Having your own outdoor pond can be risky, especially since it will be harder to regulate the water conditions. If you plan to build a pond for koi fish, the last thing you would want to happen is to lose them by accident or because not enough precautionary measures were taken. To keep your koi pond safe, I would recommend the following:
Keep your fish safe from predators
Having a shallow pond will make your koi fish easy preys to predators, so it is a common rule of thumb to give your pond plenty of depth. If this is not possible, the next best thing would be to make sure that your koi fish ample amount of hiding arrangements. This can be done by placing tunnels or a large amount of vegetation in the pond which can serve as a great hiding area. You can also provide your fish with floating vegetation. Floating vegetation shields your fish from most predators as it will be much difficult to see the fish.
To protect your pond at night, it is always wise to install a light which helps with deterring predators such as neighborhood cats. If at all possible installing a pond that can be viewed from a window gives you the ability to keep your eye on it more conveniently. Also, make sure that the edges of the pond are steep and that the water is deep enough.
Deterring predators can be effected in a number of ways, depending on which ones you have in your area. You have a wide range of options to choose from, some of which are:
- Installing a net over your pond during the night or whenever you are away.
- Setting up alarms to scare away predators.
- Building a fence around the pond to keep children and other predators away.
- Provide predators with alternative food sources and water. (this is not always the best choice)
- Set up scarecrow sprinkler systems. This is motion activated and will help deter flying predators.
- Set up a decoy. Predators will not venture into a place if they see their own predators in the pond. You can install fake alligators or snakes near the area.
- If you have a dog, give it access to the pond so that it can chase away predators. Dogs are good at chasing birds, raccoons, and other wildlife away and can help a lot in protecting your koi fish pond.
- Have an ultrasonic device that produces sounds unpleasant to wildlife. This will keep predators away without being detrimental or disturbing to people.
Bear in mind that in order to effectively determine which method you should employ, the first thing you have to do is figure out the kind of predators lurking in your area. This will allow you to correctly assess which methods to use.
If the situation gets out of hand, do not hesitate to contact and seek help from your local animal control unit.