Showing posts with label Koi Pond. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Koi Pond. Show all posts

2017-10-13

KOI Types - Your Guide To Koi Varieties

watching the monitor
Koi watching the monitor - Photo  by      The_Gut  (cc)
The word "Koi" means "carp" and originates from the Japanese language. The nomenclature indicates both the brightly colored Koi types and the dull gray fish. In Japan, the fish are called nishikigoi. The literal translation of nishikigoi is "brocaded carp". Koi in Japan means love or affection. Koi in Japan are symbols of love and affection. They have also become a popular subject for tattoos.

The common carp was grown for a food fish in China as far back at the fifth century. It has been concluded through scientific study that there is a minimum of two different subspecies of carp. One is from East Asia and another from Eurasia. Through continuous cross-breeding, the various varieties have evolved. Through the study of mitochondrial DNA, it has been learned that Koi are descendants of a variety of hybridized species.

The characteristics that distinguish the Koi are scalation, patterning, and coloration. The primary colors of Koi are black, white, yellow, red, blue and cream. The color combinations are unlimited. Breeders have taken it upon themselves to identify certain color combinations. The most popular of the Koi varieties are the Gasanke which consists of the Taisho Sanshoku, the Showa Sanshoku and the Kohaku varieties.

The crossbreeding has continued. As recently as the 1980's, Ghost Koi was developed in the UK. They are a cross between the wild Koi and the Ogon Koi. Their metallic scales are what distinguish them from other Koi. The dragon carp, which is also known as the Longfin Koi or the Butterfly Koi have long flowing fins which distinguish them from the other varieties. There are those breeders that do not consider the butterfly Koi and ghost Koi to be true Nishikigoi. The development of Koi types continue and the variety of choices increases. There are some who feel that the original Koi types are the only true Koi.

The Various Koi Types

Kohaku: This popular white Koi has red markings on the top of its body. the name Kohaku means red and white. This original Koi developed in the 19th century.

Taisho Sanshoku is also known as Taisho Sanke. In 1914, breeders introduced these types of Koi. They are similar to the Kohaku but have additional black markings. These small black markings are called Sumi. In the United States, they are frequently called Sanke. The kanji can be read as Sanshoku or sanke.

Showa Sanshoku is a black Koi. It has red and white markings. These types of Koi was first shown in 1927 during the Showa empire. The amount of shiroji, white markings, has increased over the years. In the United States, the name has been abbreviated to Showa.


Tancho Koi are distinguished by the single red patch that you see on the head of the Koi. The Koi in this category can be either Tancho Showa, Tancho Sanke or Tancho Goshiki. This Koi was named for the Japanese crane. The crane has a red spot on its head also.

Chagoi is tea-colored Koi. The color covers a wide spectrum of colors from a very pale olive drab green to a copper or bronze hue. Recently some have appeared in shades of orange. These particular Koi types are friendly, docile and very large. Keepers like to keep them in their pond with other Koi varieties as they feel they are a sign of good luck.

Asagi Koi is usually red, yellow or cream below the lateral lines of the fish and on its cheeks. The rest of the fish is a beautiful light blue. The name means pale greenish-blue in Japanese and also spring onion or indigo.

Utsurimono Koi are black and have either white, red or yellow marking. The original is the black and white markings, called the zebra color. The red and white are Hi Utsuri and Shiro Utsuri. Utsuri means to print. The black markings are very similar to ink markings. These types of Koi are genetically the same as Showa but without the white or red pigment.

Bekko is a yellow, white or red skinned Koi that has distinctive black markings. The name translates to "tortoise shell". The white, red and yellow Koi varieties are Shiro Bekko, Aka Bekko and Ki Bekko. Occasionally they are confused with Utsuri.

Shusui translates to "autumn green". The Shusui appeared in 1910. It is a cross between the German mirror carp and the Japanese Asagi. These particular Koi types have one line of large scales that extend from its head to its tail.




2017-08-15

Preventing Overpopulation - KOI Pond

Koi overpopulation is one of the hardest problems to deal with when it comes Koi ponds. Once you have too many fish in your pond, severe problems can occur, and potentially cause death among your fish.

There are a few ways to help prevent overpopulation. While you are never guaranteed that it will never happen to you, following a few simple steps will greatly reduce your chances.  

English: Koi pond with an extensive filtration...
Koi pond with an extensive filtration, build by Kent Wallace (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do Not Overstock

A common problem new Koi pond owners run into is over stocking. When you first go to buy your Koi, it may come down to deciding between a number of Koi that is equally beautiful and playful in the spirit of saving your pond from over stocking. 

Talk with your Koi dealer or Pet Store professional about the specifics of your pond. You should tell them information about what type of filtration systems you have, what total size your pond is, and where you are planning on placing your pond. With this information, a professional will be able to adequately predict the right amount of Koi you can have in your pond successfully. Do not worry if this number seems small because the professional will also be taking into account the fact that Koi grow fast and get rather large.

Some people run into the problem of not being able to turn down Koi from others. When accepting fish from sources such as other Koi pond owners, take into account why they are giving you the fish. Chances are they are giving away fish because they are having issues with over population as well. Turning down fish does not mean that you are causing any damage to those fish, it simply means that their owner will have to find a different person to take the fish.


