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The Butterfly Koi and How to Care for It

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

Because of their length (up to 36 inches), they require big ponds.The environment dictates the type of outdoor pond required by butterfly koi. They normally thrive in temperatures between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Large Japanese koi typically live in mud ponds, but digging a hole outside and filling it with water to create a simple pond is not advised because of the soil and planktonic algae.

It’s not enough to have filler systems, so mud ponds should come with a drainage system to take out the impurities. Maintaining the pond means it should be completely drained and cleaned regularly. A lot of space is needed by butterfly koi so they can swim and spread their fins freely. Ponds should be clean and filtered, and liners help with this.

In-ground ponds may have liners preventing the soil from getting into the water. The evenness or shape of the surface dictates whether liners should be rigid or flexible. Liners are usually made polyurethane-wrapped prefab fiberglass or steel meshed concrete.

Another good home for butterfly koi are above-ground ponds placed on a level surface. Usually made of concrete, fiberglass, wood or plastic, prefabricated ornament ponds may be placed on backyard decks or cement surfaces.

Smaller kits are normally made of plastic or wood. Wherever you place the pond, make it a point that the container (with water, 8 pounds per gallon) can be supported by the surface.

Maintaining a Pond

Excessive aquatic vegetation and other fish can mean stress for butterfly koi, so your ponds should always be clean and aerated. These kois need a consistent pH balance of 6.8 to 7.2. A well-balanced pond prevents algae growth, especially when there are aquatic plants.

You can restore a pond’s ecological balance by adding organic materials such as barley straw and salts, which remove excess phosphates and nitrates in the water. To maintain consistency through the process, the filters should be cleaned twice a month and water temperature must be monitored. Installing a waterfall or fountain is a good way to keep water circulating and aerated. Water temperature must be maintained between 65 and 75 F, though 32 to 95 degrees is okay as long as fluctuations aren’t drastic.

Caring for Butterfly Koi

First and foremost, pond water needs to be well-aerated. The pump should also be kept clean so that water can circulate. Lastly, as plants suck draw oxygen, vegetation must be reduced to rejuvenate the water.

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