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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 look like goldfish, but they’re actually hybrids of the traditional koi fish and carp.

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. They normally thrive in temperatures between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Big Japanese koi usually live in mud ponds, but it is not advisable to drill a hole outside and fill it with water (to make a simple pond), because the soil and planktonic algae will only end up pollute it.

Filler systems are not enough, so mud ponds have to include a drainage system to get rid of impurities. Maintaining the pond requires complete draining and cleaning on a regular basis. Butterfly koi need a lot of space to swim and spread their fins. Ponds have to be clean and filtered, and liners help them stay this way.

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. Liners are usually made polyurethane-wrapped prefab fiberglass or steel meshed concrete.

Above-ground ponds set up on a level surface are also good homes for butterfly koi. Generally made of plastic, wood, fiberglass or wood, you can have prefab ornament ponds on cement surfaces or backyard decks.

Smaller kits may come in 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.

Pond Maintenance

Excessive aquatic vegetation and other fish can mean stress for butterfly koi, so your ponds should always be clean and aerated. The ideal pH balance range for these kois is 6.8 to 7.2, and this must be constant. A well-balanced pond helps stop the growth of algae, especially where there are aquatic plants.

The pond’s ecological balance can be restored by adding organic materials such as salts and barley straw, which can get rid of excess nitrates and phosphates in the water. The filters should also be cleaned twice a month and water temperature must be monitored to ensure that the consistency remains the same throughout the 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. The pump should also be kept clean if the water is to circulate. Finally, as plants draw oxygen, vegetation has to be minimized so as to rejuvenate the water.