Once Overpopulation Has Occurred

In the event that overpopulation has already occurred in your pond,  there are several ways of removing babies from your pond. 

One way is to stop feeding your Koi the minute you realize that spawning has occurred. You should stop feeding your Koi for no less than three weeks. Do not worry about your Koi starving, as they will focus more on natural foods if you are not feeding them daily. This “natural” diet includes their young. Koi are not cannibalistic animals by any means, but they will eat their young when they are still eggs or if they are small and resemble insects. Once the baby Koi actually resemble real fish, and the adult fish recognize this, they will no longer see them as food, so it is important to start this process as soon as you notice spawning or babies.

While this is a process of nature, you may still find this method to be cruel or unusual. Another way of removing unwanted babies from your pond is to give them away.

First, check with your local pet store. Many pet stores have programs in which they will accept unwanted animals and give them good homes. Some may even pay a certain amount for each fish since they sell them but do not count of this. Local Zoos may also have programs.

If you know of a local Koi society, you may let them know that you have unwanted babies. Alternatively, you can find a message board or group online and post messages there. Who knows, you may even start another person on a Koi keeping hobby.


2017-07-10

An Introduction To KOI PONDS

Koi ponds have become a popular hobby in the world, and the reasons are clear as to why. Koi are beautiful, vibrant fish that can literally light your day. Koi come in many colors, varieties, and kinds, so it is likely that everyone in the world can find at least one type of Koi that would suit their likes. While Koi may be a welcomed beauty to your pond, they also have an interesting history attached to them.

English: Koi fish in the pond at the Gibraltar...
Koi fish in the pond at the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In Chinese culture, Koi ponds are said to being good luck to their owners. Koi ponds are used as an overall plan to fulfill their lives. Other parts of the world consider Koi ponds as a form of relaxation and serenity. In the united states, more and more people seem to find Koi ponds to be fun more then anything else. No matter what the reason you find to have a Koi pond, they are sure to brighten your life.

However, Koi keeping should not be taken lightly. Koi, like any other animal, require time and money to maintain. The majority of first time Koi owners fail because they get the idea that keeping Koi is easy in some way. Do not let this discourage you though, as educating yourself will greatly improve your chances of succeeding. 

It is important for you to learn all you can BEFORE you begin obtaining the things you need for Koi keeping. This way, you will not slip up and have to replace anything that you have already done or bought. Planning ahead will not only save your money, but it will potentially save your sanity as well.

It is important to learn the information for yourself rather then relying on other sources. People such as your product dealer and pond builder will have limited knowledge, but should not be trusted for a reliable source, as they are selling products and may be bias. Plus, once you are at home with your Koi, your product dealer or pond builder may not be available to help you in the event of a problem.

Koi Have Personality

You would not believe that Koi actually have personalities similar to other animals. They are social, and can even be trained to eat directly from their owners hands. The more time you spend with your Koi, the more you will notice each Koi has individual characteristics and traits. 

Koi have been known to live for up to 200 years at time, but generally the average lifespan of a healthy Koi is about 30 years. So if you are looking for along time pet companion, Koi may be a good choice.

Building Your Koi Habitat

Before ever buying Koi, you must create a proper habitat for them. This is where information from your pond builder and supplier will come in handy. However, you should not rely on the opinions of just one person. It may be a god idea to do research on your own, before you go to purchase the materials needed for you pond. Because of it’s popularity, an unlimited supply of resources can be found on the topic of Koi keeping. Visit your local library, fishery center, or research online. There are quite a few things needed to sustain a habitable pond.

When it comes to pond size, bigger is always better. Koi have a habit of growing rather fast, so you have to consider pond size at the same time you are considering how many Koi you are going to put it in. 

Your filtration system is extremely important. There are 2 types of filtration, mechanical and biological. Mechanical filtration relives the pond of solids such as dead algae, insects, and Koi wastes. It is important to have enough filtration to sustain the size of the pond, and the amount and size of your Koi. Biological filtration causes a nitrogen cycle, which is what removes dissolved wastes from your pond. Without biological filtration, built up waste will turn into ammonia and kill your Koi within just a few days. 



Besides the technical aspects of your pond, you will also have the ability to create a visually appealing area as well. Waterfalls, fountains, and other water features will not only add a visual show to your pond, but it will also create movement and sound. A variety of plants and flowers are also available for your pond.



The Basics of Keeping KOI

Koi pond’s popularity are on the rise, and the reasons are obvious. Who would not want living creatures as a part of their garden? However, Koi keeping should not be taken lightly. Koi, like any other animal, require time and money to maintain. The majority of first time Koi owners fail because they get the idea that keeping Koi is easy in some way. Do not let this discourage you though, as educating yourself will greatly improve your chances of succeeding. 

English: Koi fish cliche (abstract)
Koi fish cliche (abstract)
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

It is important for you to learn all you can BEFORE you begin obtaining the things you need for Koi keeping. This way, you will not slip up and have to replace anything that you have already done or bought. Planning ahead will not only save your money, but it will potentially save your sanity as well.

