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  • Results 1 to 12 of 12

    Thread: Koi attacked by Snakes

    1. #1
      Acekoi is offline Junior Member
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      Exclamation Koi attacked by Snakes

      Hello Everyone. This is my first post. We recently (about a month ago) bought 8 koi for our pond. We had 3 small ones under 6Ē, 3 about 6Ē-8Ē and two koi about 10Ē give or take. After the traumatic incident that caused the death of one of our mid sized fish called Rudolph, we put a net over the pond. We were told that it was probably a snake that had attacked and killed our poor fish, and we found and killed the culprit after finding it living in the filter. On It is now Thursday, and after spotting a snake (garden/garter snake) in the pond on Tuesday night and spending four hours out there trying to catch it, we havenít seen any since. We also put moth balls all around the pond, and I put some hair from a hairbrush around because I read that it will make the snakes leave when they realise humans are around. Between the first sighting of the snake on Tuesday and trying to catch it all night, another one of our mid sized fish- Nemo, was attacked. His wounds did not appear to be severe- no where near what Ruís were like, and I thought that when he was okay the next day that he would make it. Unfortunately I was wrong. Nemo was found at the bottom of the filter last night. We are having the area around the pond that has shrubs and mess cleared on Tuesday, and hopefully the loss of their habitat will keep the snakes away for good. Iím deeply conflicted, as I love the fish and they are a joy to keep and watch, but I hate the thought that they are practically waiting to become snake food. I saw a video of a large koi eating a snake, and I was wondering how big a koi would have to be to be safe from or even a threat to snakes. The garter/garden snakes we have are quite small but we have learnt the hard way that they can still cause devastating damage. If anybody has any advice about what we should do with the fish, the snakes or even advice on how to care for injured koi, that would be much appreciated. Iím worried that our last mid sized koi is next. Iím very fond of Ace, as he was the first koi we chose. Iím so full of anger and sadness over this problem. Thanks for reading, I attached pictures of the fish and the pond. Name:  8C5A1A55-7533-4277-B678-5C1053F36E99.jpg
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    2. #2
      LatkaLivesOn is offline Junior Member
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      Acekoi, firstly, sorry to hear about the troubles.

      What kind of snake was it that killed the first Koi and ended up in your filter? A garter snake will NOT attack a Koi, it had to be a different variety. Not that any kind is good, but a king/garter snake will not cause the same devastation to your pond that a water moccasin will, for example.

      Also, removing the shrubs, etc. will not remove the snakes. They will live ANYWHERE. (I had a 6' albino rat snake living in the cinder block walls of my basement for 2 years and only realized it once I saw him crawling along the cap block of the wall over my head at about 2 a.m. one night. A fright, believe you me! Anyway, there were no shrubs or trees or anything within yards of my home.) Snakes will stay and live where there is food and few predators. Unfortunately, removing the surrounding shrubbery will remove any cover for small critters that may supplement the diet for the snakes that will otherwise have nothing to eat but your fish when you remove that.

      Moth balls I would use with extreme caution unless you are positive you have no run-off ever enter your pond. Any rain mixed with mothball residue will absolutely poison your fish, even a small amount.

      That being said, do not abandon the idea of a pond due to snakes. There are other ways to deal with them that do not involve poisoning your pond or re-landscaping your yard. I recommend sonic snake repellent devices placed at the perimeter of the area to deter them before they get close. Closer to the pond, use cedar oil and spray your grass. The snakes will not want to cross it. The internet will tell you to use clove oil, but it can euthanize fish so I don't recommend this near the pond either, but further away at the edge of your yard it would help. Planting lemongrass around your pond will do 2 things, clear the snakes out and deter mosquitoes, its a 2-for-1 plant.

