Adding a koi pond to your property is a great way to add beauty, visual interest, and a touch of nature and tranquility. Your whole family will soon view the koi pond as a place to relax and feel closer to nature. A koi pond is reasonably low maintenance, but there are a few steps you need to take to ensure that your pond stays clean and balanced and that your koi fish remain healthy. Here are five tips for your first koi pond:
Add A Pond Liner
Before you ever fill your pond with water or stock it with fish, you need to add a durable, thick, high-quality pond liner. Without a good liner, pond water will soak into the soil, causing you to lose water at a rapid rate. This is bad for the koi and also bad for your pocketbook, as you will need to buy more and more water to counteract the loss of pond water into the soil. Buying a pond liner will prevent this problem from happening in the first place, while also helping to keep your koi pond clean. Contact a company like Billboard Tarps for assistance with picking the pond liner that will be best for your needs.
Avoid Overstocking Your Pond with Too Many Koi
Sometimes new koi-pond owners get too excited and go seriously overboard when stocking their koi fish. Koi grow quickly, so it's a common mistake to buy too many cute little koi babies, while underestimating how much space and food they will need once they are full-grown adult fish. Overstocking with koi means your fish will not have enough oxygen, food, or space to be happy and healthy.
If you overstock your koi, you may lose fish, and you will certainly spend more time and money than you planned just to keep the overcrowded water filtered and clean (since more fish mean more waste), and your fish fed. A good rule of thumb to prevent this problem is to stay under two pounds of koi per 100 gallons of water. Another option is to contact a professional koi dealer, explain the size and dimensions of your pond, and ask them how many koi you should purchase.
Keep the Pond's Oxygen Levels Up
Both your fish and the pond itself need plenty of oxygen. Lack of oxygen leads to your fish coming to the surface gasping for breath, excessive algae buildup, foul odors, and decay. One way to naturally add more oxygen to your koi pond is to have a waterfall feature built along with the pond, as the waterfall will help naturally aerate the water. Another idea is to install a pond aeration device, which will automatically add oxygen as needed.
Consider Adding Protective Netting
Because of their brilliant color, koi fish are easily spotted by predators like birds and raccoons. For this reason, you may want to add fencing or protective netting around the perimeter of your koi pond. When having your koi pond designed and built, you can incorporate the netting or fencing into the overall design to ensure an attractive appearance.
Implement Routine Water Checks
Finally, you will need to purchase a pond-water-quality test kit in order to perform water quality tests and make adjustments as needed on a weekly basis. Your test kit should test levels of oxygen, nitrogen, pH, salinity, and more. Appropriate levels for these various chemicals can easily be found online and applied to your specific pond.
Maintaining your koi pond does require some effort and time, but you will be rewarded with its beauty and tranquility. By following these tips, you will be able to enjoy your koi pond for many years to come.