It is important to learn the information for yourself rather then relying on other sources. People such as your product dealer and pond builder will have limited knowledge, but should not be trusted for a reliable source, as they are selling products, and may be bias. Plus, once you are at home with your Koi, your product dealer or pond builder may not be available to help you in the event of a problem.

Your Pond

Before ever buying Koi, you must create a proper habitat for them. This is where information from your pond builder and supplier will come in handy. However, you should not rely on the opinions of just one person. It may be a god idea to do research on your own, before you go to purchase the materials needed for you pond. Because of it’s popularity, an unlimited supply of resources can be found on the topic of Koi keeping. Visit your local library, fishery center, or research online. There are quite a few things needed to sustain a habitable pond.

When it comes to pond size, the bigger is always better. Koi have a habit of growing rather fast, so you have to consider pond size at the same time you are considering how many Koi you are going to put it in.

You filtration system is extremely important. There are 2 types of filtration, mechanical and biological. mechanical filtration relives the pond of solids such as dead algae, insects, and Koi wastes. It is important to have enough filtration to sustain the size of the pond, and the amount and size of your Koi. Biological filtration causes a nitrogen cycle, which is what removes dissolved wastes from your pond. Without biological filtration, built up waste will turn into ammonia and kill your Koi within just a few days.

Another consideration is the water quality. It is sometimes said that having Koi is literally just a side effect of having the proper water quality. To keep your Koi alive, you must have the proper knowledge on how to maintain your water quality.



Buying Koi

There are potentially thousands of different types of Koi, with about 20 different popular versions. Koi are popular because of their beautiful colors and patterns.

Your pond should be complete before you even look into buying your Koi. The size and amount of Koi you buy should be highly based on your pond. Be careful, overstocking will cause problems right away with you pond, potentially killing many of the Koi you purchase, causing you to loose time and money.

Most fish owners understand that most fish will only grow to the size of their enclosure. Koi, unlike other fish, will grow until they are the size of their specific type. You must be able to accommodate the amount of fish you purchase in the future.


2017-04-20

Proper Winter Care for Your FISH POND Outdoors

Fishes can be wintered either outdoors or indoors. This will depend on the construction of the entire pond according to the inclination of the owner. This article will focus about things that a hobbyist can do to properly protect and care for his fishes during winter if his pond is situated outdoors.

If you’re living in a country where winter is the most prominent season of the year, better build a pond wherein a portion of it is about 30-45 inches deep.

English: Fish pond in winter
Fish pond in winter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This will protect the fishes from long periods of cold spells. Even more drastic than cold water is the building up of gasses which are toxic in a pond that is iced over completely for a certain amount of time.

Therefore, it is mandatory that a part of the pond’s surface is kept open to enable the pond to circulate air that results to the disposal of deadly gasses and adds oxygen. You can accomplish this by:

a. Aerator. 
This is a large air stone that is operated by an aquarium air pump which can constantly create a small opening inside the ice. Unfortunately, placement is quite critical and hard to be arranged precisely.

Ideally, the aerator should be placed halfway measuring from the deepest part of the entire pond and should be monitored frequently. Chances are, if the aerator is placed too near from the surface, it has a tendency to freeze, if placed deeper, it can chill the entire pond.

b. De-Icer or Heater.
There are different kinds of de-icers that can be safely used for performed ponds, liner or even in  concrete. Out of the use of electricity, a puncture can be made through the iced pond where it serves as breathing hole for fishes.

Sometimes, the most efficient de-icers or heaters can produce an ice-free pond even if the winter weather is overwhelming.

c. Water pump. 
Same limitations to an aerator, a water pump can provide an opening on the surface of the pond but with several conditions. One condition is that the pump must be mounted on the deepest part yet should be far enough from the bottom to avoid water circulation and far enough from the surface so that it wouldn’t solidly freeze. Regularly inspect the pump because it can freeze solid or run dry, these can destroy the integrity of the pump.



Covering the pond can be helpful for the fishes and the devices used. It can protect the pond from extreme coldness and will reduce the amount of electricity that your heater needs. Although, the cover must always be raised to enable gas exchange and prevent toxic substances to reside in the pond. The structure would turn out like a wooden frame is built over the pond at its surface then it will be covered with plywood. Insulating materials can follow. The covering must possess sturdiness to withstand the long days of snow accumulation.

Last concern is feeding your fish. Actually, you can drop this idea for even if your pets seem to be quite interested, they will just ignore the food that you’ll give. This is because during cold days, metabolism can be quite sluggish. Although, to prevent starvation, you can supplement them food that can easily be digested like the ones that are made from wheat germ.

Proper care of your pond fishes during winter can be crucial to your pets especially when it is located 
outdoors.



2017-03-01

Chilled Out KOI: How Koi Survive Frozen PONDS in Winter

If you live in a northern climate then chances are good that you see snow and ice as does your koi pond. Its natural to worry about your koi during the winter periods, especially if they have been around for years and years. Fortunately, koi are adapted to dealing with cold temperatures and an iced-over pond. They have a few tricks up their "sleeves" to deal with the inevitability of ice cold water.

DSC01089
Photo by Hulk, Smash!


