How Changi takes care of its koi

Jul 2023

By Xianne Chai

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Since 1990, Changi Airport has had koi ponds and koi, which were first at Terminal 2 (T2). They are an auspicious symbol of growth and prosperity, and their presence also adds colour, life and vibrance to the gardens in Changi. Passengers from all around the world are often fascinated by the koi at Changi. Today, Changi is home to 80 koi of different variations, which can be found at the Enchanted Garden in T2, the koi ponds in Terminal 3 (T3), and at Steel in Bloom Garden in Terminal 4 (T4).

Terminal 3’s koi pond is a hit with young children

Terminal 2’s Enchanted Garden

Selection of Koi

Not only does Changi Airport’s horticulture team take care of the beautiful gardens around the terminals, they also act as caretakers to the koi found in these gardens.

To ensure that only the best koi are on display, only hardy, purebred Japanese koi are selected. The team looks out for vibrant colours, clear patterns, interestingly shaped scales and a graceful appearance when swimming. Female koi are generally preferred over males, as they maintain their shape and colour over a longer time. Furthermore, their appearance peaks as they mature. Changi boasts at least eight different variations of koi, including the Kohaku, Showa, Ginrin Saragoi, Karashi and more.

A Ginrin Saraigoi koi

A group of Showa and Sanke koi

Care for koi

Beyond aesthetics, the well-being of the koi is also important. 

Staff using kit to test water conditions of the pond

Koi thrive well when the water is fresh and of the right condition and quality. The team vacuum cleans the pond once a week, with a 10-20% water replacement. The water is also treated with water conditioners, beneficial bacteria, salt and anti-chlorine solution to ensure that the quality is maintained at acceptable levels. 

Staff feeding koi during feeding time

Another aspect of their care is ensuring that they are well-fed. The koi are fed daily with specially formulated high nutrient food to boost their health and immunity, as well as to enhance the vibrancy of their colour. In some ponds, koi are fed using automated feeders to ensure regular feedings.

The wellbeing of the koi is also closely monitored by fish vets who visit the koi regularly to check in on them and provide advice on care and treatment. When needed or if any koi fall sick, they are isolated for treatment at a quarantine room located at basement of T1 or brought to a ‘koi hospital’ at a specialist farm located in the western part of Singapore.

Through the dedication and meticulous efforts of our horticulture team, the koi receive the proper care and attention they need to thrive and contribute to the vibrant atmosphere of Changi’s gardens.

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