View Full Version : Koi in a 55 gallon tank. Questions...

08-01-2004, 08:27 PM
I am getting rid of most of my GF to make room for more koi. I was wondering how long I could keep 2-4 , 6 inch koi a 55 gallon tank? Thru the winter? About 6 months, October - April or March. If I set it up soon I can get is cycled before October.
Would they do any better in a stock tank outdoors?

08-01-2004, 08:28 PM
Depends on the filtration and oxygen you have for the tank...

Busy B
08-01-2004, 10:34 PM
I did it last winter. Lots of work and water changes. I think I kept the pet store open just by buying filters :rolleyes: The more they grow the harder it gets..

08-01-2004, 11:23 PM
Will they grow that much being indoors and in such a small area?

I have a standard 55 gal. tank with hood, lights, and filter that hangs on back. Takes 2 of those changeable filter cartriges. Also have an 14 inch airstone. Last year I had two large GF(8+inches) in there for dropsy and the tank took 6 weeks to cycle then there were no problems.

What kind of problems would I have with a stock tank? I'd have to buy the tank, new pump, make a filter or buy one, hoses,.....Kind of expensive.

08-01-2004, 11:45 PM
Arrgh Karen, I'm going through the same thing. I want a 100 gallon stock tank to Q for the winter, but my big problem is where to put it. It's relatively easy to make a filter for it.

"2-4 , 6 inch koi a 55 gallon tank" - A 55 gallon tank is most likely to small for 4 koi, although you may be able to get away with 2 small ones (3-4" max).

The only place I can think of for a 100 gallon Q tank (at my house) would be the basement or the garage.
The garage gets cold- 30* and less, as it is not heated.
The basement is ideal, but it's our kid's playroom. It's a safety thing.

Even a 55 gallon tank holds an awful lot of heavy water.

Maybe we should keep guppies. :rolleyes:

08-01-2004, 11:47 PM
Karen...I keep guppies to :D :D :D :D

Bonnie Hale
08-01-2004, 11:52 PM
I had 5 baby koi that were 4 inches long all winter in my 55 gallon tank in my office. They grew to about 6-1/2 inches.

So about a month ago took and put them in my pond and brought in 5 more that are 4 inches. I love to watch the fish from our spawns grow and this give me a chance to see and watch them with a clear view.

Tank was fully cycled when I added the first 5.

The draw back, at first they were very skittish in the aquarium, running into the sides of the tank but after a few days they settled down and they were hand feeding. Now every time some passes the tank they are at the top saying "feed me".

Oh yah there is a dragon algae eater in there too and he is about 8 inches. He never messes with the koi, they are too fast for him! And he keeps the glass sparkling clean.

I would not plan on keeping them in there more than a few months.


08-02-2004, 12:15 AM
Hi Karen, I know what you mean about the kids and safety. Mine are 7 & 11 and very active and DH told me just to set the 55 gallon up on the gazebo. Duhhhh. like what was he thinking. It would be broke within a week TOPS. I don't have much space either. No garage, basement or carport. DH likes to teas me sometimes and brought up the fact that we don't have an indoor pond yet. He shouldn't give me ideas. :D ;) :D Now where can I put and indoor pond. hmmmm

Hey there Bonnie. I am wanting more koi so bad. (and a bigger pond) I'd just like to dig up half the yard. :D I do like watching them grow too. Don't you get attached to them that way? I know you sell koi and it would be so hard for me to get rid of them, especially after them being in and handfeeding.
Well I may try it. As long as I get the tank cycled I shouldn't have many problems. Except for where to put it. :eek: :D

08-02-2004, 12:18 AM
Question: If you put fish in a garage , what kind of light do they need? Anything special?

Bonnie Hale
08-02-2004, 12:36 AM
The ones in the house I really got attached to so it was hard to let them go. I sold a bunch of my personal koi so I had room to add a few more to my personal pond.

What happened is I had an oranda for twelve years and she passed on so I had this 55 gallon empty aquarium I wanted to keep cycled. I got busy, they grew and I had to move them out so they would have more room and did not have time to look for more fancy gold fish and I wanted to keep it cycled so I added 5 more.

ALL of my fish are hand fed, even the ones I sell. I will do a movie in a couple of days that shows how I teach them to hand feed in a week or less.

MY best part of every day is hand feeding all the tanks in the greenhouse. I look forward too it as much as the fish do to getting more food. Their other meals during the day is throwing food in and walking away as I make the rounds.

You can set up a 100 gallon stock tank fairly cheap. We bought a bunch of them when they went on sale for $50 at the farm store. We make our own filters for about $15.00. The pump is the only real expense and if you get a mag drive they are very inexpensive and will last a life time because all you have to do is change the magnet if it goes bad.


