You have probably heard that well cared for koi can live as long as 200 years! But, that is assuming they are kept very carefully in an exact environment that doesn’t change rapidly at any time and for any reason. Having said that, the average lifespan of koi is generally two to three decades and that is if they are cared for in a proper manner. If you are thinking of responding to a ‘koi for sale’ ad, here are a few things you should know about koi. While they are not hard to care for, their care must be rigidly controlled.
How Big Can Koi Grow?
One of the things you’ll need to think about is the size of the pond you want to keep your koi in. In order to judge this, you need to first understand that koi must never be overcrowded. When they are, they tend to move around less, eat less and can die as a result. Experts say that you shouldn’t keep more than about 3 pounds of koi to every 100 gallons of water, and that water should be kept at a very stable temperature and conditioner should be added as needed, especially when moving the fish to clean their pond – which you will need to do from time to time,
What Do Koi Eat?
Here is another basic fact about koi which most people are shocked to hear. Koi eat just about anything you give them! Even so, the best diet will be about 1/3 protein which will keep them growing and healthy. People have even given their koi pieces of baked chicken! Some experts say not to feed koi more than once a day while others say they can eat every four hours or so. Koi do not have stomachs so what they eat goes right through them. You can feed them every four hours, but if you do, do so sparingly.
How Big Will Koi Get?
The size of your koi will depend largely on how much room they have in the pond but on an average, a koi will grow to a length of approximately twelve to maybe fifteen inches in length. The more water they have to swim in, the bigger they are likely to grow. It is suggested that you keep their pond at least three feet deep for maximum benefit.
One final word is on parasites. Many koi carry parasites that can be dangerous to them. If you suspect a problem with parasites in your pond, the only way to determine whether or not they are present is to have your water tested under a microscope. If there are parasites, the water can be treated to save your fish but know that it is imperative to get it treated. Koi can be quickly eradicated by water infested with certain parasites. By keeping clean water that has been treated with conditioner, keeping their environment stable and being careful not to overcrowd your pond, you should have healthy koi you can enjoy for years.