What You’ll Have to Do When Finding the Best Pet Fish for Your Kids

If your kids really want a pet then you should start them off on the right path. Don’t just go and get them a cat or a dog. You need to see that your kids are responsible enough to handle a pet. Starting with fish can be a great idea as they are often a little easier to take care of than most other pets. They do require food and a need to maintain their environment but if your kids are able to take care of their pet fish and keep them alive for a while then they may be ready for a greater number of fish or even a larger pet.

The amazing thing about finding pet fish for your kids is that there are so many types of fish to choose from. Of course, your kids might want you to get the coolest-looking one that’s available. It might be fun to get something that’s vibrant in its appearance but you have to take a careful look at several aspects relating to pet fish.

You need to look at the size of the tank that you’re going to use. You can’t just use a traditional fish bowl to store your fish in. You should have a good-sized tank to use so you’ll have space for the fish to swim around in. A good tank should be around ten to twenty gallons in size. It will be enough to accommodate a few fish and their possible growth patterns.

Next, you need to think about the types of fish that you can get. One tip is to check on whether certain types of fish are going to be compatible with each other in the same tank. That is, you need to find fish that aren’t aggressive or likely to devour each other.

Take a look at the sizes of the mouths of the fish you’re interested in. If one fish in a tank is about the same size as the mouth of a larger fish in that same tank then you should avoid pairing them together as the larger one will probably eat that smaller one.

It might be easier for you to get smaller fish for your kids. Small fish require less food and are often easier to incorporate into a new environment.

You’ll have to think about the water conditions that pet fish in particular can enjoy. Some fish will benefit from conditions where the water is cooled off at a reasonable amount. Others will need a bit of salt in an environment to survive.

Finally, you’ll have to think about the types of illnesses that some fish may be more likely to suffer from. Some fish can suffer from illnesses that can cause them to become listless, have funny smells to them or even develop unusual spots on their bodies. You’ll need to see what can be done to take care of these problems too.

You need to be certain that your kids have the right pet fish. Be sure to prepare yourself and your kids for such fish by taking a look at what’s around. These fish can be great pets for kids if you know what you’re doing when getting them.

Easy Methods to Eliminate Cloudiness in Aquariums and Fish Ponds

If you are among the many individuals looking for tips on how to clean up a cloudy fish pond or aquarium and have carried out just about everything the professionals say to do, yet you’ve still got cloudy water, then the advice below should be of help.

There are various factors as to why a pond will end up green or cloudy. Weather conditions tend to be the leading culprit. Various temperature ranges, rainwater, and an excessive amount of sunlight will play a role in a cloudy pond.

Furthermore, insufficient purification and over-feeding will result in difficulties, along with inadequate chemical compounds. Listed here are a few of the real solutions when it comes to preserving a fish pond or aquarium.

Filtration Systems: Are They All the Same?

  • Submersible filtration systems are challenging to upkeep since you need to climb into the waters in order to execute proper servicing of them plus they usually elevate the temperature of the water.
  • Sand filters are generally difficult to thoroughly clean and don’t capture all of the particles within the sand, enabling a few to re-enter the pond or aquarium. Furthermore the sand filter needs to be functioning twenty-four hours each day for ideal purification and should be backwashed on a regular basis.
  • The bio-filter is nearly the same as the sand filtration system only that it can be even tougher to completely clean.
  • Cartridge filters are likely to be the most effective filters to make use of. They filter out basically all of the wastes, are incredibly simple to wash, and keep working for an extended period of time. You may use cartridge filters in fish aquariums as well.

Which Chemical Solution Should I Purchase?

Algaecide is highly suggested to get rid of algae and clearing up any cloudy or green pond. On the other hand, algaecides are a toxic not just to your fish, but to the surrounding environment as well. Algaecides consist of copper sulfate which can build up in the internal organs of fish and other creatures. A few cities have prohibited copper sulfate since it seriously will contaminate bays and lake and can be considered unsuitable for aquatic environments.

There is, however, an organic algaecide that exists filled with beneficial microorganisms which will benefit the overall wellness of the pond. A probiotic solution is one of the best choices you can make.

Oxygenator Plants May Be a Good Idea

Any underwater plant species that thrives beneath the surface of the pond, or even if part of a plant is submerged underneath the pond water, is considered to be an oxygenator plant. These underwater plants typically have thin roots designed only for anchorage to prevent movement from any currents or wind.

