Caring for Koi Fish

koi care

Taking care of pet fish can be a difficult task, but luckily koi are a resilient and strong species like their common carp relatives. They are resistant to death by temperature changes and parasites, but there are still steps that must be taken to help ensure their longevity. When taken care of properly, koi fish can live between fifteen to thirty years in captivity.

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Disease and Parasites

Treating fish for disease and parasites once they have been afflicted is a difficult process that will often require a vet. The best thing an owner can do is to take steps to prevent disease and parasite affliction from occurring in the first place.

When purchasing a new koi, owners should isolate the new specimen from the current fish for a period of three weeks in a large tank (at least 100 gallons) with a filter. This way the new koi can be observed during the isolation period to make sure they are healthy. An unhealthy koi may not be noticeable at first and can spread their parasites or illnesses throughout the entire pond.

Ponds and holding tanks should have filtration to help keep ammonia levels low and similar risks at a minimum.

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Diet

koi eatingKoi fish are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant matter and meat. Trying to find a perfect balance between the two can be difficult and owners are encouraged to buy food that is already well mixed. Many pet shops sell pellets that are koi appropriate and have a good balance of everything koi need in their diet. Hikari Gold Koi Pellets is a good choice

Overfeeding can also be an issue as koi fish are natural beggars. It is not uncommon for them to follow their owner around the pond begging for food even just a half hour after being fed. They are not good at telling when they are full as in the wild carp simply eat when food is available.

Koi should be fed for a few minutes and only twice a day. This will give them all the nutrients they need. Overweight koi are not as healthy and have a lower survival rate. Overfed koi will also produce excess waste and raise the pond’s ammonia levels.

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Feeding By Hand

koi pondSome koi owners feed their fish simply by tossing pellets all over the surface. If a koi is trained early on, they can learn to eat food gently from their owners hand. In addition to the bonding aspect between pet and owner, there are a few care benefits to this practice.

Examining koi fish to determine their health can be difficult since they spend their time swimming in a deep pond. If koi are trained to eat by hand, it will bring them to the surface so their owner can get a better look at them. This trick will help to keep an eye out for parasites, injuries and similar concerns.

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Space

Overcrowding is a huge concern in koi ponds that can lead to higher health risks and terrible anxiety for the overcrowded koi.

Koi owners are encouraged to keep large ponds that have at least 150 gallons worth of space per koi they keep.