Couple pond noob questions

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by BennyLava, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. BennyLava

    BennyLava

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    1. Do most people make their ponds shallow, so it's easier to see their fish? I have noticed that most of the ponds you will see, even the ones that have semi-large koi in them, will be fairly shallow. Perhaps a foot and a half deep. Maybe there is some deeper water for the fish to retreat too, to hide in or winter in, but most of the pond is shallow. Even for bigger koi. My guess is that it's so it is easier to see, and socialize with the koi. Is this the reason?

    2. Do koi sleep? Or go into any kind of sleep state? If so, when do they usually do this?

    3. Is it good to have ledges? And if so, how much, how many, and how far back do you want them to go? This is in reference to building a new pond. On the one hand, you got a great place for the koi to run and hide from any predators that may harass them. On the other hand, they got a great place to run and hide from you. How do you keep them from using the ledge/s as a crutch for never becoming friendly?

    4. What about a north american carp? The kind that might be found in texas, to be specific. The reason is, he is a carp, just like all the koi and goldfish and the like. And, I want to have a rainbow of fish colors. A carp from my local lake or stream would easily fill in the slot for light-medium, even dark brown color. With possible gold down the sides. They are easily tamed and can eat the exact same foods. The even have the same little feelers and mouths. I have caught carp before, with my bare hands ranging from 2, to 20 pounds. In my local streams. So it would be no problem for me to obtain one of the proper size for my 600 gallon pond. It's legal to do so, as they are not a protected game fish like the largemouth bass and the like.
     
    BennyLava, Sep 23, 2009
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  2. BennyLava

    oldmarine Married 32 years

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    1. Most koi ponds are 18" to 24" deep, and most pond fish will do quite well all year around at that depth.

    2. All fish that I am aware of go into a sleep state, and usually at night. Unless it is a full moon. Most stream fish feed on bugs at night during a full moon, and fishing during a full moon isn't recommended. Sorry, didn't mean to go that rabbit trail.

    3. Ledges are great if you wish to have bog plants around your pond. My frogs like to hide in them until it is time to come out and feed on bugs around the pond.

    4. Can't tell you much about native carp, except like most fish, they will only grow to a size according to the volumne of the pond or container that they are living in.
     
    oldmarine, Sep 23, 2009
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  3. BennyLava

    BennyLava

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    Ok thanks for the replies. Can koi grow 24-30 inches in two feet of water? Provided it's a large enough pond, of course. But is that depth enough to get them to grow big?
     
    BennyLava, Sep 23, 2009
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  4. BennyLava

    leeannecastro

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    1. Many ponds are 18" deep but EVERYONE wants to build their pond bigger and deeper about 24 hours after they build it.If you have proper filtration, you should be able to see your fish clearly at 5 or 6 feet.
    2. Koi will go into a "suspended animation" during winter. They are very slow during this time. mine seem active any time I have spied on them at night.
    3. Ledges are helpful for one thing - marginal plants. If there are specific plants you plan on having, build a ledge specifically for them. Build your sides as steep as possible (vertical is best) because it makes it harder for predators to enter your pond.
    4. Wild fish are never a good idea because of the diseases they may carry. If you want a brown fish, you may be able to find a domestic koi in that color.

    Welcome to the forum and hope that helps.
    BTW thats my humble opinion based on my own trial and error. You will probably find a few different answers on this stuff. good luck and take lots of photos!
     
    leeannecastro, Sep 23, 2009
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  5. BennyLava

    koikeepr

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    koi ponds are best if they are deeper. A good average is at least 4 feet deep. With good water management, you are able to see the fish clearly in the pond even if it is deeper than that.

    I would avoid ledges as they just allow for debris to accumuate on them and give a platform for predators to get closer to fish. If you want to put plants up, just put them on a few bricks. You won't even see the brick under the water once the algae forms on them.

    2-20 pound fish do not belong in a 600 gallon pond. You could put 2 koi at best in 600 gallons. You'd actually be better off with some pond goldfish...also very colorful and you could do a few more since they don't get as large as koi. Sarassas, subunkins, comets just to name a few. They are also very inexpensive.
     
    koikeepr, Sep 23, 2009
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  6. BennyLava

    BennyLava

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    No I was asking if you had a very large pond, length and width wise, if 2 foot of water would affect their ability to grow big. Not for my small pond. For the one I hope to build one day.

    As for the diseased local carp, my friend's dad is a game warden and has access to a fish safe house at our local lake. He can get a fish, or take the fish I get, to a disease killing tank they have there and hopefully kill any diseases or parasites. That is what I was thinking of. Not just putting a carp I caught right in there. Also, strangely enough, a pet store in my town sometimes sells them. As well as gar lol. I don't know who would buy a baby gar.
     
    BennyLava, Sep 23, 2009
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  7. BennyLava

    KoiGirl KoiGirl

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    I wouldn't put in a Koi pond that was less than three feet deep, no matter how wide or long it is...I'm sure the Koi could grow larger with the large water volume...that is if they aren't eaten by predators first. By the way three feet is a minimum, preferably 4-6 feet is better. Koi get most of their exercise by swimming up and down, not horizontally.
     
