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My Fish Are Nibbling At My Toes When I Swim. Why Is This Happening And How Can I Stop It? | Ponds & Lakes Q&A


My Fish Are Nibbling At My Toes When I Swim. Why Is This Happening And How Can I Stop It?

My Fish Are Nibbling At My Toes When I Swim. Why Is This Happening And How Can I Stop It?

Holly – Wiggins, CO

While we love hand feeding our fish from time to time, nothing ruins your day faster than taking a dip in your cool refreshing pond water only to be reduced to an overgrown chew toy. No one wants to swim in a pond where they feel they may be next one the menu, so how do you stop your touchy feely finned friends from taste testing you and your friends?

It is common to have the smaller prey fish in your pond try to make a quick meal out of your fingers and toes than their larger predator counterparts. It is a sign that your pond may be imbalanced, creating a shortage of food for your smaller fish. They are simply trying to find a snack wherever possible and that includes your precious phalanges. Keep tabs on your fish population to make sure you have a balanced ratio of 3 prey fish to every predator.

If you have an abundance of smaller fish in the pond you may want to introduce some minnows into the water to give them a quick and easy meal that can be replenished over time. If your pond does have an unbalanced population, investigate why this may be. Make sure you have adequate habitat in the pond for your small fish to hide and mature and if you feel your fish are having trouble finding enough food consider manually feeding them using a quality fish food like Game Grower Fish Food.

If you are not quite sure what or how to feed your fish read our Fish Food Blog. Also for some great tips on adding habitat to your pond click over to our Creating Habitat Blog.

Pond Talk: Do your fish nibble at you when you swim in your pond?

The Pond Guy Game Fish Grower Fish Food

6 Responses

  1. I know how to stop it – stay out of the pond. Fish are fish, and that’s what they do. If that creeps you out, perhaps you should get a chlorinated swimming pool and leave the pond to the fish. Feeding them won’t help – fish are ALWAYS hungry! I also think it’s cute and it’s only Nature, most of us ponders like Nature, and like what the fish do.

  2. I can’t believe this is perceived as a problem. I love sticking my hand in the pond and having the fish “kiss” me. Unfortunately, my pond’s too small for me to swim in. People pay a lot of money in spas for such “nibbling”. Look at it as the treat that it is.

  3. Yes, I have been “tasted” like this for nearly 80 years and if this is the worst thing that happens in any given day, what a blessing — as long as the nibblers are not sharks or barracudas.
    Of course if one is selling a bunch of pond products, the causes and “remedies” are as many as the products to be sold. But — did it ever occur to you people that such “exploration” of the intruding phalanges might be simple curiosity? Yes! Believe it or not, there are possibly some thought processes involved.
    Short on fingers (and opposable thumbs) teeny fish are using the investigative tools they have — teeny fish mouths. I am personally charmed by such encounters — but to each his/her own.

    • Mine are more than nibbles. I have had hybrid blue gill actually leave very sore “teeth” marks. They also seem attracked to dark spots (i.e.nipples). Ouch!. Maybe I need to cull the big old ones, I always catch and release and I have a feww really big ones.

    • I think fish nibbles are delightfully funny, It always makes me laugh when it happens!

  4. Perch and crappie are bad enough, but FL hybrid black bass are just flat mean. You have to keep moving or they will draw blood.

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