KOI KEEPING BASICS
When you buy Koi from us you must provide a suitable environment for them. Here are our 15 basic requirements for keeping Koi:
A Koi pond should be at least one metre deep
Not only should it be this deep, but it must have a good filter designed to cope with the volume of fish in it.
Only use de-chlorinated water
You must only use dechlorinated water to fill up your pond, do water changes or clean the filters. You can use a dechlorination unit or add an appropriate dechlorinating additive.
Clean your filter every week
This is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer. Get into a routine of doing this every week, regardless of the weather!
Do a water change every week
When you clean your filter, also change 10% – 20% of the volume of the water in your pond every week, all year round.
Keep the floor of the pond clean at all times
Bad bacteria and parasites thrive in dirty ponds. You want to ensure there is no build up of any waste on the floor of the pond. Identify any areas of low flow or corners of the pond, this is usually where waste can build up the most. A pond vacuum is an easy way to remove this.
Feed a good quality food to your Koi
The same high quality Koi food all year round is fine, and feed them all year round if they are hungry. If there is uneaten food left floating on the surface of the water, remove it and feed less.
Buy a test kit
So you can test that your water parameters, including Ammonia, Nitrite and pH, are at a safe level for your Koi. API and Tetra for basic test kits. Or digital meters (HANNA) give a more accurate reading.
Buy a microscope
Then learn how to use it! A basic microscope is fine as you can see everything you need to at 100 times magnification.
Buy a Koi health book
A good Koi Health book with pictures and descriptions of Koi parasites to help you identify what you find.
Buy a salt meter
Salt is one of the safest things you can add to a pond and it treats several different parasites. Only use salt when necessary and always use a salt meter to control how much.
Observe your Koi daily
Learn what their normal behaviour looks like. If it changes, they could be feeling unwell.
Never treat unless you know what you are treating for
Don’t put medications into your pond unless you know what the problem is that you are treating. Identify exactly what parasite you are dealing with to ensure your treatment will work.
Make sure you know exactly what the volume of water is in your pond
You should not add chemicals to a pond without that information. You can use salt to work out the volume of your pond – see our article Pond Calculators for more information.
Always quarantine new Koi if you can
When you add new fish to your pond, quarantine them first if at all possible. This will reduce the risk of introducing diseases to your pond with your new fish.
Never add new fish to your pond if you have an exisiting issue
Don’t add new Koi to a pond unless the current population is fit and healthy.
We are always happy to offer advice – all you need to do is ask – and we can provide you with pretty much everything you need to keep your Koi healthy and happy.
Your legal responsibility as a Koi Keeper
As a Koi keeper you are bound by the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to care for your Koi as you would any other animal. Animal Welfare Act 2006 section 9 “Duty of person responsible for animal to ensure welfare (1)A person commits an offence if he does not take such steps as are reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the needs of an animal for which he is responsible are met to the extent required by good practice. (2)For the purposes of this Act, an animal’s needs shall be taken to include— (a)its need for a suitable environment, (b)its need for a suitable diet, (c)its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns, (d)any need it has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals, and (e)its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease. (3)The circumstances to which it is relevant to have regard when applying subsection (1) include, in particular— (a)any lawful purpose for which the animal is kept, and (b)any lawful activity undertaken in relation to the animal. (4)Nothing in this section applies to the destruction of an animal in an appropriate and humane manner.”