Regulating Body Temperature
Thermoregulation of animals or how an animal regulates its body temperature can be a confusing subject. For example, within the subject of thermoregulation there is:

- Ectothermic
- Endothermic
- Mesothermic
- Heterothermic
- Homeothermic
- Poikilothermic
- "Cold-blooded"

There's a lot of variations in the world of temperature regulation in animals but to make it more straightforward for koi owners you should know that your fish are ectothermic,which means that their internal body temperature is governed strictly by the ambient temperature (or in this case, the water temperature). So that must mean that all fish are ectotherms, right? Not necessarily. Unfortunately, biology is not always consistent.

For example, the bluefin tuna and some sharks create internal heat from muscle activity yet are still largely affected by water temperature which puts them in a category known as mesothermy. Furthermore, the term "cold-blooded" is actually not all that accurate. A "cold-blooded" lizard in the hot desert sun can achieve an internal temperature greater than that of humans. So in everyday conversation its just easier to refer to mammals and birds as endotherms and just about everything else as ectotherms.

Biological Activity and Temperature
You have probably noticed throughout the seasonal changes that as the water temperatures get colder your fish start to become less active. As a result, they require less food and at somewhere between 50 and 40 degrees F they stop eating all together. Ectotherms are able to pull this off because they don't have to maintain a certain internal temperature and, in fact, they can get away with using as little as 10% of the energy of what a mammal would need. As temperatures fall, the rate of internal biological activity decreases which includes things as basic as how fast a muscle can twitch. This concept in biology is known as the Q-10 coefficient.

Planning for Winter
There's not much activity going on with your fish, on the inside or outside. They don't need food and not as much oxygen however its still a good idea to keep some of your pond unfrozen with a de-icer for gas exchange (and some pond owners will run aeration all year long).



One of the things your koi will do is try to hang out in the warmest part of the pond and that will subsequently be the deepest part. In general though, its a good idea, when designing/building a koi pond, that you make it at least 3 feet deep to avoid the possibility of total pond freeze. Another thing you may want to keep in mind is that adding salt to your pond before winter will lower the freezing point of water and artificially cause your water to reach a super low temperature which can potentially harm your koi.

Koi in Dormancy
So what exactly are they doing under the ice? Sleeping? Playing cards? As with thermoregulation there are a lot of different ways to go inactive during winter (or periods of less-than-ideal conditions).
There is:

hibernation in mammals
brumation in reptiles
diapause in insects and
aestivation in invertebrates

but ultimately your koi under ice are in a state of dormancy. Essentially, they are simply "chilling out" in a state of super decreased activity and metabolism while waiting for spring. Perhaps you don't get to enjoy your koi as they mill around under the ice but just think of the money you are saving not buying koi food!

    By Grant W Stoecklin
    Have you ever wondered what happens to your koi with the onset of winter? What are they doing under an iced over pond? Are they hungry and looking for food? In this article I discuss the physiological and biological changes that occur to your fish with the onset of cold water. I also discuss simple things you can do to prepare your pond for ice that will make it the most comfortable for your koi. If you're wondering about your fish in winter even how to change the way you feed in fall ( http://koi-care.com/feeding-koi-water-temperatures-change/ ) then please see more at my site. Thanks for stopping by!

    Article Source: EzineArticles


2017-01-26

Winterizing Your KOI POND

Winter is coming, and this will be the first Winter that you go through with your Koi pond. Think of Winter as a down period for your pond, as less events happen during Winter then any other time. However, there are special precautions that you need to take before Winter arrives, to ensure that your pond and fish survive.

English: Ornamental fish pond One of the ponds...
Ornamental fish pond -  The net over the water is essential to keep
the fish safe from marauding herons. (Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

Clean Up- Take about a weekend to completely go over your pond. Clean up and unwanted bulk material in and around your pond. Inside your pond, clean up all leaves, slit, and other material from the bottom. Also, remove any plants or flowers that will not make it through the winter. Around the pond, clean up anything that can blow into your pond, as you are not likely to notice this debris until the end of winter. Taking the time to make sure that as much debris is removed as possible will prevent potentially harmful bacteria and parasites in the future.

Stop Feeding- You must remember to stop feeding your Koi during the winter. When fall begins and the temperatures hover around 55 to 60 degrees, only feed once a day.  Once the temperatures drop below 50 degree for the first time, stop feeding completely. Even if the temperature goes above 50 degrees, still reframe from feeding your fish. The majority of Koi, when healthy and the temperature is above 50 degrees, take at least four days to completely digest food. If you mistakenly feed your fish to late the food will not digest and will end up killing your fish. Do not mistake you Koi as hungry when they open to their mouths to you. This is more of a learned reflex then hunger. If you are concerned about not feeding them, remember that fish eat other things besides the food you provide them, especially if your pond contains a large amount of natural plant life. If they are at all hungry and you are not feeding them, they will fill up on this.

Check Up- Do you seasonal check up on all your equipment. This includes everything from your filtration system to your store of preventable medications. Since the majority of ponds in the world lie dormant during the Winter, you are less likely to be able to find the products you need. Make sure your emergency kit is ready and up to date, which should include medications, bags, nets, and your water testing kits.

