Please don't take offense to my screename

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by KoiKiller, May 1, 2010.

  1. KoiKiller

    3qtkidz

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    Koikiller, I really would strongly consider taking Koikeepr advice. I had rocks also and my pond stayed filthy and the water test were always in the poor water range. So, I did the deed also. My son, took a swim form about a week and removed all of the rocks. My water test have improved dramatically.

    You pond is very pretty. Good luck!
    I am making a pond sock myself.
     
    3qtkidz, Jun 29, 2010
    #21
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  2. KoiKiller

    KoiKiller

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    Hi Everyone,
    I'm back, and with a heavy heart. A Blue Herron found my ponds this morning - need I say more? Guess my screename stands :lol:

    It's been a while since I posted - mainly because I have had no problems with my ponds. All fish have been growing nicely and I've had no water issues.

    A few updates before I get to the Herron:

    - This past fall was quite an adventure and I was going to post here about it, but could never find the time. We sit outside by the ponds/waterfalls by our chiminea quite a bit. One evening, my wife yelled "LOOK!!" and pointed over to the gravel feeding area we have with a bench (pictured at the beginning of this thread). There was a Raccoon, at the waters edge with another right behind it! A family had found our ponds and were preparing to feast!! Scary thing was, this was 12 feet from us and they could have cared less. Rabbies were the first thing to come to mind.

    I jumped up, yelling that manly "HA!!..YA....HA!!!!!!!" sound we all make when we panic. If you've ever seen Dick Van Dyke when he was chasing a bird in the front yard? That was me - I then picked up a 6 in diameter stone and flung it as hard as I could. Having the weight that it did, it wasn't a fastball or anything, but missed his head by inches - it would have dropped him if I hadn't missed. Anyway, off they ran. I told the wife to go get a flashlight - we counted the fish and scanned the yard - they had left, with no damage done - we don't know how long there were sitting there listening to our conversation - must not have been long.

    Luckily my daughters boyfriend is a hunter, and came over that evening with a live trap - he guaranteed we'd have one in the trap in the morning - he opened a fresh can of sardines and put the whole can in the trap. Next morning, nothing. He was stunned, but we decided to leave it out there thinking maybe my ROCK FASTBALL had scared them.

    The following morning, look what we caught :cool:

    [​IMG]

    We called animal control, who came and picked it up and moved it to a remote part of the city. The officer had never heard one growl like this one was doing as she picked the cage up. I again thought about Rabbies. Knowing we had seen a 2nd one, and not knowing how many there were, we set the trap again. Next morning, nothing. But the following morning, we caught another one. It's almost like our scent had to get off the trap for a complete day, before they would come back. We hit the tri-fecta with 3 of them and after a week of no catches, returned the trap.

    We went through the winter with no other problems. I purchased two nets for the ponds, since I have a tree above them. These nets are different from ones I've had - they are very fine and catch everything. The biggest mistake I made, was I didn't keep up with blowing the dry leaves off them and it rained and basically turned them in to huge teabags and have tinted my water brown. I know a bunch of water changed with get rid of that, but I'm going to stay on it next year so that doesn't happen again.

    Anyway, to this morning. While taking my morning relief up stairs and looking out the window to see if the koi were swimming around, I spotted him. I had to do a double take, because it was almost surreal. There he was, making large steps, slowly toward my Koi pond. And this pond I know he could stand in - it's only 2.5 deep at the DEEPEST. My wife was downstairs so I ran to the top of the stairs and yelled "THERE'S A BIRD IN THE POND!!!"

    She ran outside clapping her hands and it took off. After I dressed, we checked the pond and it WAS EMPTY. That pond had about 8 small feeder goldfish and 6 Koi that we have had over a year - since my post at the beginning of this thread. They were very tame and we hand fed them and they had doubled their size. GONE - ALL OF THEM. I thought I saw a tail under a large rock we have in there for them to go under, and wondered if more might be under there. I put shorts on and went outside and climbed into the FRIGGIN FREEZING 50 degree water and lifted it. ONE WAS ALIVE! And it was my favorite one!. It's a butterfly black koi with yellow spots and very gentle when it takes food from your hand. Seems his darker color saved him, though the Herron was walking back toward the pond to get him probably this morning when I spotted him. I can only assume the Herron had been eating since daybreak so he had a good 1.5 hrs or so before I was up and saw him. We have some of those cheap plastic lighted lilly pads floating in the pond and my wife lifted one and 5 goldies were suspended under it, hiding!

