Koi as Pets

Koi are very hardy pets as long as the pond water they live in is correctly filtered and aerated. Once your filtration is in place and your pond has matured, which should take approximately six to eight weeks, your Koi will become a real joy to you.

• Koi do not fight among themselves or with other fish.
• They grow quickly and live a long time – they may even outlive you!
• Koi can be kept indoors or outdoors in a pond.
• Koi are ‘child friendly’; unfortunately their ponds are not, unless safety nets are put in place. Being the mother of a young child, I know the joy children get from touching pets and Koi will merrily suck on inquisitive fingers, causing no harm but lots of giggles.
• Koi can tolerate water that freezes for months providing the water doesn’t freeze solid with them inside. They can also take water temperatures that rise to almost 35-40 degrees, provided there is sufficient aeration.
• Quite a few of my male customers have told me that their Koi are a joy to them as they do not talk back or ask them to do anything!
• Lastly, Koi ponds are attractive and add a decorative touch to your garden.

Filtration for small ponds and water features.
Correct filtration and aeration are critical for Koi and improve the appearance of all water features. The best way to filter ponds is to have both mechanical and biological filtration. This can consist of a bottom drain and a weir taking out solids and leaves into a settlement chamber and then pumping water through a biological filter. Small ponds and water features often do not have enough space for this type of arrangement however there are some ways around this. Some examples of filters for small areas are:

CB0, which filters up to 750 litres of water.
CB1, which filters up to 1800 litres of water.
CB2, which filters up to 1440 litres of water.
Tetra filters, which filter ponds of 4000 litres.

‘Ultrazap’ filters, which consist of a filter with a built-in ultraviolet light. The 8-watt/15-litre gravity filter filters up to 1200 litres, and the 8-watt/25-litre filters up to 4000 litres.
When you install a ready-made pond or water feature, try to place it in a shady area. If a pond is placed directly in full sunlight it will go green in a few days. If you have a water feature and do not want to keep fish but would like to grow water plants you can just use a UV light filter. This will assist in keeping the water clean, as algae can be controlled with relatively fast flow rates through a UV filter. Unfortunately the UV filter will not kill the thick strings of algae known as ‘blanket weed’.

A USEFUL TIP: Place your water pump in a water lily basket. This prevents the pump sponge from blocking up so fast. It also helps prolong the life of your pump because it does not suck up as much dirt as it would if it was sitting on the bottom of the pond or water feature.

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