Prepare For Cold Weather- Prepare for cold weather by investing in the items you will need during the summer. Koi have been known to withstand constant temperatures as low 39 degrees, and temperatures slightly lower then 39 degrees, for short periods of time. When buying a heater, remember to research what size you will need to adequately heat your pond during the winter, otherwise ice will still form, causing potentially dangerous amounts of gas in the water, due to it being trapped under the ice. In extreme events, it may be a good idea to have an emergency tank inside available.



Turn Off All Water Sources- In colder temperatures, your heater will be working hard to maintain a water temperature suitable enough to keep your fish alive. If you have water features such as waterfalls, streams, or constant moving fountains, make sure to turn them off during Winter. These features will circulate water, and constantly bring new, and cold water into your pond. With these switched off, the only water that your heater will be responsible for is the standing water in your pond.



2016-12-11

Your KOI POND After The Storm

First off, take time to breath. You pride and joys are probably fine. They may be somewhat traumatized by the whole experience, but that would be any pet caught in unusual situation. Unless extreme damage was done, their health probably is not an issue, however their home may be in need of some repairs.

English: Garden pond Česky: Zahradní jezírko
Garden pond (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You may have been completely prepared for the storm, or the storm may have taken you by complete surprise. Whatever the case may be, you must jump into action as soon as you physically can to ensure that no further damage is done to your pond.

First, you must undo all of your storm precautions to survey the possible damage.

If you netted your pond, clear as much debris off the net as possible and remove the netting. Once you removed the netting you will be able to survey the damage and the condition that your fish are in. If high waters were expected and your sand bagged the area around you pond, as long as the water level is normal, remove all sand bags so that you can easily access your pond. Do not get discouraged if things seem out of place, and it may not be as bad as it originally looks.

Once you have removed all netting and other precautions, take time to look at the area. If any debris is present, remove it by skimming and netting. If plants or decorations are uprooted or out of place, replace them to their rightful area.

If you find major damage to your pond, it is important to remove your Koi as soon as possible. Proper bagging and transporting techniques may be needed if the damage done will take a large amount of time to fix, but there are several temporary options available if damage can be fixed quickly. You may want to consider using a children’s pool to house your Koi. If nothing is available at the time, get into contact with your local pet store or zoo, as they may have program available to help you house your Koi until maintenance can be done.

Once you have decided that only small repairs are needed, then you must focus on the water quality. You water may seem cloudy or murky due to the storm and the amount of extra water from rainfall. If the storm lasted for a long amount of time, you may be facing ammonia issues as well.



Test your water for Nitrates. If Nitrates are present, add the proper amount of salt to the water. Typically you would add 3/4 to one pound of salt per 100 gallons of water. However, if your fish are especially shocked by the situation, or seem to have sustained any type of injuries, it may be a good idea to add more. If you have plants in your pond, it may be a good idea to remove them before adding the salt into the water. Your fish should be the most important issue at this point, not your plants.

If you are having KH issues (especially if it is below 100) you will want to add baking soda to your pond. Typically you can add 1 cup of unpacked baking soda per 1000 gallons of water. This will protect your pond from a future pH crash.




2016-11-19

Choosing KOI POND PLANTS

English: Floating lilies, the sun light showin...
Floating lilies, the sun light showing its delicate petals structure and waxed leaves adapted for floating. 

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Planting a koi pond is a challenge that offers great rewards. Not only will the flowers and foliage of the koi pond plants look attractive, but a diverse plant life will help to achieve a healthy balance of nature as insects, frogs and the koi fish flourish together alongside the vegetation.

You may find some plants together with your normal fish pond supplies, otherwise you will need to visit your local nursery and see what they have to offer in the way of suitable plants.

In the general scheme of things there are many plants that are suitable for koi ponds, some of which will grow in the water, some that will float, and others that will take root in the silt or mud on the floor of your pond. Suitable koi pond plants may be categorized as:

o bog or marsh plants,

o marginal plants,

o aquatic plants,
o floating plants, and
o oxygenators.
Unfortunately, many water plant species are invasive in hot climates and they are therefore considered to be invaders. So check with your local forestry or water authorities and try, wherever possible to plant whatever is indigenous to your own region.

Marsh plants
Typical marsh-loving plants thrive on moisture and they will do particularly well on the banks of an informal koi pond. Some examples include ferns, irises and lilies. See what you can find.

Marginal plants
Marginal plants normally grow in shallow water, so they do well in the shallows of a pond, or on shelves that have been created for planting.

Water-loving grasses, reeds, rushes and various sedges will all establish themselves quite easily within a koi pond, but you need to be sure they won't take over the entire area. There is a huge choice, so be selective.

There are also many leafy marginal plants, some of which will flower. These include plants like water mint, water forget-me-nots, monkey flowers, water poppies, aquatic irises and many other species.

Aquatic plants
Deep-water aquatics live with their roots submerged in the water while their leaves and flowers soar heavenward. Like floating plants, they help to keep the water cool and clear by minimizing the amount of sunlight that gets to the water, thus preventing algae from flourishing.

There are quite a few aquatic plants including the yellow fringed water lily, the impressive Japanese lotus plant and of course, the good, old faithful water lily.



Water lilies are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful aquatic plants, many of which grow on the base of the pond or in natural crevices or containers below the surface of the water, sprouting leaves and flowers above the surface. Here you just need to be aware that koi often eat from the base of the pond and so might nibble away at the roots of lilies, in which case the lilies may not survive.

