Owning and maintaining a koi pond is a rewarding yet challenging feat.  Koi pond problems are many – from finding the right location and the perfect amount of sunlight, to managing the filtration and algae levels.  The last koi pond problem you want to deal with is pest birds or predatory animals.

Koi, or nishikigio, are really just an ornamental variety of common carp.  However, their beautiful bright colors put them at a disadvantage against predators such as large birds, raccoons, cats, foxes and more. For this reason, it is important to design a koi pond with predator protection in mind. Read on to learn how to keep your pond safe.

Make the Water Deep

Pond depth is an effective form of koi pond protection. Birds such as herons and ibis stand in shallow water to prey on fish. Keeping your pond’s water level deep enough can discourage predators from standing and fishing in it.

Create Rock Overhangs

Some predators, such as raccoons, don’t mind getting wet for a meal. Adding rock overhangs to your pond is not only a beautiful feature, but it can help prevent predators from reaching in and snacking on your koi. Be sure to place rock overhangs high above the water, otherwise they’ll serve as a platform for these pesky animals to fish.

Plant Trees and Shrubs

Trees and shrubs can be planted around your koi pond to help block its view from above. This may prevent flying pest birds from spotting the koi and landing in your yard. Similarly, adding water lilies and other floating plants can help cover the top of the pond and provide a hiding spot for the fish.

Consider Placing Netting

Keep birds away from your koi pond with netting on the surface of the water. This acts as a great physical barrier between the pond and predators while still allowing in light. Another bonus is that netting can keep leaves out of the pond in autumn. Although not the most beautiful feature, netting can be an extremely effective way to protect pond fish from predators.

Try Visual Scarers and Electronic Repellers

If you think your koi pond is susceptible to pest bird problems, consider placing a visual scare such as a Gator Guard in the pond.  Gator Guard is a plastic alligator head replica that floats naturally in the water, posing no danger to the fish, while intimidating pest birds within visible range.  Be sure to clean the Gator Guard regularly; too much algae build-up can affect your koi pond’s tiny ecosystem.

If you have pest animals causing koi pond problems, you may want to install an electronic pest repeller.  Ultrasonic and sonic devices repel pest animals and birds in a way that is discreet, humane, eco-friendly and effective 24/7.  For instance, the Yard Gard repeller is nearly silent to humans and repels critters in areas for up to 4,000 sq. ft.

For more information about bird control and pest animal control in various applications, view the Bird-X Problem Solver.

Do you have koi pond problems?  Share your pest stories below in the comment section.  We love hearing from you!

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5 replies
  1. Rod
    Rod says:

    I know some Koi are very expensive and it would make sense to try and protect them from the predators. This article gives some great advice. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Joan
    Joan says:

    I got great knowledge about koi by your blog. I was planning to build koi pond in my backyard, but I was afraid that how I will save koi. I want to add some information in your blog that we have to choose pond liner carefully. Because some Pond liner contain chemicals that can prove harmful for koi. But PondPro 2000 is best liner for healthy life of koi.

  3. Brad Gregory
    Brad Gregory says:

    My Koi pond has been well established for over 7 years. I have had attacks from river otters, mink and raccoons as well as blue heron and kingfishers. With a combination of defenses in the last few years my new Koi are now almost 18″ long and my plentiful goldfish 6-7 ” long. I resorted to an electric fence (super easy to install) that is only 4 ” tall and spray painted black so it is not noticeable (even close up) and that took care of the otters, mink and raccoons. Then I put a floating driftwood plank attached with a wire and collar to my center fountain stem with a ceramic turtle sitting on it (decorative) and to my surprise the herons and kingfishers stay away ! The floating turtle was decorative at first but has actually caused the flying predators to avoid the pond for the last 3 years ! My floating log with a ceramic turtle turned out to be the best surprise “scarecrow” there is ! I used to have every predator imaginable but now there are none ! Hope this helps somebody !

  4. bird-x
    bird-x says:

    Brad: that’s great to hear! Our Gator Guard is the same concept; birds tend to avoid areas with “predators” and their vision isn’t that great, so visual scares tend to have surprisingly good results (especially if they float/”move” with the wind and water).

  5. Elaijna Stroud
    Elaijna Stroud says:

    We trying to find a solutions for one of clients Koi pond in Bedfordview. It is urgent as once the bird know there are fish they will go back.

    I will also try to contact you today. – it is urgent!!

    078 693 4515


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