Do koi eat together? What if they are not?

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by imbaddakota, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. imbaddakota

    imbaddakota

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    Hi all! I have a 2100 gal pond and added 3 small koi a week + ago, water tested all good, still does, I fed a little 2x daily in a ring, but they did not touch it for awhile, so i scooped it back out after an hour. I feel like they were finding enough in there to eat as there are way fewer little snails etc. since I got them. 3-4 days ago the food started disappearing, so that was good, but I stalked my pond this morning from the bushes to see them eat and I am only seeing one of them. And I dont see the other two swimming, though they all hide most of the time still. I have seen the one that eats moving around on occasion.

    My question is if one koi knows where the food is and is eating, would it be likely that they would all know and be eating together and that having two MIA may indicate they are gone?

    I have a net a few feet over the pond, so raccoons could get in and they are in my area. Don’t like to think they are gone, but I am more concerned that the remaining koi has no school and may be all alone, but my luck I will add two more and end up with five...

    What do you think?

    Thanks!
     
    imbaddakota, Jul 13, 2018
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  2. imbaddakota

    Lisak1

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    I think your fish are just shy and are getting used to their new home. Give them some time. We had one tiny koi that hid for almost six months before we finally started to see him. I doubt it will take yours that long, but don't lose hope!

    And it made me LOL to imagine you hiding in the bushes to see your fish!
     
    Lisak1, Jul 13, 2018
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  3. imbaddakota

    imbaddakota

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    Haha, yeah, that was not a proud moment for me :)
     
    imbaddakota, Jul 13, 2018
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  4. imbaddakota

    imbaddakota

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    93E60138-EC16-41EA-94E0-AB3B5483AE38.jpeg Figured I would update my pond pix while I was posting! It’s been awhile and it looks much better than the construction pix of my last post! :)

    Don’t mind the shade screen, it’s unusually hot today and everything is cooking at 95deg!
     
    imbaddakota, Jul 13, 2018
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  5. imbaddakota

    Panzer13

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    Yes I am sure their is plenty to eat in a pond that size, but they will come around.
    My fish will signal each other when I feed then by making rapid flashing type movements. If some of the newbies, 3 months in the pond, see the food first. They will usually wait for one of the old timers, 18 months in the pond, to show up and eat first. I think this is both a pecking order and a wait for the older smarter guy to make sure it is safe thing.
    If you have one guy that has figured out that their is something good to eat the other will follow suit soon enough.
    I always feed mine in the same place. Once before I leave for work and when I get home. They now what time feeding time is and will wait in the area. They always feed together but like I said the old timers first.
    I agree with Lisak1, they will come around in time.
     
    Panzer13, Jul 13, 2018
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  6. imbaddakota

    Panzer13

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    Wow, that is a really nice pond:love: No doubt their is allot of good things in their to eat for three small koi.
     
    Panzer13, Jul 13, 2018
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  7. imbaddakota

    imbaddakota

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    Thank you! I am so happy with it! And never having tackled a diy job like that before, I’m very proud of it! Especially now that I understand how not to have it taken over by algae, lol!
     
    imbaddakota, Jul 13, 2018
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  8. imbaddakota

    Gemma

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    My koi wanted nothing to do with the ring when I tried it
    Nice pond! Is it part in ground?
     
    Gemma, Jul 13, 2018
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  9. imbaddakota

    carolinaguy

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    Koi feeding behavior is so much fun to watch. They have different personalities, different preferences, different feeding techniques. Two of our koi are the first to eat out of the 55 in the pond. A couple only eat in a corner. Several smaller ones are dash and grab experts. A couple of larger koi just move slowly through the pellets and suck them all in. We have “she” falls that drop a 20inch wide sheet of water into the pond driving air and foot pellets down, and many love to eat below water surface in the falls.

    Beware of under feeding because that creates crazy koi feeding behavior and bullying. Forget about the 5 minute rule. That’s the dumbest idea ever. Aquaculture standards are from 1.5 percent in full sized adults to 4 percent in grow out pools of fingerlings of total body weight a day. Feed like an Italian mama. Eat! You look thin!
     
    carolinaguy, Jul 13, 2018
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  10. imbaddakota

    imbaddakota

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    @Gemma thank you! Yes it is partially in ground. It’s 10x16 above, with a 1 ft plant/viewing shelf all around and a 7x13 area in the center that goes down to apprx 3ft.
     
    imbaddakota, Jul 13, 2018
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  11. imbaddakota

    imbaddakota

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    @carolinaguy ha! That’s a rule I can follow! So if you had three 4-5 inch koi how much and how many times a day would you feed? (In floating food, excluding treats). Thanks for the help!
     
    imbaddakota, Jul 13, 2018
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  12. imbaddakota

    Gemma

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    We're building a pond sort of like that, can I ask you how long you've had yours, any problems as far as structure? Any suggestions, is there something you wish you had done different?
     
