Koi fish are, without a doubt, the most popular type of fish the world over, thanks to their beautiful appearance.
There is also a cultural aspect to it, especially in Japan, where they are associated with spiritual and material abundance.
The way they maintain ease while in the water is a mesmerizing spectacle to any onlooker.
Many pond owners love having the Koi in their backyards for aesthetic purposes.
However, many do not know how to take care of the fish properly.
This is a quick look at the type of koi fish that exist and a guide of tips you need to adhere to when taking them.
Types of Koi Fish
There are about four types of Koi fish you would find in a typical backyard pond worldwide.
Each has unique markings and colors that set it apart from the rest. The four types include the following:
Butterfly Koi Fish
They have long pectoral and caudal fins and are one of the most highly prized koi fish kept by pond owners in many parts of the world.
The easiest way to spot a butterfly koi from the crowd is by the length of its fins.
Japanese Koi Fish
The Japanese koi fish is the most widespread koi, and you will even find them in wild streams and domestic ditches where people live.
Most have orange and gold markings on their bodies. Some variants like the Tancho and Kohaku koi have a red spot on top of their heads.
Dragon Koi Fish
Dragon koi are almost similar to butterfly koi. It is a black koi fish with white markings scattered around the body that usually change depending on the season.
Gold Koi Fish
Also called the Ogon fish, it is the most valuable koi fish you will ever come across, largely owing to the beautiful patch of gold that covers most of its body.
Most of them have bodies that are entirely gold, silver, or orange. There are rare types that are white with a mixture of gold and silver patches.
Koi Maintenance Tips
Taking care of koi fish is not that complicated; the following are some tips you can follow to ensure that they are in good health at all times.
Feeding the Koi
When in the wild, the koi fish is known to be hearty eaters; that does not change if you transfer them into your pond.
Their diet is almost similar to the one given to goldfish, only in larger quantities. They are omnivores, which means they can also eat seeds, plants, insects, and zooplankton.
You should also keep a good stock of algae as they love feeding on that all the time. The bottom line is that you should ensure their meals are high in proteins.
The frequency of their meals should be three times a day. Do not give them too much as they will be able to find food on their own within the pond.
Koi fish are highly susceptible to KHV, a fatal strain of herpes virus that kills the fish in large numbers once an outbreak occurs in your pond.
The likelihood of death once infected is usually 80%, and death comes within 48hrs. The worst part is that any koi fish that survives ends up being a carrier that can re-infect others later on.
White lesions on gills, red eyes, and difficulty in breathing are some of the symptoms.
Affected fish should be separated from the rest immediately. When introducing new koi to your backyard pond, start by putting it into a 14-day quarantine where you can inspect thoroughly for any signs of diseases.
Like any other fish, koi thrive well in a clean environment. You have to ensure that the pond water is clear at all times by using the appropriate pond filter media like biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration systems.
Failure to clean the pond as regularly as needed will lead to an explosion of harmful bacteria that will be a great danger to your beautiful koi fish collection.
Koi fish may not have predators inside the water, but they are not safe from surface predators, and that includes humans.
Some rare koi types like Ogon are very valuable, and they fetch good sums of money in black markets.
This has led to increased cases of burglars breaking into the compound and stealing the koi.
Pets like cats and dogs are also a threat to koi, especially when the pond is small and shallow. Wild animals like raccoons and mongoose can also wreak a lot of havoc on your pond.
You can either fence the pond well or put a storing perimeter fence around your whole compound with alarm systems that get triggered when anything goes past.
If you can avoid ever touching the koi, the better for the fish. Koi fish get depressed when subjected to touching by human hands.
When a koi fish is stressed out, its immune system becomes compromised, exposing the fish to diseases that may even kill it.
Koi are marvelous water creatures that are easy to take care of. Most of the time, you will not even be burdened by too much work that is demanded by other fish species; the koi know how to take care of themselves.
All you have to do is to follow the outlined guidelines as much as you can, keep the pond clean by using products from a trusted filter foam supplier.