Water quality is the most important factor in a koi pond or water garden. Koi, goldfish and other aquatic life can survive in less than ideal conditions. One thing pond hobbyists can do to help their fish thrive instead of merely surviving is to make sure that the minerals and trace elements found in natural ponds are in the water of their koi ponds and water gardens. In almost all cases, the water used to fill our beautiful ponds is deficient in most of the minerals and trace elements needed to allow our koi and goldfish to reach their maximum potential. What little minerals you have in your pond water are quickly absorbed by the fish, plants and even the bacteria that colonize your filters. Unfortunately, most of the water used for our ponds comes from the tap, which is often a poor substitute for providing a healthy aquatic environment for your fish. Minerals and trace elements are necessary for the optimum health and development of our fish. The only way those minerals can be replaced or introduced is through water changes and additives. The highest quality koi in the world are raised in mud bottom ponds. Even the top koi breeders have to add fresh clay to their ponds to replace the minerals and trace elements needed to raise these incredible living jewels.