My Koi Suddenly Stopped Eating; Water tested and healthy


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I live in Florida and have inherited a small pond, maybe 500 gallons with 5 koi in it. It's been very hot and dry for the past week or so, and I recently replaced the pond filter with the same brand and size as the previous one. The pond has a waterfall, but water temp has gone up since the hot and dry weather has persisted.
For the past 3 days, all of the koi stay on the bottom of the pond and in the shade, which I understand, but they are also not eating. I had the water tested and all levels are normal and healthy. I even loaned the pond my beach umbrella to provide some shade for the koi, but they are staying right under the waterfall, completely hidden. I try to give them tiny amounts of food every day, but I don't see that they are actually eating it. How long can they go without food, and what (if anything) I am supposed to do for them?
 
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Welcome @K2G_SF ! Sorry that it's pond concerns that have brought you here, but hopefully you will stick around once you get it sorted out!

It sounds like your fish have been spooked by something - a predator maybe? Or maybe you working on the filter freaked them out a bit. They may stay out of sight for a long time, until they begin to feel comfortable again. And don't worry about the food - they can go a long time without eating. Here in the northern part of the country, our fish go all winter without food. They may not be interested in eating just because it's been too hot.

One thing you should think about, though - and I know you didn't ask - but 5 koi is way too many for the size pond you have. I know you said your water is "normal and healthy", but koi grow very quickly and you will reach a tipping point just when you least expect it. Quite honestly your pond is best suited to goldfish. It's kind of a common thought that you should have 1000 gallons for the first koi. Just something to keep in mind for the future.

Post some pictures of your pond - we love to see what others have done!
 
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sissy

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welcome and agree and koi cannot take really hot temps. and with heat and hot water comes a lack of oxygen and stresses them .You should really get the temp. of the pond water and provide shade an a aerator
 
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Many thanks for your replies and the warm welcomes. And I will certainly stick around...I'm a total novice, so it's always great to learn! I was thinking I may have scared them with the filter change, so I can understand that completely. The pond also has no plants, and I've read plenty but not sure what's best considering the situation.
Also, thanks for the info on the number of koi. Like I mentioned, I inherited this pond and the fish. Am I to try to give some away, or just keep a watchful eye over them? I just want to be able to do what's best for their health, but I've got not experience in caring for fish. Only dogs:)
 
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I would think about re-homing them. It's inevitable that they will outgrow your pond.

One question though - are you SURE these are koi? I know that might be seem like a silly question, but people frequently use "koi" as a genetic term for all pond type fish.
 
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Welcome :) I wouldn't worry about them not eating. How do they look , any signs of stress of illness? I agree with what others have posted about having enough space for koi. Also, it never hurts to add more aeration, especially in hot temperatures and some shade is a good thing , we put a shade sail over our pond.
 
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Please get a thermometer and test the water temp. When the water temp is above 85 your not supposed to feed them. They slow way down and hang out at the bottom in the shade. They are under the waterfall for oxygen. You will need an air pump with air stones if you don't have one. They are a necessity. It not only provides oxygen (more is needed as the temps rise) it also cools the water. See below temp chart.
Koi-Feeding-Temperatures-web-final-featured-image.jpg
 

addy1

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I would think about re-homing them. It's inevitable that they will outgrow your pond.

One question though - are you SURE these are koi? I know that might be seem like a silly question, but people frequently use "koi" as a genetic term for all pond type fish.
Welcome to our group!

Maybe you can get a picture of some of the fish. We can help you id them make sure they are koi.
 
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I use a laser gun type thermometer it was a cheap and great investment. I use if a lot for finding cold spots in house. Welcome and pictures say a lot.
 
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I use a laser gun type thermometer it was a cheap and great investment. I use if a lot for finding cold spots in house. Welcome and pictures say a lot.
Are you a" supernatural activities" hunter?

Welcome OP! :)
 

ZEROPILOT

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Where in Florida?
I'm in Sunrise and I utilize shade and a waterfall.
Also, a side from the heat. My koi sometimes act like that if the water becomes slightly acidic. (You reported that your parameters are good)
As far as cooling... Placing potted plants next to the pond. Installing a fountain or a waterfall on the return water or installing a large, outdoors umbrella are all options.
Also, if they are Koi, I offer mine kale every week or so. Because they eat every plant they've ever seen!
 
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sissy

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I have the laser gun to find leaks in my house that need more insulation but it only registers the heat or cold from the liner not the water temperature
 
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I have the laser gun to find leaks in my house that need more insulation but it only registers the heat or cold from the liner not the water temperature
Ot sure how that's even possible but hey. I used the laser when I was ensuring water temp was equal on the bagged fish and the tank they went into. I could point it around pond floor even and see a half degree difference in pond even.
 

sissy

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A dollar store one works in a pinch .I bought the swimming pools ones clearanced out for 3 dollars at walmart .
 
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I would think about re-homing them. It's inevitable that they will outgrow your pond.

One question though - are you SURE these are koi? I know that might be seem like a silly question, but people frequently use "koi" as a genetic term for all pond type fish.
Yeah, they're koi :) I'll see what I can do about finding them another home if they're going to get too big for the pond. I'd hate for them to be unhappy or unhealthy. Many thanks for the advice!
 
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