Understanding and Caring for the Butterfly Koi
Butterfly koi are colorful ornamental fish with patterned scales and long, flowing fins. They are usually mistaken for goldfish, but they’re actually traditional koi fish and carp hybrids.
With their length – a maximum of 36 inches – they need spacious ponds to survive.The environment dictates the type of outdoor pond required by butterfly koi. Normal temperatures they need run from 32 to 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.
Filler systems can’t do the job alone, so mud ponds need to have a drainage system that eliminates the impurities. Maintaining the pond requires complete draining and cleaning on a regular basis. 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 can have liners that keep the soil away from the water. The evenness or shape of the surface dictates whether liners should be rigid or flexible. Steel-meshed concrete or prefabrigated fiberglass sealed with polyurethane is the material used to make liners.
Another good home for butterfly koi are above-ground ponds placed on a level surface. Prefab ornament ponds, often made of plastic, wood, concrete or fiberglass, can be placed on backyard decks and cement surfaces.
Smaller kits may come in plastic or wood. Wherever you choose to put your pond, ensure that the surface can support the container with water (one gallon weighs 8 pounds).
Maintaining a Pond
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. Algae growth can be prevented by maintaining this balance, especially when there are aquatic plants in the pond.
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. 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 must be maintained between 65 and 75 F, though 32 to 95 degrees is okay as long as fluctuations aren’t drastic.
Butterfly Koi Care
First of all, pond water should be well-aerated. To keep water circulating, the pump also needs to be kept clean. Finally, as plants draw oxygen, vegetation has to be minimized so as to rejuvenate the water.