HomeGarden34 Koi and Pond Fish for Your Water Garden
34 Koi and Pond Fish for Your Water Garden
Many homeowners enjoy having a water feature in their backyard. They are visually appealing, and the sound of running water is both soothing and can mask traffic noise. A popular choice for many people is a water garden with fish. With a little basic information, the homeowner can properly plan and maintain such a water feature.
Water gardens should have plants covering 50-75% of the water surface. Water hyacinths, water lettuce, and other floating plants help accomplish this. A good filtration system is needed to keep proper water quality. The number of fish should be limited, as too many fish generally cause problems. The less fish there are, the healthier the water garden tends to be. The two most common pond fish are koi and goldfish.
Koi are descended from common carp. The Japanese used selective breeding to produce what we know as koi. In the early 20th century koi began to be raised and bred in Europe and North America. Koi come in a range of colors and patterns, and are classified by their Japanese names. They can grow to three feet in length and can weigh up to 35 pounds. Koi require very good water quality to stay healthy. They should be kept in large ponds containing 1,000 gallons or more, with a sophisticated water filtration system. Properly maintained koi can live a number of years.
Goldfish are the most popular choice of fish for backyard water gardens. They are less expensive than koi and easier to maintain. Goldfish are suitable for any size pond. They come in many varieties and colors. Two popular types of goldfish are the comet and the fantail.
Common pond predators are herons, owls, hawks, and raccoons. Leaf netting is effective in keeping predators out of ponds, although some homeowners dislike the look of covering their pond. Some type of protection is especially important during the winter months, when aquatic plants tend to die back and there are fewer places for the fish to hide.
As the weather cools, a fish’s metabolism slows down. They should be fed less, usually two or three times per week. When the water temperature drops below 50 degrees, the feedings should stop until spring.
Keeping backyard ponds with koi and other pond fish is a growing hobby. The South Carolina Koi and Water Garden Society was formed to encourage an interest in water gardening, and to promote the keeping of koi and pond fish. Their 2010 Regional South Carolina Koi and Goldfish Show will be held October 1-3 in Simpsonville.
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