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Introduction to Koi

Introduction to Koi

Let’s talk about Koi. What are they? In simple terms, Koi are fish. Specifically, they are an ornamental variation of a carp that are in the family Cyprinidae. In fact, the word Koi is the word for carp in Japanese.
Koi become popular in the 19th century when farmers in Japan started to use them in their rice gardens. They are now more common place in the world and have become a lucrative industry if you have the inclination to breed and grow them. That is not necessary to enjoy the simplicity of these wonderful fish as they are quite relaxing and mesmerizing to keep as pets.



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Commonly in the wild, carp only live for twenty years but captive carp or Koi can be kept in a confined setting like a garden pond for up to fifty years with proper care and maintenance. Like any animal, they are a long-term commitment and certainly will last longer than most other pets.
Where can you get Koi fish? Common carp varieties can be found in many garden ponds and they can be purchased from reputable pond and aquarium dealers. The cost for each one ranges in price from fifty to eighty dollars.



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What are Koi like? These lovely fish are very peaceful and will interact with others in their school and prefer to leave other species of fish alone. Typically, a school of fish will have between five and fifteen individual fish. When in a school, they will swim in a coordinated fashion that is beautiful. These are active fish and prefer to free-swim and show off their vibrant colors.
When you first purchase Koi, they will explore every part of their new environment. Expect to see them swim along the top or middle and look for natural food along the bottom of the pond.
Koi forage for food by taking a large inhale of food and then will filter out any debris that got into their mouth. For this reason, they are not recommended for freshwater ecosystems as they can disturb the natural setting of an aquarium. Koi will burrow and dig into sediment and uproot plants to eat on the seeds.

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Will I have enough room for Koi? Koi fish are schooling fish and as such, you will want to have a few of them so they don’t get lonely. They can grow up to three feet in length. This is an important fact when calculating how big to make your garden pond if you eventually want to have Koi in your pond. The general rule of thumb is to have ten gallons of water for every inch of fish. This means you will want to have around 250 gallons of water for a single Koi fish at minimum.
If you are considering setting up a Koi pond, our professionals can help you with planning and design. Next time we will discuss the multiple varieties of Koi and setup for their pond.

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