Chilled Out Koi: Hor Koi Survive Frozen Ponds in Winter

Chilled Out Koi: Hor Koi Survive Frozen Ponds in Winter

Chilled Out Koi: Hor Koi Survive Frozen Ponds in Winter


If you live in the northern climate then you will most likely see snow and ice like your koi pool. Naturally to worry about your koi during the winter period, especially if they have existed for years. Fortunately, Koi adapted to handle cold temperatures and ice ponds. They have some tricks on their “arms” to deal with unavoidable cold water.

Regulate body temperature

Animal thermoregulation or how animals regulate body temperature can be a confusing subject. For example, in the subject of thermoregulation there are:

– ectothermic

– Endothermic

– Mesothermic

– Heterothermic

– Homeothermic

– Poicilothermic

– “Cold-blooded”

There are many variations in the world of temperature regulation in animals but to make it easier for koi owners, you must know that your fish is ectothermic, which means that their internal body temperature is strictly regulated by the temperature around (or in this case, water temperature). So that means that all fish are ectotherms, right? Not necessarily. Unfortunately, biology is not always consistent. For example, Bluefin tuna and some sharks create internal heat from muscle activity but most are still influenced by the temperature of the water that places it in a category known as Mesothermy. In addition, the term “cold -blooded” is actually not too accurate. The “cold -blooded” lizard in hot desert sunlight can reach greater internal temperatures than humans. So in daily conversations, it’s easier to refer to mammals and birds as endotherms and almost all other things as ectotherm.

Biological activity and temperature

You may have paid attention to seasonal changes that when the water temperature gets colder, your fish starts to be less active. As a result, they need less food and somewhere between 50 and 40 degrees for them to stop eating together. Ectotherms can do this because they do not have to maintain a certain internal temperature and, in reality, they can escape using only 10% of the energy of what mammals need. When the temperature drops, the rate of internal biological activity decreases which includes basic things how fast the muscles can move. The concept in biology is known as the Q-10 coefficient.

Planning for winter

Not much activity occurs with your fish, inside or outside. They do not need food and are not as much as oxygen but are still good ideas to make some of your ponds not frozen with de-omer for gas exchange (and some pool owners will run aeration throughout the year). One of the things your koi will do is try to hang out in the hottest part of the pool and that will then be the deepest part. In general, that’s a good idea, when designing/building a koi pool, you make it at least 3 feet to avoid the possibility of a total freezing of the pool. Another thing you might want to remember is that adding salt to your pool before winter will reduce the freezing point of water and artificially cause your water to reach super low temperatures that have the potential to endanger your koi.

Koi in dormancy

So what exactly do they do under the ice? Was sleeping? Playing card? Like thermoregulation there are many different ways to be inactive during winter (or a period of less ideal conditions). There is:

Hibernation in mammals

Brumation in reptile

Diapause on insects and

Aestivation in invertebrates

But in the end your koi under the ice is in a state of dormancy. Basically, they only “relax” in a state of activity and metabolism that greatly declined while waiting for spring. Maybe you can’t enjoy your koi when they roam it under ice, but just think about the money you have no Koi food!

Have you ever wondered what happened to your koi with the beginning of winter? What do they do under the ice in the pool? Are they hungry and looking for food? In this article I discuss the physiological and biological changes that occur in your fish with the emergence of cold water. I also discuss simple things that you can do to prepare your pool for ice that will make it the most comfortable for your koi. If you are wondering about your fish in winter and even how to change the way you feed in autumn (http://koi-care.com/feeding-koi-water-thets-change/) then please see more on the site I. Thank you for stopping by!

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