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The Butterfly Koi and How to Care for It

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.

Because of their length (up to 36 inches), they require big ponds.The type of outdoor pond needed by butterfly koi depends on the environment. 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.

It’s not enough to have filler systems, so mud ponds should come with a drainage system to take out the impurities. Maintaining the pond means it should be completely drained and cleaned regularly. 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. Depending on the shape or evenness of the surface, liners can be flexible or rigid. Steel-meshed concrete or prefabrigated fiberglass sealed with polyurethane is the material used to make liners.

Above-ground ponds set up on a level surface are also good homes for butterfly koi. Prefab ornament ponds, often made of plastic, wood, concrete or fiberglass, can be placed on backyard decks and cement surfaces.

Plastic or wood may be used to make smaller kits. Wherever you choose to put your pond, ensure that the surface can support the container with water (one gallon weighs 8 pounds).

Pond Maintenance

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 constant 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. To keep water aerated and circulating, it helps to add a waterfall or fountain. Water temperature should be maintained at 65 to 75 F, although fish can survive between 32 and 95 degrees as long as the temperatures don’t change drastically.

Caring for Butterfly Koi

First and foremost, pond water needs to be well-aerated. The pump should also be kept clean so that water can circulate. Lastly, as plants suck draw oxygen, vegetation must be reduced to rejuvenate the water.