Water quality and healthy Koi - they go hand in hand...

Understanding water quality in your Koi pond is of vital significance. You have to understand what is happening inside your pond in order to be able to understand how to achieve good water quality.

Good water quality is the key to successful Koi keeping. Good water quality will ensure that your exposure to potential problems is minimised.

It all starts with water quality

Koi are 'open' systems. That is they interact with their watery environment on a continuous basis and with considerable intimacy. Far more than we are a product of the air we breathe, Koi are a product of the watery environment in which they live.

In fact it is often said in Koi circles that we Koi keepers don't actually keep Koi at all. We keep water. The Koi in the pond are a happy side effect of our water keeping abilities!

Whilst this may sound strange it isn't!

If you have a poor environment you will have a poor quality of life and in many instances, no quality of life. Koi ponds are natural living breathing entities as much as the Koi themselves and building up a stable environment can take some time. Throughout the process the aim is to have water quality conditions that best suit Koi first and foremost, and we humans should rate second.

I was at a new pond recently with an owner frantic about the levels of ammonia and nitrite that although low were measurable. Free floating algae was growing in the pond and the problem appeared to be that the flow rate through the UV was too fast - the algae was getting a light suntan as opposed to being killed outright.

30% water changes have a 30% effect on a system. That in aquatic terms is a massive change. With a new pond trying to get the bio media and bio film to optimum efficiency a water change of that magnitude every week is not going to really solve many problems. With new water, you stand a possibility of adding unknowns to the pond that may well be the contributing factor to the pond not stabilising in the first place.

Sometimes you have to leave well alone. The pond may turn ugly. But measure the critical water parameters - ammonia and nitrite regularly and if these are at measurable, but acceptable levels, leave the pond alone! It is more important to allow the pond to reach stability that it is for it to look good.

Once the pond has stabilised, then by all means work on getting the water crystal clear...