Koi pond came with house - need help!


GMN

Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Country
United Kingdom
We moved into a North Wales house that has a koi pond with several koi and other small carp (I think). They have been 'hibernating' over the winter - very chilled - but with spring approaching, I want to make certain we start feeding them appropriately. I also think there may be too many fish for the size of the pond which looks very small to me (but then, I'm from Canada and everything looks small here:)). We have ordered a pond thermometer and a book on Koi care - we are great with dogs and horses but this is a new one on us.

The previous owner left us instructions about the maintenance of the filter system and how much to feed but that's about all the help we have had.

I'm attaching a photo of the pond so you can see how many fish there are in relation to the size of the pond.

Any and all help welcome and appreciated including any recommendations for good books on koi care.
h
IMG_3468.jpg
IMG_3469.jpg
 
Ad

Advertisements

Mmathis

TurtleMommy
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
11,368
Reaction score
6,339
Location
NW Louisiana -- zone 8b
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
Hello and welcome!

You do look a little overstocked. My advice is to get a water test kit (like the API liquid Master Freshwater kit) so you can keep an eye on your water quality (and it helps you learn about the balance in the nitrogen cycle). As a new pond owner, while you don’t have to check your water often, it is something you want to be aware of. Most pond problems (sick fish, etc) are due to water quality issues.
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
39,216
Reaction score
23,472
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Welcome, I would feed the fish very lightly, they will then eat all the eggs they are going to drop.

You might want to rehome some of the fish, you do look overstocked.

What size and depth is the pond? What kind of filter do they have running?
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2017
Messages
2,531
Reaction score
1,751
Location
North Oklahoma
Hardiness Zone
7a
Country
United States
I see 7 koi, about 13 goldfish, so there’s a chance that unless that pond is very deep, you’re over stocked or will be shortly!
 

j.w

I Love my Goldies
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
28,504
Reaction score
17,094
Location
Arlington, Washington
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
USDA 8a
Country
United States
1613502905903.gif
@GMN
Fish don't eat much or at all when the temps get below 50 or so. They can't digest food as well when the temps go down and any food that does not digest could cause problems.
 
Ad

Advertisements

cas

Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
1,802
Reaction score
2,280
Location
NE Ohio
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6a
Country
United States
Welcome. Very nice pond!
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
10,454
Reaction score
10,754
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
Welcome! And thank you for recognizing your overstocking issue before it becomes a deadly problem. What happens far too often is people have a pond, fill it with cute little fish and all goes well for the first 4, 5 or even 6 years. Same size pond, same filtration, same number of fish. The always changing variable, however, is fish SIZE. Which is always and only GETTING BIGGER. And one day the tipping point is reached and everything goes south. And it generally happens fast.

It's really hard to judge water volume from a photo, but from the apparent size of your pond, I'd say you have a lovely goldfish pond. And the nice thing about goldfish is they stay relatively small so you can have lots! And they come in lots of lovely colors too, if you add some shubunkins to your collection. I'd find a new home for the koi and you'll be fine!

As for books - there are many, but I think some of the best information comes from the internet honestly. And koi really aren't different than any other pond fish to care for. Don't overfeed them, don't keep them in a pond that's too small, and keep an eye on your water quality and they'll do fine.
 

GMN

Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Country
United Kingdom
Thank you everyone - I have found answers to some of your questions. The pond is approximately 6,682 litres (1,470 gallons). I say approximately because of the rounded corners.

It has a home-made bio filter - rocks to gravel with reeds and watercress growing on top. There are water lilies in the pond. There is a large filter unit with two pumps that feed the 3 waterfalls. We flush the filter every two weeks according to the instructions we received but there’s not much on it with them not eating at the moment. I’ve attached a photo of the filter unit, showing the size info.

I presume the waterfalls help to oxygenate the water as well. I was very concerned a couple of weeks ago when the electricity was off for 5 hours. All the fish looked a bit stressed to me as they where on the surface instead of resting on the bottom. Any suggestions for something to have on hand in case of a power failure?

Based on the above information, how many Koi would be happy in a pond this size? Not sure the goldfish need to be in there.

I also liked the suggestion that we feed a bit less to encourage them to eat any eggs they may have produced. Naturally, I have no idea of the male/female ratio.

This looks to be a really friendly forum and I’m looking forward to any help available. Thank you very much.
CDD134E8-7A25-4D2D-A5B5-0843C33EA1ED.jpeg
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
39,216
Reaction score
23,472
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
The rule for koi is usually 1 , one koi, per 1000 gallons, people can get away with more if they have horrendous filtration and water movement. Gold fish are a lot more forgiving and produce a lot less waste. The koi keepers here will chime in.

I have a big pond, I stuck with gf mainly because I wanted plants and did not want to fuss with , to me, fussy fish. So I stocked with shubunkins, they have beautiful colors, to me.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
2,284
Reaction score
1,415
Location
Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
Hardiness Zone
6a
Welcome!
Beautiful pond! Very nicely done!