    There are a few leaves in the bottom and I think I saw two more goldies under them, lying still, so at least we have SOMETHING. I've put the nets back on to end their stress, pending the arrival of my purchase on Amazon today. I've purchased a decoy I'll move around once a week, the scarecrow sprinkler, AND A FLOATING ALLIGATOR - it's 3 pieces that float in the pond - I haven't told the wife about it and plan to surprise her. So as you can tell, I AM GOING ALL OUT. I'll take a photo of that bad boy when I get it!! :bowdown:

    I am going to be purchasing a bee-bee gun, but frankly if I had cracked that window in the morning to take a shot, I think it would have heard me and flown off, so I don't know if I'll ever get a shot off, but it's worth having one loaded just in case.

    Anyway, that's whats been going on here. IT'S WAR AT THE KOIKILLER HOUSE!!!

    When the local store gets their spring shipment in, we'll be taking my son to pick out 5 new ones. He doesn't know what happened yet - how do you tell a 6 year old that his koi have probably been processed by now and are fertilizing some grass somewhere? He calls them "his pigs" because they eat like pigs.

    A couple questions to end with:

    1. The tea colored water from my laziness of not getting the leaves off the nets - I've read about using carbon to clear it, but $ wise, is that practical, or just keep up with the water changes and eventually it'll clear? The brown doesn't bother me too much and up until today, I figured it offered some protection to the fish because it made it darker, but that's not true.

    2. Feeding them - I believe it's above 50 degrees to feed koi/goldfish? We've had some warm days that raised the water up quickly, then cold days that have cooled it. Can I feed the fish if the water is say 56 one day, but what happens if it drops to 48 for a few, then back up above again. Before they were killed, they were famished and begging for food, so we fed them and they seemed to digest it fine. I'm using the winter/spring mix. Just want to make sure if a really cold night (like tonight) high and I fed them a day or two ago when it was 75 outside and the water warmed , it won't kill them. Is there a stretch of under 50 degrees in a row I should be concerned with?

    3. The remaining fish and the gold fish in the other pond he didn't get to are TERRIFIED. When walking out there, one even jumped out of the water going bezerk swimming rapidly back and forth. I assume this reaction will ease with time? I don't know how smart fish can be, but they sure as hell know what happened, as the 5 bigger Koi were ripped out of the water and eaten in front of them. I'm hoping to get them back to hand feeding, and I'm betting that was part of what killed the first few - they probably swam right up to the bird thinking it was going to feed them. Anyone had any survivors regain trust after having them tamed for hand feeding?

    Thanks!
    Still the Koikiller
     
    KoiKiller, Mar 7, 2011
    #22
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  3. KoiKiller

    sissy sissy

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    wow welcome and thats some way to get the post in
     
    sissy, Mar 8, 2011
    #23
  4. KoiKiller

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    So sorry to here of your recent attacks. Over the years, I have had raccoons and egrets clean me out. I now have the PVC frames with plastic fencing over the ponds. They only come off when I am home and nearby. No losses in nearly 3 years after many years of attacks.
    I have heard the floating aligator does not work and the scarecrow sprayer I rigged up didn't either. Barriers and or lethal action seems to be the only solution.
     
    DrDave, Mar 8, 2011
    #24
  5. KoiKiller

    sissy sissy

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    I really like how the ponds are set up and raccoons are sometimes killed by animal control when they are agressive and they usually destroy them .I just trapped a possum and took him a farm 20 minutes away and wished him luck and a happy life
     
    sissy, Mar 8, 2011
    #25
  6. KoiKiller

    sissy sissy

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    not sure where you are in NC but there is a koi farm on hwy.14 in Riedsville when you get your ponds up and running right couturier plant nursery and koi farm he is cheap and good luck with your clean out
     
    sissy, Mar 8, 2011
    #26
  7. KoiKiller

    bphung

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    Another valuable lesson learned today for my future pond1
     
    bphung, Mar 11, 2011
    #27
  8. KoiKiller

    KoiKiller

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    Hi everyone!

    Back with an update from the Heron Warzone, and really to hopefully help with tips for anyone who has recently experienced the gut wrenching feelings after a Heron Attack. These are my experiences from ground zero and hopefully will help somebody else.

