Goldfish & Koi Are Different
Fish add interest and life to any sized pond. Their charm, bright colors and fluid motion can't be beat! Your fish will become quite tame, eat from your hand, follow you around and even let you pet them! Goldfish come in many varieties and a mix of colors. Most are very hardy and will do well in almost every situation. They are relatively inexpensive and can be found at most pet supply stores.
The Japanese Koi is an excellent choice if you can meet its special requirements including a larger and deeper pond and larger filtration system. Read all you can about these special fish and their requirements before purchasing. Although beautiful they can be quite expensive and probably not the fish to be experimenting with.
Stocking Your Pond
The following formula is used to figure out how many fish your pond can handle (Bio-load). First figure out the square footage of your pond, to do this multiply the length X width = Sq. Footage, then multiply by 1” This is the inches of fish the pond will handle. The common rule is 1” of Goldfish or ½” of Koi per square foot of the ponds surface area. Example: A 10’x10’ pond = 100sq. ft. of surface area. 100 x 1” = 100” of fish or twenty 5” goldfish.
Start out with a few at first and add more if things go well. You do not want to over stock! Too many fish equals dirty water and more work. If your source water is from the city it likely contains chlorine & other chemicals, use a declor/conditioner such as "Amquel" before adding fish. We also recommend having your filtration system established & adding your water plants 2-4 weeks prior to bringing your new friends home. When you purchase your fish they will be placed into a plastic bag that should be floated in your pond for about 20 minutes. Next you should open the bag and allow the pond water to mix into the bag, soon after your fish should leave the bag and head for shelter. After a few days and a regular feeding program they will settle in and become quite tame. Feeding them at the same time and from the same place allows them to become accustomed to you.
Feeding Your Fish
Feed your fish less than you would like, over feeding produces excess waste and will adversely effect water quality. The fish also obtain food from the pond itself in the form of mosquito larvae and certain algae. Because of this do not hesitate to leave them on their own for a week or two, as they will fend for themselves. If at any time your water begins to green, discontinue feeding until the water clears. By doing this you will cut down on the nutrients that feed the green water. A packaged fish food with a balance of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and added color enhancers is recommended. It is very important to monitor the water temperature in the spring and fall. Discontinue feeding when water temperatures are at or below 50 degrees. The intestinal bacteria that aids your fish in digesting food becomes inactive as water temperatures cool, they have a harder time digesting food and can become ill or die.
NEW for 2008! Click Here to view a video clip of feeding Koi.
Need More Information About Fish Care? Click Here for "Fish Health & First Aid" article.
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