Koi jumping out of ponds

chellebrd_1September 16, 2007

I have recently had a problem with 4 of my koi fish jumping from my pond. I have had these koi in this pond for a couple of months now. The water temperature is starting to drop however: I thought this would slow them down not spend them up. I have tested the water and every thing tested fine. Does anyone have any idea on why my koi would decide now that it would be a good idea to jump out?

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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Although there are many reasons such as the change in the weather, you might check the fish for parasites. Sandy

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 2:30AM
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My koi are now starting to die. They first were jumping out of the pond and then they started flashing. Then they started to float on their sides on both top and bottom of the pond. They looked like they were already died however; when I would go to scoop them out of the pond they would swim off. I had an autopsy done one on of the fish and it came back neg. for parasites!! My Big Girl just died this morning she was about 20 in. long. I have no idea what to do for the rest of them. I have treated the water for everything under the sun. I have replaced the pump to make sure that it did not have a short in it. That did not help. Does anyone have any ideas what could be happening to my babies????

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 7:59PM
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magdaloonie(6B-7A Magdalena, NM)

Well, I've been dithering around hoping someone would answer you because all I can offer is sympathy. I'm sure someone will help. I do wonder if it would be good to move your sick fish out of the pond till you can determine what's wrong. Get some big utility tubs or something. (That's not advice. That's hoping to get someone to jump in with why that's a good/bad idea.)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 8:45PM
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Parasites was my first thought, but if that is not the culprit then I can only think of a few possibilities. Could the oxygen level in the pond have dropped? That could make fish jump and then later become lethargic, but I can't thnk of a reason why that would make them flash. Another possibility could be electrical charges in the water, like a faulty pump. That's the only thing that comes to mind.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 9:05PM
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I have a large pump in this pond. I recently added an aerator. I do not think that it is oxygen level. I have had this pond for about 8 years and have never had a problem before. Does anyone think by chance that it could be something toxic that could have got in the water??

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 9:15PM
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You do have a GFI plug-in, correct?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 10:49PM
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Yes I do have a GFI plug-in.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 10:57PM
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ccoombs1(7B SC)

99.9% guaranteed it was parasites. Here's the problem....parasites do not remain on a dead fish, so an autopsy would show the fish is parasite free. Parasites want to continue to live, so when the fish dies they bail off and go to a different fish. the only way to proparly diagnose parasites is to catch a live fish and scrape some of the slime coat in a few areas and check that under a microscope. Get slime from the belly near the vent, a bit from the edge of the gills and around the "arm pit" at the pec fins. The microscopic examination must be done within 15 minutes of taking the specimines or those parasites will die and dead parasites are nearly impossible to spot.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 8:18AM
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Thanks for the advice. I will take in a live fish and see what they come up with.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 3:34PM
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Well the rest of the test results came back today and it was a parasite after all. I don't understand why the treatment didn't work. I have treat the last hand full that are left. They actually said that they found Ick in the gills. Don't you usually see Ick if your fish has it?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 10:51PM
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isis_nebthet(8b/11suns SoCA)

Yes, you will usually see ich on your fish...It sounds like your first treatment wasn't long enough and/or high enough of a concentration. With ich you can't actually kill the spots on the fish just the free swimming stage.

If you look for typical aquarium advice on this one of the recommendations that comes up pretty consistently is to raise the temperature during treatment. This is because the lifecycle of the parasite is temp dependent. It can take over a month to treat if the temperature is low.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 10:40AM
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ccoombs1(7B SC)

Well, at least you know what you are dealing with now. So what was the last treatment you used and at what dose? What are you useing now and at what dose? And how sure are you of your pond's volume? This is the reason that people need to be VERY sure of their pond volume. Don't trust the installer to tell you unless he used a flow meter when he filled the pond. An estimated volume is not usually good enough for dosing fish. For example...if you think you have 1000 gallons and you actually have 1500, the fish get under dosed. Underdosing won;t kill the fish, but it won't kill the parasites either. If you think you have 1000 gallons and you actually have only 700, then you will overdose and possibly kill or damage the fish.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 7:47AM
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I have choosen to treat whith salt. That is what every article that I could get my hands on said to treat with. So far so good. No more fish have died. Not that there are many left. I saved a few of the precious babies, I hope by treating the water. Hopefully I will be more aware next time. Howevwer, I hope that there will never be a next time.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 10:50PM
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My koi have been jumping out of the water (like little dolphins) but not out of the pond for the past few weeks. I've been testing the water etc. and all seems fine plus, they are very active, swimming around and eating well.