DaKid Koi
08-02-2004, 01:51 AM
hey Gone, :p
I had 12 :eek: yes 12 -koi 3- 4 " in size last yr. in a 55 gallon tank for the winter ....what I did was take a 5 gallon bucket drill a bunch of holes in the bottom of it, place some bio-balls in first about half way up, then place some of the floor buffing pads in started with the finer ones in 1st. then the black which are the coarsest on top . I not sure I think there were a total of about 6 or 8 pads.Now for the cover I place one of the flower pot bottom dishes 12 or 14 " in dim. I think place that on top of the bucket with a bunch of more holes in it ,took a 250 gal. sum. pump place it in the tank,hook it up with the hose going to the top of this 5 gallon bucket . an BAM :eek: :eek: OH YA PLACE THIS BUCKET ON TOP OF THE TANK 1ST. :p
I had no problems with ammonia at all and the water was crystal clear the small koi are now in the pond and there all about 6-8 inches in lenght .
Just take out the pads and clean them off once in a while.

here i found a pic. you can see 7 of the 12 that I had in the 55 gallon tank :D

DaKid Koi :cool:

08-02-2004, 08:07 AM
DaKid, I did the same thing last winter, had 4 fry in a 55 gallon tank for the winter. They were spawned in July, brought in the house sometime in October. They grew like crazy, the largest was over 12" when I moved them in May. As you already know it takes a lot of maintenance but it can be done, koi keepers are VERY dedicated! My fish grow like crazy, it's the water-not my doing!

08-02-2004, 02:30 PM
Hi Bonnie.
I bet you have a great time hand feeding all those fish. I have two large koi @ 24+inches each and they are big chickens and don't trust me at all. I have two other koi that are 12 inches, got them both last fall, and one will take shrimp but is very cautious and the other won't dare. It has always darted up to grab the food and then darts off again. I don't know how to get them to trust me. I look forward to your movie on hand feeding. Will you be posting it here? Maybe I can get some tips.
If I get a stock tank it would have to have a heater of some type I suppose. I think the 150 gallon is around $100. And I'm sure I could make a filter. How well to the stock tanks hold up?

OH, how does a mag drive pump work? I know nothing about pumps except how to plug them in and I usually get a bigger one than needed.

08-02-2004, 02:40 PM
Karen - look at your private messages.

08-02-2004, 02:42 PM
DaKid, Thanks for posting the picture. Pretty babies you've got there. My main problem with a tank in the house is not having enough house. We are wall to wall now and I don't even know where we will put a Christmas tree this year. This house seems to be shrinking. ;)
I would love to keep a tank set up all the time and be able to watch the fry grow. But the more fry that make it the more homes I'll have to find for them. I can't hardly give my goldfish away.

Well now that I know it can be done I need to make a decision. Stock tank or aquarium? I guess it will depend on if I can find room for the aquarium. Another thought was to make one for outside but by the time I buy all the stuff I need I could probably just buy the stock tank.

DaKid Koi
08-03-2004, 12:34 AM
What about in ur' basement
Thats were my guys stayed last winter, I had 4 large tanks set-ups plus a 1000 gallon OR SO pond made from A rubber liner and 2X4's and full sheets of plywood ,Da wife said :eek: pretty good The koi get to use the HOT TUB first :D :p

DaKid Koi :cool:

Busy B
08-03-2004, 01:01 AM
If I was you, I'd buy the stock tank if you have the room to put one. After they start to grow you can not let it go. Water changes are a biggie and when the sun comes round again...algea grows fast. With a stock tank you will also have a QT ready to go for when those urges hit ;)

I'm talking myself into a stock tank :eek:

08-03-2004, 08:57 AM
Well the basement would be a good place, IF I had one. :D Ya know I thought of making one too out of plywood, 2X4's, and liner but I think the materials would cost more than a stock tank.

What kind of heater do you use in a stock tank?

08-03-2004, 11:08 AM
Well the basement would be a good place, IF I had one. :D Ya know I thought of making one too out of plywood, 2X4's, and liner but I think the materials would cost more than a stock tank.

What kind of heater do you use in a stock tank?

gone...yes it would probably cost more...but you will get a larger one!!!

08-03-2004, 02:40 PM
Oooo, bigger. Hadn't thought of that.

We have rats in our yard which could be a problem though as they chew thru most anything. I could make a concrete pad to set it on. But what would keep them chewing thru the side corners? Rabbit cage wire?

How much sun would a QT need? I have an area near my porch that gets about 4-5 hours of sun a day. Well just a quick estimate I can build the box with a liner for around $135. Plus having to buy a pump and fittings would cost extra. But it would be bigger. 8'X4'X2'D. So how many gallons would that be?

08-03-2004, 02:41 PM

I built one that was 4x8x4' for under $150 including the liner... :D

08-03-2004, 02:52 PM
478 gallons. Pretty good! I might build one myself!

08-03-2004, 03:14 PM
Sounds like we need to have a QT building party. :D