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    Thread: How to get the Koi to come to you for feeding?

    1. #1
      EmeraldDragon's Avatar
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      How to get the Koi to come to you for feeding?

      Now, I know that this might be a silly question. But I had to asked. I have been to other ponds that the Koi would comes to you with open fins right away saying feed me, feed me. But my Koi are not that way. They ran and hide away in the corner somewhere every time I come and try to give them food. They seems to get spooked out too easy.

      Last night, on the other hand, before I went to bed as I sat and watch them. They were swimming calmly as to my surprise. One of them (smallest one) especially jumped out of the water twice last night, I saw that personally. They were making water waves and acrobatic swimming (twisting and turning sideway) yesterday evening. That was the first time I saw them so calm with me sitting there watching them for a long time.

      This morning they were back to hiding in the corner again, not sure why. It's almost like they feels more comfortable at night under a spotlight than during the day.
      Regards,
      Sunny
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    2. #2
      kevins2ooo is offline Senior Member
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      Fish jumping out of water could be an indication of water quality issues...I'd check the parameters first. They could be stressed out.

      I got two Sekiguchi from PSKoi last year and was able to hand feed within two weeks...tricks...I fed them very little every time and watched them for at least 10 minutes, multiple times a day. They were hungry, but had enough to stay healthy. Soon they learned that I am their provider!

      Edited: Those two were my first two koi, no other koi in the water at the time. Having more fish do boost their confidence level.

    3. #3
      SimonW is offline Senior Member
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      I fear the moment when my ko do things like: "One of them (smallest one) especially jumped out of the water twice last night, I saw that personally. They were making water waves and acrobatic swimming (twisting and turning sideway) yesterday evening".

      Be warned that you may be in trouble, as something may be irritating them, possibly parasites, or bad water quality. You should test the water soon (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH or KH), If the values are good then catch one or two koi and do scapping and microscopying.

    4. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by kevins2ooo View Post
      Fish jumping out of water could be an indication of water quality issues...I'd check the parameters first. They could be stressed out.

      I got two Sekiguchi from PSKoi last year and was able to hand feed within two weeks...tricks...I fed them very little every time and watched them for at least 10 minutes, multiple times a day. They were hungry, but had enough to stay healthy. Soon they learned that I am their provider!

      Edited: Those two were my first two koi, no other koi in the water at the time. Having more fish do boost their confidence level.
      I will try to feed them less each time and see if that will do. Not sure if it is the water quality issues, the water test came out fine when I first put it in.
      Quote Originally Posted by SimonW View Post
      I fear the moment when my ko do things like: "One of them (smallest one) especially jumped out of the water twice last night, I saw that personally. They were making water waves and acrobatic swimming (twisting and turning sideway) yesterday evening".

      Be warned that you may be in trouble, as something may be irritating them, possibly parasites, or bad water quality. You should test the water soon (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH or KH), If the values are good then catch one or two koi and do scapping and microscopying.
      I thought that when they jump out sometimes means that they needed exercise too. But only one of them did that. I will keep an eye on them to see. The test results when I tested it the value came out fine. The only thing I don't have a test on was ammonia. I don't know how to do microscopying and I don't even think I want to try. I would hurt the Koi more than trying to help them.
      Regards,
      Sunny
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      Visit my site and see my progress of my Backyard and Garden

    5. #5
      SimonW is offline Senior Member
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      You wrote:

      "I thought that when they jump out sometimes means that they needed exercise too. But only one of them did that. I will keep an eye on them to see. The test results when I tested it the value came out fine. The only thing I don't have a test on was ammonia. I don't know how to do microscopying and I don't even think I want to try. I would hurt the Koi more than trying to help them".

      As everyone else we act upon our best judgement and then bear the consequence. You can either wait and see, as it can be false alarm, or you take action early on, and then avoid a possible disaster. I have tried the former and now I am more inclined to the later option.

    6. #6
      KoiFan84 is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by EmeraldDragon View Post
      Now, I know that this might be a silly question. But I had to asked. I have been to other ponds that the Koi would comes to you with open fins right away saying feed me, feed me. But my Koi are not that way. They ran and hide away in the corner somewhere every time I come and try to give them food. They seems to get spooked out too easy.

