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Tips for Raising Koi in Your Pond

Updated on June 24, 2014

Why raise koi in your pond

When putting an outdoor fish pond in your yard, there's no doubt the majority of people are thinking of putting the gorgeous, majestic koi fish in the pond to finish off the fantastic visual and interactive experience associated with them.

Waterfalls and water are fantastic, but adding the sauntering, peaceful and relaxing koi to the mix does something nothing else can do, and it completes the picture.
One thing to keep in mind with koi, is you really want to prepare for when you insert them into your little ecosystem, as they are a long term investment of time and pleasure, as they can live to be over 20 years old and grow to lengths of three feet or more.

Don't underestimate the pleasure and connection you'll end up having for your koi, as those that own them have great affection for them, and in many cases name them as they would a dog or cat.
So make sure you do as much studying up as you can, check out many koi specialty books and websites, and do your homework. It's not that it's an outrageous amount of learning curve, just that you do need to do things right to ensure your koi's long term health, safety and survival.    

Pond preparation for koi

When you are ready to buy your koi, or if you're going to build a pond with them in mind, make sure it's a minimum of 18 inches deep. It's better to be deeper than 18 inches, but any shallower and it will be difficult to keep them alive and healthy.    
The pond also should include a filter. If you're going to put in a waterfall, that will really helps - as it does with all fish - because aerates or oxygenates the water.

Another thing that is a must for koi is a place they can rest in such as a quiet section of the pond. Hopefully you'll include overhanging edges for that purpose, but also to protect them from marauding predators looking for a meal. Raccoons and other pests can decimate your koi if there isn't a place for them to hide. 

Gorgeous koi fish and pond

Choosing you koi at the shop

Assuming your pond is ready, the most important step is to go to the fish shop or koi supplier and get healthy fish to begin with. Just this helps to increase the longevity of your koi, as you're starting off with the healthy fish in the first place.

What you're looking for in choosing your koi are fins that stand erect, a full-scaled body, and clear eyes. If they have those characteristics, they should be in good shape for you. 

Price differences of koi and why

If you want to get the very best koi, you're going to have to pay a lot of money for that privilege. Don't be discouraged though, as you can get baby koi 3 or 4 inches long sometimes for under $10.

While you will have to go through losing a few, it's definitely worth the lower costs and enjoyment of seeing them grow to maturity.

But if you're the type that likes immediate satisfaction and results, you can buy fish about two feet long, but they can easily cost over $1,000, and rare koi breeds like the Butterfly koi can go for $10,000 and more.

Koi being fed

When to buy koi

I know it's tempting to get koi as soon as your pond is ready, but if it's not during a cool weather period, it would be best to wait if you can.

The reason why is the metabolism of the koi slows during the winter months, making it easier to transfer them. Koi survive very well in cold water environments, and if the pond is deep enough they'll live even during times the water freezes. 

Koi near waterfall

What to feed your koi

There are pellets especially made for koi, like most commercial fish we buy, and you're safe knowing you can feed them confidently with food made specifically for them. You should be able to get that at any pet or fish store.

Other foods they can eat are lettuce, cooked rice and fresh or dried shrimp.

If it's during the summer months, you should feed them two times a day, during the winter months they can get by on one feeding a day.

If your pump happens to break, you shouldn't feed your koi, as they can survive without eating for almost two weeks. The reason you hold off feeding them is they use up far more oxygen after feeding. 

What else to do for you koi

There are a lot of little things to do with koi, and you should check out the numerous places on the Internet that offers you more indepth information, or buy a book or two to get the overall feel for what needs to be done to ensure their long term survival and your long term enjoyment of them. 


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    • thost profile image

      thost 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Great Hub, thank you for the information.

    • BlogZoneUSA profile image

      BlogZoneUSA 6 years ago from Tennessee

      Cool Hub! Watching Koi is so relaxing. Amazing fish!

    • profile image

      hughgrant 7 years ago

      the information given refreshes and helps me a lot. I am energize to raise another batch of my beautiful and stress-free cois. thanks a lot. God bless!

    • profile image

      VivekSri 7 years ago

      Colorful and cool looking fishes on the pond. The name sounds familiar, but they looks freshly new and uninhibited.