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Thread: why a koi pond can not be run like a water garden or a fish aquarium

  1. #1
    Daihonmei
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    why a koi pond can not be run like a water garden or a fish aquarium

    Why a koi pond cannot be run as a water garden or fish aquarium

    A koi pond, as it turns out, has unique conditions that require a unique approach. This might sound way too ‘particular’ to the casual koi keeper or water gardener. But it’s true. Koi ponds are made to house a very large biomass and to cope with the outdoor elements—two things that water gardens and indoor aquariums are not made to cope with. Not only is the biomass and its associated effects on the water chemistry and water quality an issue, but also the general Eutrophication ( adding/build up of organic pollution) model is an extreme form of the process in koi ponds.
    For the water gardener, I’d point to the comet goldfish, the snail and the newt as an example—these creatures of water gardens or natural ponds process a fraction of percent of the waste that a single koi produces. In addition, these small species take very little from the natural chemistry of the water. But koi, dump grams and grams of carbon dioxide and mountains of feces and bacteria. They produce massive amounts of slim (feel the walls of a koi bowl next time you work with a koi). In a water garden, we see shallow depths which are idea for the plants and allow the comets and shubunkin plenty of depth and hiding places. The water warms in the day and cools at night and the oxygen levels high in the day plummet at night unless there is an air stone. This is NOT what koi like or need. But fine for the many species kept in a water garden or natural pond.
    The aquarium owner usually sees the koi pond as an outdoor aquarium in the ground. And even old Guru dealers used to refer to them as such. But this is an unenlightened view of a koi pond! A koi pond is not only ‘dirty’ than an aquarium due to the size and number of koi, but it is more complicated. The reason for that statement is that things like normal system respiration are vastly different from those of the aquarium. This is because, without control over lighting, temperature, and water additions ( rain, sleet, snow and freezing rain) the system takes on an entirely different cadence- kinda like the difference between a techno-controlled cycle and “ Mr. Toad’s wild ride”! Rarely do you see a pH crash in an aquarium of normal stocking. But we see pH crashes in koi ponds constantly. I’ve seen koi die from snow falls and I’ve seen koi roll over when ice thaws. These are NOT things that experienced aquarists have ever encountered!
    Nope, koi ponds are unique. And just because we might see a water garden stocked with a koi or a tosai in an aquarium with goldies, this does not mean that defines what a koi enclosure is!
    Learn the unique needs of the adult koi. Learn how placing this creature in a closed container of water impacts that water. And then learn how seasons affect the entire model—then you will have great appreciation of koi ponds designed properly. JR

  2. #2
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    Well said JR. A koi pond is not a pond that happens to contain koi. It is a pond system designed and maintained to optimize the healthy growth of nishikigoi. A good koi pond system gives koi the chance to be all they can be.

  3. #3
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Sometimes I am surprised how ignorant the general public can be about what is needed to keep Koi.
    For example, more than once while working a Koi show, a person will ask; "Are these for sale?"
    Answer: "No these fish belong to people who are showing them." Question: "No, I am talking about these tanks."
    Upon further discussion you find out that the person thinks they can keep Koi at home like the fish at the show with no filtration, same density, etc.

  4. #4
    MCA
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    That is why it is good to have a koi handout in the club booth at shows. The handout should definitely have a reference list of clubs, books, magazines, and websites.

    some foils will never get past "koi ain't goldfish".

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