10 cool-weather koi pond tips | Living the Country Life
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10 cool-weather koi pond tips

Follow these tips to keep your koi and your pond healthy this fall and winter.
  • Clean up!

    Do a pond clean-out this fall. Fish are at their most healthy stage so their immune systems are able to handle some moving and cleaning. Remove leaves, as they often attract parasites that harm fish. Leaves will also decay because of sunlight, putting bacteria into the water and taking precious oxygen from fish.

    Date Published: May 15, 2012
    Date Updated: September 25, 2012
  • Invest in a net

    Contemplate buying a net to prevent leaves from causing damage. The net will also serve a second purpose: to protect fish from predators like raccoons and birds.

    Date Published: May 15, 2012
    Date Updated: September 25, 2012
  • Inside or outside?

    Decide whether you want to keep your fish inside during winter. Too many fish can consume all the oxygen in the pond when ice covers it. If the pond is at least two feet deep, the vast amount of water has a lesser chance of freezing too deep and there will be more oxygen for fish.

    Date Published: May 15, 2012
    Date Updated: September 25, 2012
  • Consider bringing smaller fish inside

    Exotic varieties of goldfish do better if brought inside during winter. Be sure to use a large aquarium or tub that may be aerated and filtered, and that drains easily.

    Date Published: May 15, 2012
    Date Updated: September 25, 2012
  • Keep a small area of the pond ice-free

    With sheets of ice encasing the fish, it's essential to maintain an ice-free area for the fish's exchange of gases with the atmosphere. If ice caps over the pond for longer than a few days, the fish may suffocate from a lack of oxygen.

    Date Published: May 15, 2012
    Date Updated: September 25, 2012
  • Air bubblers, water pumps and deicers can help

    If you live in a region where ice only forms for a few days at a time, invest in air bubblers and small water pumps to maintain pond aeration. When temperatures drop below the teens for long periods of time, bubblers and pumps don't work. Deicers will do the trick in these colder areas.

    Date Published: May 15, 2012
    Date Updated: September 25, 2012
  • Don't break the ice!

    The shockwaves from the hit could very well damage or kill fish.

    Date Published: May 15, 2012
    Date Updated: September 25, 2012
  • Make a bigger hole

    Finding fish gasping at the surface for air? It's probably because of low oxygen levels or toxic gases. Try to enlarge the hole to facilitate easier gas exchange by using another bubbler or heater.

    Date Published: May 15, 2012
    Date Updated: September 25, 2012
  • Pump up the protein

    Until the temperatures start to dip into the lower registers, pack on the protein. Choose fish food with high protein levels to build up a fat reserve, but when temperatures hit the 60's, let up on the amount you're feeding them.

    Date Published: May 15, 2012
    Date Updated: September 25, 2012
  • Feed fish less

    While it may seem counter-productive, fish metabolism slows and they require less protein as temperatures drop. Improper feeding can cause a build-up of toxic ammonia, reducing fish survivability. Once water temps fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, cease feeding fish until spring.

    Date Published: May 15, 2012
    Date Updated: September 25, 2012

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