Ways to Keep Predators Away From Your Koi

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by chris, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. chris

    chris

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    The subject of discouraging predators is a critical one in protecting your koi and keeping them healthy, and most importantly, alive. Unfortunately, because koi are colored brightly, they easily attract predators both near and far. Against a green pond, it is easy to spot koi in the pond. Predators that koi fish need to worry about are raccoons, foxes, herons and cats. When you first build your pond, you want to make sure that the water level is deep enough that herons cannot stand in it. Also, you want to build overhangs that are high enough so that mammals cannot reach in and swipe. And you want trees around to provide both shade and to block the view of flying birds. One device that works pretty well is called the Scarecrow. The Scarecrow is a motion activated sprinkler system that can be run by battery. It can be attached to a garden hose, and what happens is that when a predator gets within a certain distance the sensor makes the hose turn on full blast. That means nearby mammals will get a nasty and unsuspected cold shower.

    Another suggestion to help protect koi fish from getting snatched is to put lots of plants around the edge of your pond. This will deter raccoons from being able to reach in and steal the fish. Or, another friendly trait of raccoons is to trash the pond and throwing off the balance of the pond's ecosystem which can be a real nuisance. You want to discourage this as much as you can.

    In addition to tall plants, water lilies and other floating plants are good places for your koi to hide from the view of flying birds.

    Besides the methods already mentioned, a fourth and very effective method of keeping predators away from your koi is plastic netting. Plastic nets that work well are the nets that people used to gather leaves in the fall. This netting can be placed on top of the pond and used as a cover to protect your fish from all predators.

    One other method that some fish owners use are plastic herons. The presence of another heron prompts a hungry heron to look beyond your pond. This method can also be useful.

    One problem with most of these methods is that they can backfire on you at times and actually attract predators. Now how could that be? Well, predators tend to be curious creatures and it has been noted that the presence of any of the above described methods tells tips predators off.
    For more information about Koi, Koi Pond or koi Fish, please visit Azlan and Irda website at http://www.myownkoipond.com
     
    chris, Aug 22, 2006
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  2. chris

    Melos

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    This is a good tip. I have never used any sort of barrier - like the netting - in my pond. I have had frogs and even koi snatched by something or other. I have even watched - with my fascinated sons - from a window while a great blue heron patiently stalked one of my fish and subsequently gulped it down.

    While I don't really want my 'stock' getting eaten, it is a fabulous lesson in the food chain, and my pond is deep enough that the fish can escape from most predators.
     
    Melos, Aug 22, 2006
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  3. chris

    Kokotai

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    This is great advice. I have an eagle of all things that has been eyeing my pond. It is frustrating because Fish and Wildlife says leave him a lone.
     
    Kokotai, Aug 23, 2006
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  4. chris

    chris

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    It would be ok if the eagle stayed in the yard for everyone to look at. :)
     
    chris, Aug 24, 2006
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  5. chris

    kelkat

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    I have dogs and kids that keep most predetors away. With all the other water around, they tend to go for what is easier and from the craziness around the house.

    I hadn't thought about the herons. I know that killing them (and especially eagles) or any bird, really is a major no-no. We had a goldfish/koi farm up the road and the herons would just hand out and eat and there wasn't much the owners could do about it.
     
    kelkat, Aug 25, 2006
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  6. chris

    kelkat

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    My dogs and kids keep most predetors away. I do know that most birds in America are protected, so you have to be careful not to do them any harm. Especially the eagle - hurting him would be a federal offense.

    There's not much that can drive eagles away. I know the martlings get after the hawks in our area (so do the black birds when they are around).

    I don't think even a cat would phase and eagle. He might see it as a good lunch.
     
    kelkat, Aug 28, 2006
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  7. chris

    kelkat

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    Great article. As for the blue heron, get a herding dog. They instinctively keep the birds away. Same with geese, if you have that problem.
     
    kelkat, Aug 29, 2006
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  8. chris

    TheWriteKind

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    Shrubs and greenery around a pond seem to keep most of the predators away. Does a net take away from the gloriousness of your pond at all?
     