      Last night, on the other hand, before I went to bed as I sat and watch them. They were swimming calmly as to my surprise. One of them (smallest one) especially jumped out of the water twice last night, I saw that personally. They were making water waves and acrobatic swimming (twisting and turning sideway) yesterday evening. That was the first time I saw them so calm with me sitting there watching them for a long time.

      This morning they were back to hiding in the corner again, not sure why. It's almost like they feels more comfortable at night under a spotlight than during the day.
      You said they were twisting and turning sideways. That’s called flashing, and it means they’re irritated. Also koi don’t jump out of the water for “exercise”. Sounds like you need to do some reading/research. Kind of surprised that you have over 100 posts but don’t know this information. Good luck with getting them to hand feed.

    7. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by KoiFan84 View Post
      You said they were twisting and turning sideways. That’s called flashing, and it means they’re irritated. Also koi don’t jump out of the water for “exercise”. Sounds like you need to do some reading/research. Kind of surprised that you have over 100 posts but don’t know this information. Good luck with getting them to hand feed.
      WOW! I guess I am being slammed, so sorry if I do not know this information. Just because I had over 100 posts, it doesn't means anything. And I am also a new member here as well. I don't means to be rude, at least to you or anyone here in the forum. The reason I said that the koi was exercise when they do a little jumped out of the water is the information I found out there, it not that me "EmeraldDragon" said it. I guess asking for help is not an option, when you are a senior member here with more than a 100 posts. I guess, I will go find helps elsewhere if asking for help is not warrant for Senior Member. I am disappointed that I am being slammed for making a comment that could or could not be true.

      Here is q quote from a site: https://lochnesswatergardens.com/blo...kimmer%20areas.
      1. JUMPING IS FUN
      This is the main reason why koi jump. Many animals, fish included, simply enjoy jumping. If your fish are particularly jump-for-joy-inclined, there really isn’t much that you can do about it, other than trying to minimize the damage that they can do to themselves (though koi that are jumping for pleasure are far less likely to injure themselves). Carefully placed netting can help with this. Otherwise, enjoy. It’s adorable.

      2. THEY’RE EXPLORING
      This jumping behavior is most often seen by koi that are new to their environment. Koi are fairly smart fish, and as such they like to know their surroundings. Part of this involves exploring the outer limits of their pond. You’ll most often see new koi jumping at the waterfall or skimmer areas. Temporary netting can prevent injury with new fish, and keeping an eye on new fish for a while after introducing them to a new pond is a good idea for many reasons, jumping behavior included. Your koi might also start back with the aerial exploration in spring or after major changes to their environment (such as new plants or waterfalls). The last reason why they might go exploring a pond that’s already familiar is because they’re hungry. Try feeding them a bit more.
      Regards,
      Sunny
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      Visit my site and see my progress of my Backyard and Garden

    8. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by EmeraldDragon View Post
      WOW! I guess I am being slammed, so sorry if I do not know this information. Just because I had over 100 posts, it doesn't means anything. And I am also a new member here as well. I don't means to be rude, at least to you or anyone here in the forum. The reason I said that the koi was exercise when they do a little jumped out of the water is the information I found out there, it not that me "EmeraldDragon" said it. I guess asking for help is not an option, when you are a senior member here with more than a 100 posts. I guess, I will go find helps elsewhere if asking for help is not warrant for Senior Member. I am disappointed that I am being slammed for making a comment that could or could not be true.

      Here is q quote from a site: https://lochnesswatergardens.com/blo...kimmer%20areas.
      you didn't put the third quote they had... which was about problems.
      We are here for learning, so don't feel slammed by other members, we have all forgotten how to be polite with all this stay at home stuff.
      Anyway in my experience, most of the time when there is breaching accompanied by flashing, the fish is stressed and/or has parasites. Take a look through the health forum to get an idea of what to do diagnose and treat the fish... https://www.koiphen.com/forums/forum...-Health-Issues
      Generally if you take care of the water, the fish will take care of themselves, but sometimes they need a little help from us.

