How To Keep a Koi Pond Clean
Koi are a particularly popular breed of fish with an Asian background. Often considered “Japanese goldfish” by most people, koi have proven to be much healthier by comparison. While goldfish are capable of living up to 25 years in a clean environment, koi can live an additional ten years past the point where most goldfish would die from old age. This fact, along with the lovely aesthetic this breed provides, is often a big reason why people opt for keeping koi as pets.
But where are you going to keep your koi – a fish tank?
We certainly hope not!
Might we suggest a better option instead?
What Exactly Is A Koi Pond?
While it would be very simple to say that koi ponds are human-made homes for koi fish, there’s a bit more to tell than that. For starters, you’re probably curious as to why we strongly advise against housing your koi in fish tanks. Most fish tanks are built in proportions much too small to satisfy the living needs of larger fish such as koi. To put things into perspective, allow us to provide you a hypothetical example.
Imagine a large tiger locked in a cage that’s far too small for him. The enclosure is certainly large enough to hold him, but he cannot move very well. He has to rub up against the metal bars to turn himself around, and he can’t sleep comfortably. Heck, even sitting down might prove to be a challenge for him!
Do you think this big kitty is happy living like this?
If you don’t think so, then you might be able to see why koi are meant to live in larger homes.
Koi ponds are safe places for your fish to live and grow. They are superior to fish tanks in that they allow sea-life much more space and breathing room, entailing a much less stressful environment. And from a material standpoint, koi ponds are beautiful; making them the perfect addition to your backyard.
That is if you’re willing to feed your new family of friends, of course.
How Often Do I Need To Clean My Koi Pond?
That depends on the size of your koi pond. Some koi ponds are the size of swimming pools while others are the equivalent of watering holes. If your pond is relatively small, we recommend cleaning it as often as possible–as in every other day. Most koi ponds house several different fish crammed together into one space, so you’ll want to be sure their living environment is clean.
If your koi pond is medium sized, however, then you can get away with cleaning once a week. For larger koi ponds, we’ve heard people recommend once every season. See the pattern just yet? The larger the pond, the less time you have to spend cleaning it!
What Supplies Do I Need?
We’re glad you asked!
When it comes to cleaning koi ponds, there are a few different ways you can clean them (we’ll get more into those later). Regardless of your preferred cleaning style, however, there’s are several of items that you’ll need to ensure your pond is in tip-top condition. Out of five of the different supply items we have listed, you’ll likely use at least four of them. Let’s check them out!
Skimmer Net: If you’ve ever owned a fish before, you most likely know what this thing is already. It’s a small net you use to either evacuate the fish or strain the water. You’ll need your little water-breathing buddies to understand that you’ll be taking them out of their comfort zone. But don’t worry, they get a nice (temporary) home!
Fish Container: This can be anything that can contain water. Its only job is to hold your fish while you continue to fish for more. Simple enough, right?
Cleaning reagents: More specifically, get a hose-end sprayer attachment for your water hose. If your pond is drainable, the cleaning reagents can be sprayed on the walls of your pond and entail a much cleaner looking environment for your koi fish.
Pond vacuum: Ah yes, a good pond vacuum! This bad boy can get all sorts of debris sucked off these monstrous lawn mowers that your neighbor is using. No cleaning job is quite as busy as this task of sucking up all the bad so you can make way for what’s new and scarce!
What’s The Best Way To Clean Koi Ponds?
As we stated earlier, there are a few ways to clean koi ponds. Granted, they often boil down to the utilization (or lack thereof) of the drain plug commonly found in ponds. Most people prefer draining their pond because they want the most thorough cleaning job to be performed on it. However, some people don’t want to have to rely on a technician. Regardless, we’ll go with the option that’s the easiest and less stressful.
#1. Scooping debris: First things first, you want to do the best you can by cleaning the debris outside. Why is this important, you rebels ask? Well! If fish have to cope with too much debris, they won’t be too happy swimming in their pond. Not only that, but they’ll risk getting sick and dying far too early in life. Please be considerate and clean the debris in your koi pond.
#2. Scooping fish: Once you’re finishing scooping debris, you’re now free to scoop your koi into the selected fish container. Be very careful with scooping them and DO NOT forget to fill the fish container with water. Koi aren’t very good at breathing out of the water, you know!
#3. Drain: Draining your pond is more of an optional step here. It’s often recommended that you drain your pond, but it’s not necessary. Some pond vacuums can easily clean the pond’s floor while water is still in it. If you have filters installed in your pond, they will very much come in handy if you’re trying to go for a non-drain cleaning method.
#4. Vacuum/Spray: Regardless of whether or not the pond has been drained, you can still vacuum the inside, so it’s much cleaner for your fish. If you do drain, you can also make use of your hose-end sprayer. Besides, there’s no water left, so why not give it a short bath before refilling it back?
#5. Return/Refill: After you’re finished, go ahead and refill the pond and return the little fishies to their home. Proceed then to give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
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