Most novice fish owners might underestimate the Koi Carp. They look pretty docile with their multi-patched scales and catfish-like mustache. But do not let the appearance fool you. To raise and nurture Koi Carp as your pet, you need a little more than the basics – shelter (clean aquarium), food and water.
- Place your Koi Carp in a pond before shifting them to an aquarium or fish tank.
- Your new pet is known to create heaps of waste, so waste management is essential.
- You would need a proper setup with the proper equipment for the Koi Carp to get started.
- You must look out for the dreadful Tategoi.
- Looking after Koi Carps can take a lot of your time, so be sure you can commit before making the purchase.
Keep reading the article to learn about these suggestions in detail.
Factors To Consider When Getting Your First Koi Carp
Keep the following things in mind while buying a Koi Carp from the pet store –
If You Are New To This, Start With A Koi Pond
- Mind you, this is not an imperative requirement. You can raise your Koi Carp initially in an aquarium or fish tank as well. But there are advantages to start with a Koi pond instead.
- By nature, Koi Carps are more adaptable to ponds than aquariums made of glass. There are two primary reasons behind this preference.
- First, Koi Carps have an extremely social nature. They thrive when placed in large groups of other Koi Carps and fish. Actually, a school of Koi Carp looks much better than a single specimen.
- Your standard size aquarium is much smaller than a pond outside. Less space means fewer fish in the tank, which is not something Koi Carp appreciates.
- Second, Koi Carps have a huge size deviation. These fish look small and cute when you first purchase them immediately after hatching. But then the story takes a dramatic turn.
- By the time these fish turn two years old, they are easily 6 inches long. But the growth does not stop there. In fact, a typical Koi Carp continues to grow till it is five or 6 years old. By that age a Koi Carp can range from 15 inches to 18 inches in length. That is actually pretty big for a standard size fish tank.
- If you place all your Koi Carps in an aquarium, you will definitely run out of space. Also, too many fish will crowd the aquarium increasing the risk of disease and stress among the fish inside. Even large aquariums can feel claustrophobic to fully grown adult Koi Carps.
- This is the reason why placing new Koi Carps in a pond makes more sense; given the large space and the fact you can fit multiple social Koi Carps together.
- Due to their large size and nature, Koi Carps love to eat food. Naturally, the more food they eat, the more waste they generate. Cleaning all of it is quite a task.
- Fish excrement is high in nitrates. This compound can easily irritate the fish inside the tank or Koi pond. It may also lead to infections and diseases. In addition to this, fish poop can block the filtration system inside the fish tank or aquarium.
- One solution for this is to not place Koi Carps in an aquarium. But if you do not have access to a garden pond, then you must regularly clean the aquarium and remove all the fish excrement routinely.
- The best solution for preventing infections from fish waste is more water. The more water you filter through your aquarium or point, the more diluted the fish excrement will be. This means, harmful toxins will be less concentrated and potent.
- When it comes to the food for Koi Carps, avoid the store-bought fish flakes. Koi Carps enjoy variety in their meals. Try a combination of homemade food, commercial pellets and supplements to feed the fish.
- Another thing to consider is that Koi Carps eat different food according to the season. Their diet in the summer differs from what they eat in the winter. Even at different stages of their lives, Koi Carps have different dietary requirements. For instance, baby Koi Carps need a lot of protein in their diet.
- So do some research to feed your fish properly. You need not go overboard with these things. Keep it simple and purchase commercial brands which are dependable and appropriately priced. Cheaper food for fish also tends to compromise on nutrition.
Getting The Right Equipment
- Koi Carps need heat to survive. If you do not install a heater in the cold winter months, your pet fish will perish. This is especially true for Koi Carps that are kept in a pond outside.
- You do not need anything grand and over-complicated. But installing a heating system is an extra expense. However, with experience you will learn how to use cost-effective methods to heat the water for your Koi Carp.
- To ensure your pet fish thrive well, you will need to invest in the following equipment – a filtration system, a heater, a hospital or quarantine tub and an air system.
- In addition to these, you will also need a net to catch the fish, a de-chlorinator and an efficient drainage system at the pond’s bottom.
Watch For The Tategoi
Tategoi is a term used to describe young valuable fish which have the potential to win fish contests. Many fish breeders will sell you a school of Koi Carps claiming them to be Tategoi. But most such claims are misleading.
If you are interested in fish competitions, get the help of an expert to identify the true Tategoi among your Koi Carp school. Also, do some studies on your own to learn about the Tategoi traits.
Manage Your Time
Raising Koi Carp is more than a hobby. It is a passion. You need to look after the fish properly and be versatile in your treatment. The result is a school of beautiful Koi Carps. But for those who only want to view their aquariums for pleasure and stress relief, Koi Carps can be very demanding.