Understanding and Caring for the Butterfly Koi
Butterfly koi are lovely ornamental fish that have long, flowing fins and colorful, patterned scales. They look like goldfish, but they’re actually hybrids of the traditional koi fish and carp.
With their length – a maximum of 36 inches – they need spacious ponds to survive.The environment dictates the type of outdoor pond required by butterfly koi. They usually thrive in temperatures 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.
It’s not enough to have filler systems, so mud ponds should come with a drainage system to take out the impurities. Maintaining the pond requires complete draining and cleaning on a regular basis. Butterfly koi need lots of room where they can freely swim and spread their fins. Ponds must be clean and filtered, and this is something liners will come in handy for.
In-ground ponds come with liners that make sure the soil is kept away from the water. The evenness or shape of the surface dictates whether liners should be rigid or flexible. Steel-meshed concrete or prefabrigated fiberglass sealed with polyurethane is the material used to make liners.
Above-ground ponds set up on a level surface are also good homes for butterfly koi. Generally made of plastic, wood, fiberglass or wood, you can have prefab ornament ponds on cement surfaces or backyard decks.
Smaller kits may come in plastic or wood. Wherever you choose to put your pond, ensure that the surface can support the container with water (one gallon weighs 8 pounds).
Maintaining a Pond
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.
The pond’s ecological balance can be restored by adding organic materials such as salts and barley straw, which can get rid of excess nitrates and phosphates in the water. 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 should be maintained at 65 to 75 F, although fish can survive between 32 and 95 degrees as long as the temperatures don’t change drastically.
Caring for Butterfly Koi
First and foremost, pond water needs to be well-aerated. To keep water circulating, the pump also needs to be kept clean. Lastly, as plants suck draw oxygen, vegetation must be reduced to rejuvenate the water.