A koi garden pond is the main attraction in any garden, and is a source of great pride for any koi keeper. The brilliantly colorful and effervescent fish provide endless entertainment, while at the same time the pleasant surroundings add a peaceful quality to the atmosphere. It can serve as the perfect background for quiet time, romantic talks, or deep meditation.
A koi garden pond also happens to be a miniature ecosystem, where plant and animal life thrive and complement each other in many ways. For this reason, it is essential that these ponds be properly maintained and preserved. And because this is where the koi will spend the rest of their lives, it is important to keep the pond safe and clean at all times.
Retaining water quality in the pond poses the biggest challenge, because water is where the fish sleep, eat, breathe and even defecate. While everyday dirt and floating objects are not as harmful, an abundance of fish waste in the water will give rise to the chemical ammonia, which is poisonous to the fish.
Frequent cleaning may appear to purify the water, but do remember that clear water doesn’t always mean it is clean, nor does clean water have to be clear. This practice isn’t advisable as well, because the repetitive process stresses the fish and makes them more vulnerable to sickness and disease.
One sure way to prevent an increase in ammonia levels is to avoid overfeeding the koi. Experts say that three to five times a day is good enough, and an ideal amount of food for the koi is what they can finish within five minutes.
In order to preserve both oxygen levels and cleanliness, water filters are recommended. There are two types, mechanical filters and biofilters, and they are ideally used together. Mechanical filters get rid of solid dirt and scum while biofilters remove the chemicals, particularly the ammonia and nitrites derived from fish waste.
Another cause of unclean water is the presence of algae. Algae is produced when the sun shines directly over the pond. To stop this from happening, place tall plants and trees around the pond to give it shade. Just make sure that you do so with a bit of artistry.
Water left to stagnate also becomes a problem. In this case, oxygen is trapped and does not circulate, which gives bacteria the chance to multiply and wreak havoc. Installing an artificial fountain or waterfall often solves this, as well as add more life to your koi garden pond.