Symbolizing virility and love, the koi carp is very popular in Asia. Easygoing, this ornamental fish appreciates contact with humans and coexists peacefully with other species. Zoom on the queen of the ponds and advice on her breeding conditions.
Introducing koi carp
Very popular on the Asian continent – particularly in Japan, China, Korea and Vietnam – the koi carp (Cyprinus carpio) is from crosses operated at the beginning of the XIXe century between several common carps living in the rice fields. The first changes chromatic appeared as a result of mating between red, white and yellow carp. From the end of the XIXe century, most of the current varieties were born. In adulthood, this water fish sweet can grow to 60-90cm long and weigh 5-8kg. Raised in good conditions, this very resistant animal displays an average longevity of 50 years.
The different colors of koi carp
There are over 80 varieties of koi carp of which 26 are considered fixed. The other crossed varieties being called variations. One-color, two-color or three-color, the Koï carp covers the colors following basic:
- Red : Aka (basic color), Hi (red spots), Beni (basic orange red);
- White : Shiro;
- Black : Karasu (crow); Sumi (black spots);
- Yellow : Ki; Yamabuki; Have ;
- Cream : Cream;
- Orange : Orenji;
- Brown : Cha (tea);
- Grey : Nezu / Nezumi (mouse);
- Silver/ platinum: Gin (metallic);
- Gold : Kin (golden).
Koi carp lifestyle
This fish gregarious enjoy living in a group and swimming in a bench. Essentially vegetarian, koi carp is not classified as a predator. It does not attack its congeners or the other species with which it cohabits in harmony. It is therefore quite possible to mix your carp with other outdoor fish such as tench, sturgeon, melanote, sterlet and especially stud. The size and lifestyle of the koi carp precludes any life in aquarium.
Pond size for koi carp
Farming koi carp requires a large pond or pond with a depth minimum of 1.50 m in order to limit seasonal variations in water temperature. This depth also allows fish to bury themselves in the bottom silt during the winter. For the volume, it will take 1000 liters of water, or 1m3 minimum per fish so that everyone evolves in good conditions. An average volume of 20m³ is quite common because it is better to plan large from the start in order to be able to accommodate new arrivals. A long and narrow basin will facilitate the sight on the fish and therefore the monitoring of their condition. health.
Water temperature for koi carp
A koi carp can withstand temperatures ranging from 4 to 32 ° and ideally between 20 and 28 °. Care should be taken to ensure that these freshwater fish do not live too long in high temperatures. extreme. In all cases, the temperature should not vary by more than 4 ° per 24 hours. As such, thelocation of the pelvis should be given special attention. Its installation is preferably done in a place shady and away from any deciduous trees that may fall into the water. 5 to 6 hours of sunshine per day is sufficient and avoids proliferation too much algae.
The type of water for koi
For the proper development of koi carp, the pond water must respect the following characteristics:
- pH between 7 and 8.5 (max pH 9);
- Oxygen : 6MG / liter of water;
- Rate nitrate (NO3): less than 50 mg / liter;
- No nitrites (NO2) norammonia (NH4). In all cases: nitrite level less than 0.1 mg / liter and ammonia level less than 0.1 mg / liter;
- Rate carbonate of calcium (KH): between 100 and 300 mg / liter;
- Calcium ions (GH): between 8 and 14;
- Phosphate : less than 0.035 mg / liter.
Filtration and maintenance of the koi pond
A filtered and a pump play an important role in improving and preserving water quality. Natural filtration using plants aquatic plants is also possible but the plants must be placed separately or in baskets floating so as not to be eaten by koi carp. It is strongly advised not to empty entirely the basin during cleaning because this action will disrupt the balance of the ecosystem and generate stress in carp. It is recommended to empty a quarter of water every six months to replace it with clean water.
The koi carp menu
Koi carp is a fish omnivorous with a vegetarian tendency that will delight in any vegetable food. The animal is satisfied with food adapted to pond fish, which facilitates meals in the event of cohabitation with other species. Its menu can therefore consist of granules floating (comprising 20 to 30% of protein) available in pet stores. The animal also appreciates food alive (shrimps, bloodworms, daphnia …) to distribute only in hot season.
Frequency of meals for koi carp
For the frequency of meals, an essential criterion is based on the temperature : the higher it is, the more koi carp will eat (4 times a day between 20 ° C to 27 °). Overfed koi carp will leave food surplus which will disintegrate in the water and add waste. Below 7 °, it is not necessary to feed them because they will be placed in semi-hibernation in the bottom of the basin. Its metabolism allows it to survive on little or no food. At the edge of spring, the koi carp will resume a normal diet and activity. From then on, their graceful aquatic ballet will once again make the colors dance in your pool.