BLOOM LOVES KOI FISH!
Why Koi? Koi are cool, crazy splashy cool, full of beauty, delight, and serenity for your yard and your life. They come in a multitude of colors, some being more desirable if you are a collector but all are fun, each with its own mix of color and form. Shimmery white with black eyebrows and outlined scales, sleek bright yellow in the shape of a bullet, Blue, red and white in a calico mix or one dot on the head in orange, a long flowing fan-tail fins streaming off a blue fish that swims like a torpedo. They are awesome. These colors and their forms often change over time in unexpected ways as the koi grow at least 2 to 4 inches over a summer depending on how often you feed them, which can be as many as three times a day. They will grow to a full 24 to 36 inches in time.
They swim in groups in circles that mock the paintings that try to convey the way they weave in and out amongst each other with ease and grace. During the spring mating season they splash up a storm and often leap high out of the water. (If it is not mating season and they are leaping it could be due to parasites and you can feed them medicated food to rid them of these pests. Pond salt is always helpful as a natural antibiotic if you do not have aquatic plants.) When the female is pregnant with eggs the males will push her against the sides of the pond to expel the eggs. Make sure you have floating plants or sponges for the eggs to attach themselves to.
Begin feeding them spring and fall food when the pond temperature reaches 55. They will then be ready to come out of hibernation and can digest food again. Once summer hits you can switch to a less protein oriented koi food or veggies like broccoli or corn, but take care to only feed them what they can eat in 5 minutes as the rest will decay and raise the ammonia level in the pond which is unhealthy for your koi. You can train them to come for meals, for instance, by knocking with a stone on the side of the pond at the same time each day. They will catch on soon and come quickly! You can also teach them to eat food out of your hand with their gaping mouths. Not to worry, no teeth on these fish.
In fall you may want to put some blue dye in your pond so that hungry herons and minks will not be able to find them. Soon they will no longer need food and will be moving slowly on the bottom of the pond until they wake up again in spring. Make sure there is aeration in the pond and if you have a small pond, a pond de-icer on the top so that their remains a hole in the top of the water.
This is a very small taste of all the information available on koi! There are many good books and articles on the web if you find yourself interested. Either way come in and meet our friends!