determine whether it would be appropriate
to perform changes on a more frequent basis.
However, since your water is crystal clear
and your fish are really thriving, it’s safe
to say that whatever schedule you’ve been
following thus far is working just fine. I
wouldn’t mess with success.
By the way, we’d like to thank you for
your 30-plus years of support for this
magazine, and we hope you continue to find
enough helpful, enjoyable information in its
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Koi vs. Goldfish
Is a koi just a fancy type
of goldfish, or is there a
significant difference between
koi and goldfish that I’m not aware of?
I can’t tell them apart just by looking at
them. Also, would one be better suited for
a small garden pond than the other?
Los Angeles, California
While both koi and goldfish
are carps, they were developed
from two distinct species—
Cyprinus carpio and
Carassius auratus, respectively. Koi can be
difficult to distinguish from common goldfish
varieties, but one feature that often sets
koi apart, at least when they’re mature, is
the more obvious barbels (whiskers) located
at the corners of their mouths. Another
distinction between the two that becomes
very obvious with age is that koi get much,
much larger than goldfish. The largest breeds
of goldfish get 1 to 2 feet long, while koi reach
3 to 4 feet or even larger.
Of course, “small garden pond” is a relative
term, but if by “small” you mean something
along the lines of those rigid pond liners sold
at garden centers, you’ll definitely want to
stick with goldfish. As mentioned, koi get very
large and must be kept in proportionately large
and deep ponds. I’m talking something in the
vicinity of 1000 gallons for a single specimen. A
koi pond should also be at least 4 feet deep.
In researching freshwater
aquariums, I’ve come across
the term “paludarium”
several times. Can you explain what that
Essentially, a paludarium blends
together an aquarium and
terrarium in a single enclosure,
having both a dry land area and
a water area (the element of air is also present
if you really want to get technical). This type
of setup allows you to create a fairly complex
ecosystem and to keep a more diverse variety
of flora and fauna than you could in either an
aquarium or terrarium. Your options would
include various aquatic and terrestrial plants,
fish, amphibians, reptiles, and even insects.
In blending the elements of land and water,
a paludarium also gives you the freedom to
create some really fascinating landscaping/
aquascaping effects, such as waterfalls,
beaches or riverbanks, marshes, flooded
forests, and so on. Really, the possibilities are
limited only by your imagination.