We all love our Oklahoma pond fish and koi! They swim about together, greet you at the surface for some food, and swim gracefully creating a calm respite for us to relax. You may have experienced going out to your Oklahoma pond and seeing one of your pond fish or koi not hanging out with the others and just sitting by itself in a corner with its fins clamped to it's side. It almost seems as though it's in TIME OUT. If you have or do experience this, it's a time to be a bit concerned for your finned friend.
What does it mean when a koi or pond fish is hanging out by itself?
You venture on out to your beautiful Oklahoma pond and you see one of your fish hanging out by itself. Many times this is not a good sign, as the fish is not feeling well and could progressively get worse. For some reason, I don't know the scientific reason, our finned friends will find an area in the pond they are comfortable with and hang out by themselves when they are sick. A fish being sick could mean many things: A bacterial disease, parasite infection, burned gills, and numerous other ailments.
What should you do?
This is a tough question to answer and even harder to give advice given the limited treatments available to us as pond hobbyists. The FDA has made it more and more difficult for us to help our fish when they do become sick. Our recommendation would be to contact a professional who will ask you tons of questions to help you narrow down what may be the cause of the ailment.
There is one important step you can take immediately. Make sure the fish is still eating! This is huge. If you throw food into the pond and the fish eats it, this is fantastic! Now you need to get yourself some really good food. In the past, we use to be able to purchase foods with antibiotics in them, in the past year these have been taken off the market.
The next best food would be Probiotic Plus Food made by Blue Ridge Fish Hatchery. While this doesn't contain antibiotics, its the next best thing we have in our tool box to help our fish. You can order it at Next Day Koi.
If your fish is eating or not eating the next best thing to do is contact your local pond professional or pond center for help and advice on the next steps to take to help you fish.
A great resource online to research for yourself is Pond Crisis and Koi Vet. These two sites are full of information and worth the trip to gain insight into koi health.
Is it a new fish that's doing this?
You have just purchased some new fish or maybe someone gave you some to add to your Oklahoma pond. This new fish immediately goes off by itself or hides and you are worried there may be something wrong with it. Set your mind at ease, your new fish has just entered a new surrounding and is a bit stressed from the travels and the new pond. If your new fish is hanging out by himself, it's ok for a little bit. If he or she is hiding, it's ok don't get discouraged this is normal. However, should the new fish be hanging out by himself as described above for more than 24-48 hours you're going to want to get some help.
Sometimes new fish will hang out by themselves, but should eventually make some friends and begin hanging out with all the others.
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Tim Trammell has been building, designing, servicing and maintaining pond in the Oklahoma City Metro area for over 20 years. His company Continental Ponds, is Oklahoma's first Master Certified Aquascape Contractor and is an national award winning pond and water feature builder.