Most pond owners want a water garden so they can keep fish as pets. They’re fun to watch, a joy to feed, and a sight to behold swimming around the pond. They’re truly not much different than other pets, except they can’t cozy up in your lap in front of the television. Regardless, most pond owners are just as attached to their koi as they are to their dog or cat. You want your fish to be healthy and happy, so it’s heartening to know that most problems with your fish can be avoided by following a few simple steps.
1. Buy Your Fish from a Trusted Source
It’s important to ask how long a retailer has had a fish. If they just received it, you can ask them to hold the fish for a couple of days to make sure the fish recovers from any stress related to transportation and new water chemistry. Never buy any sick fish and if possible, quarantine new fish for a few days before adding them to your pond. Read our 10 tips for buying fish for more information to assist in your pond fish purchases.
2. Keep an Eye on Your Fish
Watching and enjoying your fish is one of the great benefits of Living the Aquascape Lifestyle®! If you notice any signs of disease or unusual behavior, refer to our fish treatments page which includes an information chart for identifying and treating the most common pond fish issues. Or better yet, visit our store and talk to one of our subject matter experts. Bring a photo or phone video of your fish with you so we can help you identify the problem and treatment.
3. Feed with High Quality Food
Feeding you fish with a high quality fish food will ensure that your fish are getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need to maintain proper health and will not affect water quality. Be careful not to overfeed your fish as uneaten fish food will decay and can cause an imbalance in pond water. Feed your fish no more than they can eat in five minutes. In the summertime, you can feed them up to three times per day. In cooler temperatures, feed them only once – and stop feeding your fish altogether when pond water temperature drops below fifty degrees.
4. Maintain Good Water Quality
The majority of issues with fish are caused by poor water quality. Make sure that the fish population is under control and not over-crowded. A general rule is to ensure you have no more than ten inches of fish (in length) for every 100 gallons of water in your pond. So if your pond is 1000 gallons, you can have a total of 100 inches of fish. Also, balancing your fish population with a variety of pond plants will absorb fish waste as fertilizer and will starve algae of this fertilizer.
Beneficial Bacteria should be added to your pond on a regular basis to help keep it balanced. The Aquascape Automatic Dosing System, an electronically operated dispenser, automatically releases the proper dose of water treatments for your pond which provides an easy way to maintain your water quality without having to remember to treat the water.
If you suspect there might be a quality issue, you should test your water because the pH level can affect your fish fish’s health negatively. Although if you’re consistently adding Beneficial Bacteria, have proper filtration, and have a good balance of fish and plants for the size of your pond, you should rarely run into any issues. Even so, outside factors like lawn chemicals can seep into your pond and cause problems. It’s not recommended to apply chemicals to plants or grass that are near your pond.
Prevention is the best cure for your koi and other pond fish! Maintaining optimum water conditions is the easiest way to avoid disease problems. Keeping a balanced ecosystem includes feeding a quality diet and adding beneficial bacteria on a regular basis. Disease problems must be addressed in the early stages to be successful. By following these simple tips you’ll enjoy seeing your pond fish swim happily and healthily throughout the entire pond season!