Koi Pond Fun Facts
LEARN MORE ABOUT A KOI POND WATER FEATURE IN TAMPA, FL
- Did you know the average koi fish can grow to 24 – 36 inches? It is not uncommon for a small koi fish to grow 2 – 4 inches a year in a backyard koi pond. The size of the koi pond, the amount of aeration, and feeding methods will affect the growth of the koi fish.
- Koi fish are descendents of the common carp. In nature they are brown, but through selective breeding by the Japanese, numerous colors and patterns were developed.
- In the 17th century, Chinese rice farmers began keeping carp in their rice paddies. This practice found its way to Japan. The Japanese rice farmers begin to notice slight color variations in a few of the carp and bred these “mutants” into what eventually became what we now know as koi fish.
- It wasn’t until early in the 20th century that koi fish left Japan and were raised in Europe and eventually North America.
- Koi normally attain lengths of approximately 2 to 3 feet and weight up to 35 lbs. Because of their large size, they should only be kept in a large koi pond of at least 1000 gallons. Koi fish need very good water quality to remain healthy. Sophisticated filtration systems should be used to maintain this water.
- Koi fish that have been well cared for have a life expectancy from 30-70 years and have been known to live to be over 200 years old.
- Koi fish, or Nishikigoi, are the product of several centuries of selective breeding of the common brown Asian carp and the German carp. The first color mutations appeared about 1805.
- Koi fish are available in all colors from the purest white, through yellow, orange, red, near-lavender, blues, greens and coal black, in limitless combinations.
- Most popular in Japan are the Kohaku, a pure white koi fish with persimmon-red patches arranged in a stepping stone pattern.
- In the USA, favorite types in a koi pond run the gamut from the legendary “Big Three” (Kohaku, Taisho Sanke, and Showa Sanke, the last two appreciated for varying proportions of white, black and red) to the eye catching Ogons, metallic fish that look like they have been hammered from gold or platinum.
- New developments in koi fish are the long fin or butterfly koi and the Gin Rin Koi, where each scale sparkles like a diamond.
- Koi starter fish may be purchased for as little as several dollars with nice fish going from about $25 to many hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Koi fish are omnivorous and will eat a great variety of foods. Special koi fish food can be purchased. Many keepers supplement them with trout chow, catfish chow, bread, Cheerios, peas, lettuce, spinach, fresh shrimp, earthworms and krill. A real treat for koi fish is watermelon. On occasion koi fish have eaten slugs!
- When koi fish become accustomed to your presence, they will eat from your hand. Some have even been trained to take food from their owner’s lips.
- Koi fish dispositions are mellow and their toothless mouths are soft. They pose no danger to smaller fish. A twenty-four inch koi fish can be safely housed with four inch koi fish, common goldfish, or comets. Very slow moving fancy goldfish may have a problem competing for food.
- A koi pond can be constructed from concrete, Gunite, PVC or butyl rubber liners, fiberglass tanks, or they can be housed in natural ponds (not a hole in the ground). A koi pond should be at least three feet deep with a minimum of three hundred gallons for each mature fish. Though koi fish will survive poor conditions, they do best with good filtration and aeration. Remember, koi fish do grow and under ideal conditions, they can reach two feet in three years.