Pond Design: How to Design a Koi Pond 0 144

While keeping koi carp doesn’t have to be difficult, getting the design of your pond right and ensuring that it is suitable for koi is really important. There is much more to building a good koi pond than simply digging a hole in the ground and filling it with water!

However you wish to set up your pond, however many fish you intend to keep and however much space you have available, there are several common elements of pond design that you should always consider in order to ensure that your eventual koi pond is suitable for your fish.

In this article, we will explain the key elements of pond design and help you to ensure that your koi pond can adequately provide for the needs of your fish.

Koi pond surface area

The surface area of your koi pond will need to be fairly large in order to provide enough oxygenation, and allow your fish room to grow. Aim for as large a surface area as possible, and 100 square feet as a minimum.

Water volume required for koi carp

You should ensure that the total water volume of your pond is not less than 1,000 gallons at an absolute minimum.

Koi pond design: a waterfall flowing into a koi pondDeep and shallow areas

Your koi pond should not be a uniform depth; the base of the pond should be graduated, creating deeper and shallow areas. Provide at least one deep area of 6 feet or more, and some shallows of not less than 2-3 feet deep.

Plumbing

Ensure that you have adequate provision for plumbing lines and getting water to your pond; you will need flexible hoses, access to a tap, and easy access to all of the pond’s plumbing in case of any problems.

Water movement

You should provide at least two water pumps at different points in the pond, to keep water circulating. Ensure that there are no dead spots of stagnant water. Air stones and other equipment to provide oxygenation to the deeper levels of the pond are also essential.

Algae control

You may wish to install a UV sterilizer in order to keep the growth of algae, plankton and bacteria under control, as micro-organisms will thrive in the pond environment on the waste generated by your fish.

Temperature

Depending on the climate in which you live, you may need to make provision to heat your pond during the colder months. While koi carp are coldwater fish, they will not thrive in extended periods of bitterly cold weather, so take this into account.

Filtration

Filtration is vitally important for koi carp, as they generate a lot of waste! As well as planting plenty of koi-suitable plants to help to filter waste and maintain the water quality, you will also need to account for manual filtration, such as by using a gravity-fed filter system, bead filters, and biological filtration.

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5 reasons a tortoise is the perfect pet 0 247

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 0 374

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.