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    Thread: Winter came early, Koi behavior....?

    1. #1
      k01fishfam is offline Member
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      May 2021
      Zone 9a

      Winter came early, Koi behavior....?

      We recently got a big rain storm and temperatures dropped drastically. Winter is officially here where I live. I have a 4000 gal pond - babies, medium sized and largest being about a 12". They all were doing great!

      After rain all water levels were normal except higher ammonia so I reduced that. I noticed they ALL were a lot more docile and hanging at surface. They look like they might be going into hibernation or torpor? I have never experienced a winter with Koi so please share what behavior is normal. There are some babies who have not been through a winter yet.

      I'd imagine they'd go to the bottom to hibernate but maybe they are not in "full" hibernation mode yet? Is it possible for them to slowly go into that 'zone' and this is why they are acting a less energized?

      Please share, thank you so much!

    2. #2
      One Poet's Garden's Avatar
      One Poet's Garden is offline Senior Member
      is Digging. And then digging some
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      Aug 2017
      Just outside the beltway
      Quote Originally Posted by k01fishfam View Post
      I'd imagine they'd go to the bottom to hibernate but maybe they are not in "full" hibernation mode yet?
      Your location says you're in gardening zone 9A? Why would you be worried about hibernation? I must be missing something?

    3. #3
      KingstonKoi is offline Supporting Member
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      Aug 2020
      Gig Harbor, WA
      What were your water temperatures up to the point of the big rain storm? And have they dropped at all since. Water temperature drops at a slower rate than air temperature. If there hasn’t been a major drop in temperature in the pond water, it’s unlikely that they are going into hibernation yet. However the rain, if they are not used to it, may have been a strange experience for them. Especially if they are young koi who haven’t been through it before. We just had a day of heavy rain, and my koi, which range up to 16 inches, spent the day trying to swallow the raindrops as if they were food. Water temps are 52 so I would expect them to be slowing down yet they think I’m starving them.

      The thing to watch for with heavy rain storms is a drop in the pH. Most rainwater is more acidic than local water sources (and more acid as you move from the West Coast to the East Coast.). Monitor your pH, especially if the rain continues, to ensure it is not dropping rapidly and headed into a pH crash. If you find it is dropping below its normal range, you can use baking soda to stabilize it.

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