      As far as the the feeding stuff, if your pond is in full sun and has no shade, fish will generally be more skittish, due to ingrained nature of being prey to certain waterfowl. Over time if they are safe they will get over that, they also are mre active during dusk periods when they are more likely to find tasty bites of insects. Getting a greedy fish is probably the way of getting them to come to you to beg... The fish that are genetically prone to getting big, like chagoi/ochiba/yamabuki, or any of the others crossed back with magoi for size. Beyond that just spend more time out by the pond so they get used to you being around, you could also condition them to a feeding ring, think hula hoop that floats on the water that you put in when it is time for food and you put he food in the ring and stay out there until the fish start eating, they will eventually associate you with food.
      Koiphen member since 05-13-2004

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by danzcool View Post
      you didn't put the third quote they had... which was about problems.
      We are here for learning, so don't feel slammed by other members, we have all forgotten how to be polite with all this stay at home stuff.
      Anyway in my experience, most of the time when there is breaching accompanied by flashing, the fish is stressed and/or has parasites. Take a look through the health forum to get an idea of what to do diagnose and treat the fish... https://www.koiphen.com/forums/forum...-Health-Issues
      Generally if you take care of the water, the fish will take care of themselves, but sometimes they need a little help from us.
      Thank you for your responses, and explanations. I understood it too well about stay at home thing.

      The reason I put the first two was to indicate the two situations that the Koi are in. I just moved them into a new pond and the exercise thing. As far as if the Koi start to act more problematic, I will definitely look into the Emergency and Health Sections. Or, I will post question there if I cannot find what I need.

      Quote Originally Posted by danzcool View Post
      As far as the the feeding stuff, if your pond is in full sun and has no shade, fish will generally be more skittish, due to ingrained nature of being prey to certain waterfowl. Over time if they are safe they will get over that, they also are mre active during dusk periods when they are more likely to find tasty bites of insects. Getting a greedy fish is probably the way of getting them to come to you to beg... The fish that are genetically prone to getting big, like chagoi/ochiba/yamabuki, or any of the others crossed back with magoi for size. Beyond that just spend more time out by the pond so they get used to you being around, you could also condition them to a feeding ring, think hula hoop that floats on the water that you put in when it is time for food and you put he food in the ring and stay out there until the fish start eating, they will eventually associate you with food.
      As far as shade from the sun, the new pond only gets the morning sun until about 11ish (11:15AM sometimes 11:30AM). Since the pond is under the patio. And It is not in a direct sun. I have made sure of that when I finished the built the other week.

      I have two big ones about close to a foot long (Long Fin and Beni Kikokuryu) the rest are about 7" or less (Karasugoi, and 3 of the plain yellow Koi [forgot what type it was]).

      I have been noticing them in the past 3 - 4 days after the move that they are more active in the evening too (like you said). I knows my biggest Koi (Long Fin) loves testy bites of insects, I seen it chopped on them every night in the old pond. Not sure about my Beni Kikokuryu, I have not seen it does so, yet. They seems to swim around a little bit more during the day this past weekend. Maybe they are more comfortable with the new environment now too. They seems to come closer to me this past weekend too, but still get spooked out sometimes when I made a certain moves too quick. We also put a few more plants in for shades (IE: Water Lily, Water Iris etc...) and rearranged the pond a little bit to give the pond a better shade during the day.
      Regards,
      Sunny
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      Visit my site and see my progress of my Backyard and Garden

    10. #10
      jmajid is offline Junior Member
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      Since it is a new pond and you say you just moved them into this pond, then you may be still undergoing the pond cycle.
      You should get that ammonia test and of course nitrite, nitrate. Check at the same time of day each day. You can also check at early morning, evening for pH and see how it changes.
      I have seen my koi jump and flash (the aerobatic swimming) - each time it has been something that has been irritating them.

      As for getting them to come to you - if you have a larger fish - they will tend to stick that fish and "school" and key off that fish for what to do. Get that fish or another fish that is "greedy" as others have mentioned above to come and feed and they will all get used to doing the same.
      I find it's an annual ritual for me - they tend to not get fed too much in the winter time and are less inclined to come to me, but i just spend time watching them, they get used to me being around, then i feed them, wait for some time and they will come and eat.
      If you can set the same time each day - that helps i think - at least it did for me.
      Now i dont have to be anywhere close, they see me coming and start mouthing at the surface waiting...
      As noted above, use the same spot each time to feed... a ring does condition the fish.