The nutrition and gaseous transaction occur on the exterior of the plant directly to each individual cell. With these plants in the water, you can be sure that any cloudiness will start to vanish due to an increase of oxygen in the water.

Install a UV Clarifier

One of the most effective methods for managing pond cloudiness and algae is to install a UV clarifier. The potency of the UV illumination, which is produced at a particular wavelength, is a miracle for pond keepers. UV light is a natural occurrence and is the main trigger of sun burnt skin when we are in the sun for an extended period of time.

The ultra violet light rays eradicates the cloudiness by getting rid of the cell walls of the algae, bringing about the system known as flocculation, which is essentially the process in which bacteria heaps together into large clumps.

This bulky piece of bacteria is now far too big to simply go through any filtration systems without notice, so the next time it runs through a filter it will be removed for good.

Choosing Suitable Aquarium Decor For Little Girls

Not many would care to admit it but the world of aquarium decorations tends to be a little male oriented. Looking at all the different tank ornaments from a distance you can see that they make up such themes as Pirates, Sunken Shipwreck, Greek Ruins, Skulls and more. This is not to mean that those themes are not stuff that girls would not be interested in. My own daughter is crazy about pirates, especially since Captain Jack Sparrow made it on the movies. But younger girls might not yet be into things that portray thrilling adventure or hulking ancient creatures. They may be looking for softer, more colorful alternatives and you might feel a little hard pressed searching for ornaments that would get them interested in fish keeping.

There still are some really cool options if you want a lively, colorful theme for your little girl. We’ll look at some of the best options that would guarantee your little daughter loves the aquarium you got for her and stays interested in it for a long time.

The first option would be castles. Which little girl does not dream of becoming a princess when she grows up. My tween daughter may be a tough tomboy right now but as a little child, she used to dress up in her prettiest princess outfit with her little tiara prancing around the house everyday. With the castle theme, what you would want to look for are ones that are more colorful and fun. There are numerous realistic castle decor on sale, but these tend to look gloomy and most in ruins. They make awesome looking decor in the eyes of an adult but may be a little too morbid for a little girl. Try to get colorful ones that allow the fish to enter inside as the cave would be a great benefit to the fish.

Another really cool suggestion would be the Dora the Explorer collection. Dora has numerous fish tank decor pieces that you could use in the aquarium, showing her in various poses and outfits. You can even get the other characters from the show such as Boots her monkey friend as well as her cousin Diego. Match these up, place them with some rocks and aquatic plants and they would look exactly like a scene from one of the cartoon shows.

Next we have the Atlantis theme. Ignore the ruins and temples for this one. You should focus more on getting a mermaid or two. Then add on one of the colorful caves that you could get, with tiny corals and anemone painted on them which will look really eye catching. To complement the theme, if there is some space to spare, you could add a couple of sea creatures. Get the fun looking cartoonish ones, such as sea horses and starfishes to create a really fun theme.

The final option would be fairies. Honestly, there are very few fairy tank ornaments on sale. But if you wish, you could get some resin home ornaments that can be placed inside the aquarium. Just ensure that there are not metal parts and that the ornaments are not hand painted without a layer of protection that prevents the paint from wearing out and leaking into the water. You may want to check out the Faerie Glen Bubble collection, which in my opinion are some of the most gorgeous fairy ornaments on sale today.

10 Things to Consider When Shopping for Betta Fish Tanks

Bettas are among the most interesting and low-maintenance fish you can keep. And their ability to breathe atmospheric oxygen and live in very small volumes of water allows them to be housed in a variety of small aquaria that can complement any home or office. However, there are some important considerations to bear in mind when shopping around for the perfect tank for your pet betta. Please read on as we discuss these issues and our own opinions on what to look for in a small betta tank.