      Leave the water hose on and the sprayer on the setting for "jet". If you see a snake, do not try to kill it, rather blast the thing with the water hose until you have chased it as far as you can get. It will take off in the opposite direction, but will not leave the "territory" completely. The idea is that snakes are territorial, and if you have one around that knows to avoid your pond, but otherwise claims your area, then other snakes stay away. "The enemy of your enemy is your friend" kind of thing. I don't know about this theory, but a wildlife area manager here in Georgia swore this works at the tent sites of their campgrounds and I haven't seen any snakes where we stay so I don't question him.

      I think the only other thing to do would be to call a pest removal company, but I don't know that I would trust most any yahoo on my pond property because most do not respect the balance of the pond and that the littlest thing they do can have terrible consequences. They seem to be mostly chemical happy, in my experience.

      Hope this helps! So sorry for the loss of your fish.

    3. #3
      Marilyn's Avatar
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      Some kind of fine mesh as a fence would work. You could trim something like this. I imagine you wouldn't have to do more than a couple of feet high to work. Anchor the base with fabric and garden anchor pins.
      Not sure how much help this will be but you might try a fine net like this:

      https://www.amazon.com/NETTING-VISUA...+plastic+fence
      Still learning as I go but y'all can call me Marilyn

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    4. #4
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      Hi LaktaLivesOn. Thank you for your response. We live in Colorado, and the snakes that we have seen in the pond, and that have killed our fish, are common garter or garden snakes. I will attach phtos of the snakes we have seen. Name:  IMG_2036 copy.jpg
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Size:  47.7 KB The snakes have left small bites around the fish but have not been able to eat any part of it. I believe there is a chance that Nemo (the most recent victim) actually died because the wounds gave him an infection. Responding to: "Also, removing the shrubs, etc. will not remove the snakes. They will live ANYWHERE.", the habitat around the pond is known to have snake nests etc and is literally full of them. We were planning to re-landscape it anyways, but have booked it in sooner to be cleared because it will destroy their pre-existing homes. Also, what you said about that 6ft snake crawling above your head is terrifying!! As for the moth balls, we have only placed them at the bottom of the slight downhill slope that is the perimeter of the pond. Although it doesn't rain much in Colorado, we took the precautions just to be safe. I believe we have a snake/pest removal guy booked in soon. I will look into the lemongrass, thanks for that! (We are also infested with Mosquitos and wasps). We are going to be doing a lot of construction (getting a pool, a fence, and doing a lot of re-landscaping) soon so I hope that will scare them away for a while. I will attach a photo of Nemo(white and orange) and Rudolph(red and white) when we got them, I miss them a lot and feel terrible about what happened to them... Name:  Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 4.15.29 PM.png
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    5. #5
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      Thanks Marilyn for replying. We previously had a thin mesh cover on but it was flimsy and made it extremely hard to see the fish. Good advice, but unfortunately this is not the solution for us.

    6. #6
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    7. #7
      Acekoi is offline Junior Member
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      Sorry Marilyn, I don't know if my other response went through, but I misunderstood what you were saying when I wrote it. Are you suggesting a barrier/fence sort of thing? That's what iwas thinking.. Thanks for the help!

    8. #8
      Marilyn's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Acekoi View Post
      Sorry Marilyn, I don't know if my other response went through, but I misunderstood what you were saying when I wrote it. Are you suggesting a barrier/fence sort of thing? That's what iwas thinking.. Thanks for the help!
      That was my thought too, something not so high that you don't enjoy the pond but high enough to keep the snakes out.
      Still learning as I go but y'all can call me Marilyn

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    9. #9
      icu2's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by mplskoi View Post
      I wonder if it actually was a snake.
      I've got dozens all around my ponds... I see them sunning themselves whenever it gets warm out and I've seen them
      swim occasionally across the streams or ponds, but mostly just trying to get to the other side and out of the water. I've
      never had one attack a fish. Who told you it was probably a snake?
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    10. #10
      nmtsaki's Avatar
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      Welcome to Koiphen, sorry it's under such sad circumstances. Supposedly garter snakes do eat koi (small ones) and koi will also eat garter snakes in return, if they catch them in the pond!

      https://nextdaykoi.com/koi-how-tos/koi-ponds-snakes/

      I wouldn't put any type of oil that can leach into the pond too close to it, because if it gets into the water, your koi can die from the "cure". I've thought about moth balls myself to get rid of the rats around my pond , but am afraid of the toxicity of them. Mothballs are made out of dichlorobenze, and it's very nasty. According to the end all, be all source of information on the internet, Wikipedia says they're not effective against snakes anyway. Not sure about cedar oil; most essential oils in themselves are toxic; aged cedar wood is not.

