There is much debate as to whether Koi hibernate in the winter. There are those that would have you believe that this is a natural state and quite healthy for your fish, while others would say this causes undo stress.
Regardless of which side of the fence you are on, there are some important facts to consider.
- When ponds ice over, harmful gasses from decaying plants, algae and fish waste cannot dissipate.
- Heating a pond helps greatly reduce stress on your stock.
- Providing heat will assist your Koi's immune system.
- Your biological filtration will continue and avoid a start-up in the spring.
- You can continue the feeding of your Koi to maintain good nutrition.
- You can protect your investment, by minimizing loss.
Winter in the UK and Europe can be very long and harsh for our Koi, an increasing number of Koi keepers are heating their ponds for the following reasons:
- Very low temperatures are avoided - causing less stress and associated health problems - Temperature fluctuations are avoided once again causing less stress to your Koi
- Koi emerge from the long winter into spring considerably stronger and reducing mortality rates at this time of year when they most often occur
- Your Koi's immune system is not suppressed
- Biological filter systems remain active throughout the winter months avoiding the long start up process in the spring.
- Last but not least heating your pond allows the Koi keeper to enjoy their hobby throughout the winter months
Why heat your koi pond ?
Well for a start we have been able to feed our Koi for the whole twelve months of the year so they are getting the full nourishment they require to keep them in good condition and they are now growing twelve months a year, not just through the summer months.
The risk of losing our Koi has been dramatically reduced because we have been able to maintain a temperature acceptable to them, lets face it with the cost of our Koi increasing as it is doing, it would only take the loss of just a single good Koi to far outweigh the cost of heating the pond, in fact in many cases it would be considerably less to heat rather than to suffer continued losses of good Koi through the winter months due to the severe cold temperatures of the water. Because we have been able to continue feeding we still have mature biological filtration, we don't have to go through the process of 'Starting Up' our systems at the beginning of each season.