Characteristics of The Best Betta Fish Tanks

1) Adequate Size

Yes, it’s true that a betta can live in a small bowl, if it had to. But this is not the most fulfilling life for such a regal fish. In addition, very small bowls are prone to heating and cooling extremely rapidly, as well as suffering quickly from pollution that can easily occur from even slight overfeeding. As a general rule of thumb, we suggest a minimum tank size of one gallon to keep one adult betta. Of course, your betta would be happy if you provided a larger aquarium, but a gallon container is generally sufficient so long as it is diligently maintained. Bettas can also be housed in community tanks, but take care not to keep them with fish that tend to nip fins. For example, tiger barbs are notorious for fin nipping, and will shred a betta’s fins very quickly. Shredded fins are not just a cosmetic issue, unfortunately, and a betta with badly torn fins can easily die from stress and/or secondary infections like ick/fungus.

2) A Good, Tight Fitting Cover

Bettas are not what I’d consider big time “jumpers,” but they can and will jump when given half a chance. Sometimes osmotic or other stress will cause them to jump, and sometimes they will leap simply because the can. To minimize any risk of such escape, for whatever reason, do yourself a favor and put a lid on the tank. Be careful though to leave some air space between the surface of the water and the cover as they are air breathers and need to gulp air occasionally.

3) No Strong Currents or Water Movement

This is a consideration that I often see overlooked, especially in some of the smaller betta tanks. Bettas have evolved to thrive in still or stagnant waters where this no little or no current. And, as a consequence of this design, they are unhappy when subjected to currents typically generated by hang on back filters or powerful aeration. Bettas require water that is either still, or very placid. They do not require aeration of any kind, especially when properly maintained and in a tank by themselves. If you do use a filter at all, make sure that the tank is large enough (e.g., 3 gallons or more) or the filter can be dialed down (e.g., an air release valve on an aquarium pump) such that the betta does not need to exert effort to maintain its position in the water column. If your betta is getting pushed around or fighting to stay still, it will put constant stain on the fish that can eventually lead to disease or death.

4) Bare Floor or Fine Substrates

Bettas don’t need or want any substrate in their tanks. In fact, bare bottom tanks are best for you and the betta since they facilitate easy clean up. If you do want to add some colorful gravel, however, keep it sparse and opt for relatively small grained types, rather than the large, marble-sized gravel that is often sold for small decorative bowls/tanks. Very course gravel makes a great trap for uneaten food, which then decays and causes potentially lethal ammonia spikes. Finer gravel (pea-sized or smaller) allows the fish to get at food that lands on the bottom, and still allows you to see when food is left uneaten and needs removal – both of which is better for your fish.

5) Regular Light Cycles

Fish, like most vertebrates, react profoundly to light cycles. As a species that lives close to the equator, your betta will expect a photoperiod of roughly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. If you don’t use artificial lighting, you don’t need to provide any, but avoid turning the lights on late at night when your fish is preparing to “sleep.” Also, try to purchase a tank that uses LED lighting. LED lights are by far the most efficient and long-lasting type you can buy, and also generate the least amount of unwanted heat.

6) Warm Temperatures

Unlike goldfish, for example, which can thrive in very cold water, betta are a very tropical fish. In their native waters of Southeast Asia, they rarely experience temperatures below 76 F. Consequently, you should always aim to keep your bettas at a minimum temperature of 72F, with a temperature of 78F being ideal. Bettas can certainly withstand cooler temps for short durations, but extended exposure to water temperatures below 72F make them lethargic and highly vulnerable to infections and diseases, particularly fin rot, ick, and fungus.

7) Individual Housing

Although female bettas can be kept together, males cannot be kept with other males or females. The only exception to this rule is if you are attempting to breed bettas, in which case the male will tolerate the female (grudgingly) only until the eggs are laid, after which time he will attack and kill her if the tank is not large enough for her to escape his line of sight.

8) Good Water Quality

Whatever you do, you must keep a betta’s water clean. This means that periodic water changes should be conducted, which involve removing any debris from the bottom of the tank. A good rule of thumb is to change between 30-50% of the water per week. This keeps the water fresh without changing things too drastically. Make sure to use dechlorinated water and try to match the temperature of the new water to the old water.

9) Placement in a Calm Area, Away From Direct Light

You wouldn’t want to live next to a 6-lane highway, and neither would your betta, so keep the tank somewhere away from heavy foot traffic. It’s difficult enough living your life in a small transparent container, don’t make matters more stressful by locating the tank where your betta will be subject to constant movement and/or vibrations. Also, locate the tank away from direct sunlight, which can cause rapid temperature spikes and encourage algae growth.

10) Simplicity!

