The Koi fish known for brilliant shape and color is a descendant of the Japanese magoi carp. Growing to over forty pounds and three feet in length, and with brilliant coloring in black, red, orange, yellow and white these fish have been documented to live for hundreds of years with the proper Koi care. There are several kinds including the fantail Koi that has long draping fins and a draping tail and with the right Koi care, they’ll remain beautiful.
The ancestor was a very resilient fish that could survive in poor water conditions and endure serious parasites without even getting sick. In order to produce the beautiful shapes and colors that are so prized in today’s world the fish are often selectively inbred. So while we have a fish with outstanding coloring we also have a fish that has lost some of the ability to withstand harsh treatment. However, they still seldom sicken and die without a reason so with the proper care they can still live for decades.
Most reasons for Koi death can be avoided by simply paying more attention to care. The top reasons for death include water quality, lack of oxygen, ulcer disease and parasites. Of course other things can cause the death of the Koi such as virus, tumors, pesticides and medication overdose. All things that are avoidable. Things that are harder to control are the fish jumping out of the water and being attacked by predators.
Doing research on proper care can assist you in selecting a pond that is sized correctly to keep your Koi healthy and happy. Koi love the deep water and they exercise by diving to the bottom and then back up to the top. If you want to keep the Koi happy, choose a deep pond. You will also want to avoid your shallow end be too shallow. It is necessary that the Koi be kept safe from too much heat and easy access to predators.
In your quest for good care avoid overcrowding. Koi grow rapidly and they are also quick to reproduce. Make sure that you are utilizing your entire pond, by choosing a design that is not too complicated. You do not want to end up with wasted space where there is poor water circulation. The best design gives your fish lost of room and keeps the water moving in every area allowing to you avoid stagnation and disease.
When considering care, you will want to be mindful of the pond temperature. Koi will not be as active in cooler temperature; they will go to the bottom of the pond and stay. While the Koi is able to withstand the cold, you will need to insure that your pond does not completely freeze. Adding a pond heater can help you not only to maintain the proper temperature needed to keep you Koi happy, it can also help you to avoid disease and sores.
When feeding your Koi, there are pellets that are specially prepared to maintain the proper balance of nutrients. The pellets float to the top to encourage the fish to come to the surface. The Koi should be fed the pellets daily. However, Koi care specialists advise that they also enjoy fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, peas and lettuce. The Koi will gather at feeding times and this is when you can see their personalities emerge as they recognize the person feeding them and are easily trained to take food from your hand.
The Japanese see the Koi as symbols of love and friendship and the Chinese believe they are symbols of good luck. Most importantly they are beautiful and interesting and if you are careful to provide good Koi care you can enjoy them for many, many years. So make Koi care a top priority.