Mar 20, 2010, 6:04 PM
Post #3 of 17
Re: [aryan8277] Managing Health And Growth Issues In Overcrowded Koi Ponds
[In reply to]
Sorry I took awhile to reply as I am travelling in a remote snowbound part of Japan with limited internet access.
What is the ideal size pond in your opinion?Latest buzz says 6 width x 10 length x 4 depth (feet).
Its good enough to grow kois?.... lets assume the stock level is low...Food is good and water change 5% daily... Will this help the kois to grow fast?
In my view, pond size is a matter of preference and how you compensate for their respective disadvantages. It is always a matter of providing a good environment for growing kois -- bigger ponds will be more costly to run if you use chillers and have to medically treat the whole pond. You will need more and higher capacity water and air pumps and other equipment the bigger the pond.
The disadvantages of small ponds include the space constraint, and you will be surprised how often kois get injured from panic dashes caused by lightning, thunder or even fighter jets flying overhead. If you overstock, the kois will be busy saying sumimasen and gomenasai each time they want to move and change direction. So low stocking is good.
For a long time, it was thought that pond depth of 6 ft is good to avoid predators, theft, sunburn and ensure stability in pond temperature. Sufficient depth is also thought to help kois exercise and develop their muscles when they feed at the surface.
If you opt for 4 feet deep ponds, you will need to chill and/or shade your ponds and ensure good security. Shallow ponds are also thought to be good in preventing sinking disease as the lower pressure will make it easier for kois to regulate their swim bladders.
Good hobbyists have raised excellent kois in 3 feet deep ponds. I've heard of loud scornful remarks deeming that an idiotic move as they declare the kois are sure to get bent and damage their tails when they feed floating food. They couldnt be more wrong -- those with 3 feet deep ponds feed sinking food!!! This points to the fact that if you know your kois and what they need, you can play around with various possibilities and compensate for the weaknesses in the choice of environment.
Your suggested pond size is good for growing kois, provided you shade and/or chill the pond. With low stocking, good food and 5% water change, to grow good kois, you will need in addition:
1. Good genetics. If you want big jumbo kois, you will need to ensure the parents have jumbo genes. Only a very low percentage of a spawn carry the jumbo genes, so you will need to carefully select kois with potential to reach jumbo. The easiest way is to pay good money for nisais or sansais at koi auctions (not guaranteed, but should be spot on most of the time as the breeder has a reputation to protect when selling high end kois). You can also learn to pick tosais with jumbo potential, but although cheaper, these fishes often will never be as beautiful as their more expensive breeder pre-selected sisters.
2. Excellent aeration/oxygenation. The higher the Total Dissolved Oxygen (TDO) levels, the better ( some believe in TDO saturation and slightly above saturation) as increased oxygen will help lower stress and improve digestion. Airblowers, spray bars, water falls, Bakki showers and oxydators are cheaper methods of achieving TDO saturation. At the higher end, you have the cavitation DOB and Oxygen injectors.
One of the best koi keepers in our region is Yotti in Thailand -- you can read about his small 12 tons pond ( an additional 6 tons filter) using high oxygenation (he's one of the first to use oxygen injectors in our region) to raise fantastic kois here: http://www.koi.com.my/...t_reply;so=ASC;mh=25;
3. Adequate Biofiltration, Protein Skimming and Filter Maintenance The faster the pond turnover rate through the filters, the better (there's a limit though, and Yotti's pond turnover of 4-5 times per hour is one of the fastest I know so far). Adding a protein skimmer to skim surface water and foam out of the pond system will be a good addition to your pond, as floating wastes and dissolved organics (DOCs) including hormones and liquid waste can removed from the pond system thereby reducing the workload on your filters and improving water quality.
5% daily water changes and regular filter maintenance including using various methods of removing solid waste from the pond system will help reduce biofouling and keep the water in excellent condition for the koi.
One more isssue is food that given to KOI's ....
I give my koi's natural foods mostly .... like barley, vegetables, worms and so on.
I still do feed my koi's pallet food.... Does this effect koi's growth?
In the wild, carps feed on worms, crustaceans and vegetation. So there is nothing wrong with what you feed, except that in the wild carps rarely grow to be as chubby as pond raised kois. In the US, one of the brands using worms, crustaceans and vegetables in their feed (no fish protein, reason given being kois do not eat fish in their natural diet) is thought to prevent and cure Hikui, a dreaded koi ailment among koi keepers.
The other problem with fresh food is contamination, so you will need to clean the vegetables and worms properly. If you feed worms, I suggest you steam them to disinfect against harmful bacteria and viruses etc. Yotti feeds steamed fresh silkworm pupae and hi growth wheat germ to his fishes, so there is no reason why it cannot work in your case if you supplement natural food with good quality wheat germ pellets.
Whether to grow kois fast or slow is a matter of choice. A breeder in one of the Niigata farms I visited mentioned that fast growing kois raised in the big farms in the South of Honshu island feel lighter when lifted out of the water compared to the slow raised Niigata kois. The difference, he said, could be in fat v muscle content.
There is also a theory floating around that fast grown kois tend to have a shorter life span. I have not personally verified this, but have read of fatty liver disease affecting fat, fast grown kois. Sometimes, fat chubby kois die of sudden death and the reasons given could range from egg impaction, fatty liver, heart disease and/or other internal organ failure.
So, if you prefer to grow your kois slow, that is perfectly fine and probably a wise decision too
(This post was edited by Carpa Diem on Mar 20, 2010, 6:21 PM)