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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Selecting the Right Koi

Koi are considered to be one of the most popular fresh-water fish. This particular species can found swimming around ponds. Koi collection and breeding has become a worldwide hobby. Their popularity can be credited for two things: the various bright colors that they have and the longevity of their lives. Koi have known to live an average of 25 to 30 years, but they can even live longer than that when they are placed in the most ideal surroundings. In fact, the longest living Koi lived until two hundred twenty-six years.

Before you purchase your very own koi, you must prepare your surroundings. The pond must be large enough to fit them and the water temperature must be set right. They can be kept in most anything, but you have to note that they can grow to as long as three feet. If the swimming space is too small, then don't expect your koi to live too long. An indoor aquarium is not a suitable home for them. Koi are cold water fish, so an outdoor pond is best for them. During warm seasons, you must fill the pond with more than a meter of water. The sun's rays can cut through the water and raise its temperature. The higher the depth, the better it is for your fish. In areas that get very chilly winters, it is also pertinent to have a pond that is deep enough so that it won't freeze. Basically, koi fish thrive better with a bigger pond is. I have included an example of a koi pond in case you are interested in making one.

Koi prefer to feed at the bottom of the pond and like the medium sized pellets. When cared for properly, your koi can reproduce through spawning. This simply means that a female lays a vast number of eggs and the males fertilize them outside the body. To ensure that its offspring is safe, you have to remove eggs as soon as they are out to prevent parents from eating them. A baby koi is called a fry, and once they have hatched, you need to move them to a bigger pond in four to five days.

 Now that you know the proper care for koi, you are ready to purchase them. The success of your pond fish depends on where they are from. Buy your koi from a reputable breeder rather than a store. Koi that come from a store have usually gone through more than enough miles of travel. Aside from that, they have already been exposed to several types of bacteria. When compared to a koi that comes from a breeder, store-purchased carp have potentially weak immune systems.

If you're not sure what kind of koi to purchase, you need to keep your options open and weigh them. Koi can be classified by their color. To make it even more complex, most classifications have scaled and unscaled versions. The butterfly koi may catch your attention immediately, but it is also interesting to note that devoted breeders do not carry this breed. This type of carp originated from a crossbreed between an Indonesian carp and another variety, some of which don't come from the ideal kind of koi.

When you first look for the fish you want to get, go for the healthiest one. You can tell by the way it swims around the pond. Although koi are shy by nature, a healthy one actively swims with the other fish. Select the koi that linger near the top of the water, because these are the ones that are not timid around people. The koi should also swim smoothly. Otherwise, one that twitches while it swims most likely has bladder problems that they get through bacteria.

Then, you need to take a look at its gills. Both gills should be working and are not red. If one of the fish has gill flukes, then chances of the others having it are just as high. Next, you move on to the body. It should be thick, well defined, and gracefully tapered. The scales should be flat and free from lesions. The fins may have some minor damage due to its environment. This is okay as long as you don't see any sign of redness and swelling.

The color of the koi changes as it matures. If you bought for fish for the color, make sure that you buy the mature one, though this may cost more. Another way to make sure this is to buy it from a breeder who knows about their pets. Finally, you should look carefully at the proportion and balance of your koi's body. The fins should be ideally sized, the belly should gently taper into the dorsal and pectoral part of the fish, and the back should be smooth.

If you find that your pet koi is imperfect in many ways, don't fret. What matters most in the end is your relationship with your koi and commitment to this hobby.


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