If you’ve chosen a tank of sufficient size, keep the betta by itself, maintain proper temperatures and keep up with regular water changes, there’s not much else you need. Be wary of vendors that try to sell lots of accessories for beta-only tanks, like sophisticated filters, lighting, etc. These things are usually unnecessary.

Suitable Betta Fish Tank Decor

Betta fish are probably among the most popular fishes to breed these days and it is easy to see why. These fish look absolutely stunning with their vibrant colors and long gorgeous fins, it is hard to imagine that they actually originate from the murky waters of rice fields in Southeast Asia. Apart from how beautifully they look, another plus point of having the Betta fish as a pet is how tough they are. These fish come from some of the most dank and poorly aerated waters and have evolved to be extremely hardy. You can easily keep a Betta fish in a tiny little water container with no filtration and no aeration and they would still survive well. This is because it is one of the few fish that is actually fine with taking in atmospheric air if the oxygen concentration of the water is low.

But the downside to the Betta fish is that they are extremely territorial. In Southeast Asia, they are better known as Fighting Fish. When two male Betta are placed in close proximity, they would battle to the death, a brutal sport that the local kids partake in. You can easily tell the male and female apart, the male being the colorful ones and the females generally plain and unattractive. The female Betta also tends to be a little less aggressive. This would mean that you would only be able to keep one Betta in your fish tank and have no other fish in there or it might tear the other fish apart.

When choosing suitable fish tank ornaments for your Betta fish, you would have to take into consideration their aggressive nature. You would need to ensure that your fish tank decor does not injure the Betta in any way.

The first thing to avoid is having any decor with a reflective surface. Avoid mirrors like the plague. If the Betta sees its reflection in the mirror, it will assume that there is another male in there with it and will go into attack mode. It will keep hitting itself against the mirror until it eventually bleeds and dies. You might find an aquarium toy sold with a mirror that is supposedly meant to keep Betta fish stimulated but it is not a good thing to have for this kind of aggressive fish, so I would recommend not getting it.

You would want to get an ornament that provides the fish with a small cave to go into. One great aquarium decor to get is a floating Betta log, which is a plain hollow log that floats at the surface. Since Betta fish breathe in atmospheric air as well, having them close to the surface during their rest time is a good idea. Betta do need a secluded place to go into and rest from time to time.

If there is space constraints in your tank and a floating log would consume too much area at the top, you could opt for one that is placed at the base of the tank. Or you could also get soft artificial plants that would allow the fish to swim in between and hide when it feels a need. Do not get artificial plants that are stiff and hard, or they would scrape their bodies against it too much and cause sore to appear.

Try your very best to ensure that the ornaments you get are natural looking such as rocks, plants and logs. You can put normal fish tank decorations if you want such as sunken ships and castle, just make sure there are not sharp parts that might injure it. Being aggressive, Betta fish have the tendency to dart into the cave especially if spooked, so you do not want them injuring themselves against a sharp part.

Cool Aquarium Decor For Under $10

Almost anyone can keep a fish tank. What could be so difficult about filling a tank with water and dropping some fish inside? Well, there is actually more to it than that. You will have to replicate the environment from where the fish came from as best as you can. This would mean proper water filtration, the right temperature for your fish as well as the perfect water chemical balance.

But this alone would not ensure that your fish will be healthy and happy. Another important thing which a lot of new as well as experienced hobbyists fail to consider is tank decoration. If you think about it, the fish would probably never know that the lump of resin you dumped in with it is meant to represent a mermaid but aquarium decor do benefit the fish in a number of other ways. The decor create a boundary of sorts within the confines of the tank and this becomes especially important to the territorial fish. Also, the holes and gaps in the tank decor act as little caves for the fish to hide away in when they feel a need.

However, tank ornaments, especially the really cool intricate ones, can be expensive. All is not lost. There are still loads of other tank ornaments that we can get which will not burn a hole in your pocket. In this lens, we’ll look at some of the ornaments that are really cool which you can get for under $10.

Artificial Corals

Artificial corals are a good place to look for inexpensive yet beautiful tank decor. It is fairly easy to find corals and artificial anemone online and in the pet stores. The cool thing about it is that you do not have to worry about what items to match with what. This is because even in nature, there really is no proper matching. You will see corals and anemone of all shapes and colors side by side. You don’t even have to worry about positioning or proper arrangements. Just place them however you like.

