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If you’ve ever owned a koi, you’re bound to see them jump out of the water once in a while. Upon further observation, you may have noticed that this usually happens when they are transferred from a small body of water to a large one. But have you ever wondered: why do koi jump out of water?
There are different reasons why koi behave this way, such as exploration or discomfort. While this may be intriguing to see, they run the risk of hurting themselves by hitting the water’s surface, plants, or rocks at the end of the pond, or even beaching themselves, which can cause fatalities. However, the behavior in itself isn’t always a bad thing. To understand this further, it’s important to delve into the different reasons why your koi are inclined to jump out of the water.
Reasons Koi Jump out of the Water
Like many other types of fish, koi will not be able to survive long out of the water. However, they might feel the need to jump out of the pond due to changes in their environment or factors that are causing them some form of discomfort. In some cases, though, this type of behavior isn’t always a cause for worry. When you notice that your koi has been jumping more frequently than usual, it would be to your advantage to observe them further to determine why they’re exhibiting such behavior. That said, here are some reasons that you might encounter:
1) They’re Having Fun or Are Exploring
Because koi are intelligent fish, being in a new environment compels them to explore their new surroundings in an attempt to familiarize themselves with the place. Although, this doesn’t mean that they would jump only when they’re relocated. Koi may also feel inclined to jump when there are major changes made to the current environment, such as adding new plants or water features to the pond. Additionally, koi might start jumping simply because they’re having fun. If your koi is the excitable type, try to place netting around the pond to minimize injuries.
2) Something in the Water is Causing Discomfort
Like any other living creature, having an uncomfortable habitat can cause your koi to jump as they try to get to a more hospitable spot. If you suspect that your koi is jumping because there’s something wrong with the water, you need to test your pond’s water composition as it may have poor quality. Some factors that may result in poor water quality include lack of oxygen, high nitrate levels, or high ammonia levels.
Low oxygen levels can cause your koi to jump in order to gasp for air. More often than not, you’ll know that your pond has either stagnant depths or lacks aeration when your koi congregate near the top of the pond so they can breathe better.
On the other hand, ammonia levels can build up in the water when there’s too much waste that the fish excrete into the pond. This can result in your koi’s gills being burned, the pain of which can cause them to jump in an attempt to get rid of the feeling. If not addressed immediately, high ammonia levels can result in having too much nitrate in the water as a by-product. Similar to ammonia, nitrate can harm your fish by severely damaging their spleen, liver, kidneys, and nervous system.
3) Shallow Depths or Lack of Shade
During summertime, your koi might try to look for shaded areas in order to escape the heat of the sun. At the same time, they might be trying to look for deeper waters to hide. Without these, your koi might jump as they try to find a place that can provide some shade from the heat.
If there are too many koi in one pond, they might also start jumping out of the water just to get some breathing space for themselves. In this case, you might want to consider transferring some of the other koi to another pond in order to minimize injuries that can result from excessive jumping.
Koi Safety Recommendations For Jumping Behavior
The biggest concern that you might have with your koi jumping out of the water is that they might get injured. To avoid this, make sure to place safety precautions around your pond, as well as ensure that their habitat is a place they can be comfortable in. To achieve this, here are some steps that you can take:
● Regularly test the water quality of your pond. Keep in mind that poor water quality is the leading cause of koi death; thus it’s important to always conduct regular tests to make sure that the pH levels in your pond are just right. To keep pH levels at an ideal range, consider using buffers and acids to increase or decrease pH levels as needed.
● Ammonia and nitrate are also major causes of koi injury and death since excessive waste products in the water can result in burnt gills and fatalities. To address the issue, you may consider using chemicals as a temporary solution. However, it is best to apply a filtration system that makes sure there are adequate oxygen levels and that ammonia and nitrate levels won’t get out of hand.
● Always have enough space and depth for the koi to move. As mentioned, overcrowding may cause koi to jump frequently, but this setup is not conducive to their growth. Additionally, having deep waters in the pond will provide the koi with a place to hide not only from the heat of the sun but also from what they may perceive as predators.
Conclusion: Why Do Koi Jump out of Water?
Koi jump out of the water for different reasons, some of which are not so worrisome, while others may need immediate addressing. It’s best to first observe your koi as well as the conditions of the pond to determine whether they’re just jumping because they’re exploring or if something in the water is causing them discomfort.