Does that sound like the same behaviour that eventually was parasites or, has anyone heard of similar?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 9:50PM
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My koi jumped out of my pond while I was at work. By the time I got home she was stuck to the concrete but still alive. I put her back in the water and he doesn't swim at all, she jus stays at the bottom of the pond. Is it possible my koi got brain damage???

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 5:02PM
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I have had a few jump out too, only just today again! I can't understand what it is, but I won't be getting anymore koi because the goldfish are very well behaved! (i have red cap orandas) I don't want to cover the pond either because then it won't look so nice. Mine are just babies too, and i am doing absolutely everything to keep the water in top condition, so I know it's not that. I think they simply get really excited and love to fly about! Because my pond is only tiny (67litres), I have to keep it topped up with water, so it doesn't have a wall that they can bounce off. :-) I thought about putting in an extention but won't, will spoil the whole look again. Will have to stick to less excitable fish from now on (love the red caps).
I have to say though, the best thing I have found and was recommended was using bacteria. I bought the brand FLEX, geo liquid mineral magic, and that seems to keep my fish alive and happy, whilst IN the water anyway! Using a good water ager is important too i found, I use Prime by Seachem and I leave the water out for 3-4 days before adding it to the pond for top ups. I don't trust to add it right away, have had problems in the past doing that. Anyway, it's not easy keeping fish, but i rekon if theres stuff you can add to the water as precautionary measures then add it and regularly as recommended if not more! :-)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 7:46PM
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My kois keep jumping through the feeding ring bouncing off the side wall then back into the pond. Is this normal? What must I do. Maybe put them on clips.. Pls help

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 2:07PM
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It is pretty common to see Koi jumping around. I lost an 18 incher a few months ago, pretty sad to see him laying dead in the rocks. I guess you could put barriers around the edges of the pond like a small fencing setup but it would degrade the appearance of the pond and I am not really interested in doing it. So far I have lost 3 fish in 2 ponds over the last year due to jumping, and no, my fish aren't sick. I am going to build up the dirt around the edges of my pond instead of the way I currently have it - at least give them a chance to try and flop back into the water.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 12:41PM
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I bought some new 7" koi and after a couple of days they seemed lethargic and some were flashing, i did a 20% water change and they looked a lot better, two of them have like silver scales on them like shiny speckles, and one sucks in food and spites it out, they have stopped flashing but one keeps jumping out of the water every now and then, am i worrying to much?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 5:50PM
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I have 2 small ponds off my back patio. Today I was heart broken thought that a bird had eaten 7 year old koi,only to discover he was in the other small pond next to his? Could he have jumped in to the gold fish pond? I had them separated. He was all by himself. Also notice I have new little babies in the gold fish pond, was he looking for something to eat?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 5:10PM
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Ok so far no one has mentioned spawning season. In the past I have had this problem too. I was told it was due to the Koi jumping during spawning season. So when the weather gets warm enough that they are racing around I put a net over the pond for 4 to 6 weeks until they calm down. This has worked for 5 years with no losses.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 6:34PM
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I see there has been a lot of input into Koi jumping. I myself am concerned. My pond is 650,000 Gallons with about 200 Koi. I was working in the water today and every so often one would just jump out of the water. My wife saw one jump at least 3 feet out of the water last night. I see that there is mention of water quality and parasites, one even mentioned his jump just to get attention. I have had no deaths and they are reproducing. Should I just enjoy the show or take measures? Thank you for any input.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 6:29PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

There are lots of reasons for jumping. Is it possible there is a turtle in the pond?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 1:16AM
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There are no turtles in the pond. Just about 200 Koi and thousands of mosquito fish (minnows?). The pond is about 7 ft deep in the center.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 2:08AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

That is a lot of koi. How big are they. Koi can get very large and water needs are determined by number of inches of fish. With the depth of the pond they may just be getting a swimming start. They like the exercise.If they are chasing each other they may be trying to have sex. It is called flashing. Parasites and diseases are sneaky. Some are really hard to see. Watch for lumps on the skin and red streaks on the tail and around the gills. The lumps might be transparent or small black dots or a white slimy looking veil or white powdery looking dots or spots. Stray voltage can cause a fish to jump and it will look bent.

Do you have a test kit? What kind of filtration system and pump do you have? Water quality is important.