A cool thing to do is to have a background of an underwater scene or a coral reef scene. By placing your artificial corals in front of it, it does create a 3D like effect in the tank, making it look like a vast ocean.

Plain Rocks And Aquatic Plants

This is another relatively cheap but excellent alternative when decorating your aquarium. And it really does not take much effort or creativity. All you need to do is arrange some rocks into a formation and place aquatic plants around it. A good idea is to arrange the rocks such that it provides the fish with at least a small cave. As for the plants, try arranging them in a cascading effect, with the tall ones at the back and the shorter ones in the front. And avoid blocking the rocks too much cos they are part of your decor.

For the background, you could use the same ones that I recommended for the Artificial Corals decor just now.

Do It Yourself Decor

One last suggestion is to just find stuff from around your house that you could use as tank ornaments. This can be almost anything such as unwanted china, old pottery and trinkets. But not everything can be put in the tank with fish. Avoid anything metal. They will oxidize and pollute the water. Also don’t have anything that is hand painted without a coat of varnish. The paint will leak into the water and poison it.

How to Raise Arowana Fish From Home

Arowana are very interesting fish. Many people who raise Arowana as pets, choose the silver Arowana fish. After all, folklore says that owning an Arowana can bring about good fortune and ward off evil spirits. Sounds like great reasons to me for owning one of these fish.

The fish is unique looking, elongated with a body that is covered in silvery scales. The fish is also known for its short head and rigid jaw. This fish is found in many parts of the world such as South America, parts of Africa, Vietnam, Australia, and Asia, to name a few.

Although the Arowana is a very pretty fish, it’s very much a predator. In the wild, the Arowana eats other fish, insects, and even birds. Because the fish has the ability to literally jump out of the water, it can snag animals off of low hanging tree branches and brush. As pets, this fish is known for often jumping out of their fish tanks. This especially happens when they are spooked by loud noises and other disturbances.

Also, because of the fish’s aggressive nature, it’s known for eating tank mates and even attacking other Arowana. In other words, it’s hard for these guys to make friends in the fish tank.

Not only are these fish tough themselves, they are also tough to raise at home. To raise these fish on your own, you need a very large tank. Most experts recommend a fish tank that is at least 250 gallons. That’s because a full-grown Arowana can get to 47 inches long. And having a small tank would not allow them to swim about and turn as needed.

Additionally, the water, like with any fish tank, needs to be at just the right temperature and have the correct pH.

For Arowana, the temperature should be between 75 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (24-30 C) and the pH should be kept between 6.5 and 7.5.

Since the fish is so aggressive, adding other fish to the fish tank can be tricky. However, it is possible to find tank mates for the fish. For example, sometimes Oscars, Jack Dempsey fish, and catfish can work. Having said that, there is absolutely no guarantee because of the aggressive nature of the fish.

The Silver Arowana can be challenging to raise from home, proper care is essential to be successful. However, raising them can also be a very rewarding hobby.

The Basics of Goldfish Care

Caring for goldfish isn’t all that different from caring for any other fish. A clean home with room to grow, meals delivered to their front door, and maybe some decor to give the place a bit of class is about all they ask for. None the less, some of their requirements do vary a bit from those of most other common aquarium fish. They’re not hard to meet, but doing so is key to keeping a happy and healthy goldfish.

Size
The number one thing that seems to slip past most people looking to keep goldfish is that they get BIG. Even for smaller varieties expect adults to reach about 8 inches in length with some easily passing a foot. This of course means that fish bowls, which goldfish are so commonly portrayed in, are virtually worthless for keeping goldfish (or any other fish for that matter). Really anything under 30 gallons is too small for even a single goldfish long term and if you want more than one the tank will need to be even bigger. Without adequate room to grow fish will become stunted, leading to health problems and most likely an early death.

Climate
While they’re typically sold alongside a bevy of various other species of tropical fish, which tend to prefer what could be thought of as tropical temperatures, goldfish are actually considered a cold water species. In fact they can tolerate temperatures close to freezing, although in the aquarium something in the mid 60s to low 70s in preferred (or roughly 18 to 23C). Even though they do just fine at lower temperatures a heater still isn’t a bad idea, however. Temperature swings are never a good thing for any fish. A heater ensures things don’t change too rapidly on particularly cool days.

