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Thread: Small lemon doitsu koi gone nocturnal

  1. #1
    Nisai
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    Jul 2010
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    86

    Small lemon doitsu koi gone nocturnal

    I'm just getting started, and I put 6 ~5" koi in my 2400 gal pond 2 wks ago.
    1 Hirenaga Kujaku (the alpha)
    1 Hirenaga Ginrin Hi Utsuri
    1 Hi Utsuri
    1 Ki Utsuri
    1 Ginrin Chagoi
    1 Doitsu Lemon Hariwake (the runt)
    I was fortunate enough to run into someone who was looking to rehome a nice 16" 4 step Kohaku, so I put her in my pond a week ago. She is so much bigger than everyone else, that she displaced the existing school from the fish cave I installed in the pond for them to hide in, and she is more like Alpha and Omega to the rest than she is Alpha. Shortly after placing her in the pond the Lemon Doitsu Hariwake just disappeared. I thought the Kohaku had certainly eaten it. After three days of never seeing the little fish I was even more certain it was deceased. Then to my surprise when I had my first algae bloom take off and cloud my pond from clear to nearly opaque in 1 day I saw the little lemon doitsu dart out, swim a bit and then dart up under a rock. I got the algae cleared up, but in the last few days my only sightings of the fish have been after sunset, and the fish is so paranoid it doesn't dare feed on the surface. I'm not sure if it has a somewhat irrational fear of the new fish, or it is hiding from the sun because of its fair complexion and has become antisocial. Given that it never comes out during feeding time, and I haven't seen it eat anything in over a week, can it survive much longer? Is it eating fish poop or what? I'm wondering if I should attempt to capture it and bulk it up in some kind of temporary enclosure. Any explanations or suggestions?

  2. #2
    Meg
    Meg is offline
    Oyagoi Meg's Avatar
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    give it time for everyone to settle in and settle down. My understanding is that once smaller koi reach the size were larger koi recognise them as fish they do not eat them,,,,any one??? chances are the smaller koi will start to hang just under the largerr one for cover.

    and a heads up... though you are not over stocked at this time with the koi being young, these little ones will grow and you are at your limit for adult numbers ...that is being you have the filtration to handle 7 adult koi. just be aware so you don't have trouble down the road.

    welcome to the hobby

  3. #3
    Nisai
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    Jul 2010
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    Thanks Meg

    Yeah, I will need some filtration upgrades before they get to full size, and I will probably be doing some trading around. I am hoping the little doitsu will start coming out. I'm just not sure how long he can go without food, and if I should be concerned with rescuing him before it's too late. I had been told they don't eat each other, but have done searches on here and seen other people had posted many incidents of koi cannibalism. I was also told that I could keep koi in a biofilter only pond and that algaecide was fish safe... Learning not to believe everything I'm told one catastrophe at a time. You know another funny observation I made. I bought some big food so that I wouldn't have to feed the larger kohaku so many pieces of the small food, and so I could fill her up so she'd let the others eat. Even though none of the small fish are anywhere near big enough to get those big pieces in their mouths, they all ignore the bite size chunks I throw to them and go after the big pieces even after they figure out they can't eat them when they do get them and start dragging them around the pond. So even though the big fish isn't eating all their food, they won't eat their food when her food is in the water...

  4. #4
    Sansai darion6's Avatar
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    I had a showa that was nocturnal. It was very interesting to me that it just came out at night to feed.

  5. #5
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Koi always need time to acclimate to new things, and a new "big" fish in the pond can be too much for some to handle quickly. It is in their nature to survive, and if the little lemon perceives a threat because of the size difference it will hide from it. It will also get over it and become part of the school again. It will not starve itself to avoid the big fish.

    While you are in the mood to avert disasters rather than experience them (one at a time) here are a few tips to help you out. Fish Caves and Rocks are injury magnets in a Koi pond. That's the good part. The bad part is that they also make great places for all manner of debris to accumulate in the crevices and rot slowly. You'll save yourself a lot of trouble if you start removing that stuff now before it has time to become a serious issue to be dealt with later.

