|Types Of Fish
Koi fish are essentially
an ornamental domesticated version of the common carp, and are sometimes
known as ‘Japanese Carp’. They originate from Eastern Asia,
Aral, Black and Caspian Seas. They are closely related to goldfish.
A koi is considered a symbol of love and friendship. They are generally
the most popular fish in the world to keep in ponds.
Koi are freshwater, bottom dwelling fish, capable of living in a wide
range of conditions. It is generally thought there are THIRTEEN different
classifications of Koi. The Japanese classify koi according to various
features, including colour, pattern, scale type and arrangement. However,
within each classification there are different types of Koi. Koi come
in many different colours and patterns, the more common colours are
white, black, red, yellow, blue, and cream.
crowned Koi with a pattern on its head.
||White koi with a red
||A white and red koi
with black bands across the back and head.
||White koi with red
and black markings.
||A koi which has a
red, white or yellow solid body colour and black markings.
||Often confused with
the bekko this is a black koi with white, yellow or orange markings.
||A blue/grey scaled
koi with an orange or red belly.
||A cross bred koi between
an Asagi and a Doitsu, they have large scales running down their
back and sides.
||A white/red koi with
scales showing only in the red markings.
||Any colour of koi
with metallic scales.
||A single coloured
|| Metallic showa and
||All other metallic
koi which do not fall into the above groups.
not check out this Step-By-Step Guide on Starting
The Koi Hobby!
Koi do not breed
true, so there are constantly new classifications of koi being
introduced. Koi fish grow very fast. An average Koi can grow to
24 - 36 inches long! The size of the pond, the amount of aeration,
and feeding methods will affect the growth of the fish. It is
not uncommon for a small Koi to grow 2 - 4 inches a year in a
backyard pond. In their first year koi will grow about 10-20 cm,
the second 24-30 cm, and in the third 37-40 cm. If they are kept
well, at the fifth year, total length of the fish will reach 45-50
cm, and by the tenth year will be 55-70 cm. Record sized koi have
been reported with 1.53 metres in length and 45Kgs in weight.
an omnivorous fish and will often eat a wide variety of foods, including
peas, lettuce, and watermelons. Koi will accept many foods thrown
to them in their pond, but many of these are of little or no nutritional
value and may even harm the fish. Brown bread is acceptable, but
white bread contains a mild form of bleach, which could harm the
Koi. Be aware that foods such as beans, peas or corn do have a shell
like skin which can cause an irritation to the Koi which may not
be able to digest those shells - but many Koi keepers do feed such
foods and of course the Koi will show much enthusiasm for them when
they are fed such foods. Koi will take lettuce leaves and may also
eat duckweed and other pond
plants around their pond (with the exception of blanket
weed, which is too coarse for them to pull off the sides).
Koi food is designed not only to be nutritionally balanced, but
also to float so as to encourage them to come to the surface. When
they are eating, it is possible to check koi for parasites and ulcers.
Koi will recognise the person feeding them and gather around him
or her at feeding times. They can be trained to take food from the
human hand. Koi also welcome a variety of live foods, including
worms etc. Earthworms can be fed to the fish all year round and
are high in protein and soon become a favourite treat - and this
is another way to gain the affection of your Koi.
In the winter, their digestive system slows nearly to a halt, and
they eat very little, perhaps no more than nibbles of algae from
the bottom. Their appetite will not come back until the water becomes
warm in the spring. When the temperature drops below 50 degrees
Fahrenheit (10 °C), feeding, particularly with protein, is ceased
or the food can go rancid in their stomach, causing sickness.
