Koi Pond Heaters – Benefits of Heating a Koi Pond
With the cost of fuel rising almost every week, heating a koi pond is something which needs careful consideration as it can be very expensive to run.
Koi can survive in temperatures between 2degreesC to 10degreesC, however as koi are old blooded their metabolism will slow down as temperatures drop, at temperatures below 6degreesC they should not be fed as they may not be able to digest the food, generally they will stop feeding themselves as temperatures drop below 10degreesC.
Koi like a stable environment, drops in the PH value and temperature fluctuations will weaken a koi’s immune system, fluctuations are a particular problem in small ponds, especially shallow ponds, the minimum size generally recommended for a koi pond would be at least 1500gallons and 3 foot deep, however a pond size of around 3000gallons and 6 foot in depth is usually considered ideal for a small number of koi. Most of the heat lost from a pond would be at the surface, so covering a pond in extreme cold weather is advisable. By adding a heat source with thermostat to your pond you can control the fluctuations in temperature, if you keep the minimum water temperature a couple of degrees above the average outside temperature for the time of year, temperature swings in the pond will be minimized.
As already stated koi should not be fed at temperatures below 6degreesC, I would suggest the minimum temperature for a heated pond to be 10degreesC, at this temperature you can feed your fish a diet of easily digestible food, as the temperatures gradually rise you can add more protein to the diet.
Koi Immune System
Below 10degreesC the immune system of koi is significantly reduced and the koi are much weaker, as temperatures start to rise the nasty bacteria and parasites which cause most health problems in pond fish start to grow quickly, this is one of the reasons why so many health problems occur in spring and autumn as the bacteria and parasites are more active than the fish, any weakened koi become vulnerable to health problems. In addition many of the treatments used to treat parasites and bacterial problems cannot be used at low temperatures.
Koi kept in a heated koi pond will normally avoid many of the problems associated with fluctuating temperatures and cold water. Generally they will be stronger as they will continue to feed and a more stable environment will help avoid parasite and bacterial problems. So if you afford to I would recommend heating your pond. If this is not an option perhaps covering the surface of the pond with insulation such as bubble wrap to at least slow down any fluctuations in temperature.
To learn more about the options available to heat your pond view our pond heaters