Water Feature Q & A
Q: This is our first year with a water garden. I would like really like to clean it out in the spring but I don’t know what to do with all of my koi fish? – Alice of Pennsylvania
A: First, you need to find a water tight container large enough to comfortably hold your koi. Kiddie pools or plastic storage containers work well for this. They not only are water tight, but will float on the surface of the water. It is important to fill the container with water from the water garden and not tap water. Simply use a small mag-drive pump to pump water from the water garden to the container. Use a fish net to carefully transport the koi into their new temporary home.
It is also important to maintain good water quality in the container. Since your container has no filtration I suggest to add an small aeration system to keep the water circulated as well as to maintain oxygen levels. After moving your koi into the container, they will be under stress. Adding pond salt to the water will also help keep their stress at bay.
You will also want to place a net over the top of the container so the koi do no jump out. If you can, place the container in a shaded area. If no shaded area is present, use a cloth to minimize direct sunlight.
Once completed you may go ahead and complete a spring cleanout. Once completed and filled with new water, we suggest to add water conditioner to remove any chlorine, heavy metals and chloramines in your tap water before transporting your koi back into the water garden.