Most Koi fish live for nearly forty years, and some live even longer
TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING KOI
After planning the construction of your garden pond, you will
have already considered the size of pond you have room for in
your garden. In a typical first pond there will be around a dozen
small (10–12in) Koi, allowing room for growth. The bare
minimum of equipment needed includes a circulatory water pump,
a filter, an air pump and UV unit for clarity – all with
associated pipework. Labour is a large part of the cost of pond
building, but if you do the groundwork yourself you could keep
costs to a minimum. Koi are cold-water fish, but benefit from
being kept in the 15-25 degrees C (59-77 degrees F) range and
do not react well to long cold winter temperatures, their immune
system 'turning off' below 10 degrees C. Koi ponds have a metre
or more of depth in areas of the world that become warm during
the summer. In areas that have harsh winters, ponds that are a
minimum of 1.5 metres (4 1/2 feet) deep are recommended.
Look at the quality of the water, and how the fish are behaving,
never rush and buy the first Koi that takes your eye. Ensure that
everything is ok with both the fish and their home. Take your
time to do this; otherwise it can result in you taking the fish
home only for it to die within a few days. When purchasing a Koi
fish for your pond, it is less expensive to purchase one that
is still a baby. The older the fish, the more expensive they are.
Also, if you purchase your Koi fish as a baby, you will have a
better chance of teaching it to eat from your hand. These fish
are very smart, and are a wonderful way to relieve stress in your
life. Sitting by your garden pond, watching your Koi fish swim
will bring you a feeling of serenity and peace, and will become
your favourite place to unwind after a hard day.
your Koi home
Unless you live very close to the dealer, you will need to have
your Koi packed in a suitable good quality plastic bag (size depends
on size of fish), for safe travel. Make sure that the dealer uses
fresh oxygen to ensure that the Koi has plenty of air to breath
on their journey home. The bag should be sealed with elastic bands
to ensure that none of the water or air in the bag escapes. In
addition, a box for your Koi is recommended as this will stop
the bag rolling around in the car. Always place the box across
the car where possible, not length ways as this prevents the Koi,
especially the larger fish, from banging their noses during the
journey home. In addition use a blanket to cover the box, as this
helps by blocking out sunlight. It is advisable to keep the fish
as quiet as possible during their journey.
your Koi to your pond
Once you get your fish home, NEVER simply open the bag and pour
the contents of the bag including the fish straight into your
pond. Always float your Koi in the bag that they are sold in,
on the top of the water as this allows the temperature in the
bag to acclimatise to the same as the water in the pond. Normally
this takes around 20 minutes, sometimes longer if there is a big
difference in the temperatures in the bag to that of the pond.
Once the temperatures are equal, then it is best to pour the Koi
and its water into a large bowl after carefully removing the elastic
band from the bag. Then using a suitable handling net or Koi Sock,
transport the fish into the pond. You should always try to avoid
pouring the water in the bag that you have just transported your
Koi home in into the pond as this water may be contaminated. It
is advisable to dispose this water down a drain or sewer.
Unless you are absolutely sure of the health of your Koi, it is
advisable if you have the facilities to quarantine your fish between
2 and 3 weeks in a separate container or pond with aeration and
Your new Koi may not eat anything for up to three days after being
introduced to your home; this is normal behaviour and is not a
cause for concern.
Rivalling Koi, are goldfish.
They are possibly the most commonly kept garden fish, as they are small,
inexpensive, colourful, and very hardy. They generally have a long lifespan.
In a pond, they can often survive in icy weather conditions when ice
forms on the surface, as long as there is enough oxygen remaining in
the water and the pond does not freeze solid.
For the ultimate
comprehensive Goldfish guide why not look at Goldfish
The perfect habitat for
goldfish is a small to large pond, although the depth should be at least
80 cm (30 in) to avoid freezing. During the winter months, goldfish
will become sluggish, stop eating, and often stay on the bottom of the
pond. This is normal goldfish behaviour and they will once again become
active in the spring. A filter is important to clear waste and keep
the pond clean. Plants are essential as they act as part of the filtration
system, as well as a food source for the fish. They also raise oxygen
levels in the water. They don't really eat plants; just nibble on them
a bit. so your pond plants will be safe from them.