This doesn’t mean your goldfish have to live alone, though. There are lots of other fish out there who enjoy a cooler temperature. White Cloud Minnows are quite popular coldwater fish, and the common Zebra Danio is quite adaptive and does just fine in cooler water. Just make sure they’re not too small as your goldfish may mistake them for a tasty snack! Some species of loaches and plecos are compatible as well, though care should be taken if you’re keeping a pleco and goldfish with frilly tails as the pleco may harass them.

Upkeep
Goldfish also differ from most common aquarium fish in that they are quite messy. Their digestive system works a little differently from other fish and can be considered somewhat inefficient. Add to this that they are just plain big fish and it’s easy to see why they need a lot of filtration to keep their tanks clean. Generally you’ll want about double the filtration that you would normally want for the tank size. Good circulation and mechanical filtration are of particular importance for keeping the bottom of the tank free from waste. This also means that regular upkeep is all the more important. Even with a good filter the substrate tends to get quite dirty necessitating vacuuming.

Along with their unique digestive system comes a need for unique food. When picking a food for your goldfish make sure to get something specifically sold as goldfish food. Normal tropical foods will likely prove too hard to digest leading to a messy tank and malnourished fish. But, just like other fish, they will get bored with the same thing day after day so don’t forget to change up their diet every now and then. You can even branch out into fresher alternatives. Goldfish are quite fond of peas and may accept other cooked vegetable bits.

So, to recap, or if you’re just looking for a quick guide to goldfishes’ needs:

-Goldfish get big and thus need a big home. Expect them to reach at least 8″ and need at least 30 gallons.
-Goldfish are coldwater fish preferring temperatures in the mid 60s to low 70s.
-Goldfish are messy- include extra filtration and be prepared to clean their tank weekly.
-Make sure to feed your goldfish food formulated specifically for them.
-As a side note: koi are not goldfish. They are related, but get much too big for the average home aquarium.

A goldfish tank offers a unique aesthetic not found in most other aquariums- large brightly colored peaceful fish. They’re an iconic species; instantly recognizable by just about anyone even from across the room. While their needs do differ a bit from most other common aquarium fish, they’re really not all that hard to meet. Fulfill those and you’ll have a happy goldfish for many years to come.

Heating and Cooling Your Marine Tank

Heating & Cooling your Marine Tank
For your aquarium to be a success and for all the inhabitants to survive the temperature of the aquarium needs to be just right. Too much heat and the corals and fish begin to suffer and could die. Too little heat and the corals and fish begin to suffer and could die, so we need the temperature of your tank need to be right in the middle. Average water temperatures in different reef areas range between 25?C (77?F) and 30?C(86?F) and can fluctuate between 28?C (82?F) and 34?C (93?F).

Heating
Heating is important in any aquarium, its essential to replicate the temperature found in the ocean, as temperatures often change, especially in winter. Thermostat- heaters are the answer to the heating needs of your tank, a thermostat-heater can be adjusted to a temperature you want your aquarium to maintain by adjusting the knob found at the top of the unit, it’s always good to keep an eye on the heater and check the tanks temperature. Heaters have been known in some cases to malfunction causing tanks to overheat and crash killing everything in the tank, so it’s important to keep check of the temperature in your tank at all times, this can be done with a digital thermometer. You can get fully submersible ones that go inside the tank or you can get digital external thermometers which stay on the outside but have a probe that goes inside the tank. The recommended stable temperature you want to keep at all times is between 27?C (80?F) and 29?C (84?F), stability is important.

Cooling
Cooling the aquarium has not been that big of an issue in the UK, until recently. We have had short but hot summers and for aquariums this can spell disaster. I had to turn my heater off and buy a fan cooler this helped but I was constantly having to top up my tank with water as the combination of the fan and the heat made the water evaporate quite fast, I bought the fan as a quick fix solution. A real solution to the problem is buying a chiller, fan coolers chillers are very effective at controlling the temperature in your marine aquarium, water passes through the chiller and is cooled to the desired temperature then the water is returned to the tank keeping the aquarium at a stable temperature, the only downside is they are ridiculously expensive, if you are in a hot country then you most probably will need one, but in the UK we only have a month or two of hot weather and then it’s back to winter for the rest of the year, so I could never justify spending ?300 or more on one, so I opt for the ?35+ cooler fans option and keep topping up. But if you live in a hot country, or have an expensive reef setup then it’s worth investing in a chiller, it’s really not worth the risk of losing all you have spent, built and worked hard for.

