Need To Learn The Koi Basics!

Fearyn

My mother and I really want to have a koi pond built either this winter or early next year. (We have a few goldfish in a trough we would like to move to a pond, too.)

So I guess, I would just like to hear some basics on kois. How big does the pond need to be? (I would like dimensions like width/length/depth, gallons won't help me too much lol!)

How many koi would fit in said pond without overcrowding?

Maybe someone could go over the filtration system if they have a pond?

Would it be best to put the pond where it has access to some shade? I live in Oregon, summers can get very hot.

Any other general tips/facts would be appreciated. Thank you
 

junebug

Koi need MASSIVE amounts of water to live their full life. 1000 gallons just for one, and it needs to be several feet deep.

We had a single koi in our pond until an accident killed her, but in all fairness she would have died soon anyone because whoever put her in there didn't think about how big she'd be when she was full grown. She was over a foot long when she died and beeched herself constantly on the too-shallow pond floor on a daily basis.

I need to do a pond post soon anyway... we got new goldies after the accident and they deserve their own thread <3 I'll try to take a decent shot of the filtration system but the main filtration is plants. Lots of lilies in the water, tons of riparian growth around all of the edges, and rocks everywhere to hold the liner in place. Then there is a pump box that pumps water under or around the pond (we're not sure which it is) to a waterfall about 3 feet higher than the pond level, so it cascades down over sections and finally into the pond. We just have a box with biomedia but since hubby refuses to use Prime or another dechlorinator in the pond I really doubt there are any BB living in it even though it's been set up for years.

I do know that if it's below 50 during your winters, your koi will basically begin to hibernate and will stay towards the bottom. They shouldn't be fed much during this time as their digestive system is nearly halted. We feed the pond in the winter but that's mostly for the mosquito fish and turtles. The fish rarely come up to eat when it's cold.
 

Fearyn

Yeah we definitely want to make sure we make it pretty big! I was just curious what size was the minimum with depth/length/width. We are going to be doing some construction soon and were going to have the guys dig it out with the equipment when they are here so we need to get it marked off for them.

We have a ton of water hyacinths in all of the troughs that spread like mad, so we plan on putting them in the pond.

My LPS raises koi and fancy goldfish and oh gosh they are so amazing. I am in love with the butterfly koi.
 

junebug

Oh that's good actually! Butterfly koi seem to run a bit smaller and would be easier to stock (and they are SO pretty).

I can tell you about my pond. It is too small for even one. LOL. It's probably 15x20 swimming area (in feet) and it was nowhere near enough room for Ghengis Koi. (her theme song was the Jaws song.... I actually miss her poor thing). So make it bigger than that, and rather deep (maybe 4 feet deep minimum) and you'll be off to a better start than hubby was. Also make sure you keep it covered to keep birds out while the fish are small, and I'm sure you already know this, but raccoons and such are huge pond pests. So we keep our dogs outside most of the time LOL.
 

Fearyn

We were thinking most of the pond would be 6 ft at the deepest with a somewhat shallow "beach" area. And yes, racoons get into everything around here but the dog usually keeps them away. Perhaps I could keep very small koi in a 150 gal trough until they are a better size? (Since of course, the bigger koi you buy the more expensive they get! Lol)
 

junebug

haha I'd definitely buy babies and grow them out myself. It's so much cheaper. And it's rewarding. You could probably keep them in tub ponds until they are 5-6" and then move them to the pond (what hubby and I did with the new goldies, we made sure to get them at least 4" long. and QTd one that came in missing an eyeball LOL).

If you have a good aquaponics farm near you, they often sell koi that are sent to them as goldfish at a decent price.

Also, you can put a mesh over the pond for the first few months if you're worried about raccoons.
 

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