    Most of us have already been there, done that, fixed that.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  6. #6
    Nisai
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    Rocks and Tunnels

    Yeah I have read about the debris trapping. Not looking forward to those problems. I spent so much effort making the water feature look nice that part of me wants to convert the side garden box into a koi pond and leave the existing rocked pond/waterfall as a poop free watergarden... It would probably entail less effort than fixing the existing pond. I hadn't heard of the fish tunnel being an injury magnet, but I am a stone's throw away from a reservoir and within 5 miles of two more in heron/raccoon country and I wanted to make sure the fish had somewhere to hide.

  7. #7
    Sansai
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    Another tip for adding fish: DON'T!! Until you quarantine the new ones. One new fish can wipe out your entire pond. Read thru the threads about quarantine protocols, Qtanks are pretty easy to DIY and the money to build or buy one can repay you many times over in the cost of medicine and dead fish. An ounce of prevention.............

  8. #8
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Koi are easy prey for predators if they are trapped in shallow water. If they have depth they are outside the reach of most predators which is one of the reasons we promote deeper ponds. Koi being a riverine species of fish are designed for deep, moving water to accommodate their development and provide safety. Unlike Catfish who like to hide in caves, Koi prefer the ability to DIVE!

    While there are some advanced Koi keepers with relatively shallow ponds (3' is shallow), they are careful to make their ponds predator proof via shelter from birds above and landscaping, etc... to prevent critters like Raccoons from having access.

  9. #9
    Nisai
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    Diving vs Hiding

    Yeah, I wish it were 8 ft deep, but it's not. I bought one of those 8.5x11x2ft deep pond kits, because it was the biggest kit they had, and I thought I was being rather ambitious upgrading to a 16x13x3 ft deep pond and upsizing the pump to 5000 gph (which was 1 down from the biggest pump they had). If I hadn't realized how hard it is to stack rocks higher than a foot or two I might have made the pond deeper. Not having rocks in the pond would make that problem go away. I watched some of those Ponddigger youtube videos and he was discussing ways to keep fish safe from raccoons and mentioned a fish cave made with a piece of culvert pipe he found on the side of the road... I ended up with a really hefty sump pump basin that looks like a quintuple thick garbage can. The fish actually really like it. Sometimes too much. Whenever friends come to see them they head straight for the fish cave. It's going to be humorous watching them all try to cram in there when they get bigger.

    I have seen some of the landscaping tricks since finishing mine... One guy had elevated the sides a couple ft off the water's surface to make the water out of reach for raccoons unwilling to take a dip, however we almost killed a fish trying to get it out of his pond when it flipped out of the net and nearly banged into the rock elevating the sides, and it's a pretty different viewing experience not seeing the pond unless you are standing over it. Additionally I have a baby girl that I'd like to be able to imagine getting out of the pond if she slips in. I know the coons have been around the pond because they knock rocks into the pond when they come around, but they have as of yet been unable to get the fish, so hopefully it's because they can get away.

    I do have a cheapo 10 ft Intex quarantine pond. I had the larger Kohaku in there by itself for a week before I put it in with the rest. I have been selective about where I have purchased my koi so far, so I hadn't been too worried, but if I get anything off ebay etc. it's going into the quarantine pond for more than a week.

  10. #10
    Nisai
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    Jul 2010
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    Strange funny little fish

    So I figured out that this little Lemon doitsu is living in my skimmer box. He has started to come out sporadically, and has not grown at all from his original 4" state. Some of the others are 7-8" now. I saw him swim towards the skimmer opening a few times, but thought he was disappearing into the rocks near the skimmer... He is IN the skimmer box. Kind of want to pull the odd duck and grow him in a smaller tank and then put him back in... It's not seeming like he is fitting in... Little loner.

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