Floating plants
Floating plants do have roots, but these don't need soil or silt to feed them or anchor them. Sadly some of the prettiest floating water plants are banned in the US, including water lettuce and water hyacinth with its beautiful, pale lavender flowers. Just keep reminding yourself what a nuisance these plants have become.

Oxygenators
Oxygenators are the plants that help to maintain the balance of nature within the water itself. They are submerged beneath the surface of the water and not only provide food for koi, but also give them a really good place to spawn.

    By Jan Rautenbach
    Jan Rautenbach has an interest in fish ponds. He has made a study that will be of interest, whether you are planning a new fish pond, koi pond or backyard pond. His site has valuable articles on selecting the right equipment, pond construction methods, as well as a link to reliable fish pond supplies companies. Go to http://BuyFishPondSupplies.com.
    Article Source: EzineArticles 



2016-11-18

The Four Seasons of a KOI POND

Spring
Fish ponds, including koi ponds, come awake in the spring after a winter of semi-dormancy. As soon as the temperature rises above 10C (50F), your fish become more lively and your plants will begin growing again. This means that it is a great opportunity to do some upkeep - a spring clean - because you will not shock or stress your dormant fish. If you attempt it any earlier, you will upset your fish in their slumber and any later and you may disturb breeding.

English: Fish pond in winter
Fish pond in winter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You ought to take out any leaves that has fallen into the pond and dredge for some of the algae. Then clean your pond filter and turn your filtration system back on, if you turned it off for the winter. Test the water for any chemical discrepancies and treat any issues.

You should also add a broad spectrum medication for common fish ailments. Depending on the medication you use, you may have to replicate this procedure a week later or when the temperature rises above a certain degree.

Summer
This is when your pond is in full swing. Your aquatic plants will be flourishing as will the algae. You must keep the algae under control, which means dredging, netting and scraping. You will have to clean your pond filter more often as well. Check it daily and keep it working at full power. The cleaner you can keep your koi pond now, the less work you will have to do afterward.

Oxygenation of the water is a major concern in the summer, because warm water is able to hold less oxygen than cold water. Therefore, you will need to keep your fountain working and your bubbler bubbling, if you have one.

If you do not have one, think about getting one. You fish and the blooming algae will be competing for the oxygen in the pond water. You can tell if the water is short of oxygen, because the fish will be gulping air at the surface.

The warm water will not only stimulate your fish and your plants, it will also bring parasites to life, so keep a keen eye on your fish' health and treat anything dubious immediately. Be on the look out for fish rubbing against the sides or each other - scratching themselves, in other words.

Feed frequently. Your fish will have eaten very little in the winter and now they have to replenish their fat for breeding and next winter.

Autumn
Autumn is variable, but the first half may be like the summer and the second half more like winter. Continue to feed well. As the trees start to lose their leaves, you must eliminate them from your pond water.



Drag the leaves off at least once a day or sling a net over the pond and skim for leaves weekly. If you have any pond plants that will not survive the winter, either take them indoors or throw them away; you do not want them rotting in your pond.

Winter
Life in your pond will slow down as winter progresses. You ought to feed less often, maybe only once a day until it gets to 10C (50F) and then discontinue feeding - your fish will be in semi-hibernation at this point. Remove your filtration pumps and your fountain and switch all electrical equipment off.

Put a pond heater in the water. This is a floating apparatus that keeps a small surface area from freezing. If you allow all your pond to freeze over gases will build up, oxygen will disappear and your fish will die.

    By Owen Jones
    Owen Jones, the writer of this piece, writes on many subjects, but is at present involved with the fish pond filter If you are interested in a Solar Powered Pond Pump [http://solarpoweredpondpump.org], please go to our web site now for a special deal.
    Article Source: EzineArticles



2016-10-26

Preparing Your KOI POND For Major Storms

No matter the area in which you live in, you are bound to come into contact with at least one type of severe weather throughout the year. 

Recent events such as Hurricane Katrina have shown us that having an emergency plan could mean the difference between saving your pond, and total destruction.  

English: Pond Lane Little Lepton before the storm
Pond Lane Little Lepton before the storm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Smaller Storms

Preparing for smaller storms, and storms that you have more notice on is somewhat easier then preparing for a large storm. Taking a few simple steps will help guide your pond through the storm.

1) Stop feeding your fish. Your pond contains enough natural food sources that your Koi will not starve for a long amount of time. If the storm does any damage to your filtration process, not feeding you fish will cut down on the chance of any ammonia problems later on.

2) Do as big of water change as possible to your pond. In the case that something goes really wrong and you are unable to attend your pond right away, your Koi will have the freshest water available to them. Also, leave out several inches of water to make up for coming rainfall. This way, there will be less chance of your pond overflowing. If you have some type of drainage system, make sure to clear it of any debris so it will work at it’s full potential. If you pond is ground level and high waters are expected, you can add protection by sand bagging around the area. If nothing else, this may keep your koi confined within the area if flooding occurs.

3) Net over your pond to protect it from any flying debris. Using the same net you use during the fall to keep leaves out should suffice, as long as you properly secure it down.

