All properly designed koi ponds are built with plenty of filtration, pumps and water jets to allow water to circulate freely throughout the entire pond, and avoid any dead spots of still, stagnant water developing. This will often encompass decorative waterfalls or other water features, which serve the dual purpose of both adding to the appearance of the pond and keeping the water moving.
Because fixtures and fittings of these types can make the design and building of a koi pond more complicated and potentially more expensive, many potential koi carp owners wonder if this is really necessary, or if the presence of running water is simply a cosmetic feature of the pond that serves no real purpose.
Added to this, another common question is whether or not filtration equipment, pumps and fountains should be or can be turned off at night, in order to minimize noise and save on electricity.
Not sure what you should do? Read on to learn more…
What constitutes running water?
Running water in this context does not mean a tap or other watercourse constantly adding fresh water to the pond, but rather the various different pond fittings and equipment that turn the water over and keep it fresh and oxygenated.
Various different fixtures and fittings within the koi pond contribute to this process, including filtration, air pumps, water pumps, sump pools, and fountains or other moving water.
Why is running water important for koi carp?
There are several reasons behind why koi carp need running water within their pond. No responsible fish keeper should try to construct a koi pond without allowing for it!
Moving water is important for filtration, as koi carp generate a lot of waste. Moving water through a filter helps to keep the water in good condition, which in turn helps to keep the koi healthy.
Oxygenation is also vital for koi. Oxygenation of pond water is something that happens through the movement of the water, with oxygen added to the water as it is pushed through the pumps and filters within the pond.
Koi do not do well in still water, both because the water quality will suffer, and because the pond will not be sufficiently aerated, particularly in the deeper areas.
Can I keep koi without running water? Or can I turn off the water for part of the day?
Koi carp need running water, and it is one of the main elements you should plan for within your koi pond. There is no way to get around this!
The answer to the question of whether or not all of your equipment needs to run 24 hours a day largely depends on the size of your pond, and how many different pieces of equipment you have to help move the water.
Fountains and other aesthetic features can be turned off at night if you wish, providing that you have sufficient means of providing other water movement, such as pumps and filters that are not connected to the fountain.
The only time that you should turn off all of your water-moving equipment at the same time is during maintenance.