What Are the Ideal Water Conditions for Healthy Koi?

There will certainly be a lot of differing opinions on the best water conditions for koi but one thing remains constant: poor water quality leads to a host of other health problems that are certainly avoidable with proper care. Because stress originates from poor water quality, follow these guidelines for healthy water and healthy koi.

Dissolved Oxygen

Oxygen levels should be at a minimum of 5.0 mg/L for koi. In the fish world, there is some variation with the tolerable level of dissolved oxygen in the water but 5.0 is a good baseline. As a reference, 5.0 is the minimum for koi and 18 mg/L is the physical maximum that water can hold. Just as a reminder though, cold water can hold more dissolved oxygen than warmer water so higher summer temperatures (and overcrowded ponds) will lead to lower dissolved oxygen, which is really when you will want to pay attention to it the most. Oxygen becomes dissolved into your koi pond in several ways. At the very surface there is limited diffusion occurring between the atmosphere and the water and that accounts for only a small amount of dissolved oxygen. Turbulence will also agitate the water enough to generate dissolved oxygen in your pond and this often comes in the form of falling water as from a small water fall. A tried and true and popular way to increase the dissolved oxygen in a koi pond is by an air stone on the bottom of the pond or by spout or fountain shooting water up into the air.

pH

Okay, back to chemistry class everyone because its time to discuss pH. As you may recall pH has something to do with acids. It’s all about acidity and alkalinity. The pH scale is a logarithmic one meaning when your pond jumps from 7 (neutral) to 6, its not simply getting a little bit more acidic, its getting 10 times more acidic. Conversely, when your pond tests at 7.5 and then gets increasingly alkaline by jumping to 9.5, then your pond just got 100 times more alkaline (10 times 10). So it’s a big deal when your pH changes and can definitely affect your koi in negative ways. pH, or power of Hydrogen, should range in your pond somewhere between 6.8 and 8.2 but do your best to keep it as stable as possible.

Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates

As you may recall, the general cycle of waste in your pond starts with ammonia excreted by your fish then bacteria and oxygen break it down to nitrites which later get broken into nitrates then free nitrogen. Ammonia, nitrites and nitrates all have the ability to cause health problems for your koi if their levels are not kept in check. Along with other health problems, ammonia can essentially burn your fish’s gills and reduce its ability to extract dissolved oxygen from the water. High nitrites can damage your koi’s kidneys and nervous system and high nitrates, for extended periods, can cause your fish’s immune system to be compromised. Ammonia and nitrites and the most troublesome when it comes to health problems for your koi but don’t underestimate the power of nitrates over long periods of time. Here is a guideline for these three water chemistry measurements.

-ammonia: levels should be zero. Depending on your pH, you can get away with 0.5ppm (parts per million) or 1 ppm for a short period of time but keep in mind that above a pH of 8.0 ammonia becomes more toxic.

-nitrites should be less than 0.25 ppm but ideally you should have a reading of zero.

-nitrates: a reading of 20 to 60 ppm is acceptable.

Salinity

The use of salt in koi ponds has, for long time, been a tried and true method to deal with various water quality and health problems that arise. Some of the benefits of salt is that its a cheap way to keep some disease at bay, control algae and may also lower nitrite toxicity. Additionally, salt plays a part in the osmotic pressure between the fish and the outside aquatic environment. There is a differential between the solute concentration of the fish’s blood and the fresh water that it swims in so the addition of salt actually lowers that concentration differential and makes it easier on the fish by reducing the amount of work its body has to do. A salinity of up to 5 ppt (parts per thousand) or 0.5 % is acceptable.

Temperature

Temperature obviously plays a big role in the overall health of your pond and it warrants your attention. Temperature can exacerbate existing problems, especially higher temperatures. For example, warmer water holds less dissolved oxygen and ammonia can be more toxic. Although koi can handle temperatures of between 35 and 85 F degrees its best to keep your fish in water that ranges between 65 and 75 F degrees. And as with pH, try to avoid large temperature swings.