Welcome to the forum.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 8:53PM
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Thank you for the welcome.
The first ones that I put in are now 20 inches or better. We now have at least 4 generations. They keep reproducing. We really don't notice them until they are about 3 inches long and they show up to feed with the others. During the summer months if we go for a swim they are usually close by. My son got hit in the face with one that jumped up one night. We don't really get a close look to check for lumps and such. As for stray voltage. I have been in the water with the current on and nothing. As for the other day, I had turned all power to the pond off.
I do not have a test kit. Is there one you recommend?
As for filtration. I have a rather large bio filter with volcanic rock and Hyacinth, then splashing back into the pond. I have another pump at the deepest part that circulates water from the bottom to 5 feet above surface to prevent stratification and provide aeration. We also add pure bacteria that I buy from "Organic Ponds". And a 13 ft diameter floating island of water Hyacinth. we are adding a 10 ft by 30 ft river of Hyacinth. I have had incredible luck with water Hyacinth.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 1:38AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Fish produce ammonia. Ammonia is toxic to fish. It is also uncomfortable so that might cause them to jump. Fish poop, excess food and organic waste rotting on the bottom produce nitrites and toxic gases as well as being a home and nutrient source for anaerobic bacteria. That may not cause them to jump but it is unhealthy for the fish and for humans. (You might like the link below.) Ph is affected by many things including rain, organic matter etc. Koi do not tolerate water that is too acidic. They do much better in alkaline water. Nitrites and nitrates in the water will cause water problems and feed algae. KH is a measure of buffering capacity or resistance to change in PH. Knowing the levels of these is important to avoid a crash that can and will kill fish.That is where a test kit comes in.

There are 3 types. The first is a research grade kit and while extremely accurate it is expensive and you don't need that level of results. The second type are strips that come in packs of fifty, are easy to use and can be frustratingly inaccurate unless fresh, properly stored and kept absolutely dry until you use them. Most of the ponders on this forum don't use them although a few do. I tried them, didn't like them. Half of what I bought were not accurate. The third while not as accurate as the first is totally adequate for your purposes. It contains liquid chemicals, test tubes color charts and instructions for the tests you need to do regularly. They run around $25 to $30. It is recommended that they be replaced each year but I have cheated and had good results when the kit was carefully stored. I don't push it though. It is not worth it to me if I lose a koi because of it.

The next part is from a web site but is correct.
"When to test.
An established pond with healthy Koi fish should be checked every month. It is only when you notice something out of the ordinary, and possibly during seasonal changes, that an additional test or two might be prudent.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A simple test, at the right time, can prevent a minor problem from becoming a catastrophe.

When starting up a new pond system, daily tests may be required then weekly for a couple of months until the system has stabilized."

Right now your main concern should be ammonia. You have a lot of fish. Limits on the number of fish is usually figured by gallons of water to inches of fish. Since some of your fish are rather large you may very well be approaching the edge of disaster. The test kit will tell you. To reduce ammonia, you can aerate with a bubbler, agitate the water as with a waterfall or fountain or use a product to remove it chemically (I use a combination of Ammoblock and Activated carbon in a bag in the Skippy filter. It does a good job for my little pond) In any case, you need to test the water.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ron's Pond Scum

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 6:08AM
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That is a lot of good information. Sounds like you have done lots of research.
I will give it a try.
Thank you so much.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 2:07PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I came onto this site 10 years ago as a rank beginner. The info I have given you mostly came from other posters from this forum who were here for a long time. Most of those are taking a break now but they come back occasionally and what they have written is still available if you use the search feature and the FACs shown at the green strip at the top of the thread. I try to pass on the info as accurately as possible but I certainly can make mistakes. I'm sure others posting here will correct me when I do. For example I neglected to mention water changes to improve water quality.

As with any forum on the internet, not everything you read is absolutely true. That is why we are happy to direct you to reliable sources or away from the not so good and sometimes just tell you we don't know. When you have been here for a while you get an idea of who is reliable on what subject. We all have different experiences. I learn something new every time I come on here. Don't hesitate to ask questions. There may be some dumb answers but there are no dumb questions. LOL!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 6:04PM
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Hello all!
Been looking at the messages posted here. We have had the same problem. It seems like anytime the koi have been disturbed by adding water to the pond, or had a niece throw a toy into our small pond and we retrieved the toy, we have found one of our koi have jumped out of the pond. They seem like happy campers until their environment is messed with. My husband added water today and later tonight we found one of our favorite koi had jumped out while we were gone for a bit. He thought it was dead but seems to be moving its gills a little right now. We are hoping it pulls through. Anyways, has anyone had this happen? The logical thing would be to leave them undisturbed but we have to add water when the levels are down. We are thinking we need to put a net over it anytime we have to add water or if they get disturbed.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 10:09PM
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