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What If I go on holiday? What about my koi or goldfish?

Being a koi keeper does not mean that two weeks' holiday in the sun each year is not allowed.

Koi keepers maintain garden ponds and keep fish to relax, not as a means of saving money on holidays abroad.

If koi are really at the top of your priorities then it would be best to elect to take a holiday over winter, when pond activity is minimal and the koi require negligible care and attention.

However, most of us are far less logical than that and choose to take our annual break when a pond is most in need of our attention and when fish are at their most active - the summer.

A few simple steps can be taken before, during and after a vacation so that a pond and its inhabitants needn't know that you'd deserted them for a fortnight in the sun.

Filter A week or so before going away, give the mechanical side of the filter a good clean, rinsing foams, brushes and settlement chambers ensuring that the pump pre-filter is cleaned.

If this is carried out a week or so before setting off then any potential changes in water quality that may result from this maintenance will have time to settle.

It is best to plan for 2 weeks of flag-cracking weather.

Ask a friend or neighbour to feed the fish (and keep an eye on aeration and turnover etc.) Koi can manage two weeks in the summer months quite satisfactorily without food.

Having decided on the size of portions to leave, use them for 3 to 4 days yourself before leaving to be satisfied that they are not too large.

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