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8 Reviews

Animal Species: Fish

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    8 Reviews
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      27.08.2010 18:58
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      Not for the novice.

      Koi carp originated in Japan and are 'domestic' cousins of the common carp. Centuries of line breeding mean that there are now hundreds of varieties available for purchase.

      The koi is a large fish, growing to twenty four inches on average. This means they need a large pond of at least three foot deep and no less than 1500 gallons, preferably double this. The fish are heavy feeders requiring good quality feed in order to grow to their full potential and to display their optimum colouration. Unfortunately for the fish keeper this means they also produce a lot of waste and a large filtration system is required in order to maintain the good water quality these fish need to thrive. A pump is required to feed this filtration system, specifically a solid handling pump (these are designed to take in and therefore remove the large particles of waste produced by the koi) that turns over the entire volume of the pond once every two hours or more. This ensures the water is filtered adequately. In the summer time an air pump is also necessary to provide koi with the essential oxygen they need. Hot weather and thunderstorms strip water of it's oxygen-carrying abilities and an air pump is essential to replenish this.

      Unfortunately all this equipment means keeping koi is an expensive undertaking. Once this initial equipment purchase is made however, the filters and pumps are generally long lived and the only remaining costs are for food, water conditioner and potential medications if the fish were to fall sick. These purchases are not particularly cheap either but neither are they very expensive. For example a bucket of specific koi feed might cost £35 but would last an average keeper somewhere in the region of 4-5 months (obviously dependant on the number of fish and the feeding regime adopted).

      Koi are destructive and like nothing more, i ssuspect, than tearing up your expensive lilies and oxygenating plants. Please be aware that a koi pond is more often than not bare of all plant life, whether the pond-keeper chooses this or not! Lilies can be weighted down with large pebbles or cobbles to prevent the koi from digging up their roots but the leaves, unless your very lucky, are quite often nibbled and chewed and occasionally eaten completely. You have been warned!

      Despite the expense, the mess involved and the lack of pretty lilies, koi keeping can be a fun and rewarding hobby. To most people's suprise the koi carp is quite an intelligent fish and gets to know his owner (and very definitely the people that feed him) very quickly, often taking to hand-feeding which is great fun. It's also not unheard of for koi to like their tummy tickled and some will 'roll-over' to allow you to do precisely that! As the koi grow their colours and patterns will change, a baby that looks dull and uninteresting can flourish into a colourful (if not prize winning) adult. Many people do enjoy showing their koi or visiting koi shows to see other peoples prize specimens. Rules abound as to the correct colour patterns and percentages of the various koi varieties. For some prople something that started as a hobby quite easily turns into a life-long passion and with koi carp living for anywhere up to and beyond 25 years, your koi may one day outlive you!

      A lot of people don't realise these fish have very specific requirements and they are purchased on a whim. This is unfair to the fish in question and could potentially lead to a short, sad life for the poor animal. In the right environment these are wonderful, inquisitive fish who are perhaps easier to care for than a dog but certainly not without their demands. Make sure to do your reading before you purchase!

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      08.06.2006 14:37
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      Hi, I have just moved into a new house and it has a pond in the garden. My brother and I are looking

      Hi, I have just moved into a new house and it has a pond in the garden. My brother and I are looking to expand on the current pond, (it a small plastic shell) we would like to make it a Koi carp pond. Deep and long while also raising the edges/sides to window level.

      Can someone tell me what I need to do with regards to looking after them? I currently have Tropical fish so am a keen fish lover.
      What I really want to know is what is best with regards to filters and controlling the Algae. Also how deep should we make it etc. Any other pointers are welcome 2. I have purchased and Air pump that does 900 litters and hour but am very keen to get on this project. Also how long should I wait till I add the fish etc? What chemicals do I need?

      Thanks

      Stuart

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        17.03.2003 02:48
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        I think that koi have to be the best fish you can buy for your pond. They are expensive but only if you buy the pure breed. E.g. sanke. You can buy them for about a fiver, they may be small but you can soon fatten them up. I have recently built a 4000-gallon pond for my koi. It is 4.5 ft deep. The deeper it is the better they will be. This id due to a few reasons. In winter the pond may freeze over so the deeper it is, the better it is for them to hibernate. The pond could also over heat in the summer, this will cause oxygen lose and could make the fish ill or even die. My most favourite koi are sanke, asagi, gin rin platinum, yamibuki, tancho and kujacko. These fish could quite easily double their size in a season in an average sized pond. If you want a good shop to go to for koi then Blagdon water gardens in Somerset is very good. For excellent koi accessories then go to www.cmcaquatics.com. This is an English website and have extremely low prices and post for free. At the end of every season you get some koi have price. What I do is to buy them and put them in an aquarium and put them out at the beginning of next year. I would recommend at least a 10-gallon tank for a fish no bigger than 5-6 inches. Another think that I would recommend is a surface skimmer. These are great in the winter. I think they are only £38.00 on cmcaqatics. I think there is nothing better than coming home from work and sitting by your koi pond watching them cruising up and down the pond. So go on buy yourself a koi, you won't be disappointed.

