Many Koi keepers look forward to spending some time either relaxing at home or going away for a well-deserved rest. Being a Koi keeper does not mean that you cannot go on holiday! If that was the case, many people will opt not to keep Koi.
The main challenge is just to make adequate arrangements up front. Like other pets, arrangements are made with a friend or neighbor to look after the Koi and pond. I have seen a lot of cases where the friend or neighbor looked so well after them that the old saying actually becomes a reality: KINDNESS CAN KILL.
Unless the person looking after the Koi is an experienced Koi keeper, do not ask him/her to do a full maintenance of the pond. It is very easy for someone to leave a hose-pipe running in the pond, leave the pumps off, leave the backwash valve open, or to overfeed the Koi. It is better not to feed at all for a few days than to overfeed. Koi can easily survive 14 days without food without any ill effects. Feeding is therefore not necessary and by not feeding, the chances of water quality problems occurring will be minimal.
If you are leaving your collection in the care of someone else, here are some basic steps to consider:
A week or so before going away, check the pump inlet for blockages. (If it is a submersible pump.)
Clean the settlement chambers and if you have time, preferably the filter medium also.
If you have a sand filter, backwash it.
Do a substantial water change and de-chlorinate.
If at all possible, do not add any new Koi during this period up to the holiday to reduce the likelihood of problems occurring through the new additions.
Study the behaviour of your fish to be satisfied that there are no fish that look likely to develop problems while you are on holiday.
Take the person through the layout of the plumbing etc, so that he/she will have enough knowledge to follow your instructions over the phone if necessary.
Leave your contact detail with the person.
If you will be away for more than 14 days, place a measuring cup with the Koi food and show the person exactly how much to feed the Koi, or pre-measure sufficient portions of food for the person to feed the Koi. Do not allow the person access to any other 'treat' or tit-bit foods.
Make sure the person have access to the main circuit breaker in the house. (The power may trip while you are away.)
While on holiday, rest, relax and have a well earned break.
Upon your return.
Upon your return, do a quick visual inspection of the Koi.
There are lots to do at home when you return from holiday, but take the time to backwash the filters and do a water change.
It is hoped this few pointers will ensure you a relaxed holiday and also that it may save your Koi from possible stress, disease and in the worst case, from death.
By: Chris Neaves