      Beware though - predators will also use the same tactics as you - and the fish wont know the difference. So take adequate precautions.

    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by jmajid View Post
      Since it is a new pond and you say you just moved them into this pond, then you may be still undergoing the pond cycle.
      You should get that ammonia test and of course nitrite, nitrate. Check at the same time of day each day. You can also check at early morning, evening for pH and see how it changes.
      I have seen my koi jump and flash (the aerobatic swimming) - each time it has been something that has been irritating them.
      Yes, I have been testing the water, the only thing I don't have a tester for right now is ammonia tester. I will get it thou, so I can test it. I did however put the ammonia detoxifier in a few days ago to condition the water.

      Quote Originally Posted by jmajid View Post
      As for getting them to come to you - if you have a larger fish - they will tend to stick that fish and "school" and key off that fish for what to do. Get that fish or another fish that is "greedy" as others have mentioned above to come and feed and they will all get used to doing the same.
      I find it's an annual ritual for me - they tend to not get fed too much in the winter time and are less inclined to come to me, but i just spend time watching them, they get used to me being around, then i feed them, wait for some time and they will come and eat.
      If you can set the same time each day - that helps i think - at least it did for me.
      Now i dont have to be anywhere close, they see me coming and start mouthing at the surface waiting...
      As noted above, use the same spot each time to feed... a ring does condition the fish.

      Beware though - predators will also use the same tactics as you - and the fish wont know the difference. So take adequate precautions.
      I am pretty much sticking to my routines (more or less) each day and stay at the same corner to feed them. They seems to be a lot calmer now in the past two to three days. Yesterday, late last night while I was working in the backyard finishing up Phase 2 of our Pond. The two biggest ones dash to me when I walk up to the same corner, so that's a good signs that they wants food from me. Now I am on to Phase 3 of my pond completion, Filtration upgrade and retro BD installs. I am still trying to figure out what to do.

      I am well aware of the predators around my area. Not many of them but enough to scare my Koi. But since I have moved my new pond under my patio (not like my old pond which is out in the open), it hid away a little bit and the predators don't really see the pond directly There are many trees and other thing blocking the views from above, but have enough room for the sunlight to come through.
      Regards,
      Sunny
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    12. #12
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      My aerated bottom drain is right in the middle of my pond. When I am ready to feed the fish, I turn off the air first. They notice this immediately and congregate at the surface waiting for food. When finished I turn the air back on and it's back to business for everyone.

    13. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by pickerel View Post
      My aerated bottom drain is right in the middle of my pond. When I am ready to feed the fish, I turn off the air first. They notice this immediately and congregate at the surface waiting for food. When finished I turn the air back on and it's back to business for everyone.
      LOL! That's funning but if that's works it cool! One of my friend, yesterday, told me he knock on the edge of the pond (he has wooden pond like mine) and they comes for feeding. He even showed me that in the video chat. I tried it and it kindda works on my end. Not sure if they were really hungry and don't care or what, but I'll take it as they understand it. They still won't come up to the top to be fed thou, but that is alright for now. So as long as they comes to feed when I am there. I am happy.
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    14. #14
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      Never done it myself but always heard koi can be conditioned to respond to a bell and associate it to feeding time. In fish farms fish will recognize the sight and sounds of a tractor and come for feeding.


      Here's Pavlov's Fish Science Fair project.
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      I have trained aquarium fish to come eat when they hear the tap. It takes time and consistency. Whatever you do while they are eating, over time they will associate the two.

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      Cool.. I will keep trying. At least now they are not scare and swim around more now.
      Regards,
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      I swear my fish can hear or feel my sliding patio door when it opens. I have been sitting pondside for an hour as they get back to their normal swiming routine, if my wife or kids slide open the door the fish get excited and come to the surface. And there is no way they can see the door open as it is 4 feet up and 12 feet away on a wood deck - but the decks supporting posts are in the ground right next to the pond.
      Last edited by steve258; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:59 AM.
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