    KoiGirl, Sep 23, 2009
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  8. BennyLava

    oldmarine Married 32 years

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    Years ago here in the Tacoma area, I had the privalage of seeing a professionally build formal pond. I was build in ground next to the foundation of the house, and incorporated into the entry walk way to the front door. The pond is 4' x 12' x 4' deep, and it had no visible plumbing, tubing or pipes anywhere to be seen. All of the filtration is inside his garage on the other side of the foundation wall. This gentalman had four 3' long koi in this pond. This was before I knew anything about raccon control, and I asked how he kept the local racoons at bay. He informed me that he found that if the racoons can't stand on the bottom, they can't catch the fish. At that point in time he had not lost a koi to any preditors.

    My pond is only two feet deep at the deepest point, but I also have a 6' vynal fence that so far, the racoons haven't managed to climb over.
     
    oldmarine, Sep 24, 2009
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  9. BennyLava

    charrold Big Fish in a Little Pond

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    My pond is 3.5' at the deepest point (which is pretty much the whole thing) and I can see my fish very clearly at that depth. Good filtration is the key, but my winters will be cold, and freezing is guaranteed so the depth is more for the fish than me.

    On the raccoon (or any predator) subject, I built my pond with vertical walls only because of advice I read on here and from advice from friends with ponds. The vertical sides mean no birds or coons can comfortably walk in (the first step is a doozy).

    I swear my fish sleep a lot. I have also caught at least 3 different ones sunbathing. Lazy buggars.

    Ledges are good for plants, and shelves in the water are good for fishies to hide under. Also ledges of differing heights make it easy to walk into the pond for maintenance in my case as they act like stairs. The irony of this is not lost on me and I packed my shelves with plant baskets to block off the access to critters.

    Wild fish BAD - docile happy Koi GOOOD :biggrin:
     
    charrold, Sep 24, 2009
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  10. BennyLava

    KoiGirl KoiGirl

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    OldMarine...I'm glad your fence keeps the raccoons out! Do you have heron where you are? I hate to see people have to net their ponds to keep out predators! I think it kind of ruins the ambiance of the pond. BTW, thanks for taking care of our country :)
     
    KoiGirl, Sep 24, 2009
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  11. BennyLava

    BennyLava

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    I have herons, and racoons. For the longest time this one real tall heron used to come to my pond and stand there. But I just let him, and laughed. There were no fish in there. He doesn't come now that I have fish though. Still have some cats around, but I have live out in the country and I have a .22 rifle that I am very accurate with, and would have no problem shooting a cat that was trying to do a little fishing. My fish are far more valuable to me than some cat lol.

    But, have yall ever seen the pictures of that one house, that has some glass flooring in it, and the koi can just roam beneath the feet of the people who live there? If I am not mistaken, there is an outside pond as well but it just sort of extends to under the floor as well.
     
    BennyLava, Sep 24, 2009
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  12. BennyLava

    stroppy stroppy

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    well im so glad you dont live anywhere near me !!! cause if you shot at my cats ...you might find yourself in bother !!
     
    stroppy, Sep 24, 2009
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  13. BennyLava

    BennyLava

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    Well suffice to say, if your cats harmed my fish, you might find yourself in bother. Cats aren't worth much, koi can be worth thousands. I have already had to kill several cats, unfortunately. I don't want to, but I will defend my property. Animals lives are worth far less than people's, and here in the good ol USA it is legal to kill a human being over theft of tangible property lol. So a cat would only fetch a laugh from the police.
     
    BennyLava, Sep 25, 2009
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  14. BennyLava

    stroppy stroppy

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    even better that i dont live in the USA Then !
     
    stroppy, Sep 25, 2009
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  15. BennyLava

    koikeepr

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    oh dear....

    Benny, I just mentioned this in another post, and I will repeat it here again. It would be highly unusual for a cat to go after a koi as a predator. They may sit at the edge of the pond lured by the quick movements of the fish, but for a cat to catch a fish it would likely have to get wet...and cats hate being wet. For anyone that has ever tried to catch a koi, they are wrassly/slippery suckers and the cat would likely fall into the water--which it doesn't want to do. And a cat being smart, knows this.

    So, tho a cat might sit at the edge of your pond fantasizing over the fish inside, it's really not likely the cat will act on it's desire. I've never seen or even heard of anyone I know in ponding say a cat attacked a koi. I've heard/seen of racoons, beavers, otters, owls, hawks, herons and all sorts of other birds of prey grab fish--but never a cat.

    So, you should not worry about shooting a poor, defenseless cat. It is not legal to kill a cat in most states in the USA, and I do know that Texas is one of them. In fact, there was a significant case in 2007 in Galveston that I remember where a man went to jail for animal cruelty for killing a cat. There are laws on the books in Texas. period.

