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Video: Koi: Basic Needs, Breeding And Care
Recently, the popularity of ponds and reservoirs has increased, followed by an increase in the popularity of koi carp. The benefits of a koi pond are amazing. A properly designed and set up koi pond will greatly enhance your site and add a touch of style wherever it is. The size, color, and graceful swimming of the koi create a beautiful, dramatic and soothing effect at the same time.
Koi are hardy and easy to raise. However, in order to maintain their health and provide koi and yourself with the pleasure of the company, you need to think very carefully about your pond. Not every pond is suitable for this. And only after you have a suitable reservoir, everything is set up and done, you can engage in the selection and acquisition of koi.
What do you need koi?
Plenty of water. One of the keys to the popularity of koi carp is the growth rate and size of the adult. In the first year, koi can grow up to 20 cm, and in the second year by another 30-40 cm. Under suitable conditions - the ideal size of the reservoir, the quality of water and food, koi grow up to 90 cm and weigh about 18 kg. Taking into account the limited size of domestic and corporate waters, which still rarely grow to this size. The usual size of koi is about 50 cm.
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An ideal koi pond should have smooth gravel at the bottom, rocks, live resistant plants and at least 3500 liters of volume. In addition to size, the pond should be at least 120-150 cm deep. At this depth, koi will be able to find cool water at the bottom during the hot summer period.
Koi must be populated on the basis of their possible size in the future, not the size of the purchase. The rule of thumb here is 2.5 cm of fish per 40 liters of water. Although some koi in large ponds grow up to 90 cm, we recommend the average size of 50 cm. If you decide to "overpopulate" the pond with small koi, then in the future you will have to remove the fish to maintain a healthy balance in the pond.
Cold protection. Koi are tolerant of cool water and can live in bodies of water located in almost any climatic zone. They were bred to survive the cold Japanese winters. Like any fish, koi need time to get used to temperature differences, so they need care and attention.
Koi can stay in the pond until it freezes too deep. At a depth of 90-120 cm, a thin layer of ice (15-20 cm) is quite acceptable, provided that part of the reservoir is constantly open for gas exchange. A bubble compressor will help oxygenate the water and keep it free from ice. However, in colder climates, you will need a de-icer to keep a portion of the reservoir open.
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Care and company. Unlike the silver carp, koi live a long time … perhaps even a very long time … an average of twenty-five to thirty-five years. Some koi even lived up to two hundred years! It can be said without exaggeration that koi maintenance is a long-term commitment. In fact, once having got such a fish, you will move with it.
Hand feed your koi and they will start to recognize you. Koi carps are gregarious fish, they constantly communicate with each other and usually swim in schools of several individuals. Koi are peaceful fish, but they feed aggressively. It's very funny to watch them flounder in the water while feeding.
Oxygen. Koi fish are hardy, but they need very good water and a lot of air. Therefore, installing a waterfall or fountain in a pond would be a good idea. During the active summer feeding period, the amount of waste that koi produces will naturally increase. If the level of ammonia and nitrites in the reservoir has increased, you need to immediately increase the oxygen supply to the water and make a partial water change.
Filtration. To maintain the water quality at the proper level, you need strong mechanical and biological filtration. The correct reservoir should have bottom drainage, this will facilitate the removal of waste from the reservoir and water changes. With a very powerful filter, even a pool can be converted into a pond with koi.
Nutrition. The appearance and health of koi are directly dependent on the diet of the fish. The basis of the koi diet is flakes containing at least 30% protein. To increase growth potential and improve coloration, dietary supplementation is needed. The total diet varies with the season of the year and includes: grains, vegetables, fruits, plankton, shrimp and coloration additives. These supplements usually contain spirulina and carotene. They are very effective. When using these products, the white patches on the koi's body may turn orange or yellow. Some enthusiasts use a different diet to achieve crisp white spots. Keep in mind that food loses its nutritional value over time, so always check the expiration date and packaging date.
Gentle feeding. Overfeeding will not accelerate the growth of koi, but will lead to serious problems, including attenuation of water and rapid growth of algae. It is especially important not to feed the koi when the temperature drops below 10 ° C. At this temperature, koi cannot properly digest food. Also, during this period, biological filtration in the reservoir is turned off, since any biological load can now be dangerous.
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Plants and food for reservoirs. Koi carps and pond plants are great for each other. The pond plants use the waste produced by the koi as food and produce oxygen. But, koi are omnivorous, and, of course, will gnaw the roots of all plants, so it is necessary to better root and bury the plants in the reservoir. It is also recommended to create a stone barrier around the plants to isolate them from the koi.
Koi maintain their coloration by eating algae. The last thing you should do is try to completely get rid of the algae in the pond. Also use algae control products very carefully. These preparations will keep the algae from overgrowing and at the same time leave the algae for the koi. In addition to eating algae, koi will help kill mosquitoes by feeding on their larvae.
Protection from predators. Due to the color and size of the koi, it is difficult to miss. Therefore, they need protection from natural enemies such as large birds and mammals. To protect yourself from birds, you can put a scarecrow and pull a net over the reservoir.
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