    Gemma, Jul 14, 2018
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  13. imbaddakota

    carolinaguy

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    Okay. A four inch koi only weighs about 6 ounces. A 13 inch koi weighs about a pound. So 5 koi is 30 ounces of total body weight. 4 percent is 1.2 ounces. Weigh the food on a food scale, put the food in a disposable container and mark the container at the full level for 1.2 ounces. Then feed that a little at a time over the day until it’s gone. As the koi grow increase the amount to 4 percent of body weight if you want to grow them out. After they get to 13 inches you can start to back off the percentage. We feed the school at 2.5 percent of total weight. And don’t worry about being exact. If you miss by 20 percent in this example that’s only a quarter of an ounce off.
     
    carolinaguy, Jul 14, 2018
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  14. imbaddakota

    imbaddakota

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    Happy to help! I have had it for a few years now. 3rd season I think?

    The deeper inner square was easy, no extra support, etc. it is self supporting. I used lots of sand underneath, but I also used an inch thick layer of rubber mat to firm it with some give so I could walk on it without flexing the liner too much. I had a bunch of diamond pattern interlocking playground squares, so I used them there and on the shelf.

    For the plant shelves/shallow edge, make sure you dig it down several Inches below clean dirt level so the retaining wall has something solid to press against to combat the pressure of the water. Use a lot of adhesive between each course and make sure the blocks are as tight as possible. Put 2/3 of a block below ground but not more or it’s just like building at clean dirt level.

    I backed two sides of my pond into a raised L shape flower bed against the garage. It makes a nice landscape area around it and keeps it cool. The soil and the water fight each other. It has not bowed in either direction.

    I lined the shallow inside walls up against the blocks and raised bed with pressure treated outdoor 1 inch ply, i used 3h L braces at each corner and 2 flats anywhere seamed together, i used flush top bolts and nuts pointed towards the blocks for all, then covered the tops with a dab of liquid rubber. Between the blocks and the wood I drove rebar every few feet to three feet down up to the top row of blocks to help keep the wood from shifting. Fill the gap with sand. I covered the gap between wood and block with the wall cap stones. The liner is also pulled under the wall cap and glued down. But Don’t secure or cut the liner until it’s full of water as it will pull in more than when it is dry.

    The liner was a real pain in the butt! Both sides had “MADE IN THE USA” in stripes, it took awhile for algae to cover that. But the real pain is making good corners out of it. The bottom went fine since the pressure is so high, but the top layer sucks. I considered cutting away the excess and seaming the liner but I was too afraid of leaks. If I had to do it again, I would seam it as the fish could have hung out in the deeper part if I had to fix the top.

    I also did not glue down the overlaps, I regret this the most and would fix it if I ever have to drain the top. It leaves pockets and folds that are too easy to see in spring before the lilies grow in. It also leaves a little stagnant mosquito pocket in each corner despite how close the waterfall is. I have since planted bog plants in each corner at water level and piled gravel up to press it shut.

    The only other thing I can think of is that I sloped the bottom a bit so sediment would go toward the filter. I do not use stones or pebbles in the deep part so it’s easy to vacuum. I used smooth river rock on the shelf, but after a few seasons of collecting it off the bottom from kicking it around I might suggest sloping that shelf slightly back towards the outer wall.

    Hope that helps! :)
     
    imbaddakota, Jul 14, 2018
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  15. imbaddakota

    imbaddakota

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    @carolinaguy Thank you! I love math, it makes things so much easier!
     
    imbaddakota, Jul 14, 2018
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  16. imbaddakota

    Gemma

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    Thanks @imbaddakota , I'll have hubby read your post since he's in charge of the structure!
     
    Gemma, Jul 14, 2018
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  17. imbaddakota

    imbaddakota

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    Woo hoo! I guess I jumped the gun, all three are alive and well, I saw them together today!

    Which gave me the opportunity to notice that the one I have seen eating is now significantly larger than the other two? They were all about the same size when I got them....
     
    imbaddakota, Jul 16, 2018 at 6:08 PM
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  18. imbaddakota

    bagsmom

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    I don't know how similar goldfish are to koi. I put my pond in a year and a half ago - all fish were about the same size when I got them. Like 1" long. I named one Pig because she has ALWAYS been the big enthusiastic eater. She is now much larger than everyone else. I think I named her well.
     
    bagsmom, Jul 16, 2018 at 6:53 PM
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  19. imbaddakota

    sissy sissy

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    the more you feed the more waste they will produce and water quality and fish health will be effected .Mine are lucky they get fed 2 times a week .You need a liquid water test kit like API .Plus babies will come Lots of babies
     
    sissy, Jul 16, 2018 at 8:40 PM
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  20. imbaddakota

    Panzer13

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    That is a great pond build. I am thinking of doing something like that forpond expantion #3.(y)
    I feed my fish twice a day. I guess this just comes natural as I am Italian. We are raised to feed people, pets, plants, all fat at my house. I had to biuld a bog, buy lots of filters and plants to make my fat fish possible.
    They are happy though as long as they can see me they follow around the pond.
     
    Panzer13, Jul 17, 2018 at 12:20 AM
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