Do Koi Carp Hibernate? 0 743

Many animals hibernate during the colder months of the year and it is almost universally true that the behavior of animals will alter somewhat during the winter months. But do koi carp hibernate?

Depending on where you live, the temperature of your outdoor koi pond may drop very low in the winter. Unless you use heaters to raise the pond temperature, you may see a change in the behavior of your koi that makes you think they are hibernating, particularly if your pond freezes over.

But is this hibernation? Do koi carp hibernate? Read on to find out…

What is hibernation?

Hibernation is a state of dramatically reduced activity, or total inactivity, that some animals go through during the colder months of the year. Hibernation is undertaken to allow these animals to live through cold weather conditions that they would otherwise be unable to survive.

Do koi carp hibernate?Prior to hibernation, the animal in question must build up adequate fat stores within their body to nourish them throughout the period of hibernation, and find a safe place to wait out the cold.

During hibernation, the body’s metabolism slows right down, as does the heart rate and respiration rate. This helps the animal to conserve their energy while food is scarce and survive the cold weather before waking up when the temperatures start to rise.

Do koi carp hibernate?

When the weather is very cold and the temperature of the pond is very low for more than a couple of days at a time, you will notice a dramatic difference in the normal behavior of your koi. Rather than being highly active, keen to feed and generally acting how they do in the summer months, your koi will retreat to the bottom of the pond and keep themselves to themselves.

This often leads fish keepers to believe that koi carp hibernate, but this is not actually the case.

Because they are cold and their body temperatures are lower than normal, the koi will naturally become less active than usual and will head for the deeper parts of the pond where it is likely to be slightly warmer.

This reduced activity allows the koi to conserve their energy and concentrate on keeping warm, but they do not enter a state of true hibernation in the same way that some mammals do. They can quickly be awoken by physical stimulus or a rise in temperature.

So koi carp do not hibernate and if you can keep the temperature of your pond up to a sufficient level when it is cold outside, your koi are likely to stay lively and active all year round.

Learn more about koi carp…

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5 reasons a tortoise is the perfect pet 0 385

Tortoises are adorable animals and they are great pets to keep in your home. Here we explore the top five reasons why you should consider getting a tortoise as a pet.

1. Low maintenance

With some space to enjoy and some lettuce to chomp on, a tortoise will be pretty happy. This low maintenance pet won’t need walking twice a day and will keep themselves entertained.

2. Tortoises are very affordable

Tortoises are very affordable to keep in your home. Once they are set up with a comfortable space to enjoy, there will be very little cost to upkeep them. Their food is cheap and their space remains clean for long periods without needing to be changed.

3. Tortoises live long lives

Tortoises will also be around for a long time. They can live from 14 to 30 years or more depending on the species, which means you will have a friend for years to come. Unlike most other pets, you will be able to enjoy your tortoise for vast periods of your life.

4. They’re harmless

Tortoises are far more harmless than cats and dogs. While they may bite your finger if you put it in their mouth, little damage will be done. A tortoise is a very safe pet to have in the home and is great when you have children too.

5. Tortoises are loyal

Tortoises are unlike most pets in that they are happy in the space you give them. With room to wander around, food to eat and occasional trips into the garden to play and eat grass, the tortoise will be happy. Tortoises will not try to run away from you like dogs, hamsters or guinea pigs.

Tortoises are adorable creatures to keep as pets and they are a very practical and affordable animal to have in your home. Unlike many pets, it is easy to keep a tortoise and to keep them happy for a long time. With a tortoise, you will have a friend for years and years to come.

Photo: Tortoise by snowmentality licensed under Creative commons 2

Keeping exotic fish as pets 0 529

Exotic fish

There’s something mesmerising about watching a tank full of brightly coloured fish swim around. Do they make good pets though? Is it hard to keep exotic fish? With the right pet care and pet advice, exotic fish make great, if unusual pets.

Tank size

Go for the biggest sized tank you can afford and have room for. The bigger your tank, the easier you’ll find keeping the balance of the water right. Your fish need plenty of room to swim too. Aim for at least a 20-gallon tank.

Tank set-up

You’re going to need a heater to warm the water. You’ll also need a filter to ensure clean, healthy water, which is crucial for fish to thrive. It’s advisable to add an air pump to boost the oxygen levels.

You’ll also need a light for the tank, and a timer for the light, so it’s not on all the time. Bear in mind a fish tank should be placed out of direct sunlight, away from draughts and heating sources.

On top of the things that make your tank work you’re going to need everything that goes into your tank; gravel for the bottom, plants, and decorative caves and tunnels so your fish can hide if they want to.

You can usually buy aquarium starter kits at pet food stores if you want help in pulling everything together.

Getting the water right

The filter will cycle your water to make it suitable for fish to live in, never add tap water directly to the tank. You need to de-chlorinate it first. You can also add a water treatment to help keep the water healthy between changes.

You should change about 10-15% of the water each week to keep it clean and healthy for the fish. Never do a full tank change once your fish are in the tank.

Choosing your fish

When you choose your fish, make sure you start introducing them slowly – this will help you identify if you’ve got the water balance right, and at this point, your tanks eco-system is still developing, so adding lots of fish can damage it.

There’s a wide range of tropical fish to choose from – Cichlids, Betta and Swordtails are good starter fish, and are nice to look at. Never mix goldfish and tropical fish together.