Friday, February 3, 2012

koi fish

Caring For Your Koi Fish Carp

Koi are those brilliantly colorful and gracefully mobile domesticated freshwater fish that are kept mainly in ponds worldwide. It may be hard to believe, but these fish are actually derived from the common carp often found in the wild, the colors of which are dull and usually grey or brown - a far cry from the vibrant reds, deep blacks, and shimmering whites of the koi. A long time ago, the Japanese took an interest in the creatures, and specifically bred them for color, until they came up with what is now universally known as koi. However, koi is simply "carp" in Japanese, which the natives are familiar with as food. The correct term, therefore, for these koi fish carp, would be nishikigoi.

Koi fish carp have proven to be the most ideal ornamental fish for most hobbyists. Like the perfect lover, not only are they good-looking, they are also blessed with intelligence. Some koi can be trained to do tricks, but even without teaching them and with only time to assist you, you can make them eat directly from your hand. Another amazing feature is that they have maintained the toughness acquired from their ancestors, being able to survive freezing temperatures and sustain themselves in low quality water. Their dietary habits are uncomplicated: they are voracious eaters and not choosy about their food, making them easy to please.
But all these characteristics should not be construed as an excuse to care less for the koi fish carp than any other pet. These creatures are still high-maintenance despite their origins. Their resplendent colors will not stay that way forever, and even intelligent creatures get bored. Sooner or later the fish's endurance will give up on it, and they may die from cold or disease. Furthermore, while no koi fish carp has ever been recorded to die of overfeeding, eating too much can definitely make them fat and sluggish, and cause excessive waste elimination on their part, which leads to dirty and chemical laden water.
Koi fish carp have been originally bred for aesthetic purposes, and ever since then, the koi has continually evolved as efforts at coming up with more color combinations, and thus, more varieties are continuously being studied and applied today. Some techniques are kept secret until now, but supplying them with color enhancements is a popular trick of the trade. Food rich in carotenoid pigments and the algae known as spirulina are helpful in bringing out the best in a koi's color. Protein and carbohydrates are also essential in a koi's diet, as these fish are energetic and have a high metabolism. Plants in a pond not only provide a snack for koi fish carp, they also offer a form of amusement, being the intelligent and inquisitive creatures that they are.
While it is true that koi fish carp are hardy creatures, exposing them to cold or dirty water for too long will stress the fish, and make them less immune to sickness and disease. In cases like these, it becomes crucial to keep temperature and pH balance at the correct levels. When it comes to water quality, it is a good thing to keep in mind that clear water does not always mean it is clean, nor does unclear water mean it is dirty. What is important is that water does not contain ammonia, a byproduct of fish waste. This chemical robs the water of oxygen, and is poisonous to the fish. A high percentage of ammonia in the water can signify that the fish is putting out too much waste, which is in turn an indication of overfeeding. Overfeeding, on the other hand, does not only indirectly cause the water to be less habitable, but it also robs the koi fish carp of its potential to be the lively creatures they are supposed to be.
Koi fish carp are certainly not your ordinary carp, and they require a good deal of tender loving care. They are beautiful creatures indeed, and are thus entitled to the right treatment. Caring for the koi fish carp involves time, effort and a measure of wealth, so if these cannot be readily sacrificed, it is best to leave koi fish carp rearing to someone more devoted. They deserve that much.
Jake Ross is a koi fish expert. For more great information on koi fish carp [], visit [].

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