Koi-friendly suggestions for decor


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This is my 36G freshwater tank. I have a single koi in there and a small oto. My goal for the year is to build a new pond for him, and then I'll probably use the tank as a quarantine for new koi or goldfish for the ponds. But, ya know... money... so that might turn in to a 2022 goal.

So for now, I took out all of my old decoration with fake plants (they had all turned green and wouldn't scrub clean), and replaced it with this piece of faux driftwood that I used to have in my (long gone) 55G tank. I tied creeping jenny to rocks and tucked them in to the holes, so the koi can't pull them out. He'll chomp on the leaves, of course, but so far it grows back as fast as he can eat it so it's OK :)

The driftwood is really bigger than I would like, but it's something that I had and it's heavy enough that he can't knock it over. I wish it were about 25% smaller, but so far I haven't found such a monster.

The question is, can you guys and gals suggest anything else I might do for color?

I don't really like the blue piece on the left, but it's all that I had on hand that has color. I would much rather have short and colorful plants, but finding something that the koi doesn't eat / destroy has been a challenge.

Aaaaand, I need for it to look like it would be natural to a North Carolina river... no fake reefs or anything, because it wouldn't match the look. And I'm really not a fan of the kitschy stuff, like sunken boats and treasure chests, I try to give everything a natural-but-maybe-planned look.
 

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hi csdude55, im probably not the only one who is going to say this but that tank is waaaaaaay to small for a koi, koi need to be in a much larger body of water, 1000gal for first koi 500g+ for next. the adding of plastic plants/ornaments to a tank is purely for our enjoyment/visual they serve no purpose and restrict movement. the koi will constantly dig up the bottom its what they do, although the koi is small the amount of waste it produces is huge compaired to its size, instead of loooking for other ornaments and decorations you should be looking for somewhere else for your koi to live ie a pond, im sorry this is not what you want to hear but think of the kois welfare. put fish in the tank that are more suited to its size guppies, tetras or similar. like i said its probably not what you want to here but its the truth. mark
 
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@yorkshire pudding - he did say he's got a pond in mind for the future, so that's good. But @csdude55 - I fear your fish won't make it to 2022. That koi will double in size by then - as it is now he's way too big.

Sorry - no help on the decor side of the question. More water is what will look best for that handsome fish!
 
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@Lisak1 i did see he plans a pond for the future but i was worried by what i read and saw, maybe it would have been better if you had told him the tank wasnt adequate for that fish.
 
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@yorkshire pudding , it's cool, we've had that conversation on here with literally every thread I've made about it :)

He's every bit of 10 years old, though, and hasn't had any overwhelming growth spurts (yet), so I don't think it's as drastic as him doubling in size this year. Best I can tell, he's grown about 2" in the last 4 years (based on proportion to my hand when he swims by). I have a 1000G pond in the back yard (fenced in) with a bunch of goldfish, but I've learned a lot in the 11 years since I built it! So my plan WAS to build a staggering system of 2 ponds and a bog in the front yard, move the fish from the back yard to the front, then rebuild the pond in the back for the koi. I was planning on doing that last year, but COVID messed up my income and I still haven't recovered. It's going to cost at least $3,000 for the front ponds, so I'm limited on options.

If he DOES suddenly have a growth spurt then I can move him to the 1000G pond. So until then, I'm trying to find ways to make the aquarium better. I plan to use it long term anyway, whether it's with this koi, new koi, or goldfish, and I'll have the same problem with them eating / destroying decor either way.
 
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hi @csdude55, thanks for your reply, wow hes 10years old ? i have some koi fingerlings growing in a grow on tank( a bit bigger than yours:)) they have gone from 1 inch to 8 inches in 3 months but i am feeding them 12 times a day with high protein feed and i have massive filtration in there, they are purely in the tank to grow so no ornaments and no gravel then when my main ponds temperature reaches the same as the tank they will be going in there, im glad you have a pond ready for your koi, i know what you mean with plans being interrupted by covid its been a crappy couple of years, i hope you get back on track soon. all the best mark;)
 
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Mmathis

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Aesthetics are important, but in this case I think you are compromising the space for your fish. Maybe give the koi something to hide inside (like a tunnel), but personally, I wouldn’t worry too much about making the tank look pretty. Focus on your filtration and having healthy water......and focus on making plans for your pond. Just IMHO.
 
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