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Koi and goldfish are among the best fish you can raise in an aquaponics system. These species are popular outdoor fish because of their flashy appearances that enhance your home’s aesthetic appeal. You could raise both kinds of fish in one pond since they come from the same carp family, but if you’re debating which among the two options you should pick, you should look into each species’ best qualities before choosing. So, koi or goldfish, which is better for your home pond?
If you’re after a fish’s size and longevity, koi fish can grow larger and survive longer than goldfish. Meanwhile, if you want to raise fish on a budget, goldfish are much more affordable than koi in terms of buying the fish and feeding them. In this article, we will discuss the other factors that go into caring for koi and goldfish that might help you make a better decision in choosing what kind of fish species to raise in your home pond.
Caring for Koi vs Caring for Goldfish
When thinking of adding fish to your home pond, you should consider your pond’s size first. Of course, larger ponds can accommodate larger fish, both in size and in number. Koi fish can grow up to 15 inches long, with some varieties growing up to 36 inches long.
Koi breeders agree that one koi fish should have at least 250 gallons of water and that standard koi ponds should hold 1,000 gallons of water, meaning a standard-sized koi pond allows you to raise four koi fish. If you intend to raise more than four, you would need a larger pond.
Meanwhile, goldfish are much smaller than koi fish. Domesticated goldfish can grow up to six inches long, making them the ideal fish to raise if pond size is an issue. Goldfish come in different varieties, making a standard amount of water per fish difficult to assess. However, a common rule is that one inch of fish per 10 gallons of water is ideal.
If you have a pond that is large enough to support koi and goldfish, you could raise them together. Koi and goldfish are different kinds of carp, making them compatible with each other. Koi and goldfish are compatible enough that they can even interbreed.
However, experts have observed that offspring resemble wild carp and can be unattractive if you intend to maintain your pond’s ornamental factor. Koi and goldfish’s progeny also turn out sterile because they come from different carp species.
Here are some more factors to consider when choosing what kind of fish to care for in your home pond aside from size constraints.
Caring for Koi
If you want to dedicate your home pond to raising koi fish, be sure to maintain optimal water temperature and pH levels for an ideal environment. Koi fish can thrive in water temperatures that range between 59°F (13°C) and 77°F (25°C). However, their natural ability to survive in these water temperatures does not necessarily mean they prefer too cold or too warm waters.
Coldwater is ideal for parasites to breed. Consider keeping your pond water temperature around 62°F (17°C) to make sure that no harmful parasites can thrive in your pond water. You may want to invest in a pond heater to maintain this temperature, especially during the winter months.
An ideal water pH level for koi fish is 7.5 because these fish tend to prefer slightly alkaline waters. You can also keep your pond’s pH level at a neutral 7 without causing any harm to your koi fish. Be sure that your pond’s water pH level doesn’t drop to acidic levels to avoid creating a stressful environment for your fish.
Caring for Goldfish
If you intend to care for goldfish in your home pond, you may need to bring them inside when water temperatures drop during the winter months. Even if you have installed winter protection equipment for your pond, goldfish may get stressed when the pond water naturally drops temperature when seasons change. Ideal water temperatures for goldfish raising are between 65°F (19°C) and 72°F (23°C).
Goldfish can also be more tolerant to various pH levels. However, just like how koi can withstand a wide range of water temperatures, goldfish’s tolerance doesn’t necessarily mean that constant fluctuations in pH level are an ideal environment for their growth. They may get stressed from the constant changes in pH levels by having to keep adjusting to their environment. As such, try to keep your pond water pH levels between 7.2 and 7.6, which are the ideal levels for ornamental goldfish care.
So is Koi or Goldfish Better for a Home Pond?
Koi and goldfish are ideal fish to raise in any home pond because of their aesthetic appeal. No species is better to raise than the other, but you can consider certain factors that go into the proper caring practices for each kind of fish.
Koi fish can grow larger than goldfish. Their size means they will need more space to swim. Additionally, koi will have to eat more food to reach their full potential size, which may turn out to be more expensive for beginners in raising pond fish.
Goldfish are much smaller than koi, making pond space less of an issue. These fish are also ideal for beginners raising pond fish. Raising goldfish in your home pond may also prove to be the more affordable alternative if you want to improve your home’s aesthetic appeal with ornamental fish. However, goldfish may not survive as long as koi because they aren’t as hardy when it comes to water temperatures that change over the seasons.
In general, it all comes down to personal preference and your commitment to raising ornamental fish in your home pond.