    As I described above, we have lost all but one of our Koi this past spring. Since my last post in March when we were wiped out, we have been visited by 3 different Heron - you can tell by their different sizes (one is HUGE) and feather patterns (one looks like it was shot once - feathers are ugly). Since my last post, we restocked our pond #2 with 8 new Koi and about 8 Gold fish. In pond one, because of the depth, we still have all our goldfish from the year before and they are getting quite big. Now remember, we've seen THREE Heron since restocking, and have been lucky enough so far to still have our fish. We have deployed everything we could get our hands on - a plastic alligator, a Heron plastic Decoy, TWO scarecrow motion sprinklers, and a 1200 FPS BB gun :)lol:).

    After the attack that took all our fish in Pond 2, the more I thought about it, it was my fault. I gave the fish no chance to hide, with a small flat rock on the bottom of a 2.5ft deep pond. I went up to the rock place, and purchased two BIG flat pieces of stone - like you would use for a waterfall shelf and placed one in each pond on the bottom.

    THIS IS MY NUMBER ONE TIP: The one thing I've witnessed, is Heron will put their beaks underwater and stab sideways under the rock, so you need to have about 3 feet of diameter AT LEAST on whatever you put in the bottom. Matter of fact, I placed the other smaller flat rock next to the 3 ft one and it makes a really nice bottom feature in my shallow pond and there is literally NOWAY a Heron can stab under it. I'll provide a photo later. So you can have a shallow pond, but you have GOT to give them a large area to get under. Don't worry about never seeing your Koi again under that huge rock - they WILL come out - you've GOT to put it in if you hope to have your little guys survive an attack! If you don't, IT'S YOUR FAULT.

    I know eventually I'm going to lose ONE at least when another Heron does find us, because the new Koi are getting used to us after a couple mos., and just started hand feeding yesterday. They are going up to small birds at ponds edge that are bathing, lookihg for food, (which is hysterical because the birds get scared and fly away) and can't tell the difference between us and a robin! So when a Heron does get here, he'll get ONE, but the others will have somewhere safe to go.

    Back to the visits we've had. As I said, we've deployed everything you can think of, and here's what my experience is with each:

    Heron plastic decoy - They don't work - AT ALL. You can move it everyday and it doesn't matter.

    Plastic floating Alligator - This sucker looks soooo real, and IT DOESN'T WORK AT ALL. I watched a Heron perch right in front of it. Our waterfall even jossels it and it looks alive, but it had no effect. I highly recommend it as a joke when we have people over, because it looks so real. But these two decoys are nothing more then a garden nome at being effective.

    Scarecrow sprinkler - After deploying our first one, it DID scare away a Heron. It's quick 3 second burst really shook it up and it flew away. So I bought a second one to cover both ponds. You'll find you think you are some sort of rocket scientist trying to line them up and get the sensitivity perfect - I find myself singing "great big gobs of greasy grimey golpher guts!" ala Bill Murray. You'll think you have found the shangrala of Heron deterents - guess what - THEY DON'T WORK. On one of the Heron visits to my shallow pond, as the frustrated Heron was standing in the middle trying to peck under the HUGE rock I put in the middle (unsucessfully!..hehe), he was getting SOAKED by the scarecrow sprinkler. When they are hungry, they could care less about the shower you are providing them. So toss away your sprinklers folks - THEY DON'T WORK. I'VE SEEN IT. After it reset every 8 seconds, it would go off again, and just soak him.

    What DID work: Outside of the huge flat rocks and the fish being smart enough to take cover (this was after we first restocked and they were afraid of anything that moved), a 1200 fps BB gun does work. The most frustrating thing about it is two fold: One is having only one shot (it's a pump gun) and the other is trying to open your window without them flying away. We are in a two story, and during the first couple attempts to get the window open, the damn bird would hear or see the window going up and fly away. You don't know how hard you heart is beating when you are that close to getting retribution for your babies they took! Most Herons will tend to feed in the early morning, so I started leaving our upstairs bathroom window open at night - screen and all and the BB gun pumped and loaded on safety in the bathroom. After a couple days of checking at 6:30, the first one I described above appeared, taking his shower under my scarecrow while missing the new Koi under the rock. They had hid there after we first bought them, and before we tamed them and he was just standing there pecking at nothing. The gun had a scope on it which I'm not used too and as my heart was racing I couldn't find him in the narrow look you have in a scope - I finally did and fired. This was about a 25 foot shot and I hit him and he flew away.

