Here are practical tips to keep your koi at home healthy and happy. 

by Charlene Bobis

1. It’s better when the water temperature is lower. Find a practical way to lower ambient temperature around your koi pond as this will help during summer months. You can use shades, chillers, or more aeration.

2. Feed your koi properly and choose good quality koi food. Food should be consumed within 15 minutes of feeding. Ideally, koi should be fed three to five times a day.

Speaking of that, what do koi eat, and what kind of food is good (or bad) for them? Edward explains, “Koi are omnivorous and eat many kinds of food―including natural live food from the bottom or plants.” Nonetheless, there are many kinds of commercial koi food in the form of floating and sinking pellets. The best koi food depends on the ingredients; it’s recommended that it be made of premium fishmeal (which is considered superior to other animal proteins and corn protein), packed with vitamins, minerals, and probiotics.

If you intend to show your koi, its diet is crucial in determining the fish’s “grooming” for a show. Some kinds of food contain color enhancers to increase color and vibrancy; others have higher protein levels to help the fish attain better sizes and girths. Staple koi food is balance and ideal for everyday use.

3. Pay attention to filter maintenance. Do this regularly to remove dirt and muck.

4. Pay attention to your pond’s aeration.The more aerated your pond, the better.

5. Control the amount of sunlight reaching the pond. There should neither be too much nor too little sunlight reaching your pond; there should just be enough to keep the temperature comfortable for your koi.

6. Learn to spot signs of stress and disease in your koi. When koi are stressed or contract diseases, their quality can suffer. Check to see if they are moving and feeding well, and make sure there is nothing on their skin (like parasites).

This story appeared in Animal Scene’s April 2015 issue.