Practical and Helpful Tips: Gardens

Understanding and Caring for the Butterfly Koi

Butterfly koi are beautiful ornamental fish that come with long, flowing fins and brightly patterned scales. They look like goldfish, but they’re actually hybrids of the traditional koi fish and carp.

Butterfly koi grow quite long – up to 36 inches – so they need spacious ponds.The environment dictates the type of outdoor pond required by butterfly koi. Normal temperatures they need run from 32 to 95 Degrees Fahrenheit. Large Japanese koi are often found in mud ponds, but experts advise against drilling a hole outside and filling it to make a simple pond, as the water cannot remain clear due to soil and planktonic algae.

Filler systems are not enough, so mud ponds have to include a drainage system to get rid of impurities. To maintain the pond, the pond should be regularly and completely drained and cleaned. Butterfly koi need a lot of space to swim and spread their fins. Ponds should be clean and filtered, and liners help with this.

In-ground ponds may have liners preventing the soil from getting into the water. Depending on the shape or evenness of the surface, liners can be flexible or rigid. Liners can be made of polyurethane-sealed steel-meshed concrete or prefab fiberglass.

Above-ground ponds set up on a level surface are also good homes for butterfly koi. Usually made of concrete, fiberglass, wood or plastic, prefabricated ornament ponds may be placed on backyard decks or cement surfaces.

Plastic or wood may be used to make smaller kits. Wherever you place the pond, make it a point that the container (with water, 8 pounds per gallon) can be supported by the surface.

Pond Maintenance

Too much aquatic vegetation or other fish can be stressful for butterfly koi, so make sure your ponds are always clean and well-aerated. These kois need a constant pH balance of 6.8 to 7.2. Algae growth can be prevented by maintaining this balance, especially when there are aquatic plants in the pond.

To remove excess phosphates and nitrates in the water and restore the pond’s ecological balance, organic materials such as barley straw and salts may be added. The filters must also be cleaned bimonthly, and water temperature should be monitored so that consistency can be maintained through the entire process. Installing a waterfall or fountain is a good way to keep water circulating and aerated. Water temperature has to be maintained at 65 to 75 F, although 32 to 95 degrees is fine as long if the fluctuations aren’t dramatic.

Butterfly Koi Care

First of all, pond water should be well-aerated. The pump should also be kept clean so that water can circulate. Lastly, as plants suck draw oxygen, vegetation must be reduced to rejuvenate the water.

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