The lovely Koi pond fish are actually specially-bred carp that the Japanese have worked with for hundreds of years. Where carp tend to come in one color - brown - Koi can be found in many beautiful colors.
Koi start out small in size, but can easily grow to 3 feet long or more. They usually grow to as large as the pond they're in will support. That means if you have a very large pond, you can end up with some quite impressively sized koi to beautify it!
Koi need to be fed daily. There are many commercial koi foods on the market - research to find which one best suits your needs.
Koi need at least a 2' deep pond to swim around in. Of course, the larger the pond the better, since this is the Koi's entire world. The water should be kept fresh and clean, although it's important to maintain this without heavy doses of chemicals. Koi are sensitive to chemicals in their environment.
If you live in a cold area, make sure the pond will not freeze solid in the winter! You'll want a deicer on the top to keep the ice from totally covering the top as well. If your pond does end up forming a layer of ice on the top of it, never smash the ice to remove it! The shock waves can kill your fish.
When it is cold out, don't feed your fish during these coldest months. The fish will not eat the food, and it will end up making the water cloudy and nasty. The fish will naturally hibernate until springtime comes.
Here are some more images of koi which I took in a Japanese pond in St. Louis, Missouri. The pond is quite large, so the koi grow to 3-4 feet or more in length. They are very tame and come up to eat from the provided koi food vending machines.
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