Koi are beautiful, bright and attractive fish, but what makes one Koi worth thousands while another, which appears to be fairly similar, is not deemed to be worth much? In this issue we explore the way in which Koi are judged, and thus get a monetary value attached to them, and then discuss some products that make life for the Koi owner, and the Koi themselves, less stressful.
Placing a price on an individual Koi is all about the perceived beauty of that Koi – in appreciating Koi it is the balance created by their contributing features that constitutes quality. By comparing one Koi with another a standard of quality canbe set. When Koi are being judged the one that comes closest to the preferred standard is the winner. When Koi judging occurs, the different varieties and sizes of Koi are taken into account and a point system is used to judge them. Points are awarded for body shape, quality of colour, pattern, state of finish, elegance and character and deducted for minor defects. If the defects are severe, for example if a Koi is blind, has no barbells on either side of its mouth or a fin is absent, it can be disqualified.
Products that make life easier for the Koi owner ensure that there is more time to simply sit back and enjoy watching healthy, happy fish, so consider whether the following would not be of benefit to you:
Aquaboost contains aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and is used to speed up the maturing of a biological filter. A filter for a new pond will usually take about six to eight weeks to mature if there is biological activity (such as fish) in the pond and using Aquaboost will hasten this process. When using Aquaboost in a new system add 5g per cubic metre of water that will be filtered. For general enhancement of filter systems add 1gram per cubic metre of water every week.
Interpret Easy test kit
I would definitely recommend that all Koi and fish keepers have a test kit at home. The ‘crystal clear’ water in a pond can be very deceptive – fish keepers often assume that when pond water looks clear the water quality is good and when the water is pea green it must be ‘bad’. This is not necessarily the case and a test kit will allow you to determine how your pond is actually faring. If your fish look unwell, the first thing you need to do is test the water. The levels of ammonia, nitrites or nitrates in the water may be to high or the ph level may be incorrect and any one of these imbalances will lead to sick fish and even fatalities, hence the need for a test kit so that one is able to check these levels. The actions necessary to correct these problems are explained below:
Ammonia – this is primarily a metabolic waste product that is excreted from the gills of the fish. It also comes from excess feeding and decomposed organic matter. If a test reveals a high level of ammonia, you will need to stop feeding for a short while and, depending on how high the level is, change about 50% of the water in the pond. After a day or so you need to retest and, if necessary, change a bit more. Please remember to use a de-chlorinating agent to neutralize chlorine and chloramines.
Nitrite – Nitrosomonas bacteria oxidize ammonia into nitrites. If the nitrites are high you will need to change the water in the pond. It is common in a new system for the nitrite levels to be high however once the filter matures these levels should drop.
Nitrates – in a pond Nitrate levels continuously increase due to the nitrification process taking place in the bio filter. To keep the level under control, it is necessary to do small but regular water changes.
PH – Koi like a ph level of between 7.2 and 8.5 and they become very unhappy if the ph level in their pond drops below 7. They will not eat and can die if the ph is not corrected fast enough. To increase the ph level in the pond bicarbonate of soda should be added to the water.
The Interpret Easy test kit comes in a neat box with all four tests and instructions on their use.
Woundmed is a topical treatment for wounds, ulcers and fungal diseases. It contains natural ingredients to promote rapid tissue regeneration and has been tested for over three years and is producing good results. To apply Woundmed you need first to anaesthetize the Koi, then clean the wound and blot it dry, after which the Woundmed can be sprayed on. After allowing it to dry for a few seconds the Koi is then placed back into the pond. After seven days the process is repeated and healing is usually noticeable within three to five days. Woundmed is very successful when the ulcer is starting and the wound is superficial however, if the wound is deep, an antibiotic injection is recommended.
This medicine is a topical treatment for infections and lesions on fins, split fins and fungal infections on fins. It is very useful for fins that have been damaged by netting injuries (although it is preferable to avoid these injuries in the first place by using the correct net when catching your Koi).
Koi @ Jungle’s Filter Media
Very effective in biological filters, this media is non-toxic and low maintenance, with a very high surface area to weight ratio, making it extremely cost effective. It is ideal for D.I.Y pond builders.