Fall Koi Care
In the next couple months, the temperatures will drop and you will need to prepare your pond for the winter. The lucky people that live in the southern states will need to skip this, since it won't get cold enough to winterize the pond.
Koi Wintering Tank
If you bring your Koi indoors, make sure that the tank that they are going in to will be ready. The water should be free of any chlorine or chloramines. If a biological filter is used, you can pre-cycle the tank by adding ammonia to the water a month or two before you add the Koi. This will grow the nitrifying bacteria in the filter, so your Koi won't have to go through the Ammonia and Nitrite spike. If you don't have enough time to completely cycle the filter, at least it will make the process quicker. Make sure there is no Ammonia or Nitrite in the water before you put your Koi in it, a water change will do the trick. Try to move the Koi when the pond water temperature is equal to the wintering tank temperature.
Keeping Your Koi in the Pond
You'll want the pond to be as clean as possible for the winter. An organic debris that is left in the pond, for instance: leaves, will break down and create toxic conditions for the Koi. The easiest way to keep leaves out of the pond is to cover it with leaf netting. This prevents leaves from entering the pond.
Any leaves that manage to get into the pond can be removed with a net.
Koi Pond Heating System
If you use a heating system on your Koi pond, turn it on when the water temperature is low enough. You can either maintain a warm pond temperature or you can lower it a couple degrees every so often until you reach the winter running temperature.
Feeding Your Koi
When the water temperature is around 60 degrees F, it's time to start feeding wheat germ Koi food. Koi food that has a wheat germ base is easier to digest when the water temperature is colder. You may initially mix the wheat germ Koi food with some high protein to help your Koi ease into the transition. Stop feeding your Koi when the water temperature is 50 degrees F. The Koi's metabolism slows down to a point where any food they eat will sit in their digestive system and rot.
If you bring your Koi indoors and the water temperature is warm, you can keep feeding high protein food.
Following these tips should give your Koi a great chance of making it through the winter. If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org