Koi Pond Tips for the Spring: Everything You Need to Know
When it comes to our koi, we want the best for them. They are beautiful creatures, living and breathing works of art. It is no wonder why when it comes to taking care of them, we want to do our best to make sure they can live a healthy and vibrant life.
When it comes time for spring, you can’t wait to get started on your koi pond! The koi are beginning to wake up from their winter hibernation and they will soon be active and create an enjoyable experience for you, your friends and family.
Unfortunately, spring can be the most dangerous time for your koi fish. They are still weak and at a vulnerable stage. It’s their time to begin rebuilding their bodies for the season. It is at this pivotal moment where we have the ultimate responsibility to create a safe environment for them to strengthen for the spring.
How do we protect our koi? When we develop a system to tend for our koi pond that is geared for the season. We can make sure that they will have the best chances of survival and can thrive in their environment.
Here are some koi pond tips for the spring!
Clean Your Koi Pond Filter
This might seem obvious, but so many pond caretakers forget to do it at the appropriate time. In spring, it is more important than ever. During this season, plant life and animals are more active. This means debris, pathogens and other materials are going to find its way into the pond more than normal.
Since your koi will be very vulnerable waking up from the winter, threats will be more potent than usual. By cleaning your filter often, and even more than usual to be on the safe side, you are keeping your koi safe.
If you had your filters stopped during winter, turn them back on and get them ready for the new season. Clean the filter as well as you can and make sure everything gets drained out and any materials are gone.
Once your filter is clean, you can add beneficial bacteria to it. This helps them thrive in their environment (and gets the nitrogen cycle going).
Keep the Pond Clear
Have you ever seen a pool after a hurricane? It's not fun. After a couple of days, the water gets green. The pool is full of leaves, coconuts, and debris that was flown in. If it was your pool, you probably threw all your outdoor furniture in the water so that the wind wouldn’t have blown it to the sky.
Now you have to get it all and clean the pool. The leaves scratch your neck; some twigs might get in your mouth. When you dive down to pick up a lawn chair and swim back up, a thick blanket of dead leaves layer over you as you take in your breath…it's not pleasant. Imagine living in it!
It is the same way with your koi. Is your pond full of debris, leaves or foreign material?
Spring will keep them coming and it is your responsibility to care for the pond and make sure it is clean and clear. If it is not, it can affect the lives of your koi. This is a big step in taking care of them. It’s important to check daily to make sure nothing has fallen inside. If you also have a garden, you can combine your mornings of watering and tending the plants with checking up on the koi pond.
Once the pond and water are clear, you can consider one more step. While your filter will help with pathogens, you can assist it by doing small water changes. You can change 10%-15% a week. Make sure the water is a similar temperature to the pond. Since koi are coldblooded fish, you don’t want to shock them or the environment.
Try to wait before adding more koi right away. We often get excited during this time to add new companions for our koi. But when the water temperature is still warming up, and as we transition our pond, it’s important to make sure everything is ready and stable for our new friends.
Special Feeding Habits for the Spring
Feeding your koi is probably the most fun part of having them. You can truly see the living jewels swim around with their beautiful and unique colors. When you give them food, they all gather around together to nourish themselves. You admire them and they almost give thanks to you by showing off their beauty.
Feeding your koi is not only a great experience, but it's also a way for you to bond with them. They get to know you and they see you often. But during the spring, they might not feed like usual. We don't want you to get worried when you see this change.
Your koi are coming from a long hibernation. Their stomachs are not equipped to eat like they normally do.
Humans are the same way. Many people that try to introduce breakfast after not eating any food in the morning for years will get nauseated and feel uncomfortable.
When the pond is clean, great temperature and perfect condition, your koi may still be slow to feed.
Be patient. There are many pellets and food you can buy that are made for the spring and their sensitive stomachs. Another option is to wet your pellets to make them easier to take in (it might cloud your water).
Consult with your experts on how often to feed the koi, in the spring with cooler temperatures beginning to transition to warm, you may only need to do it once every few days. Either way, reading your koi and giving them a chance to adjust is the most important part.
Spring is an exciting time for koi pond owners. We get to see our beautiful creatures come back after a long hibernation. While we may get excited, it is important to make sure we take the necessary steps that they need for a healthy and carefree life.