• Garden Maintenance

Cost Effective Tips to keep Koi Ponds Healthy and well Maintained

Koi ponds are the best way to bring a piece of the exotic world of the fareast into your backyard. They are an excellent way to make your home a place of calmness and serenity - an escape from the hustle and bustle of the real world. Aside from its benefits to your life, having a koi pond is also a great way to increase the value of your home!

Having a koi pond is a great way to charm visitors as well as having a place for relaxation and rejuvenation in the comfort of your home. The maintenance, however, can sometimes be overlooked as most people tend to think it can be expensive and requires too much effort. So, what are the things you need to do in taking care of your koi pond in a less-expensive but effective way? koi carp in a pond

Regular Water Change

One of the most obvious ways to keep your Koi pond clean is maintaining the quality of water. Your koi pond will most likely be at your backyard and outside your house; exposing it to pollutants that may contaminate the water.

Regular water change is one of the crucial parts of koi pond management; mainly to avoid bacterial and chemical pollutant (nitrates and ammonia) build-ups in the water. However, doing a total water change is not recommended as it can incredibly affect the life of your koi. Draining and changing at least 10 - 15% of the water level once or twice a week should be good enough for pond water maintenance.

Changing water regularly not only ensures the cleanliness of your Koi's living environment, it can also be a great way to keep the mosquitoes from reproducing. Furthermore, it can help you reach areas in your pond to clean and filter them faster and easier.

Reduce algal buildup

The pond should have crystal clear waters where you can see your koi swimming majestically. It's not usually a bad thing to have algae in your pond since it helps filter the water by consuming nitrates and increasing the oxygen saturation. However, too much algae consumes oxygen which, in turn, can be harmful and even fatal for your Koi.

koi carp in a pond

Other harmful effects of having excessive algae build up in your pond includes clogging of the filtration system and it's a very nasty sight. To avoid this, you can consider going the cheaper and easier way; sanitizing the pond by applying barley. It is still unknown how barley straws work its magic. According to observations though, barley straw - when broken down with water - releases compounds that stop algae from growing. It may not ultimately kill algae that are already in the water but it's one of the first steps and the cheapest ways of maintaining water cleanliness.

Taking care of the surroundings

As mentioned earlier, that koi pond in your backyard will be exposed to the pollution of the outside world. You may be able to scoop out fallen leaves, scums, and those darn bugs, but you can avoid these with less effort and in a cheaper way. When it comes to protecting the water of your koi pond, installing a leaf net is one of the necessities you should have. It keeps the leaves from falling directly into the water and you can clear out the net once or twice a week before the leaves decompose.

Water temperature maintenance

If you live in a cold place where it gets snowy, you should consider the temperature of the water as it can affect the health of your koi. Although your kois may be hardy and resilient (they're known to live for a very long time!), they still need your well-deserved care and attention.

garden pond in snow

You'll be happy to know that kois are known to survive at 0 degrees C so long as they have adequate water in the pond and that they have enough oxygen to breathe in. Keep this in mind because koi fish are not so good being left in frozen water as they can freeze to death. However, don't just go ahead and smash a hole in the ice in your pond as the shockwaves can hurt your koi. Among the other things you can do is getting a de-icer or aerator during winter, or you can use a hot kettle by setting it on the ice to melt a hole. This way, bubbles can escape to the surface promoting gas exchange in the water for the koi.

Taking care of the surroundings

You should know that your koi pond, especially when it's outside, is an ecosystem - a body of water that attracts wildlife. That is why your kois are just another prey to animals on top of the backyard pond food chain! As mentioned earlier, this is another reason why installing a pond netting is crucial for pond maintenance. It doesn't only keep the pond clean it also protects its inhabitants from hungry predators.

If you have a guard dog, your four-legged friend is another effective way of scaring off those pesky predators. Just make sure that it is well-oriented and well-trained with the pond and it should be able to help you keep your kois safe and secured.

Placing decoys can also be a great option to fight predators. However, use this with caution as animals can learn to adapt and are smarter than you think. For herons, placing a decoy may help to keep other herons at bay since they are territorial by nature.

Don't Overstock

You may have the urge of adding another batch of koi fish in your pond but this idea is quite complicated. Depending on the size of your pond, you should avoid introducing too many koi fish, especially other types of fish, as the large number of kois in the pond can be harmful to the fish itself. Overpopulation can cause discomfort to your koi and too much waste can result in the water becoming dirty; making it harder for you to maintain your pond.

AJ is an avid fish lover with two ponds of her own, including one dedicated to Koi. She also provide money-saving tips on her website Cost Figures
Japanese garden image by Belinda Cumming
Lone Koi carp image by Joan Kocur
Pond in snow image by By Serena from Europe ([1]Uploaded by Caspian blue) CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia commons