Pond Plants for Koi Ponds 0 357

Providing live plants within your koi pond is one of the best ways to make your pond attractive, provide a natural source of water filtration, and maintain the health of your fish’s environment. As well as looking attractive and adding depth and scale to the appearance of the pond, plants will provide shade for your fish, help to keep the water quality in balance, and help to bind and process biological waste.

Koi can be hard on pond plants for a variety of reasons. Koi will generally cheerfully eat most types of coldwater plants, and as koi are bottom feeders, they also have a tendency to uproot plants when foraging on the base of the pond for food.

Some koi keepers despair of ever successfully keeping live plants with their fish, and it is certainly not absolutely vital to keep live plants within your pond; but this being said, we’d certainly suggest give it a go!

Choosing and maintaining the right plants is largely a matter of trial and error, but you can get a head start by picking pond plants that are a good match for your fish in the first instance. Read on for our suggestions…

Rushes

Rushes planted within the shallows and at the edges of the pond can provide shade for your koi, and while they may nibble on them, rushes are not usually among their favorite snacks! You can protect growing rushes from inquisitive fish by planting them in a cage or fenced off area of the pond that your koi cannot access until the plants are large enough to withstand your fish’s attacks!

Lilies

Pond Plants: Koi pond lily plant

Floating lilies on the surface of the pond are often associated with fancy ornamental koi, but they are also one of the koi carp’s favorite foods! Planting your lilies in sturdy floating baskets that your koi cannot knock over is one way to address this issue, and may allow your plants to grow large enough to regenerate and keep up with the demands of your fish.

Irises

Water irises are short-flowering and very attractive plants that grow well submerged in pots and in shallow areas. Planting them in sturdy pots and placing rocks over the base of the pot can give your plants a head start and keep foraging koi from uprooting them.

Stopping koi from eating your pond plants

Understandably, if your koi are hungry then they are more likely to attack your plants! However, even well fed koi enjoy eating greenery, so you should minimize their interest in eating your pond plants by supplementing their feeding with a range of fresh greens, including lettuce and cucumber.

Pond plants placed in shallower areas of the pond and in sturdy containers will also stand a better chance of being protected from your fish, as your Koi are more likely to attack roots and plants in the deeper areas of the ponds than those near to the surface.

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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 0 529

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.