Keeping koi is certainly a challenge. Aside from creating an ideal and stable aquatic environment for them to thrive in, keeping koi healthy and protected from predators are additional tasks that need to be undertaken seriously on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, the koi’s bright colors can easily attract predators. Against the green pond background, koi are easy to spot and make them vulnerable to predators including cats, raccoons, herons, and foxes.
Here are proven ways to secure your koi pond from predators:
Make the water level deep enough so herons cannot stand in it. A pond should have a depth of more than 24 inches to discourage herons.
Overhangs should be built high enough so mammals cannot reach in and swipe at your fish.
Trees can be planted around the pond to provide shade as well as prevent flying birds from spotting the koi swimming in the pond.
You can install a “scarecrow” device which is a motion-activated sprinkler system attached to a garden hose and runs on battery. It has a built-in sensor that can detect the presence of a potential predator, turning on the hose full blast, thus giving the animal an unexpected cold shower.
Putting lots of plants around the pond’s edge can also protect koi from being snatched. Plants can deter raccoons from taking a swipe at the fish. Raccoons also have the habit of trashing the pond and disturbing the pond’s ecosystem. Having plants at the pond’s edge can certainly discourage this behavior.
Tall plants and floating plant species such as water lilies provide excellent hiding places for your koi.
Placing plastic netting on top of the pond provides a cover that can effectively protect koi from all predators.
Putting in a plastic heron on the pond can discourage another heron, and often cause the animal to look for food somewhere else.
Building tunnels or caves as part of the pond’s design provides a great place to hide not only from predators but also from the heat of the sun. You can also choose to buy koi caves or koi castles that are available commercially.
Leave an outdoor radio tuned in to a news station or talk show. Predators don’t usually want to get too close to places where they discern human activity.
The motion-activated predator call broadcaster has been used by farms and wineries to keep animals from feasting on their crops. Smaller models are now available and can easily be installed close to your koi pond.
Installing in aerators or surface agitators not only promotes dissolved oxygen levels but it is also another way to obscure the view of your pond. As potential predators survey the pond, a disturbed water surface can make it difficult for them spot any koi.
A dog, such as the Great Pyrenees, has been known to be a great pond protector. The presence of your pet dog along the vicinity of the pond will certainly offer great predator deterrence.
About the Author:
This is a guest post by Peter Hartono. Peter is an aquarium hobbyist and fish pet lover who devoted his life in producing home-grown aquatic plants. He is also the founder of Just Aquatic, a proud Australian company and retailer of a wide range of aquarium supplies including Zoo Med, BiOrb and Exo Terra.