4) Remove anything that could potentially blow over, away, or fall into your pond. A good rule of thumb, if you can push it over, so can the wind.  Items that could blow away should be completely removed from the area and placed indoors.

Large Storms

Large storms like the recent hurricanes prevent any type of preventative measures from being successful. The only real way to save your pond in these types of events is completely remove your fish from the pond.

First, it is always a good idea to have all the equipment needed to transport your Koi on hand. If you are having an emergency with your Koi, you may or may not have time to make a trip to your local pet store to gather what you need. The equipment needed to bag and transport Koi is small, and easily stored when not in use.

Bags- You must have the proper bags on hand to transport Koi. Do not attempt to transport your Koi in trash or regular plastic bags, as they are not designed for this, and may cause damage to your Koi. Unless you remembered to keep the bags you brought your koi home in originally, you will have to make a trip to your local pet store. Make sure to get bags sizable enough to hold your Koi.



Rubber Bands- You will need quite a few rubber bands for each bag you buy. Make sure that your rubber bands are good quality, as you do not want the pressure from the water to pop the rubber band in the middle of the transport.

Net- You will need to have a net sizeable enough to compete with your Koi. You will never need the net to pull the Koi out of the water with, but you will need it to lead and direct your Koi into the place you want them. Nets can potentially damage your Koi, especially as the larger they get.

Paint Bucket- A paint bucket is a better option for catching your Koi, as they cannot hurt your Koi like a net can. Make sure that your bucket is sizable enough to hold your Koi.



2016-09-12

KOI PONDS During The SUMMER

Summer is considered one of the best and more vibrant times for your Koi pond. Temperatures are beautiful, and you are more able to enjoy your pond then during the cold Winter months. However, by no means, should your maintenance drop during the summer months. Remembering a few things during the summer months will ensure that your pond stays beautiful and lively.

Higher Temperatures Cause Less Oxygen 

During the summer months, the oxygen level in your pond actually decreases. Proper precautions should be taken, especially if you live in an area where temperatures stay high for the majority of the year. If you witness your Koi hanging out towards the top of the water, and they seem to be gasping for air, this may be a good indication that your pond does not have a high enough concentration of Oxygen.

English: Koi fish in the pond at the Gibraltar...
Koi fish in the pond at the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One way to keep oxygen moving in your water is by installing water features such as waterfalls and fountains. The more the water is moving, the more Oxygen is available to your Koi.  

If water features are not available, frequent water changes will give your fish the amount of Oxygen they need to survive. 

Watch For Evaporation

Higher heat will cause your water to evaporate at a much higher rate. Pay close attention to your water levels and do adjustments as necessary. Remember, you must remove all chlorine from the water you add. 

Summertime is Parasite Season

Not unlike other situations in life, heat brings on potential parasites and illness. The majority of parasites are not seeable by the naked eye, so instead, you must watch your Koi for signs of illness.

You may notice strange behaviors in your fish such as rubbing against objects, scratching, shaking, or shivering. Each symptom could indicate a different type of illness, so it is important to watch closely.

It is especially important to pay attention to your Koi if they start developing noticeable spots or changes on their body. They may also knock fins off. 

If any type of change is noticed, contact your local vet, pet store, or Koi dealer as soon as possible. While some parasites will cause little damage, some illnesses such as KHV or Koi Herpes Virus have a high mortality rate, and should be treated as soon as possible.

Feeding Your Koi

To remain healthy during the summer, you fish will need food high in the types of nutrients that they need. During the summer you should feed your fish a food that in low in protein at least one to three times a day. If you fish still seem hungry after feeding, you may want to increase feeding slightly.

Feeding your Koi small amounts of food at a time will prevent food from spoiling. If you feed in larger amounts, some food may remain uneaten, and it can spoil in a very short amount of time.  Fish will only eat what they need to survive, and will leave the rest. Spoiled food can cause water quality issues if close attention is not paid.


Feeding your Koi actually causes less Oxygen content in the water. During the summer this can especially be an issue, as Oxygen levels deplete in high temperatures. You can remedy this by feeding your fish in the cooler hours of the day.

Summer presents a special time to hand feed your Koi. Children are out of school, and the weather is usually perfect for being outside. Get the kids involved as they will remember it for years to come.


2016-07-16

KOI PONDS During The Summer

Summer is considered one of the best and more vibrant times for your Koi pond. Temperatures are beautiful, and you are more able to enjoy your pond then during the cold Winter months. However, by no means, should your maintenance drop during the summer months. Remembering a few things during the summer months will ensure that your pond stays beautiful and lively.


English: Koi pond with an extensive filtration...
English: Koi pond with an extensive filtration, build by Kent Wallace (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Higher Temperatures Cause Less Oxygen

During the summer months, the oxygen level in your pond actually decreases. Proper precautions should be taken, especially if you live in an area where temperatures stay high for the majority of the year. If you witness your Koi hanging out towards the top of the water, and they seem to be gasping for air, this may be a good indication that your pond does not have a high enough concentration of Oxygen.

One way to keep oxygen moving in your water is by installing water features such as waterfalls and fountains. The more the water is moving, the more Oxygen is available to your Koi.

