Having a koi pond in your yard can be a wonderful way to liven up your landscaping while also having unique and beautiful pets to watch and interact with each day.
Koi are very smart, attractive, and social fish so of course you want to ensure they live a long and happy life by being well taken care of and happy.
What Makes Koi Happy?
Koi are a very simple creature, they don’t ask for much. They need a spacious pond with a reliable filtration system and regular feedings. Koi that have their basic needs met will already be one step ahead of koi that are deprived of basic necessities.
Happy koi will have plenty of room in their pond to swim and dart around. You don’t want to overcrowd your koi as this can lead to stress or jumping behavior. Koi that start to jump may eventually jump out of the pond and could die or be preyed upon by wildlife.
A good filtration system will not only keep ammonia levels in the water at a minimum, but will also provide plenty of oxygen in the water. This can be from sprinklers, waterfall features, or bubblers attached to the filtration output pipes.
Happy koi also have regular access to quality food. Since koi are very smart and social fish, they can learn to recognize their human caretaker and will quickly swim over to greet you when they see you.
This is an excellent time to hand feed your fish to ensure everyone is getting fed as well as to spend some quality time with them.
Happy Koi Behavior
Happy and healthy koi will seem relaxed and content. They will slowly swim around the pond in a loose school, occasionally nibbling on leaves, insects, or other items that fall onto the surface of the water.
When your koi see you, they should be eager to swim over and wait for food. Koi can be gluttons and won’t hesitate to try and make you feel like they are still hungry even if they are extremely well fed.
Signs of Unhappy Koi
Koi that are stressed, sick, or scared will show different behaviors from koi that are happy and content. Stressed koi will ignore food, try to stay in dark areas with cover, and may have damaged fins or missing scales on their side or head.
If you notice your koi gasping at the surface of the water, they may be suffocating due to lack of oxygen. Warm water in the summer can very quickly be depleted of oxygen if your filtration system stops running your water features.
Koi that are sick may seem dull in color, won’t want to eat food, won’t swim around much, and may tilt to one side or the other near the bottom of the pond.Scared koi may jump, dart around extremely fast and slam into decorative rocks, plant pots, or the side of the pond.