    A couple days later, we got a visit from the largest Heron I've ever seen. I swear he stood 4 foot and weighed about 60-70 pounds. Anyway, he had pearched at our old deep pond, almost sleeping in wait. This was a 12 foot shot, dead center of his body. I pulled the trigger, and when it hit, I literally heard him exhale. It rocked him to his core and he like staggered, and he paused for a second, and I don't know how he able to, but he took off - we've never seen him since. My comments after that were something like "that was for you guys" to my old Koi they ate. If you have ever hit one after an attack, you know what I mean. It's pure retribution!

    The 3rd Heron - a REAL ugly one that almost looked punk rockish, I missed. I have to admit, I was cocky at this point and attempted a head shot - I know, I know, but I'm sorry - these birds are UGLY to me, and have an entire coastline along the Atlantic to fish, so they are fair game to me. I had taken the scope off at this point, because I didn't like how narrow the vision was in it - I missed his head, but I know that sucker whiizzed by him and he took off - we haven't seen him again yet either.

    So it's been about a month since a visit. I have seen one fly by overhead on his way to another pond, but they have never made an attempt to re-land at "KillerKoi's Pond O'Pain". They have associated our pond with pain - especially that large one.. I have also just set up some tomato stakes with fishing line around a perimeter of our pond in case of another visit. We hardly notice it and while one may figure it out or start flying directly into the pond, it will delay them hopefully enough for us to see them.

    So to recap, get some large 3ft diamter rocks and a BB gun - it's the only thing that will work in my experience! I know eventually our new fish are going to attract another hungry Heron - they are getting brazzen and already coming out mid-day now that they are getting used to us and it's just a matter of time, but now they have somewhere to hide (and I'm armed!). Also once the water lettuce fills it they will be safer.

    Anyway, I hope this helps somebody in their backyard war against Heron's.
     
    KoiKiller, May 29, 2011
    #28
  9. KoiKiller

    sissy sissy

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    well at least you resolved your problem with them
     
    sissy, May 29, 2011
    #29
  10. KoiKiller

    fishin4cars True friends just call me Larkin Moderator

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    Glad to hear your having some sucsess, I have to say, either your lucky or I'm not, because the bb/pellet gun DIDN'T work for me. I hit it twice, once I'm almost certain I shot it's eye out. But that greedy sucker tried to eat a 18" koi and when it had the koi fully in his mouth and trying to swallow my Lab figured out how to take care of him! He couldn't take off with that big fish and the Lab didn't give him a second chance. Wire covers and overhead fishing line is the only two things I've found that worked that are legal.
    Buckshot also works very well but the neighbors aren't really supportive of that idea,
    Another option I'm considering trying, A Flame Thrower!!!! :twisted:
     
    fishin4cars, May 29, 2011
    #30
  11. KoiKiller

    sissy sissy

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    oh no hot bird in the sky .Wings anyone LOL
     
    sissy, May 29, 2011
    #31
  12. KoiKiller

    robertmathern

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    It has been stated to honor thy neighbor but it never said anything about keeping them happy and supportive. :rolleyes:
     
    robertmathern, Jun 1, 2011
    #32
  13. KoiKiller

    vertigo72

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    4 foot is possible for great egrets (they are white). But even at that height, they weigh a mere 2 lb. Hard to believe hu? We all hate them for obvious reasons, but I cant help think its a fabulously beautiful and elegant bird.

    Anyway, the thing that has worked wonders for me is suspending fishing lines in the flight path of the heron. Im unsure if just the sight of the lines that scares him as some say, or the fact they do not see it but touch it in flight scares the bejesus out of them as others say, but I havent had a heron come near my pond since I put them up.
     
    vertigo72, Jun 1, 2011
    #33
  14. KoiKiller

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    When we fly into florida, all water bodies near the air port have lines strung over them. They also have metallic ribbon hanging on the wires. We have never seen a bird in any of those ponds.
     
    addy1, Jun 1, 2011
    #34
  15. KoiKiller

    koidaddy karps house of koi

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    Welcome killer from the daddy.:confused: Glad you got the rock off the bottom.
     
    koidaddy, Jun 1, 2011
    #35
  16. KoiKiller

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    I have watched them over the past 18 years in this house. They land 20 - 30' away and slowly walk up to my pond. Sometimes they spend 30 minutes, like they are stalking as they approach the edge. Wires only keep them from wading in unless they extend several feet from the edge. Pretty hard to work on or enjoy your pond with permanent stuff installed. My netting takes only a minute to remove.
     
    DrDave, Jun 1, 2011
    #36
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