Koi Population Control

Koi Population Control

Population control is typically easy with the majority of domesticated pets. It is usually as simple as removing the possibility of conception until the time in which the opportunity has passed. Unfortunately, this is not the case with Koi. Koi, no matter whether you want them to or not, will spawn and lay eggs, and other Koi will fertilize them. It is nature, and there is little you can do. Since contraceptive methods are not available for fish, population control really comes down to removing the unwanted babies after they are already born.

As a new comer to this hobby, you may simply disregard this information. For whatever reason, whether it is that you feel removing unwanted babies is cruel, or if you believe that the more fish the merrier, you will quickly realize that keeping all the babies that are born could be a potentially harmful situation to both your pond, and the original parent fish.

Why Are The Babies Harmful?

What is so harmful about having more fish the your originally started with? Well a number of harmful situations can happen.

First, Koi can and will grow to us to three feet in length. Koi, unlike some other fish, will grow, no matter the size of their habitat. This will turn a beautiful pond in a wasteful, extremely overpopulated pond. Not only will to many fish cause damage to a smaller pond, but they will not be comfortable in their habitat.

When you originally setup your pond, surely you set the filtration system up for a specific amount of fish. Adding extra fish without adding more to your system will ultimately cause a surge in unwanted gases and chemicals in the water that is dangerous to your Koi.

Getting Rid Of The Babies

There are several ways of removing babies from your pond.

One way is to stop feeding your Koi the minute you realize that spawning has occurred. You should stop feeding you Koi for no less then three weeks. Do not worry about your Koi starving, as they will focus more on natural foods if you are not feeding them daily. This “natural” diet includes their young. Koi are not cannibalistic animals by any means, but they will eat their young when they are still eggs or if they are small and resemble insects. Once the baby Koi actually resemble real fish, and the adult fish recognize this, they will no longer see them as food, so it is important to start this process as soon as you notice spawning or babies.

While this is a process of nature, you may still find this method to be cruel or unusual. Another way of removing unwanted babies from your pond is to give them away.

First, check with your local pet store. Many pet stores have programs in which they will accept unwanted animals and give them good homes. Some may even pay a certain amount for each fish since they sell them, but do not count of this. Local zoos may also have programs.

If you know of a local Koi society, you may let them know that you have unwanted babies. Alternatively, you can find a message board or group online and post messages there. Who knows, you may even start another person on a Koi keeping hobby.

Koi’s Past and Future

Koi, or Nishikigoi, are quickly becoming popular in the United States. However, few know of thier origins. 

The first Koi were produced by breeding Carp such as the Asian and German Carp. After years of selective breeding, various color mutations started showing up. The first color patterns were recorded as early as 1805. Today, there are literally thousands of color variations available. The most popular colors found are white, silver, yellow, orange, red, black, blue and green. Combined with the patterns available, the possibilities are almost endless. Each noticeable pattern and color have their own names, which are typically as unique as the color they are referring too. Favorite types vary by country and location.   

Koi are raised for purchase in countries like Japan, Singapore, Israel, and in the warmer American states such as Nevada and California. Koi can be purchased at most local pet stores. If they do not have stock on hand, typically they can be ordered. Ordering Koi has its advantages and disadvantages. You have more options when ordering Koi, since you do not have to pick from the stock on hand, but the disadvantage lies in the fact that you will not be able to pick specific Koi. 

Koi, unlike most other fish, will continue to grow until they reach their breeds dictated size, no matter the environment that they are in. Baby Koi can be found as small as 3 inches. Jumbo Koi have even been know to reach lengths of three feet or more. The most common size found is around two feet in length. 

Koi are omnivorous fish, which means they will eat both meat and plants. This means that their diets are very versatile. Koi will eat pretty much anything that you put in the pond with them, no matter if it is good for them or not. Since Koi do not have a sense of what is bad and good for them, as their owner you must control their diet. Another potential problem is over feeding treats. Again, Koi do not have the knowledge to know when to stop eating, and weight issues may come from overfeeding none nutritional foods. The healthiest treats for Koi are what they would find naturally in their ponds, such as earthworms and tadpoles, but it will not hurt to feed Koi treats such as Lettuce, bread, fruit, and veggies. You should pay special attention to the certain foods such as corn, beans, and grapes, as they contain an outer casing, which cannot be properly digested if swallowed by Koi. If you must feed this type of foods to your Koi, be sure to completely remove the outer casings before giving it to your Koi. 

Koi are none-aggressive fish. This means that they are suitable to live with other fish such as goldfish or comets. The only issue you may find is smaller, less able fish may suffer from lack of food, as Koi are quick eaters. Koi are so mellow that they have even been known to be trained to eat out of their owners hand. Koi do not have teeth, so you will not get bit if you decide to attempt to feed your Koi out of your hand.

Koi have been known to live up to 30 years under the right conditions, so if you are thinking about buying Koi, you must consider this. The record for the oldest Koi is held by a Japanese Koi, who was 233 years old when he died.

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