Do You Need to Heat Your Pond Water? No!

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Page Summary: Koi are coloured carp in the extreme. Koi and carp can and do withstand very low water temperatures... witness the actual winter conditions in Japan... far far worse than the UK. Yet the best koi in the world are bred in Japan although it must be said that the Japanese do resort to artificial temperature control as well. At the same time koi (carp) are very tolerant of temperature changes and are quite happy to live and thrive in warm water. Koi actually benefit from a cold water dormancy period and are alerted to the need to breed when water temperatures start to increase, coincident with longer daylight hours that occur in Spring.

Fish Pond Heating...

Heating a fish pond is a luxury few pond keepers can afford. Nor is it necessary for the vast majority of pond keepers (koi or otherwise)

Here are a few fish pond keeping pointers for your consideration:

Koi are coloured carp in the extreme and carp have been around a long time and have survived extreme weather conditions worldwide..

Koi and carp can and do withstand very low water temperatures... witness the actual winter conditions in Japan... far far worse than the UK.

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Yet the best koi in the world are bred in Japan although it must be said that the Japanese do resort to artificial temperature control as well. At the same time koi (carp) are very tolerant of temperature changes and are quite happy to live and thrive in warm water during summer and cold water in winter. 

Koi actually benefit from a cold water dormancy period and are alerted to the need to breed when water temperatures start to increase, coincident with longer daylight hours that occur in Spring.

Heating of water is extremely expensive by virtue of the physical properties of water made worse by the large surface area of a fish pond exposed to the atmosphere.

Koi can quite happily exist in water covered by ice although it's a good idea to try and keep a hole in the ice. Water freezes from the top down due to a unique property of water which occurs at 4 degrees Centigrade. Learn more about ice on fish ponds.

Some Reasons for Heating a Koi Fish Pond in Winter

You can continue to feed fish and exercise control over their growth rates and health conditions by maintaining summer type conditions and feeding regimes. However bear in mind that koi spawning is prompted by temperature changes in spring along with increases in daylight hours so if breeding koi fish is an objective then ensuring a cooling off period is important.

  • Extreme variations in water temperatures between night and day can be reduced
  • The warmer water enables the koi pond's biofilter to continue with its metabolic function to purify the pond water.
  • You want to compete in competitions with the best koi keepers around.
  • You are one of the few really true koi enthusiasts for whom money is no object
  • You can consider the possibility to keep more exotic fish
  • Koi tend to become sluggish around 10 degrees C and stop feeding at about 8 degrees C

Other articles about koi and fish pond care in winter

Pond Heaters. Heating koi ponds winter growth feeding benefits

Koi pond heating using gas electric in UK temperature control

Bringing fish and pond and water out of winter into spring

Koi goldfish pond covers over winter. How to look after pondfish

Over-wintering koi goldfish hibernation cold freezing water ice

Koi pond heating using gas electric in UK temperature control

Should I heat my new koi pond this winter. What temperature?

Temperature swings. Koi Goldfish Feeding & water temperature

To Feed or not to feed your pond fish or koi or goldfish

How Do I care For My Garden Fish Pond In Cold Winter

Frozen Koi Ponds & Fish Ponds. Ponds Freeze in Winter. Pond Care in Freezing Winter Weather