When the water temperature (not air temperature) rises above 50 degrees farenheit, you can start feeding them wheat germ based food. Both the koi and goldfish can eat that.

Just feed them a little at a time. Enough so they eat it all in maybe 5 minutes. You don't want to feed too much. Excess food can affect water quality.

You can stay with wheat germ all year if you like or switch to growth/color food in the Summer. It's up to you.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
4,499
Reaction score
3,564
Location
Ct
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
I have always had issue with how much a fish can eat in 5 Minutes. That's a boat load of food imho. All but a few slow feeders like discus or salt water puffers who are rather lethargic all year long and swim and eat slow. In short i never feed where it takes the fish more than a minute to devour there food. After all there's no McDonalds In the wild no grocery stores to go and buy all the food they want. Fish are more use to foraging for the food all day long. Now if i am sitting at the pond i'll grab about a 1/4 cup of food Larger pellet's and throw them to specific fish making sure everyone gets some. Now that can go as much as 15 minutes but it's one pellet at a time.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
2,284
Reaction score
1,415
Location
Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
Hardiness Zone
6a
I have always had issue with how much a fish can eat in 5 Minutes. That's a boat load of food imho. All but a few slow feeders like discus or salt water puffers who are rather lethargic all year long and swim and eat slow. In short i never feed where it takes the fish more than a minute to devour there food. After all there's no McDonalds In the wild no grocery stores to go and buy all the food they want. Fish are more use to foraging for the food all day long. Now if i am sitting at the pond i'll grab about a 1/4 cup of food Larger pellet's and throw them to specific fish making sure everyone gets some. Now that can go as much as 15 minutes but it's one pellet at a time.
Agree, and will add.... they can be shy at the start of Spring. Probably a combination of gradually coming out of hibernation and getting used to seeing us again.
So I think, it may take longer for them to eat a handful during that time, while in the height of Summer, they come to the surface like a pack of sharks in a bloodlust frenzy.
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
4,499
Reaction score
3,564
Location
Ct
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Agree, and will add.... they can be shy at the start of Spring. Probably a combination of gradually coming out of hibernation and getting used to seeing us again.
So I think, it may take longer for them to eat a handful during that time, while in the height of Summer, they come to the surface like a pack of sharks in a bloodlust frenzy.
LOL its by FAR one of m favorite times , I don't know about gold fish but the koi as they come up to eat in colder temps are like a bunch of drunks . They swim up to grab the food but miss miserably with mouths wide open lips smacking and grabbing the eye of the fish next to them instead of the pellet of food .
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
10,454
Reaction score
10,754
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
I'll add to what @addy1 said - your pond is well-suited for goldfish. If you really want koi, you will be limited to maybe two at the most. I don't know how old these fish are, but koi can get as big as 3 feet long - that's a massive fish in a small pond. To me, having lots of small fish is way more interesting than having a couple of large ones - but that's really a personal choice.

You'll hear and read lots of "rules of thumb" about inches of fish per gallon of water. Those "rules" come directly from the aquarium world. Koi break all those rules. Their biomass is exponentially larger than any type of goldfish and therefore the waste they produce is far greater. And that doesn't just mean fish poop - when we talk about waste in a pond, it also means what the fish excrete as they "breath" in the water. Keeping your water healthy is much easier when you don't overload your pond.
 

GMN

Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Country
United Kingdom
I like the idea of a goldfish pond - I feel quite sad for those big Koi in such a small area. My partner disagreed, sigh, but were we to decide on goldfish - how do we find a reputable person to collect (and purchase) the Koi????
 
Ad

Advertisements

Mmathis

TurtleMommy
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
11,368
Reaction score
6,339
Location
NW Louisiana -- zone 8b
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
I like the idea of a goldfish pond - I feel quite sad for those big Koi in such a small area. My partner disagreed, sigh, but were we to decide on goldfish - how do we find a reputable person to collect (and purchase) the Koi????
You might want to remind your partner that overstocked ponds (for example, koi in a too-small pond) are eventually going to have water quality issues which will result in sick and/or dead fish.
 

TheFishGuy

( Insert something funny )
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
715
Reaction score
372
Location
Colorado
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
4b or 5a
Country
United States
I like the idea of a goldfish pond - I feel quite sad for those big Koi in such a small area. My partner disagreed, sigh, but were we to decide on goldfish - how do we find a reputable person to collect (and purchase) the Koi????
Welcome to the forum! As far as rehoming the koi, you could see if any local pond stores would take them, or do a post on offerup/Craigslist/next door or whatever you have in your area to see if anyone wants to take them in :)

and I will mention that if your partner is dead set on the koi, with your water volume you could keep two or three of the smaller ones.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Ad

Advertisements


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top