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   Koi - in those States or areas where they are not prohibited by law - are the most popular and well suited inhabitants of ponds. They are hardy, colorful, and become quite tame, even learning to take food from their owner's hands. And, there are koi to fit everyone's budget. Domestically raised fish are quite reasonably priced; large imported koi cost more, but often have richer color and more interesting patterns. 

   There are many books on water gardening and koi. Ask your favorite livestock store for suggestions. 

   The best place to display your koi is in a pond. Remember, koi are viewed from above. Many stores set up temporary, removable pond displays. If you cannot find the space for a pond, koi will do just fine in a conventional aquarium. Length is more important than depth; koi need lots of space, so don't overcrowd them. Koi can be clumsy- watch your selection of ornaments. Live plants are only suitable for smaller koi, larger fish uproot and devour them.

   Koi are not fussy when it comes to eating, either. They will eat almost any food, although there are a few guidelines as to what should be offered. The smaller the fish, the higher the protein which is necessary for growth and development. Also, younger fish should be fed more often. Any high quality goldfish or koi food will suffice. When comparing foods, just look at the guaranteed analysis on the package. Frequent feeding is required during the warm summer months because the fish are more active. When the water is cool, feed less often with a lower protein variety of food. 

   Koi do very nicely in pH values ranging from 6.5 to 8.5. You may want to add additional salt if fish are stressed. Whether your koi are housed in a pond or aquarium, make sure there is adequate filtration. This requires a good, high volume pond filter. At the same time, make sure there is plenty of aeration, especially in warm weather. 

(Sorry, Maine residents, Koi are not allowed in your state)

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