Koi fish are elegant, highly adaptive, and calming. So it’s no wonder why so many people love keeping them nearby. According to Feng Shui, koi fish carry fortunes of good luck and spiritual abundance, but they don’t always look out for their own best interests.
Surprisingly, it’s pretty common for koi fish to jump out of their own pond, so don’t be too alarmed if this happens with one of your own. There are things you can do to revive a stranded koi, and also preventative measures you can take to avoid another jumping incident. First, let’s take a look at why koi fish jump.
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How to Prevent Koi From Jumping
1. Improve the Quality of the Water
If jumping koi are a regular occurrence in your pond, the first thing that you need to do is improve the quality of the water.
A good rule to follow is: the bigger the pond, the easier it is to keep clean. This might sound counterintuitive, but there is a strong relationship between pond volume and water quality. A larger pond will also cut down on overcrowding, giving your koi more space to swim and more oxygen to breathe.
Installing a filtration system in your pond is another great way to improve the quality of the water for your koi, as it will help to eliminate bacteria and even turn a murky pond into a crystal-clear one (which your koi will love).
If you’re unable to install a filtration system or increase the size of your pond, simply aerating the water will help to improve its breathability for the fish. Whether it’s a grand waterfall or a simple hose, your koi will benefit.
2. Make The Sides Taller
If their water is clean and they aren’t in any danger but they’re still jumping, it may be time to make the sides of your pond a little taller. This method might be a bit more complicated and expensive, but it can save you and your koi stress in the long run.
Koi fish can jump pretty high — up to two metres, in fact. Most koi fish will only be able to clear a metre or so, but even that can become dangerous for them. So make sure that you raise the sides high enough so that your fish won’t be able to jump over.
3. Add A Net
While this isn’t the most attractive option, adding a net is possibly the easiest way to keep your koi from jumping out of the water. All you have to do is install a net over the top of your pond, and your koi won’t be going anywhere.
Why Koi Fish Jump
1. Poor-Quality Water
One of the most common reasons why koi jump out of their water is poor water quality. Just about every fish in the world needs some level of cleanliness to the water they’re breathing. Excessive toxins in the water can make it painful to breathe, so koi will often jump in an attempt to relocate themselves into cleaner water.
They often do this in the wild as well. Koi might get stuck in a puddle and jump to relocate to a deeper, more breathable area. So in this case, when they jump, they’re reverting to instinct.
Aside from toxins, another factor that might cause poor water quality is overcrowding. If you have too many fish in one pond, there will be less oxygen to breathe, potentially throwing your koi into a jumpy panic. So make sure that you don’t have too many fish in one pond.
If nothing else, make sure that you clean out debris and check the pH levels of your pond regularly.
Another reason why koi jump is for self-preservation. Predators in the water and out can pose a threat to your koi, sending them into flight mode, which can easily result in them jumping out of the water.
You likely don’t have predators living in your koi pond, but other animals such as neighbourhood cats and raccoons can not only place a huge amount of stress on your koi, but can physically attack them, sending them on their way through the air and out of the pond.
If you’re worried about local predators getting into your koi pond, set up security cameras, higher fencing, and possibly even a net to keep them out (more on that later).
3. They Just Like to Explore
One of the more adorable reasons why koi fish jump is that they simply love to explore. Koi fish are naturally inquisitive and playful. They tend to chase one another around playing games, and sometimes this lands them out of the water.
Other times, they may just want to see what things look like beyond their own habitat. Despite the cuteness of it, it’s important to be aware of this possibility and the danger it may put your koi fish in.
How Long Can Koi Survive Out of Water?
It should be obvious that fish cannot survive for long out of water. Depending on the size and current health condition of the koi, it could survive for up to an hour out of water.
However, being out of water for any amount of time can place enormous stress on your koi and send it into shock.
How To Revive Stranded Koi
If you find your koi stranded outside of the pond, it’s important to get it back into water as quickly as possible, but you shouldn’t simply throw it back in and expect it to survive.
It’s common for koi to sustain injury from landing on objects outside of the water, so make sure that you check for cuts and scrapes first, and clean them up if there are any. You don’t want your koi to get a bacterial infection from an untreated wound.
Once you’ve checked for injuries, take your koi in your hands and gently hold it in the water belly-down. It’s possible for it to be in shock, so you need to be patient holding it and allow the fish to get reacclimated before letting it swim away.
Jumping koi can put a lot of unnecessary stress on you, but if you follow these tips, we’re certain that you’ll be able to keep them in their pond with no problem at all.