All water changes are not the same
1) How much water should you change each month?
There is a lot of discussion on this topic. To start with I suggest that you first consider
what you hope to accomplish with your water changes. Andrew with Andrews Koi in
Anaheim California has been conducting a koi growing contest with his customers each
year for over 10 years now. His main focus for water changes when he started was to
see how large they could grow these koi in just one season. He started out 10 years
ago recommending changing out 10% each week. After examining the results of the
growing contest each year he is now recommending 10% water change each day.
At Sacramento Koi we tried something a little different. We were more concerned with
the basic health benefits of a regular water change. We set up a drip system in half our
tanks that automatically changed out 10% of the water each week, where as, in the
other tanks we didn’t perform any water changes other than regular back washing of the
filters, which amounted to less than 2% each week. We ran this test for one year. What
we noticed was that in the tanks that received the regular 10% water changes, the koi
grew a little faster than the koi in the other tanks. But, the big difference was that these
koi remained significantly healthier than the koi that received no regular water change.
Additionally, the water looked noticeably clearer.
What becomes obvious is that regular water changes are very important to the health
and growth of the koi. You have to decide what you are hoping to accomplish with your
koi. If you are just looking to raise your koi and keep them healthy you should consider
performing at least a 10% to 20% water change each week if possible. If your goal
is to raise your koi to their full potential both in color and size you then might want to
consider performing even larger water changes. There seems to be a direct correlation
between koi health and growth, and how much water is changed each week.
2) How much should you change at one time?
There are a number of individuals who like to perform large changes, up to 70% at
one time, every so often. The logic is that the more water you change at one time,
the more of the old water you are replacing. When you change smaller amounts on a
regular basis you end up changing out some of the new water you recently added along
with the old water. This may be a more efficient way to replace the old pond water but
it can cause more stress to the koi than is necessary. Koi particularly do not like large
changes to their environment such as changes to the water temperature, ph, alkalinity
Changing smaller amounts of water on a more regular basis creates much less stress
to the koi. The new Advantage GROW System offers the best of both worlds. It allows
you to perform regular water changes at a rate that will not stress the koi and at the
same time, allows you to perform these water changes without wasting a drop of water.
If you are paying for water the GROW System can actually save you money. (See