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Understanding and Caring for the Butterfly Koi

Butterfly koi are lovely ornamental fish that have long, flowing fins and colorful, patterned scales. They’re actually hybrids of the typical koi fish and carp, although they are often mistaken for goldfish.

Butterfly koi grow quite long – up to 36 inches – so they need spacious ponds.The environment affects what type of outdoor pond butterfly koi can survive in. They usually thrive in temperatures from 32 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Big Japanese koi usually live in mud ponds, but it is not advisable to drill a hole outside and fill it with water (to make a simple pond), because the soil and planktonic algae will only end up pollute it.

Filler systems can’t do the job alone, so mud ponds need to have a drainage system that eliminates the impurities. To maintain the pond, the pond should be regularly and completely drained and cleaned. Butterfly koi need lots of room where they can freely swim and spread their fins. Ponds have to be clean and filtered, and liners help them stay this way.

In-ground ponds come with liners that make sure the soil is kept away from the water. Liners may be flexible or rigid, depending on the ground’s shape or evenness. Liners are usually made polyurethane-wrapped prefab fiberglass or steel meshed concrete.

Butterfly koi also thrive in level above-ground ponds. Generally made of plastic, wood, fiberglass or wood, you can have prefab ornament ponds on cement surfaces or backyard decks.

Plastic or wood may be used to make smaller kits. Wherever you place the pond, make it a point that the container (with water, 8 pounds per gallon) can be supported by the surface.

Pond Maintenance

Too much aquatic vegetation or other fish can be stressful for butterfly koi, so make sure your ponds are always clean and well-aerated. These kois need a consistent pH balance of 6.8 to 7.2. A well-balanced pond helps stop the growth of algae, especially where there are aquatic plants.

To remove excess phosphates and nitrates in the water and restore the pond’s ecological balance, organic materials such as barley straw and salts may be added. The filters must also be cleaned bimonthly, and water temperature should be monitored so that consistency can be maintained through the entire process. A fountain or waterfall will help keep water aerated and circulating. Water temperature has to be maintained at 65 to 75 F, although 32 to 95 degrees is fine as long if the fluctuations aren’t dramatic.

Caring for Butterfly Koi

First off, pond water has to be well-aerated. The pump should also be kept clean so that water can circulate. Finally, as plants draw oxygen, vegetation has to be minimized so as to rejuvenate the water.


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