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Thread: Scared Koi in pond

  1. #1
    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Scared Koi in pond

    My father has a small pond set-up at his house and for at least 6 months the 5 koi that he keeps in the small pond have always been spooked. Even during feeding times when they want to feed. They are too spooked to come up to eat the surface food. Until one steps back from the pond a good 8-10 feet away from the pond, then they start hammering the food from the surface. I thought after the first 1-2 months this behavior would stop and they would already get to know the hands that feed them. But 6 months later, they are still scared to be approached . Is there anything one can do to break this behavior? Is it the angle/location of the pond? Reflections back into the pond that spook the koi? The entire pond is roofed over, but still gets a lot of sunshine on parts of the pond. Any advice anybody.

  2. #2
    Oyagoi Sangreaal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Northern California
    I would think that there hasn't been enough activity around the pond to get them desensitized to looming presences above them. Loom, feed, loom, feed, loom feed keep looming, loom feed keep looming, sit on side of pond with feet dangling in and feed while doing the 'lower loom', and ignore the fish, don't stare. Every time you go out to feed, do stuff around the pond as nonchalantly as possible and play idly with the pond water before feeding. Kick back in a chair close to the side of the pond, then be quiet and wait and watch for them to feed. If they won't, get a skimmer net and remove the food. Walk away.

    Come back a little later and do it all again. Make them compete for fewer pellets than there are koi. If they won't feed, get out the skimmer net again and remove the food. Then try again a little later. Over and over if you have to. It can take some time and lots of repetition, but it does work to get them out of feral flight mode and into food play once they realize that whatever you do around the pond ends in dinnertime....

    Or buy a tame Chagoi or Goldfish and they'll do the work for you.


    "Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and
    paints his own nature into his pictures."
    --Henry Ward Beecher

  3. #3
    Tategoi smithvillemike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Smithville, Texas
    If you can, get a Chagoi... They will teach the others it is alright. At least that has been my experience.

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