How To Prevent Heron Theft

How To Prevent Heron Theft

Herons are beautiful, majestic birds that have one major flaw. Herons love to feast on Koi, and where better then to find Koi then an unattended Koi pond or garden?

When you first notice a Heron in your garden, you may not even think of these birds as a danger. Herons are 2 or 3 feet tall, with a extremely large wingspan. They appear to be extremely graceful until you realize that the beautiful sight you were just looking at could have potentially been a thief caught in the act.

If you noticed that your fish are missing in action, chances are a Heron is to blame. You may even notice large gapping holes in the sides of your Koi. This happens when a Heron attempts to catch one of your Koi, but does not get a good grip on it. Other will notice their Koi laying on the lawn several feet away from the pond, which is the result of a Heron dropping the Koi after removing it from the pond. While nothing can completely stop this from happening, you can do a few things to detour Herons from eating your pride stock of Koi.

While there are many types of technical equipment available to attempt to detour Herons, you will quickly find that these types of detours will only work for a small amount of time.

Some pond owners place a fake plastic Heron into their garden. This is suppose to detour another Heron from landing there. This works for parts of the season, until mating season comes. Herons will be more likely to land near your plastic Heron when they are looking for a mate.

Various other types of equipment attempt to detour Herons by causing them discomfort. This only works until the Heron gets use to it, or just finds a way around it.

The only way to protect your Koi is by watching out for them. A few simple things will not prevent Heron from visiting your pond, but it will greatly reduce the presence of them.

1) Constantly change your routine. Herons are smart and know when you will typically be present. Visiting your pond frequently at various times during the day will greatly increase the chance that you will catch the Heron in action. If you are unable to vary your routine, you may consider enlisting others to visit your pond as well. Older, trustworthy children in the neighborhood may delight in visiting your pond at various times of the day. Giving them permission to visit whenever they want will allow others to visit when you are unable too.
2) If you catch a Heron in the act, make as much noise and frighten the Heron as much as you physically can. Shout, yell, throw things, or whatever you feel will scare the Heron. The more frightened the Heron is, the less chance he is to return anytime soon.
3) Create a hiding place in your pond for your Koi. More natural Koi pond owners have noticed that after a Heron attacks a pond, it may seem that the Heron has got all the fish, only to notice that the Koi start appearing from strange hiding places once the scare is over. If you purposely provide a place for your Koi to hide in the event of an attack, you greatly reduce the amount of fish that a Heron will leave with. Do not worry about your Koi hiding from you, as they should know and trust that you will not hurt (or eat) them.
4) Do not restock your pond right away in the event of a Heron attack. Waiting to restock may send the Heron searching for new feeding grounds.

Keeping Your Koi Pond Clean

Keeping you Koi pond clean should be one of your number one priorities. A clean pond could mean the difference between you Koi living a beautiful stress free life, and potentially suffering until they ultimately die. The water in which your Koi live is not only where they eat, sleep, and feed, but it is also where they use the bathroom as well. If you do not properly clean your pond, it is almost as if your Koi are living in the bathroom toilet.

The water in your pond should almost be completely clear. Your pond should contain no floating or suspended debris, and the Koi should appear to be floating in air. If you are unable to see the bottom of your pond, then chances are your pond is not clean enough.

We know that you take great pride in your pond, especially when you were constructing the beautiful landscape around it, and picking out flowers that bloom in beautiful colors and have beautiful smell that are unmatched. However, no matter how beautiful the landscape around the pond is, a pond is not successful unless you can sustain beautiful fish within the water. While ponds are designed to resemble nature, you must remember that your Koi pond is actually just a really large outdoor fish tank, and that it needs to be treated as such.

Unlike natural water systems, fish tanks need a large amount of care. Filtration systems are needed to maintain water quality, and a pump system is needed to keep the water moving.

In nature, Koi would not nearly the amount of food that they do in controlled ponds. It is not unheard of for pond owners to feed many pounds of food to their Koi per week. This produces a larger amount of waste, whether it comes from the digestion process on the Koi’s part, or the amount of uneaten food that has settled to the bottom and spoiled. It is important to vacuum the bottom out as much as possible, and make sure all types of drainage systems are clear and in working order.

Another issue is the fact that your pond is indeed, outside. Being outdoors, your fish tank faces problems that a normal indoor fish tank would never have to deal with. Debris can easily find its way into your pond. It is important to skim your pond as much as possible.

No matter if your blame the Koi, yourself, or nature for the pond not being clean, it is important for you to clean it up. The health of your Koi is at stake if you do not. Even if your water quality is clear, a large amount of debris can cause your Koi stress. Stressed fish are more susceptible to disease and viruses. 

Preventing Cleanliness Issues

Above cleaning your pond on a regular basis, adding preventative measures can also increase the cleanliness of your pond.  

Keeping your pond moving is one way to help keep your water quality up Moving water adds more Oxygen to your water, as well as potentially keep floating debris for collecting in your pond. Moving water can be achieved several ways such as waterfalls, fountains, and pump filtration systems designed to move water.

Another way you can avoid cleanliness issues is by keeping your amount of fish down. Start by buying smaller amounts of fish as spawning will cause you to have babies in the near future. The less fish, the less waste is involved.   

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