always a good idea to check. When they come to the surface for feeding, keep an eye out for anything suspicious on or happening to their skin.
- Provide Cover Shade – Sacramento can get very hot. Make sure that some area of your koi pond has shade, so that if the koi get too hot they have a place to hide and stay safe.
- Pay Attention to Temperature – Finally, especially during very hot summers and very cold winters, pay attention to the temperature of the pond. Koi survive best in warmer water, although they can get warmer water at the bottom of the pond. You may want to consider a water warming device, but a deep enough pond is usually enough.
Koi are excellent fish and add a lot of life to your property. They are one of the most ideal marine life for an outdoor pond and their hardy nature allows them to live for years with little maintenance.
But of course, some maintenance will still be necessary, so make sure you’re caring for your koi and learning more about their needs and behavior. The longer your koi live, the better your pond will be.