    A person that goes into someone else's house to steal or harm a family can be shot by the home's owner, yes. The human intending to steal used intent and knows what they were doing and also knows the consequences.

    A cat seeking food, however, is an animal and is simply using it's basic instincts to eat. It does not know that you, the owner of the koi, have paid even $1 for that fish. Animals thinks that your pond is a real lake or river where it can feed. It has no knowledge of state laws or consequences. Therefore, it is not legal to kill a domestic animal in that manner.

    Therefore, YOU, as the human with the brain should take precautions to protect your fish by netting your pond or putting some device to scare away predators. There's no need to shoot another animal to do this. This is a site about caring for animals (in this case koi), not killing them.

    Full disclosure: Let me finish by saying that I am not a vegan or animal rights activist or any of those things. I have a general love for all animals as most humans do, but I do eat fish, meat, poultry, etc. I do not want/like other animals preying on my pond, and heck I've certainly felt like I've wanted to strangle a predator that has nabbed any of my fish. But there are certainly smarter ways to go about protecting your koi without having to resort to pulling out a rifle.

    Just my humble opinion. Of course, you can do what you wish.
     
    koikeepr, Sep 25, 2009
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  16. BennyLava

    BennyLava

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    Well, I value everyone's opinion here on this site. So I am glad to have heard yours. But at this point, I would like to say that cats have in fact killed two of my fish. I know this cause I saw a cat run off with one of my smaller fish, and the other I found dead outside the pond with little teethmarks and clawmarks in it. Also caught another cat in the act, he flipped it up out of the pond and was sort of sniffing it as it flopped. That is one that I unfortunately had to destroy, as he was a repeat offender. I had scared him off several times and turned the dog loose on him as well, knowing that he would easily escape, of course.

    However, as I am out of city limits, I am in my legal rights to destroy any animal making a pest of itself. Dogs, cats, rats, skunks, opossums, squirells, pretty much anything except for escaped livestock. I know this because I was told so by the sheriff's office. The police have no jurisdiction, that's only in city limits so I had to call the sheriff. When asked what to do about stray dogs harassing my dog, and the cats harassing my fish, his exact words were "Shoot them." I was like "... what..." and he went on to tell me that I would have no other recourse, as animal control is left up to the people, out of city limits. All I would have to do is say the word "feral" (as in I believed the animal was feral) and no legal action could be taken against me. So while you are probly right about most people, people living out of city limits don't really have any other option. I can't really afford to fix my pond all up against predators right now, as I am still in school and will be for a while to come. So does that mean that I have to put up with the local cat lady's cats destroying my property?

    I can't just catch them in a live trap and give them back to whoever it is that owns them, they will be right back the next day. And the law certainly ain't going to help me out. So I am left with few options, I'm afraid. It really is unfortunate. And I do think that some of the cats I have shot were indeed feral cats. Wild, looking for a free meal. A lot of bobcats and such grow around here. But some were likely pets, and like I said I really did not want to have to do it, but was left with no other alternative.
     
    BennyLava, Sep 25, 2009
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  17. BennyLava

    stroppy stroppy

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    im sure you could get a net to cover it ...i have had to cover mine because of foxes ...if your fish are worth so much thats what i would do
     
    stroppy, Sep 25, 2009
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  18. BennyLava

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    Benny Benny Benny ...... thats great that you took care of your problem...
    You gotta do what you gotta do, if you want to keep your stuff .

    But you dont have to go into such detail on how you do it.
    Take care of it, and show a little cooth..

    Here you get more time for animal cruelty, than murder
     
    DrCase, Sep 25, 2009
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  19. BennyLava

    BennyLava

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    Ok I understand what yall are saying. People just don't want to hear about it. I just thought that surely many other people here had the same problems. So I won't talk about it anymore outside this one conversation. Although I do stand by my point. Someone else's pet should not be able to roam onto my property and destroy it, with no way to stop it. That's just plain immoral. You wouldn't let a someone's dog come chew up all your outside furniture and jump all over your new car. I guess instead of killing (killing an animal is not always "animal cruelty", as per my conversation with the sherrif) them I could always just catch them and take them to the animal shelter or something. If they would let me, and I don't know if they would. And I know they won't take some vicious feral animal. In which case, I could take the animal to the opposite end of town and let it out, but then it would just likely starve (if it wasn't feral) or get ran over, and that is more cruel than the much more humane quick way.
     
    BennyLava, Sep 26, 2009
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  20. BennyLava

    koikeepr

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    Right. I agree with you that folks shouldn't just let their cats and dogs run stray and doing damage. If you have a pet, then it should either be in your house or in your fenced property. I agree with you 100%.

    But you need to make you pond predator proof. For example, i've got stones rimming my pond, but I put small 6 or 7 inch stones on any flat area I can so that no cat can possibly sit comfortably around my pond to reach for a fish. The rocks are in their way. Or, as stroppy suggests--a net.
     
    koikeepr, Sep 27, 2009
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