Dont Overstock Koi & Goldfish Ponds

Page Summary: When a pond is first built product specifications and choices are based upon the ponds status quo at that time. What the pondkeeper forgets is that fish grow, fish breed, and more food is fed and thus more waste is produced. The cummulative effect of these changes can be serious in terms of exceeding the biofilters capacity and thus its important to consider the impact upon pond water quality and therefore the koi or goldfishs quality of life. Always oversize the equipment at the design stage or at the time the fishpond is actually constructed.

Avoid Overstocked Pond

We’re all familiar with the term ‘overstocked’. For most individuals, the term takes on new meaning during the holiday season, when we eagerly head off to the shop to stock up on food supplies for the festivities that lie ahead. In our excitement, we often tend to get carried away with buying unnecessary items, only to return home and discover that the pantry simply cannot store everything!

It’s helpful to consider this common dilemma when dealing with the question of how many koi or goldfish you should keep in your pond. Obviously, the question of whether your pond has too many fish is subjective – you may have the same number of koi as Joe down the road, but his pond is double the size of yours.

So what’s the golden rule? There should be enough space for your koi and gold fish to move around freely, while providing them with a healthy environment and room for growth.

Two factors to consider when pondering the subject of fish density are filtration and surface area.

A pond isn’t just like a pantry – it’s not simply a matter of putting as many fish in your pond as will fit.

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You have to take into consideration the filter’s ability to breakdown the organic waste produced by your koi and goldfish to deduce whether your system can provide enough aeration. And while it would be handy to have an exact guideline on how many inches of koi one can keep per square foot of pond surface area, this figure wouldn’t take into consideration vital issues such as filtration and aeration. However, as a general rule, one can say that if there are two ponds with exactly the same volume, it’s the pond with a greater surface area which will be able to house more koi.

Why Doesn’t ‘the More the Merrier’ Apply to Koi Fish?

It’s generally the case with most things in life – if you love it, you want more! So why should you hold back on purchasing more and more koi? The reason is quite simple; you want your koi to stay healthy and to grow. Fish are living organisms, not inanimate objects that merely take up space. Therefore, environmental factors play a crucial role in their general wellbeing. Here are some reasons why you want to avoid an overstocked pond:

  • Inferior Water Quality: A new filter needs time to mature before it can readily break down the waste produced by your koi. New Pond Syndrome is a common problem encountered when a new filtration system hasn’t matured to the point where it can process waste at the required rate, resulting in high levels of ammonia and nitrate. This problem can be easily avoided by under- stocking your new pond until such a time that the filter has matured
  • Competitive Stress: When you have too many fish in your pond, they will begin to compete for food at the surface during feeding time, which will inevitably result in stress. This shouldn’t be overlooked, as research has pointed to the way in which stress can reduce the growth rate and growth potential of koi.
  • Increased Risk of Disease: If space is limited due to overcrowding, there is an increased likelihood that disease will spread to all of your koi and gold fish as they are forced to come into close contact with one another.

As far as koi are concerned, it really is a case of less is more. Rather be modest and ensure the health of your pond and fish, than suffer the consequences of an overstocked pond.

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