    TheWriteKind, Sep 9, 2006
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  9. chris

    Dani

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    I have a cinderblock in my pond that the fish hide in. I actually put it in to place my fountain on top of, but the fish always hide out in there when my dogs come around.
     
    Dani, Sep 9, 2006
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  10. chris

    richdeer3

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    You can also use something like a pond palace which is a tunnel for your kio to hide in plus a strong air pump. The bubbles breakup the water surface making it hard for birds to get a got fix on the koi from above. Scarecrows work well, too. I prefer the border collie method, she keeps everything out!
     
    richdeer3, Jun 9, 2007
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  11. chris

    arkay

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    I've lost 3 fish this year to what I think is a cat. Two were taken from a small pond when I was refurbishing my large one. I thought the guys were safe in the large (comparatively speaking) pond because the water level is 6 inches below the pond rim but the cat must've gotten into the pond - the lily pots were overturned, the pump was disconnected from the waterfall pipe - it was a mess. Now I'm keeping it covered w/ leaf net but I hate doing that - water lettuce gets squashed, lilies don't show as well. But the alternative is worse.
     
    arkay, Aug 9, 2007
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  12. chris

    richdeer3

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    You can try to use clear fishing line criss-crossed over the pond. Also, do you have motion lights near the pond? It sounds more like a coon than a cat. Coons are more likely to swim than a cat. Do you have somewhere like a plant stand or clay pot where the fish can hide? Sorry for your loss, Gail
     
    richdeer3, Aug 10, 2007
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  13. chris

    sreeja

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    This is a good information to keep away predators .
     
    sreeja, Nov 13, 2007
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  14. chris

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    Have planted bamboo around the perimeter, that along with 2 waterfalls and a seating area limits the access. Big birds need to land outside, then find a way into the pond area through the maze.
     
    DrDave, Nov 23, 2007
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  15. chris

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    Arkay
    This is a classic raccoon raid. It happened to me several times before I was able to remove the raccoon from the picture.
     
    DrDave, Nov 23, 2007
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  16. chris

    arkay

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    I'm in a very urban area in Brooklyn. I doubt it was raccoons - more likely very venturesome cats. I've seen big birds but they wouldn't have room to land in my teeny-tiny pond. Netting has discouraged whatever it was - I just hate to have to leave it there even when no leaves are falling.
    Thanks for your ideas, though.
    rkd
     
    arkay, Nov 23, 2007
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  17. chris

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    I have lived in the San Diego area for 45 years. I didn't know we had racoons till my electric fence dispatched the varmit.

    I have had cats for almost 60 years. I have yet to see one go into water willingly. It must have been something else. My cats sometimes watch the fish, I have 135 Koi. Before that, I raised goldfish, and the same thing, they would just sit and watch. I have had neighbors cats sneak into the yard and I have watched them to see what they would do. None of these have ever touched the water.

    Set up a video on SLP to see what happens when you are not home.
     
    DrDave, Nov 25, 2007
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  18. chris

    arkay

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    We used to have a cat that we took to the beach. He'd swim out after the ducks almost every day.
    I know it sounds unlikely, but I'm quite certain that there aren't raccoons around here - no one's rubbish bins are raided for one thing.
    Since I've covered the pond w/ net there've been no problems & I'm reluctant to take it off just so I can discover what happens since I don't want to imperil my 3 fish whom I've grown very fond of: Frosty who has a white-tipped tail, Hawk who has a red tail & Ranger who is 'oranger' than the other two.
     
    arkay, Nov 25, 2007
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  19. chris

    shikkaba Not Just Another Number

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    Ugh. Herons are the bane of my existence some days.
    These are good tips!

    Are there more for any ground-based predators?
     
    shikkaba, Mar 23, 2008
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  20. chris

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    Electrocution will work. Just make sure it's off when your loved ones are out there.:)
     
    DrDave, Mar 23, 2008
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