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What Do Koi Require in a Pond?

What Koi Need in Koi Ponds San Diego, CA

Keeping koi in a garden pond is an ancient practice that predates aquariums by more than a century. Ornamental koi ponds were initially derived from aquaculture farms in China, where rice growers noticed colorful fish spawning from the intermixing of carp breeds. Japanese koi pond keepers attached spiritual meaning to this species, which explains the custom of elaborate ponds in Zen monasteries. The beauty and resilience of koi make them very attractive to keep in a pond, and they’ll thrive as long as you can provide them with the following essentials that should be improved and upgraded as they grow.

Plenty of Water

A garden pond can support various aquatic species other than koi. However, you should give them as much space as possible. The aquarium hobby includes a specialty segment that focuses on nano tanks, but this can never be applied to koi ponds. If you cannot provide at least 500 gallons of water in a space that’s two feet deep, you shouldn’t keep koi. In such a small pond, you would be better off with shubunkins, paradise fish, or Asian algae eaters. Keeping two koi requires at least 1,000 gallons of water, but they should swim in greater volumes if possible. It should be known that common goldfish carry all sorts of diseases that are harmful to any other species you add with them because they’re bred to be “feeder fish” in anything but optimal living conditions.

Aeration and Water Circulation

Koi aren’t tropical fish. They’re cold water species that can adapt to warm temperatures as long as the pond is equipped with a reliable aeration system running 24 hours a day. Thermostats aren’t generally required in ponds where water molecules are constantly kept in motion. If you have a pump that creates a waterfall effect, this would keep water cool and from stagnating during the warmest days of summer. In the winter, keeping the water in motion will prevent a sheet of ice from forming on the surface, which in turn promotes the gaseous exchange koi need to survive.

Filtration and Plants

The chemical filtration needs of koi ponds are similar to those of aquariums. The aeration system by itself won’t provide enough circulation to oxygenate the water and dissolve ammonia particles generated by the ecosystem bioload. A biological filter that can host Nitrobacter colonies that feed on nitrites and keep ammonia levels low is one of the most essential koi pond supplies. Plants are a must not only because of their biochemical benefits but also because they give koi a place to hide, play, and feed.

Proper Care, Feeding, and Companionship

Koi are a peaceful and gregarious species that enjoys swimming with other fish. If the water volume in your pond can hold a couple of koi, this would be the ideal stock. Otherwise, you can also introduce a couple of goldfish for companionship. Try to make feeding a ritual the koi can anticipate. Keep in mind these fish are omnivorous, which means they’ll appreciate brine shrimp and even vegetables in addition to their regular diet of flakes or pellets.

There are several supplies you’ll need to properly maintain your pond and keep your koi and other inhabitants happy and healthy for many years to come. Whether you need submersible pond pumps, filtration, aeration, nutritious koi food, or any other pond supply, you can find what you’re looking for at Aquatic Warehouse. Stop by our store in Kearny Mesa, order the supplies you need on our website, or give us a call at 858-467-9297 if you have any questions.


Contact Information

  • Address: 5466 Complex Street Suite 204
    San Diego, CA 92123
  • Phone: (858) 467-9297
  • Email: sales@aquaticwarehouse.com
  • Working Days/Hours: Mon - Fri / 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
    Saturday / 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Sunday / 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM


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