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mosquito fish for koi ponds

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  • mosquito fish for koi ponds

    being the pro active people we are on this board what do you tell your uniformed neighbors about the mosquito magnet you call a koi pond that harbors west nile virus? Anyone using gambusa (mosquito fish) ?
    Dick Benbow
  • #2

    I have yet to see a larve in my pond, but have them in other parts of the yard where standing water is abundant. My neighbor keeps mosquito fish in his filter, but the dragon fly nymphs normally kill them.

    For most of our ponds isn't the water moving to much to harbor mosquito larve?
    “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed” Adolf Hitler



    • #3


      I'm with Chris, I've yet to see mosquito larvae in any of our ponds with running water...

      I think the key words here are "Standing Water", as I find them in everything that holds water including bromeliad plants at the leaf bases...

      Aloha! Mike


      • #4

        Gambusia are a terrible choice for mosquito control...IN YOUR POND...

        they reproduce like feinds and Eat little nibbles (that add up) of koi food.

        Now if your pond gets cold enough in the Winter then you have an advantage. They will all die off each year so you can moderate their numbers a bit.
        But there are better choices...look at some of the cheaper tropical fish...tell them why you want them and then tell them you want to buy 100 still in the bag from the delivery. Nect year I am going to try neon tetras. I can get them for $22/100 if I come and pick them up the day they are delivered...and these will be tiny the end of the Summer they will be HUGE and probably desired by local pet shops.
        Yes you must consider disease.


        • #5


          The truth is ALL fish will eat mosquito larvae: fresh live meat without bones !!!

          Gambusia are much better in small garden ponds for "natural" mosquito control (BTW in New Jersey [where our dear JR lives] they drop them into the natural ponds from airplanes and helicopters).

          In koi ponds, even mud ponds, they are a pest because as Luke said, they multiply like crasy. In Oregon (and maybe Washington state), they survive Winter without problem.

          They are also not worth much because many municipalities/counties breed them and distribute them door-to-door for FREE.

          If you want to make a profit off the whole matter, pick a tropical fish to do the deed. Tetra IMHO are not a good choice because most pond treatment you may need to use will kill them all at the dosage needed for koi. A better choice IMHO is the Balck Molly (and for $$$ the vail/long-fin Black Molly): it loves live food, thrives with salt in the water (never know when you might need some), and sell for real good $$$ when large. Just make sure to harvest and sell before the cold sets in :-)

          That reminds me that four years ago I put 3 Plecos in my pond to control algae. All went fine until last year when, on JR's recommendation I gave my koi a Winter: Plecos die as soon as the temperature hits below 55°F. The Plecos I put in were 4-5", when they died 2 years later they were almost 2' !!!

          What I recommend (when no profit crop is required :-) for mosquito control (and other/larger insects) are Golden Orfe, especially for natural/mud ponds. They eat A LOT of insects (even jump out of the water to catch some). They are also fun to watch, swimming FAST right under the water surface, like torpedoes.

          Sorry for the long post, excuse the ramblings.


          • #6

            I don't get it. We live in the mosquito capital of the world, but I have never seen a mosquito larvae in a koi pond. This includes static ponds with no water movement, minimal aeration and only a few koi.

            Most of our ponds which have koi also have some type of livebearer. The koi eat a few (but not enough) guppy, molly or swordtail fry and selling the livebearers pays the feed bill. If you do not want a livebearer population explosion, then buy a bunch of male guppies.



            • #7

              Arthur, Steve

              ...really enjoyed your input. As Arthur suggests there are lots of things to consider ( the molly-salt was a good one!). I would like to follow up with Arthur and see what his thoughts were on allowing his koi to experience winter. realize that switching topics in mid topic but when i see something interesting i like to follow up!
              Dick Benbow


              • #8

                All of the mosquitos I've ever found in a Koi pond are in the settlement chambers. If you have a cover on them and then take it off, it seems like thats where all the mosquitos in the world are born!
                " Da Best" Chapter


                • #9

                  Hi Dick, when I visited the Ventura County Koi Club in 1991 everybody had these fish (Gambusa) in their ponds. In fact my host, Stan Ranson then the editor of Koi Usa told that it was State law to have them.

                  Having been eaten alive by midges (a UK mini-versions of a mosquito) earlier this summer I am now wondering if Gambusa are an option over here now that I heat the pond.

                  Does anyone know what minimum temperature they can tolerate?

                  rgds Bern
                  South East Koi Club


                  • #10

                    Well my opinion might not be valued? then again it might have just been an oversight.

                    Tropical easy to maintain livebearers are NOT a good choice for my area (and may not be good for yours either), because I live where they can survive and breed in the wild. MMollies are in every drainage ditch around here, even tot he point that they have over-competed the Gambusia. And many other species are here....the local etnic groups now net out Plecos using cast nets in the canals. You can buy all the 2+ft plecos you want for 3 bucks each.Therefore I try and pick a species that will die out in the Winter or is fragile (like neon tetras).
                    I also like neons because they are size specific. They are the right size to effectively prey on Mosquito larva, Yet not eat the big bugs that koi slurp. And Neons are mid-water feeders and they won't eat floating food. Typiucally they stay in the upper 18 inches of the water column.
                    I'd also like you to consider one other dimension; How the mosquito-eating species/population will look in your pond. I found that the Livebearers...from swords..through platies, and mollies and flagfish, and ..... they all become too much of a visual distraction nipping at the surface and scurrying about.
                    Another reason for a mid-water feeding, Slow-moving neons.
                    The last reason to consider is the School mentality. neons school better and tighter than most fish and their appearance will be as a big school..or two or three... not running higgeldy-piggeldy like a bunch of minnows on crack.

                    Another consideration is how are you going to be able to remove ALL of them when you decide you want to try something else.....I figure the neons i cant catch will be slurped right down when the water gets below 60 degrees and they don't move any longer.


                    • #11

                      I live in Florida where he Mosquito is the unofficial state bird....

                      I was out jogging earlier this morning and was late returning home because of them.
                      Two of them picked me up and flew into an oak hammock.
                      Well i know a little Mosquito-ese, and I could put together that even though they snatched me off the jogging path that neither of them was hungry. they started arguing about what to do with me. One of them said that they shouldn't put me back on the trail because a BIG mosquito might see them and eat them....
                      So I just choose that time to sneak on off and run back to the house.


                      • #12

                        Higgeldy-Piggeldy? I haven't heard that phrase in over 30 years!
                        " Da Best" Chapter


                        • #13

                          Luke: I think Lake Luke will have a tough time getting below 60F ! But, I'd really be surprised by a population explosion of neons!

                          Bern: I do not know a minimum on Gambusia, but I have seen them in areas where water temperature had to be below 55F. Guppies left outdoors over "winter" in my little puddle ponds survive some chilly temps if the ponds are not cleaned. The guppies will bury themselves under leaves and debris on the bottom where soil warmth will keep many alive. In a clean koi pond, however, they are gone in no time when temperatures fall much below 60F.

                          I do not get mosquitoes in the pond itself. On my new pond the only place where the water stays sufficiently still is inside the Savio skimmer. I would not want to raise fish in there.


                          • #14

                            I expect it to get down to the upper fifties...especially if I get a BIG Media Shower going.
                            The 3500gallon QT gets that low with a 5cu.ft. lava rock Shower on it....About the same depth and height above the ground


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