How long do koi carp live? 0 801

If you keep koi carp or are thinking of setting up your first pond, one of the most important things to consider is how long koi carp live.

While the life span of a koi carp can vary greatly – depending on factors such as genetics and quality of care –  you should of course plan for the possibility that your koi will live for a very long time.

Koi carp life expectancy

In a good quality hobbyist pond, you can reasonably expect the average koi carp to live for anything between twenty and thirty years, assuming that you start off with good, healthy specimens.

In superior quality ponds with excellent filtration systems and a large volume of water in relation to the amount of stock in the pond, koi reaching ages of forty years or more is certainly not unheard of.

However, the premium environment for koi longevity can be found in the long established lakes and naturally stream-fed mud ponds of Japan; historical home of the koi. Average longevity within this type of environment can easily reach seventy years or more, with some of the best-regarded koi specimens in the world being produced within this environment.

The oldest known koi carp on record was a Japanese scarlet specimen named “Hanako,” who lived to the grand old age of 225!

Life span differences between the different koi varieties

How long do koi live?As with other pedigree pets, such as cats and dogs, different varieties of koi will have different life spans. Knowing the type of koi that you keep in your pond will therefore help you to make a more accurate prediction of their potential longevity.

Wild koi and hybrid koi that have not been subjected to deliberate selective breeding tend to be much more long-lived than specialist strains, such as the Gosanke koi, which is unlikely to live for more than 25 years, even with optimum care.

Learn more about koi carp…

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5 reasons a tortoise is the perfect pet 0 386

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 0 530

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.