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Dangerous Rule Of Thumb for Koi

How Many Koi Can I Have In My Pond?

This is certainly one of the first questions we inevitably get from new pond owners. Rules of Thumb are great to put you in the ballpark but they really shouldn’t be taken as the end all final decision. I hear this DANGEROUS old RULE OF THUMB from the aquarium hobby brought over to the pond world on occasion. “You can have 1” of fish for every gallon of water.”

Well, that’s great if you have a ten-gallon aquarium with 10 neon tetras and that’s great if you have a ten-gallon pond with ten mosquito fish. Not a good rule of thumb if you have a sixty-gallon aquarium with two 30” Koi! Or in the pond world that translates to thirty-three 30” koi in a 1000-gallon pond. Even a new pond enthusiast knows that’s ridiculously over crowded and a disaster waiting to happen.

So let’s get down to a RULE OF THUMB you can use to help you stock your pond and then we’ll review a few things to help keep you grounded when using a RULE OF THUMB.

If you are consulting with a high-end Koi keeper you will hear rules like one female Koi for every 1000- gallons of water or one male Koi for every 500 gallons of water. For those of you new to the hobby the female Koi gets much larger than the male fish and has much more mass.

This may seem radically conservative to the person that just spend a ton of money installing a 3000-gallon pond in their backyard. That translates to 3 female Koi or 6 male Koi for that 3000-gallon pond.

For most people limiting yourself to one Koi per 250 gallons of pond water is still conservative assuming you have a good life support system on the pond and you aren’t opposed to some routine maintenance. Cleaning skimmers, pre-filters and doing water changes would be standard practice. That translates to twelve Koi in a 3000-gallon pond and since I don’t recommend even numbers in a Koi pond then your target would be eleven Koi in 3000 gallons of pond water.

Buying koi, especially if you are new to the hobby, is a ton of fun and can be incredibly addicting! Taking into consideration the average family with Mom, Dad, and three pack if kiddios. Everyone wants to pick out a few of his or her favorites. Before you know it you have 25 or 30 small koi in your 2000-gallon pond.

That should be fine for a couple of years when the koi are young but then all of a sudden you are grossly overstocked with to many fish. Algae is growing like crazy, the pre-filters need to be cleaned everyday or they stop working and the filters are not keeping up with the amount of fish poo! Let’s do the math. 2000-gallon pond translates to 8 full-grown koi and you have 30! Obvious Solution – Get rid of 22 koi or build a bigger pond. Good Luck telling the kids you need to get rid of a few of their favorite Koi.

If you are starting with small Koi remember they will get big and it really doesn’t take that long. In just two or three years you’ll have a hefty size herd of Koi mobbing around your pond. In my travels I’ve come across a great deal of over crowded ponds with unhappy Koi. One of the worst I’ve seen was a 350-gallon pond with 13 large adult Koi. It’s was not pretty! It was a straight up rescue mission. Don’t put yourself or your Koi in that position.

Here’s a FUN FACT to help you wrap your arms around the demands of large Koi. A 13” Koi weights approximately 1 lb. Guess what a 26” Koi tips the scales at. Approximately 13lbs! When Koi double in size you are looking at more than a tenfold increase in mass! That’s an incredible burden on the ponds life support system!

I can give you a rule of thumb to get you in the ballpark but I can’t express to you enough, the importance of a solid life support system for your pond. Now go do the math on your pond and tell me how your Koi Herd stacks up to this rule of thumb. One Koi per 250 gallons of Pond Water.

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

Koi Fish

Mobbing Herd of Koi

Waterfall Recipes – Dazziling or Disasterous?

Waterfall Recipe for Success

A person in Santa Paula, California considering a waterfall in his backyard has concerns because a friend of a friend said they were a lot of work and had one removed. Please read the following email I just sent him. NOTE: My mother isn’t reading our blogs yet! Shhhhh. Enjoy………

Hey There,

It’s always hard for me to hear details of failed water features from a friend of a friend in a second hand fashion. I don’t tell this to many people, but my Mom is a terrible cook. She couldn’t produce a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies if her life depended on it! Seriously…..

Fact of the matter is, cookies are good, yummy, and delicious. They make my wife and kids smile just looking at one! They go crazy when they smell a batch of cookies baking at the perfect temperature. Touching a warm cookie fresh out of the oven is even a treat and the taste, ahhh that delicious taste.

It’s amazing how many senses a simple chocolate chip cookie touches. We can all be thankful that even though my Mother is a cookie killer, it hasn’t kept the rest of the population frightened of such a wonderful thing.

Now a pondless waterfall on the other hand; Well, 1 bad installation, 1 bad experience, 1 bad contractor deviating from a perfect recipe can produce horrifying results. You can certainly understand how easy it is to destroy a perfectly good thing in the water feature contractor arena.

Just a simple as it is for me to connect you with 1000’s of men, women and children that love chocolate chip cookies, I can literally connect you with 100’s of people that have disappearing waterfalls that couldn’t imagine owning a home without the sound of waterfalls on their property.

I didn’t let my Mother’s poor cooking keep me from the joy’s of eating as you shouldn’t let the poor experience of your friend’s friend keep you from the tranquility a properly installed water feature has to offer.

I will hold your hand through all your concerns and can assure you that it is very possible to have a beautiful, low maintenance disappearing waterfall that you will enjoy for years and years.

By the way, our company will travel to Santa Paula, California for new water feature construction. We have tools and will travel!

Touching People’s Lives With Water,

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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