I am concerned about my fish jumping out of the pond after hearing several horror stories from friends. Is there any rhyme or reason to why or when this happens?
Do Koi jump out typically where the pond is shallow, deep, sunny, shaded, aerated, stagnent, etc... ?
Is there anything practical I can do to avoid this happening?
Do you think if I arrange either floating or tall standing plants around the edge of my pond (or just in more likely areas) that it would help prevent fish from jumping out?
Koi have many interesting habits such as jumping out of the water. There are several reasons for this habit. In general I would not worry too much about this happening. It is usually rare that they will die from this habit.
If the fish are jumping out of the pond it may mean that they have parasites. In an attempt to â€œrubâ€ them off they may try jumping out of the pond. The best way to figure out if this is the case, is to watch and see if they scrape their body up against the rocks or sides of the pond. Also be sure to monitor your koi closely to make sure you see now visible signs of parasites or infections. If you do suspect parasites - a salt treatment should be given. Be sure to use Rock Salt NOT Table Salt.
*note - salt treatments are hard on your plants - Many will go into a state of shock. So this should only be done when parasites are suspected. To avoid plant shock you may either remove some of the plants from the pond during treatment. You may also remove the fish and treat it OUTSIDE of the pond or put it in a quarantine tank until it heals.
STORY TIME â€“
While I was at a home show this spring in Owatonna, MN I had a display pond set up with a waterfall. I had a few larger koi in the pond as part of the display. During the show I looked over at the pond and noticed the largest koi (about 13 inches) was trying to JUMP UP THE WATERFALL! It reminded me of a salmon jumping up stream on the discovery channel! He never made it all the way to the top and he finally gave up after a few tries.
It could be that the koi are exploring their surroundings. This Koi did not try to jump out any other time during the show.
I also have a indoor pond display at Ace Hardware in Faribault, MN. Some of the employees at Ace said they occasionally see one of the fish jump in the pond. Again this happened right after they were introduced to the pond and to my knowledge they have not tried to jump out again.
It is also my experience that jumping fish are usually larger ( Over 10â€ )
Koi can also become aggressive feeders and may chase food out of the pond. I know of a Koi breeder who told me that their koi like to â€œbeachâ€ themselves along the sides of the pond as they eat grass and other vegetation around the edges before they fall back into the water.
Much of the prevention of the prevention comes within the pond design itself:
- I recommend to make sure you do not have any â€œRock Cavesâ€ where they could jump out and become trapped.
- A buffer area around the pond edge is also good with sloping edges into the pond
- Plants may help and should also cushion their fall if they do decide to try (floating plants around the edge would also help with this)
- Be sure you have a good oxygen content inside of the water via a splashing waterfall or aerator.
- Check pond water quality for things such as excess ammonia.
Hopefully this will help shed some light on Koi jumping out of the pond. I would also be curious to hear your friendâ€™s stories about fish jumping out of the pond.
Hopefully you will never have to worry about this happening in your pond. Again, I would not lose sleep at night worrying about it. It is generally a rare occurrence.
I have a underwater camera running night and day in my pond. I will be sure to watch for this behavior.
Let me know if you have any other questions!