      I would maybe set up a camera to see if snakes are the culprit. And if another fish is harmed, take a picture oft he fish, so we can see the wounds. It can still be a bird, poking through the netting, as it is too close to the water to keep a heron from striking through it. I've also had cats take goldfish out of my patio ponds, years ago, and I think a cat got one out of my pond over the winter, as the fish disappeared (small, maybe 5-6") and I saw a cat inside my enclosure. Never found the fish, just a few scales.

      How deep is it, and how many gallons? Nice looking pond and fish, I hope the attacks stop.


      Nancy


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    11. #11
      Acekoi is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by icu2 View Post
      I've got dozens all around my ponds... I see them sunning themselves whenever it gets warm out and I've seen them
      swim occasionally across the streams or ponds, but mostly just trying to get to the other side and out of the water. I've
      never had one attack a fish. Who told you it was probably a snake?
      The pond supply place told us. The attacks on the fish always correlate with the snake sightings. The only other creatures we have seen around are bunnies and the occasional squirrel. There are hawks around the area we live in because it is a nature preserve, but they have never come anywhere near the house. They have plenty of food for them elsewhere, so there is no need for them to take the risk of hunting around our houses. Here is the nature preserve at the back of the house. Iíve never seen a blue heron in my life, and my neighbours have never seen one around either. Actually, I take that back. I may have seen one about 5 miles away on the trail, but Iím not completely sure. The main problem for pets were we live is coyotes, but I personally have never seen one, although other family members have. Now that there is construction in the preserve, the coyotes have left their habitat, and I expect they will not return for a while. But I donít believe that coyotes wouldnít come all the way to the front of the house, where people are everywhere, just to snack on a fish, when they have plenty of food elsewhere. I am certain it is the snakes.


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    12. #12
      Acekoi is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by nmtsaki View Post
      Welcome to Koiphen, sorry it's under such sad circumstances. Supposedly garter snakes do eat koi (small ones) and koi will also eat garter snakes in return, if they catch them in the pond!

      https://nextdaykoi.com/koi-how-tos/koi-ponds-snakes/

      I wouldn't put any type of oil that can leach into the pond too close to it, because if it gets into the water, your koi can die from the "cure". I've thought about moth balls myself to get rid of the rats around my pond , but am afraid of the toxicity of them. Mothballs are made out of dichlorobenze, and it's very nasty. According to the end all, be all source of information on the internet, Wikipedia says they're not effective against snakes anyway. Not sure about cedar oil; most essential oils in themselves are toxic; aged cedar wood is not.

      I would maybe set up a camera to see if snakes are the culprit. And if another fish is harmed, take a picture oft he fish, so we can see the wounds. It can still be a bird, poking through the netting, as it is too close to the water to keep a heron from striking through it. I've also had cats take goldfish out of my patio ponds, years ago, and I think a cat got one out of my pond over the winter, as the fish disappeared (small, maybe 5-6") and I saw a cat inside my enclosure. Never found the fish, just a few scales.

      How deep is it, and how many gallons? Nice looking pond and fish, I hope the attacks stop.


      Nancy
      Thank you so much for the advice. I will definitely take this all into account moving forward. I have never seen a cat in Colorado, even though I know people keep them, lol. I was thinking of taking photos but I was in such a state, I just couldnít. The pond is 3ft deep, not sure about the gallons. Thanks for your response


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