Feeding Koi and Fish
Fish are a popular addition to the pond, they help ad life, color and personality to your water feature. Not only are they beautiful but can help balance your ecosystem as well. Fish, such as Koi will eat certain algae and help keep it under control. Fish will also eat mosquito larvae and insects that are out of reach of the skimmer. With a little luck, your fish spawn and allow you to witness first-hand the life-cycle of your ecosystem. Occasionally fish will find their way into the skimmer. This usually occurs for the first week or two. Simply remove the fish and place them back into the pond. The fish will quickly become adjusted to the current created by the skimmer and will no longer swim into the filter. If you have newborn fish, a temporary screen can be placed in front of the skimmer opening in order to prevent them from entering.
Types of Fish
There are many types of fish that are suitable for your pond. Ornamental fish such as Koi, Shubunkin, and Comets (goldfish) are beautiful hardy fish that do well with the change of season. Some pond owners stock their ponds with native fish or game fish, such as bluegill, bass, northern pike, etc. For more information on Fish and pond life see our Livestock section.
The first step in preparing your new pond for fish is to remove the chlorine from the water. Chlorine in the water can burn the fish gills and possibly kill your fish. Operating the filter system for at least 3 days to a week will allow the chlorine to dissipate through the waterfalls. If you are anxious, and wish to add your fish sooner, you can purchase dechlorinator from your local pet store or through our Online-Store. Dechlorinator does not need to be used when adding or replacing less than 20% of the ponds total volume. Properties supplied with well water do not need dechlorination treatment.
Fish do not have to be fed provided you do not overstock your pond. They will live off of algae, insects and other miscellaneous food that the environment provides. Many pond owners never feed their fish and enjoy very healthy active fish. Don't worry if the fish are hungry. Mother nature will take care of them. Feeding koi, however, can be a relaxing break in your daily routine. There are many different foods on the market. Ask your local pet store or fish supplier what they recommend. Fish can be fed one or three times daily. Be careful not to over-feed your fish. Only feed the fish amounts that they consume within a few minutes. Stop feeding koi if you notice they are done eating or food is entering the skimmer. Excess food that is not eaten by the fish will decompose in the pond and may cause poor water quality. New fish sometimes take a few weeks to begin eating.
If you live in colder climates, monitor your water temperature during the fall and spring. When the water temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit "Stop feeding koi!" During this time of the year they will become dormant. Their respiration, metabolism, and overall activity slows down as they prepare for their winter hibernation. Feeding koi this time of the year can cause your fish to become sick or even die.