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Why are my koi chasing each other? – Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A


Why are my koi chasing each other?

Why are my koi chasing each other? Christie – Moline, IL

The Thrill of the Chase

Just like any other pet, Koi provide pond guys and gals everywhere with entertainment and companionship. So now your new found finned friends are chasing each other around and being rather aggressive towards each other. This violent activity may seem disturbing to us but for your Koi it is actually a natural process. No your fish have not transformed your water garden in their very own fight club; this is their way of courting each other.

With Friends Like You…

So nothing says love like bashing your partner into a few plants and rocks right? What you are seeing is the male Koi(s) chasing the female around the pond trying to push the eggs out of her by pinching her between rocks or other males. It is during this process that the eggs are released into the water and fertilized. While we may have been a little slow to realize love is in the air … or in your pond rather, there are still a few things you can do to help your Koi have a successful spawning season.

Bring On The Plants: Adding Aquatic Plants like Hornwort and Water Hyacinth in your pond will provide excellent surface area for freshly laid eggs to attach to and will also provide coverage for them.

Keep It Clean: It is important that you keep the water in your pond clean and free from disease while the fry are developing. Perform regular water changes and use Water Conditioner when adding new water to remove any chlorine and toxic heavy metals from your tap or well water. Make sure you are adding Pond Salt to the water to keep fish stress down and also help prevent diseases.

Survival of the fittest…

After the fry hatch, you may not see the new additions until they become big enough to fend for themselves. Once they hatch they hide and fight for survival. Koi are not loving parents, they tend to eat their own eggs and fry. Out of thousands of eggs koi lay, only a select few will survive.

As your new additions began to grow, there will be added ammonia and nitrates in the pond. If you plan to keep these new Koi make sure you are providing adequate Filtration in your pond and you are not deviating from a practical fish load for your size pond. Having more fish in your pond than your filtration can handle will lead to additional more severe algae blooms and muck accumulation. It is important that you keep adding beneficial bacteria such as Nature’s Defense® or Muck Defense® to break this waste down.

Pond Talk: Have you seen baby koi in your water garden?

Pond Logic® Pond Salt

10 Responses

  1. Thank you all for your responses they were so great!!! Yes this is my 4th season for my pond, but my 1st for seeing the fish & frogs mating. I have a “special trick” that was told to me during the winter of my 2nd year so I started it last Spring and it is a GEM!!!! My local Vet has many fish in his office, including Koi & he also have 3 enormous ponds at his estate and has made videos about the making of them and taking care of them. Here is the kicker…. in the Spring I do 1 (one only) 1/2 water change out and I do add Natures Defense Conditioner back in and some salt when filling the pond back up but then I add at this time and every 3 weeks all until fall is here a full cup of Rid-X.!! Yep you heard me right! Rid-X like what we use in the toilet. It is a natural probiotic just like yogurt is to our stomachs. I had no green last year, no problem with filters getting clogged, my plants were enormous, I started with 4 small water hyacinths & 4 water lettuce and some others & I gave away every week 3 full long buckets of Water Hyacinths with huge tall blooms, my plants were huge, the fish, frogs, snails and everything was absolutely crystal clear and my pond is in direct sunlight all day! So I hope my small bit of knowledge will help you all out on your coming pond season this year. As soon as I get some little fry or little tadpoles I’ll take a pictures and post it for you and by then you will see the plants as well, as I did this change I am speaking of on this last Saturday. Thank you all again!

    • Happy to hear your pond is doing so well! Though Rid-X is a blend of natural bacteria there are many types of bacteria and each thrive in different types of environments. I would suggest using a blend of natural bacteria that is designed for the pond environment which can be found in Nature’s Defense and Muck Defense.

  2. I just noticed yesterday that one of my fish (a female small koi) is being chased & shoved by 4 of my other fish (several sizes of butterfly comets with gorgeous long flowing tails) I also have 2 sets of leopard frogs who have been mating as well (both the fish & frog mating is a first in our pond this year). I am going to clean out some of the old water from winter tomorrow & replace it with fresh & will add salt & a chlorine stabilizer & I have plants on order I am waiting to be shipped to me from the PondsPlantDirect company. What do I need to watch for so I don’t disturb or accidentally remove from the pond….. what am I looking for with the fish eggs & the frogs? I know with toads they are like one huge long string of horse snot with black dots, is it the same for frogs? If anybody knows please send me any advice as I don’t want to disturb the newly started life in the pond when cleaning and adding plants tomorrow. Thank You!

    • Hi Debra – You should see a similar type of egg mass for the frogs as well. A clear or slightly colored gel mass with small black specs inside. If it is necessary to change out the water go ahead and just avoid those areas, otherwise if the pond is in good health you may want to just wait until the eggs have hatched to do any large water changes.

  3. In April, 2013, I put one small Koi and one small common Goldfish into my pond. Have no other fish. In June, 2014, I find my small pond has many tiny black fish! I can only assume they are the offspring of the Koi and Goldfish.

  4. Useful thread if your pond is in good shape; didn’t know about Pond Salt or Natures Defence. Condition of the water really is critical even in a smaller 6-10,000 litre so any expert advice is welcomed.

    My mix of Koi; 5-10″, 2 larger 11-15″ and a few fairly large goldfish do chase into/during the summer months although no fry so far, pond has been established for 3-4 years with good planting. Regular filtration cleans, water checks, topping up and other ‘maintenance’ must be done so don’t bite off more than you can chew, I.e pond size.

    I’m hopefully something may happen, we’ll have to wait and see.

  5. About a month ago I watched this spawning process. The thing that drew my attention was particularily a red, white and black koi and a black with tinge of orange koi being chased by all the other koi. As they circled the pond near the surface these two would occassionally come up under the Water Hyacinth and “flop on their sides”. At first I was just entertained
    but then as I moved to the edge, I saw hundreds/ thousands of tiny minute while colored eggs being dispursed each time this happened. It was amazing.

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