How to Secure your Koi Pond from Predators 0 323

Koi pond predators

Keeping koi is certainly a challenge. Aside from creating an ideal and stable aquatic environment for them to thrive in, keeping koi healthy and protected from predators are additional tasks that need to be undertaken seriously on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, the koi’s bright colors can easily attract predators. Against the green pond background, koi are easy to spot and make them vulnerable to predators including cats, raccoons, herons, and foxes.

Here are proven ways to secure your koi pond from predators:

Make the water level deep enough so herons cannot stand in it. A pond should have a depth of more than 24 inches to discourage herons.

A bird eating a koi carpOverhangs should be built high enough so mammals cannot reach in and swipe at your fish.

Trees can be planted around the pond to provide shade as well as prevent flying birds from spotting the koi swimming in the pond.

You can install a “scarecrow” device which is a motion-activated sprinkler system attached to a garden hose and runs on battery. It has a built-in sensor that can detect the presence of a potential predator, turning on the hose full blast, thus giving the animal an unexpected cold shower.

Putting lots of plants around the pond’s edge can also protect koi from being snatched. Plants can deter raccoons from taking a swipe at the fish. Raccoons also have the habit of trashing the pond and disturbing the pond’s ecosystem. Having plants at the pond’s edge can certainly discourage this behavior.

Tall plants and floating plant species such as water lilies provide excellent hiding places for your koi.

Placing plastic netting on top of the pond provides a cover that can effectively protect koi from all predators.

Putting in a plastic heron on the pond can discourage another heron, and often cause the animal to look for food somewhere else.

Building tunnels or caves as part of the pond’s design provides a great place to hide not only from predators but also from the heat of the sun. You can also choose to buy koi caves or koi castles that are available commercially.

Leave an outdoor radio tuned in to a news station or talk show. Predators don’t usually want to get too close to places where they discern human activity.

The motion-activated predator call broadcaster has been used by farms and wineries to keep animals from feasting on their crops. Smaller models are now available and can easily be installed close to your koi pond.

Installing in aerators or surface agitators not only promotes dissolved oxygen levels but it is also another way to obscure the view of your pond. As potential predators survey the pond, a disturbed water surface can make it difficult for them spot any koi.

A dog, such as the Great Pyrenees, has been known to be a great pond protector. The presence of your pet dog along the vicinity of the pond will certainly offer great predator deterrence.

About the Author:

This is a guest post by Peter Hartono. Peter is an aquarium hobbyist and fish pet lover who devoted his life in producing home-grown aquatic plants. He is also the founder of Just Aquatic, a proud Australian company and retailer of a wide range of aquarium supplies including Zoo Med, BiOrb and Exo Terra.

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5 reasons a tortoise is the perfect pet 0 247

Tortoises are adorable animals and they are great pets to keep in your home. Here we explore the top five reasons why you should consider getting a tortoise as a pet.

1. Low maintenance

With some space to enjoy and some lettuce to chomp on, a tortoise will be pretty happy. This low maintenance pet won’t need walking twice a day and will keep themselves entertained.

2. Tortoises are very affordable

Tortoises are very affordable to keep in your home. Once they are set up with a comfortable space to enjoy, there will be very little cost to upkeep them. Their food is cheap and their space remains clean for long periods without needing to be changed.

3. Tortoises live long lives

Tortoises will also be around for a long time. They can live from 14 to 30 years or more depending on the species, which means you will have a friend for years to come. Unlike most other pets, you will be able to enjoy your tortoise for vast periods of your life.

4. They’re harmless

Tortoises are far more harmless than cats and dogs. While they may bite your finger if you put it in their mouth, little damage will be done. A tortoise is a very safe pet to have in the home and is great when you have children too.

5. Tortoises are loyal

Tortoises are unlike most pets in that they are happy in the space you give them. With room to wander around, food to eat and occasional trips into the garden to play and eat grass, the tortoise will be happy. Tortoises will not try to run away from you like dogs, hamsters or guinea pigs.

Tortoises are adorable creatures to keep as pets and they are a very practical and affordable animal to have in your home. Unlike many pets, it is easy to keep a tortoise and to keep them happy for a long time. With a tortoise, you will have a friend for years and years to come.

Photo: Tortoise by snowmentality licensed under Creative commons 2

Keeping exotic fish as pets 0 374

Exotic fish

There’s something mesmerising about watching a tank full of brightly coloured fish swim around. Do they make good pets though? Is it hard to keep exotic fish? With the right pet care and pet advice, exotic fish make great, if unusual pets.

Tank size

Go for the biggest sized tank you can afford and have room for. The bigger your tank, the easier you’ll find keeping the balance of the water right. Your fish need plenty of room to swim too. Aim for at least a 20-gallon tank.

Tank set-up

You’re going to need a heater to warm the water. You’ll also need a filter to ensure clean, healthy water, which is crucial for fish to thrive. It’s advisable to add an air pump to boost the oxygen levels.

You’ll also need a light for the tank, and a timer for the light, so it’s not on all the time. Bear in mind a fish tank should be placed out of direct sunlight, away from draughts and heating sources.

On top of the things that make your tank work you’re going to need everything that goes into your tank; gravel for the bottom, plants, and decorative caves and tunnels so your fish can hide if they want to.

You can usually buy aquarium starter kits at pet food stores if you want help in pulling everything together.

Getting the water right

The filter will cycle your water to make it suitable for fish to live in, never add tap water directly to the tank. You need to de-chlorinate it first. You can also add a water treatment to help keep the water healthy between changes.

You should change about 10-15% of the water each week to keep it clean and healthy for the fish. Never do a full tank change once your fish are in the tank.

Choosing your fish

When you choose your fish, make sure you start introducing them slowly – this will help you identify if you’ve got the water balance right, and at this point, your tanks eco-system is still developing, so adding lots of fish can damage it.

There’s a wide range of tropical fish to choose from – Cichlids, Betta and Swordtails are good starter fish, and are nice to look at. Never mix goldfish and tropical fish together.