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You know we get a lot of questions related to you know koi behaviour. You know, basically, “What is my crazy fish doing now?” and more importantly what does that mean. So I wanted to talk to you, they got a few of the things that you might see your koi doing that are unusual and what that might mean you know, what that would indicated as a problem or concerning your pond, and then you know some quick tips on what you might want to do to care of that. So you know the first thing is if you see a lot of gasping at the surface, it almost looks like they are you know sticking a little nose up to try to grab some air. You know, almost what it is.

I mean obviously, they are not trying to breathe you know, breath air like we do, but the surface of your pond and the surface tension that they create when they get up there and splash around is where you would find most of the oxygen that they need. And if you see them doing that, it is a great chance that you have a problem and that there is a lack of oxygen in your pond, sometimes during the summer especially you know at night. Let’s say you have a lot of plants. You know you got algae on the side of your pond and a ton of floating plants. Well, during the day you know everything is great. You know they are sucking out any of CO2 and they are you know, pumping out oxygen, and things are good. But at night, you know as the reverse happens and all of a sudden you know your fish can have a lot of problems especially on a hot winter.

So if you noticed that you know they are having some problems and they are gasping you know for oxygen which by what you want to do is add something that’s going to break the surface tension, and help put in some oxygen, and mix it in with the water, some kind of a spitter or a fountain in an emergency. If you have a little air pump stick it just a few inches below you know the water over your pond, and just have it spray, and bubble. That will work great. The ultimate solution and a very low cost energy wise on going solution is add an aerator. You know almost like you would, and for emergency which you would put you know in a pond just a little aerator for let’s say an aquarium. You know really inexpensive and cheap, have those little round you know aeration stones and just pop that in there and let the bubbles go. As it gets the surface a little, it will create some surface tension and plus pumping that water and putting oxygen in the pond. There are some great pond aeration kits that can have a lot of oxygen to your pond and create some you know some water flow and some circulation that will really help your pond. It can help with down your algae.

You know big aeration systems are what people with large ponds, a lot of times that’s all they have to work with, so you can go down with that. The next thing you are looking for all of a sudden your pig koi, the ones that will eat anything and no matter how much you give them, they are still hungry. They are not eating and they just kind of hang in there. You put the food out and they are like, “Yeah,” you know immediately you run a test for nitrogen and ammonia, those are the things that will cause some problems. That will kind of cause that listlessness and you can quickly once you figure out which one it is, find a product that will solve that problem for you. You know the other thing we see a lot of is what’s called flashing and it’s where all obviously you will see, you get some rocks on the side of your pond, and obviously the fish are just flashing up on against them.

What they are actually doing is scratching and flashing, and that is usually an indication that they may have parasites. You know a little bit of that here and there is one thing, but I am talking about something that’s unusual. If you have seen it build occasionally but all of a sudden they are just, it is like that guy is itching like crazy. What’s going on well, he’s probably got a parasite, and it looks like we are going to need to medicate that guy, so and then the last one which is kind of limited. You know the two behaviors I always thought were kind of cool with the koi is nightly follow the leader –  the type of train you know, where they just kind of circle and everybody gets in line. You know can we get elephants going around that you know around that little Ringling Brothers and a part of the Bailey Circus, and there you have the koi going there in that parade.

But the other that we would see sometimes is all of sudden they just ram each other. They are just like bumper cards and it is like, “What the heck? These guys are just being bullies.” they just ram all out and ramming the sides of all these fish. “What in the heck is wrong with that guy?” and you know typically that is an indication that it is mating season. You know the male kois are the one around going, “Hey,” sounds if you know she have eggs you need a lot of ram up and get on side and try to go get in to go and lay those eggs, and you know some of the koi aren’t that bright. They are pretty to ram anything you know, sort of like you know college guy at the end of the long night at the bar, so you know that’s what’s happening. He is not really being a bully, but if you have some small koi that you feel like you are getting beat up pretty good you know and add some milk cartons and some milk crates you know something in the pond and some kind of a place where those little guys can get in there and hide and protect themselves if it looks like they are starting to get bruised up or lose some scales.

What are your koi up to and what does it mean. You fish behavior can give you clues as to what is bothering them and lead you to the proper solutions.

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