Koi is a very large fish that can grow to their full length if provided favorable conditions. They require a pond that can hold over five hundred gallons. The koi health largely depends on a number of factors including the amount of space they are given, the quality of the water, and how safe they are from predators. Talking about predators, they pose a threat to your pond as they are always ready to prey on your beautiful koi. These animals are not only ready but hungry and ready to devour your koi living in the pond.
Koi are difficult and expensive to acquire and that is why pond owners must provide adequate protection that these koi need to keep them thriving and healthy in your pond for a few more years. Predators such as herons, kingfishers, and raccoons are some of their many enemies. When your koi pond is not properly planned, designed, and constructed, these predators can siphon your koi pond in just one day. You have to make sure your pond is sufficiently wide and shady enough for your fish.
The predator-prevention process might take a little more of your time and effort but it is not enough that you have provided clean water, food, shade, and all without securing your pets. Constructing the right size of a pond isn’t alone sufficient enough to protect your koi. The best way to stop these predators is to think like them. Always examine your pond closely and identify the favorite spots for an escaping fish to hide then provide enhance protection in those areas.
KEEPING KOI SAFE FROM PREDATORS – PREVENTIVE MEASURES
- Pond Design
The first thing to do is to make sure that your koi pond is designed bearing the koi’s safety in mind. Are you or have you been using ledges around the sides of your pond? Why not build the sides in a vertically smooth and steep manner. This will make your koi quickly dive into deeper waters each time she senses a predator around.
You koi fish will not be able to reach quickly and safely if ledges are used around the sides of your fish ponds. Incidentally, these ledges would be giving the predators (e.g. raccoon) the perfect opportunity to help them swim into the water and devour your pet. Alternatively, rock ledges can be used – all you have to do is to make sure they are far above the water line. In addition, make sure your pond is no less than eight feet deep.
- Pond Netting
Pond netting can also be used to protect your fish from predators. This material is quite similar to the fishing net material and comes in various sizes and types. This should scare predators like bullfrogs out. Most frogs don't pose a threat in a koi fish pond, but it is quite different for bullfrogs as they are big (in size) enough to eat smaller koi. They not only prevent predators from consuming your koi, they also keep your fish from leaving the pond.
Besides that, in the fall, netting keeps leaves, dirt, and other debris that could pollute your water from entering your pond. Moreover, the netting protects your pond from twigs, branches, and falling leaves that could settle to the base and cause decay problems. When pond netting, it is recommended that you cover the pond, particularly at night, when most predators are most active. The only downside of pond netting is that it takes away the beauty and natural look of a pond.
- Scarecrow Sprinkler Systems
These techniques work extremely well and are also productive. The scarecrow sprinkler system is designed with a built-in motion detector that sprays a blast of water when something comes close to it, scaring them away. This functions very well with blue heron, cats, raccoons, and other predators.
- Heron Decoys
Giant birds such as The Great Blue Heron love feasting on koi, however, their threat is highly dependent on where you live. A single Blue Heron can consume roughly one hundred six inches tall koi! To prevent this, Heron decoys are an effective and efficient way to protect your pond fish. Herons are territorial, and they would rather go elsewhere if they see another heron in the area. Heron decoys will help protect your fish from being eaten.
- Heron Scarers
Some heron scarers work on a “trip-wire” basis, it produces a loud noise that is only audible to heron but inaudible to the human ear. Others use infrared detection to sense the presence of heron and scare them away by splashing a high-pressure jet of water.
To win the most battle with predators, you simply have to keep them off balance. This makes them uncomfortable when searching for a meal. If a spurt of water can scare them off, then sound too can.
Wind chimes, outdoor speakers, or can are available options. Try playing your favorite podcast or turning on talk radio. Human voices will tell predators that there's a bigger boss around and they will more likely back off.
- Planting Fake Owls or Alligator Decoys
The alligator is the predator to birds, herons, and other wildlife. Planting fake visual floating alligator, snakes or owl objects near the pond will help in warding off predators as well. When predators approach and see the dummy alligator, it triggers their defense mechanism cautioning them of the danger ahead. This will help protect your koi pretty well.
Aside from the beauty that these fishes provide, they also add elegance and character to your garden. So, it is only wise of you to cater for their health and safety.