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          23.04.2001 15:04
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          Having recently moved house into one that contained a pond, our main concern was for the safety of the fencing around the pond. We certainly had no interest in what was in the pond, however once we had moved in we discovered that there are about 7 very nice Koi in there, one of them a very large one. At this discovery and the delight the children had with the discovery of the fish prompted us to curtail plans to remove the pond. We have had a strong metal cover made for the pond so that our little darlings do not end up in the pond, and that was not cheap but for the peace of min dit was well worth while. The children love feeding the fish and watching them - but becuase they are very young and not very good at standing still the fish are more often than not startled by them. We have now got a nice little bench next to the pond and enjoy sitting out there relaxing and watching the fish. It is very pleasant to sit and watch the fish on a sunny afternoon. Its a shame the kids are not quite so placid, at least for a little while...

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            18.03.2001 20:27
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            Koi Carp have to be the most beautiful and friendly fish going. My husband who thinks he is the next best thing to Dr. Dolittle, built a large pond in our back garden much to my disgust and informed me he was going to get some goldfish, little did I know that we were about to invest serious money in this project of his. It is very expensive to set up. To start you need a big pond, which takes a lot of back breaking work digging it out, especially as our garden is mostly shillet. Then there is the pump, U.V. filter, Pond liner, plants etc. So having completed it, of to Fish place we go, I am busily looking at the ordinary gold fish 50p each ones when I summoned over to look at the Koi Carp, I was hooked (pardon the pun)they were magnificent, and yes so was the price, but he convinced me they were worth it, so we bought 6 and home we went, they settled in and over a course of a few years we invested in a few more and they became very tame. They would swim over to you and be hand fed, silly as it sounds we bonded with them, each having their own names and knowing their different characters. We even got up 1am to see them spawn and delighted in the babies. They grew to be very big fish, and very colouful. Summer evenings are a delight sitting out watching them, very peaceful. That was till one morning I looked out and there were heads and bits of fish strewn all over the lawn. During the night mink had got in and destroyed our beloved fish. The mink had also destroyed our neighbours pond as well. After that we filled in the pond as we were devastated by the carnage. So to all would be Koi lovers beware of mink. These fish are in a different class to all other fish, they become your friends and once you have your setup completed are relatively easy to maintain. The pleasure you recieve from Koi far outweighs the expense. There are two types of Koi Japanese and Egyptian, the Japanese being the highly sought ater ones.

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              30.10.2000 01:57
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              Koi carp come in many different sizes and colours. They range in price from about £2 upwards. Some can cost £30+ each. If you have an outdoor pond with koi in it you might like to take notice of this cautionary tale! Last year my cat started bringing in the most beautiful koi carp. He was obviously fishing in someone's pond. Some of the fish were very big, with the most beautiful feathery fins. Obviously someone collected them as there was such a variety. In all he brought home about a dozen fish. Then the angling expeditions stopped. I assume that he had emptied the pond. It was not until a few weeks later that I heard of someone living close to me who's garden pond had been raided. The people concerned were not certain where their fish had gone, but I knew! So, if you do keep koi carp outside it would be a good idea to make the pond so that a crafty cat cannot find a good stop to sit and fish.

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              26.08.2000 02:29
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              My partner has had Koi for over ten years now. He started off with just two fish and now has 25 to 30 we’re not sure, as they are not very easy to count. About four years ago he noticed ulcers on some of the fish around the gills and on top of the head. Altogether he lost six fish before contacting our local fishery that breed trout for any help they could offer. It turned out to be a deceased fish he had bought from a specialised garden centre that was the culprit, and it was infecting all the others. The fishery advised him to order this special food from another fishery in England and keep them on it for a month. It did the trick but not before he lost another two fish. One of the largest fish he has, has now reached 14 or 15 inches long and still bears the scar of a large ulcer on its head. Every year we have loads of babies and they are growing fast, it will soon be time to give some away, but they do say fish will only grow and multiply to suit the size of the pond. At the beginning he introduced scavenger fish (ours were catfish) to keep the pond clean, we had to get rid of them as they ate the small fish and the tails off the large ones. It’s a very interesting hobby and at the moment it’s marvellous to see them all coming to the surface at feeding time. PS This powder accelerates biological digestion of organic matter in muddy water. It is called AQUAPLANCTION

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              22.08.2000 21:56
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              Koi carp are some of the most expensive fish you can buy for a pond, this is a gamble really as they can become diseased or die!however what I would recommend are ghost carp, they are only a few inches long when you get them, the good thing is they come in as many colours as koi and I purchased 4 in May and they seem to be really hardy, even survived when my whole pond was infected with whitespot, the amazing thing about them is that they are now about 6 inches long and plump too!!, they are as attractive as koi and you cant really tell the difference, so if you want some fancy fish I recommend these.

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