Goldfish are very sociable and can be kept amongst most other cold water
fish. Compatible fish include Rudd, Tench, Orfe and Koi. It is advisable
that you keep goldfish in groups or at least a pair. Ramshorn snails
are a helpful addition to goldfish in a pond as they eat any alga that
grows within it. It is also important to introduce fish that will eat
any excess goldfish eggs in the pond, such as Orfe.
SUITABLE FOR POND LIFE
The common goldfish is normally a very evenly pigmented fish with short
and sturdy fins and tail. It is often found in a number of different
colour variations such as white and black markings appearing on top
of the original golden colouration.
The Comet has been bred
for a long tail fin, which in larger specimens may sometimes be half
the length of the whole body. Comets are rarely one colour, but often
have white anfd red patterns that are more pronounced when viewed from
above. Furthermore, the comet's colour is usually more red than gold.
The Shubunkin is a very
colourful, hardy fish and one of the most common pond fish. They originate
from China and are part of the Goldfish family sharing many of its characteristics
such as its shape and growth rate. Shubunkins are best kept in a group
though they are a friendly fish that will live well with other species.
SPECIES NOT RECOMMENDED FOR POND LIFE
Some fancy goldfish are more distant relatives to the common goldfish;
they have been so inbred that they may not withstand life in the typical
British outdoor pond, especially during extreme weather conditions.
Oranda, Black moor, Fantail, Lionhead, Celestial Eye
POPULAR GARDEN FISH
or Blue Orfe are fast growing, very active and a welcome
addition to a garden pond. Although they are suitable for ponds, they
do have slightly different requirements to goldfish. Orfe thrive well
in faster moving water that is highly oxygenated. As they are a surface
dwelling fish, therefore very oxygen dependant, ponds suitable for Orfe,
should be well filtered, and oxygenated. Although they can survive in
still water, they are much happier in moving water. Orfe can grow to
lengths in excess of 24 inches (60cm), therefore they do require more
space that goldfish. Orfe need to be kept in small shoals. They will
feel much more secure, therefore the general health of the fish will
be much improved. Orfe like a varied diet, consisting of pellets, stick,
and flaked dried preparations. This fish will also be more than happy
munching on small larvae in the pond.
are a fantastic alternative to Orfe if you have a smaller pond. Rudds
are acclimatised to the British weather and therefore are a hardy fish.
They are a smaller growing surface fish which needs less oxygen. Rudd
generally only achieve a size of 5-6 inches (12-15cm), however, they
can get larger than this in large well filtered ponds.. Similar to Orfe,
Rudd live much happier in small shoals. Rudd also like a varied diet,
consisting of pellets, stick, and flaked dried preparations. They also
like to feed from small larvae in the pond.
are very attractive and peaceful bottom feeding fish. They are also
much acclimatised to British weather. These small growing fish will
rarely reach lengths any longer than 8 inches (20cm), making them perfect
fish for ponds of all sizes. Being bottom feeding fish, gudgeon will
assist the pump to remove waste from the floor of the pond. Due to their
feeding habits, gudgeon do require a different diet to most ornamental
species. Although they will graze on the pond floor for larvae, small
worms, and insects, it is a good idea to put sinking foods into the
pond, to make sure they are well fed. Gudgeon are a very hardy fish
and can be kept with much larger species without the problem of bullying.
Although you will not see a massive amount of these fish once they hit
the bottom, they are very beneficial to the pond, and a must for all
garden ponds. Gudgeon like to live in small groups.
are peaceful bottom feeding fish. . Tench are acclimatised to British
weather. Although when living in lakes and large pools they grow to
excess of 12 inches (30cm), rarely will they get as big as this in most
garden ponds.Whilst it is a bit of a myth that tench will clean the
bottom of your pond, they will disturb the silt and debris at the bottom,
allowing the filter system to remove the waste more efficiently. Tench
will thrive in well filtered large ponds, and are not ideally suited
to small goldfish ponds. Tench are at their most happiest with sinking
foods, and love scavenging around the bottom for worms and algae. The
most common Tench are green, although golden and red can be purchased.