Keeping koi can be a somewhat complicated, yet rewarding task. There is often more to koi care than potential owners realize. But koi ownership doesn’t have to be daunting, especially with the right equipment, koi pond features, and koi care products.
There are many items and features that have been designed to make koi owners’ lives easier. Here’s our list of the top nine things koi owners may now know they need, but should invest in:
For a koi pond, skimmers are the first line of defense against large debris that fall in. The skimmer is designed to catch dead leaves and other waste that falls into the pond by chance and prevent it from sinking. Basically, skimmers help cut down on maintenance down the road when it comes to waste removal from the bottom of the pond. Skimmers are easily added to most existing koi ponds, and they come in a variety of types, shapes, and sizes.
- Koi Pond Bottom Drains
As their name suggests, koi pond bottom drains sit at the bottom of a koi pond and are a low-maintenance means of filtering out organic debris. Bottom drains will help create a current that moves debris into them, while aerating the surrounding water by releasing oxygen back into it.
- Auto Fill
Auto fill automatically adds water into a koi pond as needed. Installing an auto fill feature in a koi pond is a good, time-saving idea for multiple reasons. Especially in climates with high evaporation rates, auto fill can save koi owners a lot of worry and anxiety since it is a hands-free way of ensuring water levels don’t drop to dangerous levels.
- Flow Through
Flow through is a method of water removal that makes water changes obsolete. Since it’s relatively automatic, there’s no risk of accidentally forgetting to change the koi pond’s water. In combination with an auto fill feature, it helps maintain a steady water replacement process with constant water levels that doesn’t disturb koi as much as a total water change.
- Pond Netting
Putting pond netting around koi pond serves a dual purpose: it keeps things out, and it keeps things in. Especially if the pond sits in or near a heavily wooded area, a net can prevent debris like leaves and sticks from falling into the pond. And on the other hand, a net can help keep the koi inside the pond. When they are stressed, koi are jumpers, and it’s not uncommon for them to attempt a jump out of the koi pond. A pond net surrounding the water can help prevent this from happening.
- Drop Test Kit
In koi ponds, clear water is not always good water. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health of koi, which is why owners should invest in a good drop test kit and regularly test the water in the pond. There are many different types of kits on the market, but make sure whichever one you chooses tests for (at the minimum): Wide-range pH, ammonia, and nitrate.
- Clove Oil
Clove oil, when used at a minimal dosage, helps sedate koi for pond treatment. This is especially helpful if the koi ever need to be removed from the pond, so that they do not overexcite and endanger themselves. While in high doses clove oil is used to euthanize sick koi, in low doses (seven drops per gallon for 3-5 minutes), it will not harm the koi and they will shake off its effects when they are returned to the pond.
- Koi Net
Koi can be elusive and owners may have a hard time scooping them out with their bare hands to check on their health or move them to a new location. That’s why koi owners should invest in a good koi net. But, be careful when buying a net — it’s important to get the type of netting right so that it doesn’t harm the koi. Invest in either a sock net, pan net, or dip net to best ensure the safety of the koi.
- Broad Spectrum Disease Treatment
Even if a koi owner keeps their koi pond adequately clean, bacteria and disease can still enter the pond at any moment through a variety of factors (bird feces and small amphibious visitors come to mind). It’s good to have a broad spectrum disease control product on hand so that bacteria and/or parasites can be eradicated as quickly as they are introduced.