Koi Fish Ponds

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Koi Fish Disease and Body Language

Koi Fish Disease and Body Language

Japanese Koi's are friendly and peaceful fishes. Once your pond ready and the water parameters are normal you can introduce your pet koi fishes. It will take some time for the Koi fishes to acclimate to your new pond.

Once your koi have adjusted to your pond it is very important to set a fixed feeding program and record the quantity of food. When the koi have become habitual to their new environment they will get closer to you.

Whenever you are serving food to them take time to observe them. You may sit by the pond and feed them so they recognize you. Koi fishes are a very friendly breed of fishes which will easily eat out of the hands of their owners. They often splash water may even try to bounce out of the water as you pass by!

Knowing your koi fish and how they interact with the world around them is essential for good koi keeping. If you are keen enough to observe the koi fishes body language it can give may valuable early pointers concerning the quality of water or diseases and stress levels.

Koi fishes behave differently as each season passes and by understanding them it will help you to keep your koi fishes healthier and happy.

Irrespective of the seasons your pet Koi fishes will act differently when they’re stressed. Unlike other fishes, the koi fishes are very slow to adjust their new environment.

What causes stress in Koi Fishes?

The main reasons which cause stress in koi fishes are,

  • When moved into a new pond or tank,

  • rapid temperature fluctuations.

  • filters not working as designed /high ammonia levels.

  • overpopulated koi fish pond.

  • Low dissolved oxygen

What are the common signs of a stressed-out koi?

They may skip feeding by lying at the bottom of the pond. During these times they are less friendly and sometimes koi fishes will try jump out of the pond or rub against the walls of the koi pond. Koi fishes fins also may show signs of stress, inflamed or with traces of blood at the edges of fins.

Stress weakens the koi's immune system making it susceptible to illness. The best way to prevent stress is to run water tests at regular intervals to make sure all parameters are in range.

How to identify Sick Koi Fishes?

If the koi fishes are speeding around the pond uncoordinated/ without orientation or acting lazy, they may be sick. Koi fishes are very graceful swimming it will not be hard to notice them when they are sluggish.

While each sickness will have its traits to watch out for, the most important indication your koi fish will show is its behaviour. It is a stressed koi that will often become a sick koi. One of the best indications of sickness in your koi fish is their behaviour, that is why it is very important to observe Koi fishes behaviour.

What is a Leaping Koi?

It is a critical condition if you do observe that the koi fishes are taking leaps or gasping at the surface of the pond for oxygen. This condition means that there is very little dissolved oxygen in the water for the fishes to breath.

It is ideal to perform a 50 % water change at the earliest, Backwash and clean the mechanical filters and biofilters. Add more aerators to the pond and ensure proper circulation of pond water.

Learning to recognize the different koi fish behaviours in your pond is an essential part of koi keeping. With a little knowledge and experience, you can fix problems in your pond smoothly.

Here are some additional pointers:

  • If the fish are moving around and seem to be curious about food they’re probably okay

  • If the fish are NOT completely using their pectoral fins (the ones behind the head) they could be sick.

  • If the fish are swaying their bodies to swim, and not at all using its fins, they’re about to die.

  • If the fish have clamped fins but then swim normally when you show up, something’s is not right, immediately check water parameters and temperature.



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