If water features are not available, frequent water changes will give your fish the amount of Oxygen they need to survive.

Watch For Evaporation

Higher heat will cause your water to evaporate at a much higher rate. Pay close attention to your water levels and do adjustments as necessary. Remember, you must remove all chlorine from the water you add.

Summertime is Parasite Season

Not unlike other situations in life, heat brings on potential parasites and illness. The majority of parasites are not seeable by the naked eye, so instead, you must watch your Koi for signs of illness.

You may notice strange behaviors in your fish such as rubbing against objects, scratching, shaking, or shivering. Each symptom could indicate a different type of illness, so it is important to watch closely.

It is especially important to pay attention to your Koi if they start developing noticeable spots or changes on their body. They may also knock fins off.

If any type of change is noticed, contact your local vet, pet store, or Koi dealer as soon as possible. While some parasites will cause little damage, some illnesses such as KHV or Koi Herpes Virus have a high mortality rate, and should be treated as soon as possible.

Feeding Your Koi

To remain healthy during the summer, you fish will need food high in the types of nutrients that they need. During the summer you should feed your fish a food that in low in protein at least one to three times a day. If you fish still seem hungry after feeding, you may want to increase feeding slightly.

Feeding your Koi small amounts of food at a time will prevent food from spoiling. If you feed in larger amounts, some food may remain uneaten, and it can spoil in a very short amount of time.  Fish will only eat what they need to survive, and will leave the rest. Spoiled food can cause water quality issues if close attention is not paid.

Feeding your Koi actually causes less Oxygen content in the water. During the summer this can especially be an issue, as Oxygen levels deplete in high temperatures. You can remedy this by feeding your fish in the cooler hours of the day.

Summer presents a special time to hand feed your Koi. Children are out of school, and the weather is usually perfect for being outside. Get the kids involved as they will remember it for years to come.








2016-07-09

Estheticly Pleasing WATER GARDEN and POOLS

Water gardens or garden pools have become a popular part of landscape architecture in the United States. Water gardens are visually soothing and seem to connect people to the natural aquatic world. The esthetic value of water gardens is enhanced by the almost endless variety of design and planting options that make each one a unique and personal creation.

Water garden with lilies. Broadmoor Hotel, Col...
Water garden with lilies. Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The location of the water garden is critical to its ecology and maintenance, as well as to your enjoyment of it. Sunlight is needed for plant photosynthesis. Plants are important to the water garden’s ecology because they produce oxygen, remove and recycle nutrients, and provide shade and hiding places for fish and other inhabitants. A water garden should be situated to receive at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.

However, direct sun at mid-day during the warmest months can cause shallow pools to overheat. Locating the water garden so that it can be viewed from the house will increase your enjoyment and allow you to supervise it. Be sure to control access to the water garden to ensure the safety of children. A good view of the water garden will also help you spot unwanted visitors such as predators.

Water gardens should not be located over utility services. Check with utility companies for the location of underground lines. Water gardens should not be located directly under trees because roots hamper excavation and may cause structural damage later.Also leaves foul the water and over-hanging branches may exude toxic substances into the water garden.

The depth of a water garden depends on design, local climate, and over-wintering strategies. Many year-round outdoor water gardens have a section at least 3 or 4 feet deep that does not freeze in the winter and gives fish a cool retreat during hot weather. Large koi carp, in particular, tend to lose color and become stressed if they do not have a cool place to stay during hot weather.

Construction of a water garden can be simple or complex. Water gardens built of fiberglass or concrete take considerable construction skill. Earthen and plasticliner pools require less construction skill or experience.

Many commercial firms selling water garden equipment offer consulting services on design, construction and maintenance. Use available expertise and your own creativity to design a water garden reflecting your imagination and taste.

Water gardens can be relatively expensive to build and maintain. Cost of construction varies with size and the materials used, but can range from a few hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars. Construction plans should be reviewed by local governmental agencies to ensure that the proposed pool complies with all building codes.

Water gardens may be irregular or geometric in shape. Irregularly shaped water gardens have a natural look, while the geometric shapes appear more formal. Before you start construction, try laying out possible water garden designs using a garden hose or rope.

Whether your water garden is a plastic tub or an aesthetic wonder, good water quality is essential. Poor quality water makes the water garden less attractive and can harm fish and plants. Once the basics of water quality are understood, maintenance will require a minimum of time.

The first consideration is a supply of good quality water to fill the pool. The most common sources are city water and well water. Surface water from a creek or pond is not recommended as it may contain contaminants, diseases and wild fish, any of which may harm the water garden’s ecosystem. If city water is used it must be dechlorinated before adding fish and plants.


One common mistake is stocking too many fish. A water garden is suitable for fish only as long as it can supply adequate oxygen and decompose the wastes produced. The number of fish the water garden can support depends on factors such as the size of the water garden, size of the fish, temperature, amount of sunlight the water garden receives, whether or not aeration is provided, and how well the natural or rtificial filtration system removes wastes.

A water garden is a wonderful way to enjoy the natural beauty of aquatic plants and animals and gain a better understanding of the complexities of aquatic ecosystems. Designing the water garden and its surroundings is an outlet for creative expression and enables urban dwellers to add a serene, natural environment to their yards.