How do I get my koi ready for winter?
Published: Fri, 22 Feb 2013 14:00:50
By: Wes Parker
Autumn is yet just around the corner and everyone knows that winter is soon to follow. Preparing your koi for the winter needs to start in the fall and end in the spring. Yes, you still need to prepare and do your maintenance practices in the winter.
THE KOI FOOD DILEMMA
To start with lets discuss the koi food issue. The temps are starting to dip and, yes, you can still be feeding you koi the high protein foods if the water is above 65 degrees F. I figure the largest problem with koi food is the ingredients. If you look around the web you will find so many manufacturers of koi food. Not to long ago there was Hai Feng and Hikari and others were seldom used or not even around. All of the koi food that I find has the same ingredients: fish meal, krill, wheat germ, vitamins minerals and spirulina if you were to purchase a color enhancing koi food. So how do you know what will work the best with your koi? You need to find WHERE the ingredients come from and the QUALITY of the ingredients in the koi food. As said, many koi food share the same ingredients however, the quality is rarely the same. In the FALL to prep for WINTER, you will need to purchase and FEED koi food that has high quality WHEAT GERM. This is the first step to prep the beloved creatures for winter!!!!
GOOD HUSBANDRY PRACTICES
This is classified as just how good the water is and how parasite free the koi are. Parisites WILL lead to mortalities in the winter. That being said you need to perform the needed anti parasite treatment. There are also many chemicals out there that simply do not work so, please give attention to the reports and advice of your koi dealers and advanced hobbiest BEFORE the purchase of said treatments. Now we know that we need to take the measures to clean up our koi, so to speak, before the immune system drops down to the zero mark.
Next, If you do have any kois that have ulcers or open wounds by winter then they are sure to perrish by the spring. Make the needed adjustments. Set up a good quarantine. In doors is the best scenario. That will allow you to bring koi in from the winter if they are looking like things are going astray!
Lets summarize thus far:
1. Feed the good koi food: Great wheat germ and I highly reccomend MANDA FU STOP feeding all food at 50 degrees.
2. Perform a good Anti Parasite Habit. 10 different parasites can and will harm your koi.
3. Make sure koi are free from Ulcers and or open wounds. If you have found them, get antibiotics immediately as time is NOT on your side!
Ok Lets move forward.
The next biggest mis understood fact is that koi need to have a constant water change in the winter. YES! I said in the winter. The koi get their minerals from the food but much of it also comes from the GROUND water. Many of us do not think we need to do water changes as the rain will fill and over fill the ponds in many areas. Rainwater has a big fat 0 in the term of water hardness. There is simply no minerals in the rainwater. The best case, you will find pollution in rain water! So water changes of at least 10% a week are still in need.
Lastly, we need not super cool the water in the winter. Please shut off the waterfalls and use your airstones and pumps to give the precious oxygen to our friends. If you do not have an air pump GET ONE! You will not regret it! Air pumps use far less electric consumption than a cattle trough heater. In many cases the airpump, stones, and gang valve manifold plus tubing will pay for itself in the first year. The AIR PRESSURE will not allow the ice to cover the entire pond in the colder areas of the US. This, in effect, will leave a hole in the ice and our koi will still be able to breath good air.
Water Quality in the Winter
Water quality in the winter should be great and the colors on the koi will prove this is the case. There is not much to do with your koi in the dead winter but, if you choose, you can give them the best possible home to live in, even in the cold. AQUA MEDS makes a great cold water bacteria that we use and customers rave about. Use Aqua meds Arctic Blend water conditioner to achieve this.
To purchase this Aqua meds Arctic Blend call or see the site http://www.cotskoi.com/Aqua-Meds/Arctic-Blend-p-207.html
Another way to enjoy koi in the winter? Visit you local koi dealer. He should have an area that is warm for koi to keep the small koi growing and those needing more attention in the best possible health. A good koi dealer will have this available and the knowledge to help you thru the winter without any losses from our bubble breathing friends!
If you have any question please call 360-991-1117 for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.orgDescription: This will explain some great ideas on how to get you koi ready for the winter. Take the needed steps now to set yourself up for the spring!
Key Words: Koi winter ready, getting koi ready for winter, winterization of koi, feeding koi in the winter